‘Stranded tourists awaiting relief’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/stranded-tourists-awaiting-relief/

‘Stranded tourists awaiting relief’

While the state machinery is at work, city-based NGOs are organising rescue operations for the victims.

With the mobile connectivity restored, the relatives of tourists stranded in the flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir have heaved a sigh of relief. They are, however, worried if proper food, drinking water and medicines are reaching the people.

“Though the Army and the NDRF are putting together immense efforts in providing relief, there is need for an added workforce to improve the situation. Seven of my family members are stuck in one of the hotels near Dal gate area and are desperately awaiting the basic necessities,” said Sanjay Karodpati (50), whose parents were holidaying in the Valley with his sister’s family when the floods hit the state. He established contact with them on Thursday morning.

The family was on a vacation to Kashmir following a visit to the Vaishnodevi temple. Karodpati said his nephew told him the water level had receded but the contaminated water was posing a threat of possible disease outbreaks. “The state is in dire need of food, water and medicines,” he said.

Jaya Kumbhar (45) had been approaching various administrative bodies and NGOs to help track her daughter, who along with her husband was on a 10-day leisure trip to Kashmir. She was finally able to speak to them on Thursday morning. “The loss of connectivity had shattered me, until I spoke to my daughter this morning. The NDRF has extended enormous help to the tourists; however I am worried about the trouble with access to medical facilities and food,” said Kumbhar.

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While the state machinery is at work, city-based NGOs are organising rescue operations for the victims. Sanjay Nahar, president of the organisation, Sarhad, which works for education, upliftment and emancipation of Kashmiris in the city, said: “We have targeted about 75 pockets of Kashmir, where we would be deploying rescue teams of five to seven volunteers every two days, starting from September 13.”

He added: “We have established correspondence with some of our volunteers in Kashmir and have recorded the requirements like medication, food, water and blankets. We will also be streamlining the medical practitioners’ teams, rehabilitation services and delivery of donated aid,” he said.