A group of sixteen people from Pratapgarh had set out on a ‘char dhaam yatra’ on June 11. The group comprising mainly senior citizens had only completed a part of their pilgrimage when havoc struck Uttarakhand.
“God has been the saviour,” says the group that came back safe and sound to their homes on Monday.
Vijay Kumar, a member of the group, said: “We were at a dharamshala near Gangotri when we came to know that the area had been hit by disaster. We had to move to Kedarnath the next day, but God did not want us to go there. May be he had to save us from the calamity.”
The journey was torturous for the entire group. “We were travelling in fear. But, we are thankful that God saved us,” said Rajni.
Lalji, another member of the group, said: “We have seen people die in front of us. There was no certainty as to what would happen the next moment. A woman slipped right in front of us and died. Another man was carried away by the roaring waters.”
Life was hard even after the let-up in rains. Each bottle of water cost Rs. 100 and the victims were asked for money for every little help, said the members of the group.
“All money that we had taken was spent on the expensive food that we got there,” said Vijay. "But despite the nature’s fury and the trauma, the Army stood by us."
“They are like a God-send, carrying people on their shoulders and supporting everyone across the tough pathways,” said Lalji.