Guptkashi: As the wait for news about their loved ones turns from days into a week, desperate relatives of people stranded in Uttarakhand on Sunday asked authorities to try to shoot video footages of relief camps run by them in the hope of sighting their kin.
Despite the best efforts of the administration in a multi-agency operation, some 22,000 people are still stranded in affected areas following massive floods and landslide triggered by monsoon rains last Sunday.
"The government should shoot video footage of relief camps at Jungle Chatti, Gauri Kund and share it with the public," said Satya Prakash Mangal from Kota in Rajasthan. He is in search of his sister and brother-in-law, who are untraceable since June 16.
Mangal said inquiries at Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun where the relief planes are landing and numerous calls to helplines have yielded no clue so far.
"I have spoken to countless pilgrims who have been brought back from affected areas. I have shown them photographs of my sister and her husband," he said, adding, "But none was able to give me a ray of hope.
He said the visual evidence from the video footage of relief camps shown to them can serve as an assurance that due care of their dear ones is being taken.
Several anxious families camping in Uttarakhand also endorse the suggestion of video footages of relief camps.
As the toll creeps up, there is foreboding among the relatives of missing persons. Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said on Saturday that the death toll is likely to be around 1,000.
"May be they are alright and on their way back. But it would be good to know that it is so," said Bhagwati Lal Sukhwal from Rajasthan, whose relatives were part of a 12-member group that had gone on a pilgrimage.
"Three members of that group managed to contact us. They are safe. But what about the rest?" he asked.
The distraught families are banking on the administration for the whereabouts of their dear ones.
Indeed, there are eyewitness accounts of the horrific situation in the Kedarnath Valley, but the hope these people still stand tall against all odds.