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United Sikhs launches Kashmir Relief Mission; Issues appeal for Donations

September 10, 2014 | By

Srinagar, Kashmir (September 10, 20140): A state of emergency has been declared in Kashmir as the areas of Jammu, Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag are battling one of the worst floods in decades. Jammu is located in the mountainous vicinity and fears are growing for victims as the weather will soon be turning cold.

Over a million people have been affected by the catastrophic floods, the worst the state has seen in 60 years. The town has suffered six days of heavy rain and flooding; leaving more than 200 people dead while approximately 970 people have been rescued from the Panjab province of Kashmir.

Kashmir is facing one of the worst floods of last many decades

Kashmir is facing one of the worst floods of last many decades

Water levels have reached a staggering 15-18 feet. Thousands have been left without food and water. Furthermore, many families have been displaced and left without shelter and basic requirements for survival, forcing them to build shelter from wreckage. Communication systems have been interrupted, with telephone networks not functioning, leaving many areas inaccessible and only reachable via boat. Essential roads which lead to the airport have been inundated under several feet of water.

The Indian Army has stepped into full action and is helping those who are severely stranded. 600,000 people are still trapped and struggling to survive. The army has deployed 184 columns and the IAF has also supplied helicopters to help with rescue efforts.

According to United Sikhs ground volunteers, at least 30-35 thousand Sikhs have been affected by the floods. At the moment, Srinagar is one of the only areas which are accessible by air; the other three districts are completely cut off from any form of communication and aid. Furthermore, funerals have been halted as there is no room or time for them to be performed.

A Gurdwara which has not been affected by the floods, based in the Budgam district, called Shaheed Bunga Sahib, has become a place refuge for many survivors, Sikh, Muslim and Hindus.

A United Sikhs volunteer at Srinagar, Bhupinder Singh, explained that: “70% of the population in Srinagar has not been evacuated; there is a dire shortage of food, medicines, and blankets. This is affecting expectant mothers.”

“Many young children are also being impacted in regards to medicine and lack of baby food. Rescue services are slow and we are working as much as we can.

Also, there is a shortage of drinking water. We are also asking people for water. I have brought some medicines from Jammu, for the victims.”

At present there are 4000-5000 people at the Shaheed Bunga Sahib Gurdwara and langar is being served three to four times a day to all victims.”

The United Sikhs humanitarian aid and relief team will carry out work in the areas where aid assistance is most critically needed. Currently United Sikhs is shipping 2000 blankets to victims in Srinagar, as this is region in which the situation is most dire.

However, substantially more is needed to ensure that the death toll does not rise and that people are rescued. Kashmir is in desperate need of your help, time is running out and the city is drowning and lives are being lost.

United Sikhs asked its supporters for donations, in order to provide medical supplies and baby food as main hospitals such as SMHS and Lalla Ded have been severely affected and communication is severely hindered. This is a matter of urgency.

United Sikhs ground team has made an assessment of items which are urgently needed:

– Beta dine solution to clean wounds
– Soframycin ointment for open wounds
– Tetanus injections
– Water-purifying tablets
– Insulin
– Cortisone tablets for allergies and bites
– Ashthalin pumps for asthmatics

The United Sikhs Humanitarian Aid team has urged for support to send aid to these vulnerable communities.

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