A word ‘VIP Quota’ was in vogue among the stranded pilgrims of Uttarakhand which ensured privilege to some people in getting ‘out of the queue’ to board the rescue helicopters, informed Harshita Soni, a resident of Bhopal who reached the city from Badrinath on Thursday. She still does not know what this quota means and what the criterion of this special power was.
Doctors in the flood-ravaged areas of Uttarakhand too decided this quota, said Harshita Soni. “The doctors were deciding on who leaves first. Some people were falsely declared as suffering from diseases such as diabetes,” alleged Harshita. “I and other four members of my group were rescued on June 25, after spending almost 4 days and 3 nights in the line awaiting our turn, and still 8,000 to 10,000 pilgrims are stranded in that area,” said Soni.
“We had to face a very difficult time especially in the early days in Badrinath as the rescue team was nowhere to be seen. Shortage of food and water was increasing day. By God’s grace, we managed well and reached Bhopal, with the aid of the army,” said Soni. She accused the government for the delay in evacuations.