Zee Media Bureau
Dehradun: It’s been more than a fortnight since the devastating flash floods hit Uttarakhand killing hundreds and displacing thousands.
As rescue operations near end and relief work begins, heart wrenching stories are coming to the fore.
One such tragic story has emanated from the Deoli-Bramhagram panchayat which comprises six-odd hamlets and is located nearly seven kilometres from Guptkashi.
A total of 57 men are missing from the area, which is now being tagged as the "village of widows".
Most of these men used to work as mule operators at Kedarnath, ferrying pilgrims from Gaurikund. All the 57 are untraceable since the June16-17 flash floods.
Some 20 people are also reported to be missing from the surrounding villages of Deoli and Bramhagram. Most of these are pundits who perform small pujas around the Kedarnath shrine or run hotels.
Their families are grieving and are angry because rescue operations have focused on stranded pilgrims while no one seems concerned about the locals.
Many other gram panchayats like Kalimath, nearly 10 km from Guptkashi, have yet to be reached for relief efforts. The worst fear is: the death toll there could be higher.