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Uttarakhand: Inheritance of loss


Kamla Jethai of Gothi village in Dharchula is unable to hold back her tears every time she sees her four-storey damaged house by the river. She now lives in a camp 2 km from her house. “Those who had kutcha houses have been getting Rs 2 lakh. We had a pukka four-storey house. Our name is not even in the list of affected people,” she complains. (August 2013)

Gyan Singh Khela, resident of Tawaghat in Dharchula, lost two houses to floods and landslide and got a cheque of Rs 2,08,000 from the government. But, he is thinking of returning the cheque because he doesn’t have a bank account in his name. All his documents were lost with the house; so, he does not have the documents needed to open an account (Aug 2013)
Shyam Singh Khela, another resident of Tawaghat in Dharchula, lost his shop in the disaster. He had taken a bank loan of Rs 10 lakh to build the shop. He is taking loan from the market at high interest to repay bank interest. “The patwari did not include my name in the list of beneficiaries. I don’t know what to do now,” he says (Aug 2013)
Children still visit the place where their houses were before floods to look for their belongings. It has been three months they haven’t been to school. In some areas, schools are running in camps but the children have lost all their books. On Tawaghat-Dharchula road (Aug 2013)
Since the disaster, Ravinder Rawat’s village, Gaundhar, has no electricity, water, or navigable roads. He says the village is at a distance of 7 kilometres from the last motorable road at Rasi. The angry residents of Gaundhar had boycotted the panchayat as well as Lok Sabha elections this year (May 2014)
A landslide would be enough to wipe out the entire village of Sumdum in Pithoragarh district. People live in constant fear of the mountains which have now developed cracks. (May 2014)
This woman refuses to talk. Local residents say she comes daily with her dog to her damaged house and sits here for hours. She is yet to get over the shock of her loss. She lives with her family in a camp set up by NGOs (Aug 2013)
Houses damaged in the floods. The owners are now living as tenants in Dharchula town. Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna promised them Rs 3, 000 rent per month for the next one year. Some of them have been getting Rs 1,500 for past two months (Aug 2013)
Soma Basu


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