Attar Singh Pawar gives us his first-hand witness testimony of the Uttarakhand disaster - he is Gram Pradhan (Head of Village) of Naad Village, Uttarkashi.
"My name is Attar Singh Kumar and I am the Gram Pradhan (Village head) of Naad village."
He says "The destructive floods that came in this region in August 2012 and the recent ones on the 16th and 17th of June 2013 have completely destroyed the lifeline of these areas.It has destroyed the only motorable road that connected the region to the outside world, mostly because of breaking of many bridges in the area, and also the agricultural lands have been completely washed away. A lot of people have lost their lives in the region, a number of them, by falling into the river while crossing temporary wooden bridges in the area. The educational system has completely broken down and in the past month, no schools or colleges have been open or able to reopen their classes for students. There are almost no steps taken by the government yet, be it in the field of resuming education or tourism".
As you know, we have the world famous Dodital Lake, which used to attract thousands of tourists from all over the country and the world and it was a means of employment for the local population here.The main road in this area, which is like the lifeline of the region has been partly flooded since last year; there are neither bridges across rivers in the area, nor any means of transport for the public and even the walking pathways that the people have been using to move around have not been made by the government but the people themselves. Right now, we are standing in Kaphno village and almost all the bridges ahead of this village have been washed away by the 2012 floods on the Assi Ganga River only and have not been repaired as yet, by the administration. And the local population had to bear the brunt of it in the wake of the floods this year. A lot of people have fallen into the river and have lost their lives. For example, a couple of days ago, this girl from Bagholi village fell into the river and drowned. There are about 90 trusts in the region which were providing relief and support to the flood victims at Naad village yesterday and today they are working in Kelsu area and villages like Aghoda and Bankoli. People have been called so that they can be given relief and supplies.
On the government's part there has not been much that has been done. Only one day, they were here providing relief and support to the people of these areas and after that there has been no communication from their side. This woman from Dhansra village was wounded and she would have lived today if given medical aid but no help came and she died, amongst many other people".
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