Uttrakhand tragedy: villagers reject " Useless relief "


A two-kg bag of rice handed over to Sangeeta Shukla in flood-ravaged Uttarakhands Rudrapur village is infested with tiny black insects. In this village, just six km from the hub of Guptakashi in Rudraprayag district, rice, flour and blankets are being distributed by the village head.Houses were not destroyed in Rudrapur. The villagers say they do not need the blankets they are being given. They need food, three weeks after the disaster, villagers here say, rations are being distributed for the first time here.

State governments, NGOs and individuals are continuing to contribute relief material to the flood affected in Uttarakhand. However, not only is the quality being questioned, but also the way relief is being distributed.

As she tries to separate the insects from the rice, Ms Shukla says, "We feel very sad when we get ration of this quality. This rice is old and therefore it is filled with insects. We do not need bottled water. We have plenty of water in Uttarakhand. Nor do we need biscuits. They all went waste. We need oil, flour, rice and kerosene. We do not need useless relief."

With their kitchen and wallets empty, the family also confesses that they will be forced to eat what they get.

The villagers also reject much of the old clothing that has been sent by NGOs and individuals - trousers and jeans hang unclaimed on barbed wire soaked in the rain.

The residents of Rudrapur and many other such villages in Uttarakhand admit they need help in this hour of crisis. But to those reaching out they say - give it to us without compromising our dignity and honour.










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