Good samaritan: Bachendri Pal
Ace mountaineer Bachendri Pal left for Uttarakhand on Wednesday to supervise relief operations for those left homeless by the floods in Uttarkashi district.
Bhatwari block, in Uttarkashi district, is still among the worst ravaged areas after the June floods.
Block president Vidita Rawat called Bachendri last month seeking help for villagers suffering due to heavy rainfall in Uttarkashi.
The Everester, after confirming availability of tarpaulins from Tata Relief Committee (TRC) secretary Rajiv Kumar, left for the flood-ravaged area.
L. Annapurna, a senior instructor at Tata Steel Adventure Foundation, also went with Bachendri.
This is Bachendri’s second visit to Uttarakhand.
Soon after the cloudburst and flashfloods devastated the hilly state, Bachendri had led a TRC relief operation.
This time, she plans to distribute 500 tarpaulins of good quality in villages under Bhatwari block.
Volunteers from Uttarkashi will be roped in for distributing the tarpaulins, transported from Dehradun.
“It will take a week to reach out to the hundreds of villagers still forced to live without cover,” Bachendri said.
The Everester said that during their last expedition, villagers had appreciated their initiative of distributing tarpaulins. “The tarpaulins we will distribute have the capacity to withstand rough weather,” she added.
The relief team will also provide other items depending on the villagers’ needs. Volunteers of local outfit Mahila Mangal Dal will work in tandem with the TRC team.
Bachendri further said that they would travel by Gangotri highway to reach the affected villages. “I have been informed that the highway, washed away during the calamity, has been mended and is motorable,” she said.
During her visit, Bachendri will also review the current situation at Uttarkashi and accordingly chalk out TRC’s long-term rehabilitation plan for villagers.