Thousands still cling onto hope

Thousands still cling onto hope

 A crowd of desperate people flock every rescue vehicle that stops at the makeshift centers and bus stand at Rishikesh in the hope of seeing their missing friends and family.

    For some, the hope turns real and culminates in an outpour of emotions at the reunion. It’s a happy ending for them. But, for many, it turns out to be yet another day in distress.
Each of the hundreds of people waiting in Dehradun or elsewhere in the state hold pictures of their loved ones. Some have even pasted the pictures on their t-shirts, rucksacks and luggage, just in case someone has an information to offer. They shower survivors with questions, hoping for a clue that would lead them to their missing friends.

“Bhai Sahib (brother), have you seen them?” they ask. Often, the reply is a “no.”
Clinging on to a set of photographs, Naval Kishore Sharma of Jaipur waits outside the airfield here. His mother, father and sister haven’t returned from Kedarnath, the epicenter of the catastrophe. Today, his spirits plunged even further as no chopper took off for rescue operation owing to bad weather. While the state government heaved a sigh of relief, announcing that much of the evacuation in the Kedarnath area was complete, Naval Kishore was a devastated man. This could mean that there were little chances of his parents and sister surviving. But he decides to spend another day waiting.

Aditya Sharma spoke to his parents on June 15, when they were on their way to the pilgrimage. They too haven’t returned. Both Naval and Aditya are now close acquaintances in the hour of crisis. 

At the police station-cum-control rooms in different parts of the state, many people have given up hope.

Nine days have passed, yet no information, especially from the Kedarnath area, signals nothing but days of sorrow ahead. There have been miracles, many still feel.