We had to beg for food,say rescued Badrinath pilgrimshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/we-had-to-beg-for-food-say-rescued-badrinath-pilgrims/

We had to beg for food,say rescued Badrinath pilgrims

Pilgrims confess how difficult it was for them to even have a glass of water.

“We had to beg for food and even then we could barely get a few spoons of rice and half-cooked dal. It was horrifying,” Kanti Devi of Bihar said.

She was one of the 35 pilgrims who were rescued from Badrinath and airlifted to Gauchar Thursday morning. “Getting a glass of water was a huge problem. For the last eight days,we survived only on a bowl of rice and dal. It is an extremely messy situation there. We are lucky to have reached here,” said Lalti Devi,another survivor.

Rescue workers first evacuated children,women and disabled from Badrinath. “I never thought I would ever survive. I am disabled and can not walk without support and then I was running high fever for the last six days,” said Jugnu of Bihar.

Jugnu and three other pilgrims had reached Badrinath on June 15. “The next evening,this mayhem happened. Though Badrinath was not much affected,we were told that the roads had broken and we have to stay back. People used to fight over a bowl of rice and those who could not get it had to sleep on an empty stomach. Finally a few days ago,army and air force personnel started reaching us and evacuation began.”

Pilgrims still stranded in Badrinath,12 days after the floods hit,have taken shelter in dharamshalas. “There are hundreds of people there,waiting to be evacuated. We were stuck in Badrinath since June 16. We were fine but the children of my daughters were traumatised,” said Shanti Devi,who lives in Srinagar,about 60 km away,and was airlifted along with her family.

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Surinder and his wife Shashi from Ghaziabad were also evacuated Thursday. They have not had any contact with their family since June 15. “There are many people who are yet to be saved. Since food and other supplies have been adversely affected due to damaged roads,we are not sure that for how many days people who are stranded in Badrinath can survive,” Surinder said.