Uttarakhand floods victims share tales of misery
New Delhi: For Prateek Gupta, the past seven days were a nightmare as his mother is untraceable in the flood-affected Uttarakhand.
However, information of some flood victims being shifted to Delhi's Andhra Bhavan came as a glimmer of hope for a despondent Gupta, 26, who rushed to the national capital from his village in Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh hoping to find his mother.
His mother had gone to Kedarnath in Uttarakhand for a week-long trip. She went missing June 17 when cloud-bursts and heavy rain triggered flash-floods and massive landslides in the mountainous state.
"These seven days were the most traumatic days of my life. I was forced to assume that my mother was no more when I failed to find her four days after she disappeared," Gupta said.
Several people from Andhra Pradesh, who were rescued from Uttarakhand, have been lodghed in Andhra Pradesh Bhavan.
Relatives of those who are still marooned in the state have thronged the capital in search of their loved ones.
Loss and grief suffered by loved ones of pilgrims who had gone to Kedarnath is nothing short of a horrific and a remorseful tale of horror and shock.
Aiyappa Narayan, one of the flood-survivors, curses himself for going on a pilgrimage to Uttarakhand, where he lost his brother-in-law and sister-in-law in the devastation.
"Our bus halted on the way as roads were blocked by landlsides. Rescue team came to our help but could evacuate only 30 people from the group of 42. My brother-in-law, my sister-in-law and their children are among the missing," said 34-year-old Narayan from Hyderabad.
"This journey seemed like a mistake," he added.
Some people are still longing to hear the voices of their loved ones.
"My 10-year-old son went missing June 18 in the floods. We found his body four days later. All that was left was just his foot. His corpse had been cut away by rocks in the seething floods," said Madhumita, who is from Andhra Pradesh.
It only gets more tragic when one hears the tragic tale of Ramaiya Venkatesh, a retired 60-year-old clerk from Hyderabad.
"To save my wife, I clutched her hand, but she was washed away by the heavy rush of water. I feel guilty," said Venkatesh, who roamed on the streets of Kedarnath for four days after the reality of losing his wife struck him.