Anandpur Sahib residents provide succour to stampede victims

August 4th, 2008 - 2:35 pm ICT by IANS  

By Alkesh Sharma
Anandpur Sahib (Punjab), Aug 4 (IANS) The residents of this small town have come out in large numbers to provide succour to the distraught victims of the deadly stampede at the Nanda Devi shrine that claimed 145 lives and injured scores of others. Among the first to pitch in was NGO Baba Labh Singh Kar Seva whose volunteers, including men, women and children, helped the authorities in unloading the bodies that were brought from Naina Devi Sunday and in arranging facilities for the relatives flocking to the hospital here to identify the victims.

The NGO had even arranged for the dinner and accommodation of the relatives coming from other places.

“There is proper arrangement for food, tea, water, biscuits, clothes and any other help the people might want. This is a challenging time for all of us and we have to face it together,” Jarnail Singh, a leading activist of Baba Labh Singh Kar Seva, told IANS.

“We have called all our volunteers from all over Punjab and arranged for 50 vehicles, including buses, trucks, cars and jeeps, for transporting the relatives of the deceased.

“We have also announced a holiday today (Monday) in all the schools and colleges run by us in Anandpur Sahib so that we can single-mindedly focus our attention here,” Jarnail Singh added.

The NGO’s vehicles were also deputed to transport the dead bodies to various parts of Punjab after their identification and autopsy. Their volunteers had also arranged power generators and halogen lamps since there was no lighting outside the hospital.

They also made use of loudspeakers for the quick circulation of messages among the people gathered at the hospital.

Gursevak Singh, 19, a volunteer, said: “We are offering beverages and food to people. We are not waiting for them to come to us but our volunteers are going all around the hospital to offer help. We have also made separate eating arrangements for the police officials.

“Our volunteers are also keeping a close check on cleanliness at the hospital,” he added.

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