September 12, 2014 | By Parmjeet Singh
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir is facing one of the worst flood situation of past several decades and there is a dire need of help to millions who have been affected by this calamity. Various Sikh bodies, including Amritsar based Shriomani Gurdwara Prabhadak Committee (SGPC), UK based Khalsa Aid and US based United Sikhs, are engaged in providing humanitarian in flood hit areas.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) is provide food more than one lakh people daily from Darbar Sahib (Amritsar). The langar (food) is being air-lifted to the flood hit areas by Indian Air Force.
The Khalsa Aid and the United Sikhs have also launched their relief missions for Jammu and Kashmir. They are engaged in providing food and other basic necessaries to the victims of floods.
The deadly floods in Kashmir are continuing to cause scenes of mayhem, displacement and uncertainty. The areas of Jammu, Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag are battling one of the worst floods in decades.
Ravi Singh of Khalsa Aid told Sikh Siyasat News (SSN), that teh Khalsa Aid launched an immediate relief programme soon after the news of the floods broke.
“ A meeting was held with the Jammu & Kashmir Sikh Professionals (JKSP) to assess and deliberate the most efficient way of providing aid. Their local knowledge has proven paramount to the relief work. We have also teamed up with Akaal Network (Delhi) and Voice of the Voiceless (Delhi) to help the scores of people currently stranded in their homes” said Ravi Singh.
“Together with the above mentioned organizations, Khalsa Aid has set up relief centres across Jammu and Kashmir where victims have access to food, temporary shelter and further information on how best to deal with the situation. The point of contact is Gagandeep Singh who is available on helpline number is 09419113668” he added.
“In addition to the relief centers, Khalsa Aid volunteers have also prepared packages of food which are being flown out by the Indian Air Force. On Tuesday 9th September Khalsa Aid delivered 10,000 food parcels that were delivered to the victims”.
“Furthermore, where possible Khalsa Aid volunteers are hand delivering food aid, blankets, diapers, baby food, cereal, medicines, socks, water bottles, energy drinks, chlorine for water purification and sanitary requirements. These items are being delivered directly to the homes where people are unable to leave due to the water levels being above waist height”.
An update by Untied Sikhs says, [i]n Srinagar, where the United Sikhs Kashmir Relief team has been working on the ground, many residences and, even hospitals, are submerged, leaving many victims’ families without any form of communication on whether their loved ones are safe, or alive.
Although support teams have successfully rescued a number of people from Srinagar, some areas such as Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnah have only just become accessible. The United Sikhs Kashmir Relief team will be assisting in these areas,when they become accessible to aid teams, as these victims have been without food and water ever since the rain first belted through Kashmir.
According to United Sikhs ground volunteers, the Gurdwara based in Budgam district, called Shaheed Bunga Sahib has given shelter and food to over 8,000 people. Furthermore, medical camps have also been set up in the Gurdwara where 1,000 injured victims have been treated, however medicine supplies are still low, and the number of people requiring treatment will only continue to increase.
A United Sikhs Volunteer in Srinagar, Bhupinder Singh, explained that: “more people have come to the Gurdwara Shaheed Bunga, more than 8,000 people are currently in the Gurdwara and sanitation has become a major issue. With water receding, it is expected that more and more people are expected at the Gurdwara.”
The United Sikhs Relief is targeting to carry out work in the areas where aid is most critically needed. These areas include Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnah, which have only become accessible via army helicopters. Those rescued are being placed at safety camps, one being the Gurdwara Shaheed Bunga.
The heavy rain which hauled its way into Kashmir has left over a million people displaced, without food, water and communication channels.
Approximately, hundreds of thousands of people including many Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims have been affected by the deadly upheaval and remain stranded. Now government officials stated that the death toll has risen from 200 to 450, and this number will only continue to grow.
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Related Topics: India, Jammu and Kashmir, Khalsa Aid, SGPC, United Sikhs