Like scores of citizens who never miss an opportunity to use profanities to describe a politician, Pune resident Datta Temgire (29) was no different. However, his trip to Uttarakhand has changed his perception of the men in white.
Narrating the change in heart after returning to Pune from the wrecked state on late Thursday night, he said, “I have seen that politicos too can be human in merciless conditions.” Temgire and his six friends were saved from certain death by Shurvir Singh Rangad, the president of a political party in Chinyali Sour town, which is about 34-km from Uttarkashi.
Temgire and his friends had left Pune on June 12 for the Chaar Dhaam yatra to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. “After visiting Haridwar, we reached Yamunotri on June 14. However, on our way to Uttarganga, we got stranded on the highway due to heavy rains and landslides.” Rangad saved the entire group, which had already spent a day on the road, and provided them with housing for three days.
“He gave us his son’s room, where we stayed for three days. Had we not received Rangad’s help on time, our chances of being alive today were very slim. We didn’t know if we’d ever see our families again. However, the rainfall reduced on June 19, and then we left Chinyali Sour for Delhi from where we took a flight to Pune,” Temgire said.
Glad to be home
One of the other tourists who retuned home safely on Thursday night is Kothrud resident Vaishali Avchare. She says a chill runs down her spine every time she thinks of the tragedy, where she saw people being washed away in the flash floods at Kedarnath.
“My friends and I wanted to go for the Chaar Dhaam yatra for ages, and we finally got the opportunity on June 8, when we left the city for the holy town,” said 44-year-old Avachare.
“While we were returning from the darshan, it started raining heavily in Chamoli. Our tour manager promptly took us to a hotel, which was 10-km from Chamoli. Though we didn’t face many problems, we had no idea when we would be able to return home to our families. When the situation improved a bit, we left the hotel and now I’m really glad to be home,” she said, expressing grief over the death of hundreds of people in the natural disaster.