Amidst tales of unscrupulous shopkeepers fleecing the last dime out of hapless pilgrims,small groups of volunteers are trying to bring some succor to the distraught by providing them with water and food and collecting funds for flood victims.
The denizens were in strength at the Jolly Grant Airport and at the Sahastradhara helipad,handing out water bottles and serving food to those who have camped in the city as they wait for news of their near and dear ones.
They were also on the streets,collecting donation for the Chief Minister’s Fund,contributing their mite to the collective effort to provide relief. Outside the Jolly Grant Hospital,some of them sit in a pick-up truck with bunches of bananas and water bottles for delivery to those rescued from flash-flood hit areas. Amidst the chaos which is the aftermath of a disaster,the volunteers were bringing a sense of calm to the rescue efforts.
As the friends and family of those missing rush from one official to another,chase every government vehicle and vent their spleen at what some condemned was the total absence of sensitivity on part of the administration,the volunteers were there,patiently waiting with a glass of water,or lime juice,and food.
“We have been here since morning. Me and my friends thought we should be a part of the effort,” said Sumit as he went with his friends from room to room at the Jolly Grant Hospital,handing out water bottles and inquiring about the health of survivors admitted there.
Manning their stations from dawn till dusk,when the helicopters cease their sorties for the day,these volunteers are almost one with the harried numbers outside the airport in their agony and anxiety. One such group was made of volunteers sent by Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee,which has set up a langar (community kitchen) outside Jolly Grant Airport.