President visits Leh, assures cloudburst victims all help

President Pratibha Patil Wednesday visited cloudburst-hit Leh and assured the victims all help in their rehabilitation.

Leh: President Pratibha Patil Wednesday visited cloudburst-hit Leh and assured the victims all help in
their rehabilitation.

Interacting with the victims at a relief camp here,
Patil said they will be given all possible support for their
rehabilitation and that the country stands in solidarity with

"We are with you at this time of tragedy. I have come
to meet you. We love and sympathise with you," she said while
distributing shawls and sweaters to the people living in the
relief camp.

The cloudburst on the intervening night of August 5
and 6, led to flash floods and mudslides which claimed over
175 lives and injured about 400 people, besides causing
widespread damage to public and private property.

"We want you to be courageous to face this tragedy. I
have been told about your problems here. Be it the Central or
the state government we are ready to help you.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had come to meet you,
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had also come
to meet you... I want to assure you whatever they have said
will be done. People of India are with you at this time of
tragedy," Patil said.

After meeting the President, 60-year-old Tenzing
Dolma, who is living at the camp said, "Everything was
devastated when the cloudburst occurred. I have been living
here for a long time now. I wish to get into my house soon. The
administration is working hard and has assured us of all

"We just hope that life gets back to normal before the
winter season. ...I hope that after the President`s visit the
restoration work will surely be done fast,” 32-year-old
Raziana Uzang, another woman at the camp, said.

The President was briefed by civil and military
officials about the relief and rehabilitation operations as
she took stock of the restoration works.

"I have come to meet you on behalf of the people of
India. We will give you all possible support. May God give you
strength to brave this tragedy," Patil said, as she went
around the camp and interacted with the victims.

Piles of mud and debris could be seen lying around the
once picturesque town even as relief workers continued the
restoration work.

Patil, who was accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir
Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Union
minister Farooq Abdullah, stopped her motorcade at a place to
assess the work done by the administration here.

Omar said the state government is aiming to finish the
restoration work before the onset of the winter season.

"The relief and restoration work is been undertaken on
a war footing. We aim to complete the work before the winters
begin," Omar said.

Patil had donated Rs 1 lakh from her personal fund
to the Prime Minister`s National Relief Fund for
rehabilitation of the victims.