Sunday, May 31, 2009

A report from Chimney Village, Kurseong (Dist Darjeeling) -cyclone AILA contd.




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Never before had the residents of Chimney ever witnessed what the mother Nature had to present its inhabitants on the 26th of may,2009.

Chimney, a historical place located on the top hill of Kurseong Division was one among the many affected by the havoc of nature’s fury during cyclone AILA. The place which was once considered by the British Colonial raj as a perfect resting place when one traveled on a horse is today in a state of anguish and disrepair.
People who had been primarily surviving on farming and cattle are now left with just hope and prayer. Ram Syangden, a farmer who had been sustaining his family five family members grieved “I had been looking after my family by means of dairy production but now with the death of five cows among seven, now I am not able to see what lies ahead ”.

Chimney, a place mainly comprising of old wooden houses, with few concrete buildings was badly hit by the strong winds and rain. Mr.Rudhra Tamang,an ex-army person had something unusual to share “ I was in my house praying hard for the intense rain to stop when I heard a deafening sound outside. I rushed towards the window to see the tin roof of the neighbor’s house being blown away and it flew towards the wooden electric post cutting down the wires. I tried to call for help in order to get the people of that house to safety but could not be heard due to the noise of the storm.”

Many people who have met a similar fate and are “climate refugees” in Chimney Primary School hall.

The Block Development Office, has issued plastic sheets to them to cover areas where there is high possibilities of landslide but the people seem discontent and helpless as this alone will not help.

Binita, said “this aid provided to us is not enough as you can see. Our entire roof has been blown off which makes the situation much more vulnerable if it rains again"
- photos and report by Mikma Tsering Lepcha

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Mikma is a brilliant,young Mass Communications graduate from St Joseph's College, Darjeeling who is currently working in Delhi. He was on vacation in his hometown, Kurseong when Cyclone AILA struck on 26 May09.
My thanks to him for the article and photographs
-Praful Rao





5 comments:

Tenzing theckpa said...

These photographs show how some rural areas lie in precarious and decript position.
But I would rather not use "Visions of Hell'. Such languages do not represent any horrible scenes from an uninhabited area.

savethehills said...

Tenzin,
Firstly, my thanks for going thru this blog and yr comments. Please invite many more young people like you to do so.
"Visions of Hell" was the name I chose almost 2yrs ago (Sep2007) when I was wandering thru many landslide affected in Kalimpong.. it is in no way meant to demean your area.
I have nothing but my deepest concern for all those affected by Cyclone AILA in our district

Shubhojoy Mitra said...

I consider Chimney and Bagora, and the road from Deer Park to those places as good as "heaven on Earth". Anyone who has been on walks beyond the Forest School at Dowhill will know what I mean if they love nature. Darjeeling and Sikkim has many such spots but unfortunately owing to unplanned conservation or none, the relentless progress in form of more and more human settlements in place of woods and greenery is exacting a far more alarming price of which very few are enough aware: certainly none of the politics that gets done in the hills or in the plains have a green agenda except that of tokenism. Thank you for this blog post: I hope there are enough young people like you that helps to form a critical mass which in turn translates to green activism, or I fear that these beautiful places will be lost forever.

peeyush dasgupta said...

Roads need immediate repair,they are in very wretched condition

peeyush dasgupta said...

Roads need immediate repair,they are in very wretched condition