UnitedSikhs

GHANAIA Asian Earthquake Relief

Field Report 20.10.05/00

Field Update and Analysis from Esher Singh, UNITED SIKHS team leader on the Indian side of the Kashmir earthquake affected areas.:

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh

The Sikhs living in the predominantly Muslim populated villages are suffering and complain of government apathy as they are being ignored in the relief distribution efforts. Today, Thursday oct 20th 2005, the Times of India news paper reported that relief materials dont reach the villages of Tribuni, and Simbalpura. Harbans Singh is quoted as saying that “whenever they ( villagers) reach the relief collection center at Tangdhar, they are told that their number hasn’t ben reached." He asks, “ When will our turn come?”.

Sayyed Mir of Tangdhar agrees that there are no roads to these villages where the Sikhs are and that is why no aid has reached them.

There are some Muslim families in these villages who have raised similar questions: “where is all the aid going.”

There are regular earth quake tremors still going on in these villages which is making the situation bad to worse as what had been left standing after the earthquake is being reduced to rubble. The approach roads are being 'avalanched' due to the loose soil in these hilly areas.

There is also a great concern for the children in these earth quake hit areas. UNICIEF reports that there are tens of thousands of children facing peril because of deteriorating weather conditions. About 10,000 could die of hunger, hypothermia and disease within next few weeks. Immediate steps must be taken so that the 2nd wave of the death toll may be averted during the harsh winter months. The relief efforts are becoming more complex as the days go by due to bad road conditions and land slides caused by tremors (earth quake shocks). Sikhs of the world are requested to immediately extend their help to these people, who are caught in the web of natural disasters.

Points that need immediate attention:

  1. Medical facilities for the children.
  2. Baby food
  3. Temporary shelters (as the tin roof houses will take time to rebuild and wont be ready by first snowfall.) e.g. prefabricated barracks should be immediately sent to these 6 villages which will cost about 6 lakhs for each shelter. Each barrack could accommodate at least 100 children. there should be at least one or two barracks per village.This will serve a dual purpose as the Gurudwara and shelter for village children. Snow fall of about 15 to 20 feet has been reported. Tents cannot withstand such heavy snow fall.
  4. Tins and reconstruction material for the rest of the 170 destroyed village houses .
  5. Bathrooms and toilets for the ladies.
  6. Hardware kits for rebuilding houses like nails, nut bolts vauchers, packing glues, hammers , screwdrivers, players, etc.

Please come forward to the help.

Bhai Esher Singh

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