How Nepalis travelers survived in Uttarakhand flooding?

SURKHET, June 26: At 9 in the evening on Tuesday, four to five youths were in the pavements near the Tripti Medical Hall at Mangalgadhi of Birendranagar, Surkhet.

Looking horrified, they had signs of pessimism on their faces. They had come back after they survived the recent flooding in the Kedarnath and Badrinath temples in India.

Looking still terrorized, the youths were Surendra Shahi, Manbahadur Shahi, Gogan Bahadur Shahi, Dorje Rokaya, Nandaram Shahi, Bir Bahadur Shahi and Ram Bahadur Bista.

They all met only after arriving in Surkhet. They came in their own way after seven days escaping the vicious floods.

With only one pair of clothes on, they said they did not think they would survive. They saw hundreds of people dying before their eyes and lost their own brothers and friends and their own villagers.

“We never thought of surviving,” said Surendra Shahi of Tadi of Manma- 8 in Kalikot district. Hundreds of people were flowing with the flooding river, and we arrived here treading on the dead bodies, he added.

He said thieves even stole rings in hands of dead Nepalese. He said the Indian police, when asked for rescue by the Nepalese, pushed them aside and allowed Indians to board the helicopter.

Another victim Gogan Shahi said he came treading upon 40-50 Nepalese´ dead bodies. Many Nepalese lost life for lack of rescue, he said.

Recalling the horrific moments of the flooding in Kedarnath, he said, “We left home on April 26 and reach the on May 1. On June 16, there was heavy rain, I was sleeping at home as I was sick. Other friends had started to go to work, but all others ran away to forests.

I jumped into another house from the house I was living with much difficulty. In seconds, hundreds of people were swept away, the town was all swept away, and the flood swept away 12 Nepalese just before my eyes.”

“One of them was Ghora Singh of our village, the flood swept away all except for the only temple of Kedarnath and two hotels, only the people in the temple and the hotels survived,” he said.

They said the locals and police also looted their few hundred rupees, mobiles and clothes, they had nothing to eat on the way while returning.

“Some of the looters were Nepalese was well,  said Nandaram Shahi of Kalikot, some Nepalese died for lack of rescue, and who survived, were killed by the goons, fortunately we survived.” He said they ran away after they saw many Nepalese beaten up by goons there on the way.

They have sustained minor injuries. They were injured while running away. On June 17, they started to return and arrived in Sonprayag on the first day, Fata on second, Karna Prayag on the third, Haldawani on fourth and Mahendranagar on the fifth day and Surkhet on the seventh day.

Some arrived from Mahendranagar via Kohalpur and some in one day from Mahendranagar. They say many Nepalese who carried pilgrims to the temple died. Although some Nepalese came home many are still missing.

They are now compelled to stay in relatives´ houses as they do not even have transport fares to go home.