You are aware of the severe earth quake that caused devastation in Uri and Baramullah in J&K and in Muzzafarabad, Punch, Rawalkot, Gilgit, Baltistan and other parts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan. On the Indian side of the LoC, as per reports, nearly fifty thousand people have become homeless. As per official reports more than a 1000 persons have lost their lives. According to local people, the death toll is much higher. Dr. Syeda Hameed and Tapan Bose visited Baramullah and parts of Uri, immediately after this devastating earthquake. The team was able to go upto Salamabad, about 8 kms from the Aman Setu on the LoC. They found that the earthquake has destroyed almost all buildings on the road side, as well as on the hills along both sides of the Jhelum river. In many places the road has been severely damaged by landslides. The road has also developed cracks and parts of it has fallen into the riverbed far below. Several vehicles were crushed by heavy boulders still lying on the road. As the homes were built with local stones and mud, the earthquake has shattered these structures. Even those which have not fallen are completely unsafe as they have developed cracks with the mud falling off the stones leaving these unsupported. These damaged houses will have to be demolished and reconstructed. School buildings, health centers, government offices, army barracks, bazaars, everything seems to have been destroyed.
During the visit the team also saw thousands of people; young children, women, old and the middle aged - all camping in the open on the road side. The weather has already turned cold, night temperatures going down to almost 3-4 degree Celsius. These people have no shelter. The ]children and others have very little protective clothing. While the army, BSF and local NGOs were distributing food and blankets, it was evident that the need was much more than what was available. It seems that the government of the
State of J&K has not yet got its emergency relief machinery together. The Commissioner of Baramullah confirmed this impression. He has communicated to Tapan Bose that there is urgent need for about forty thousand tarpaulins, heavy plastic/PVC sheets and about 2,50,000 blankets. In addition, the people also need warm clothing like sweaters and shawls. These items are urgently needed as people have no shelter and the
weather has already turned bitter. Those who have survived the earthquake might succumb to the severe winter of Kashmir.
In addition there is also urgent need for medial supplies as well as doctors. The medial supplies required are:
1) Paracetamol 2) Dispirin
3) Different types of antibiotics
4) Anti dysentery drugs 5) Pain killers
6) Dextrose and Saline drips
PIPFPD has taken up the relief and rehabilitation work on both sides of the border. While Pakistan National Chapter is mobilizing resources and volunteers for relief in Muzzaffarabad and other places, the Indian chapter has the responsibility of doing similar work on the Indian side of the LoC. We request all of you to kindly respond generously to this appeal immediately.
All contributions should be sent to either Pakistan-India Peoples Forum for Peace and
Democracy' or to 'Kashmir Earthquake Relief and Rehabilitation Fund', to the following address:
A-1/125 (first floor)
New Delhi 110 029
If you are sending your contributions to the general account, please mention clearly that this is a contribution for relief for earthquake victims in J&K. If any of you would like that part of your contribution be sent or used by Pakistan chapter, please mention so. We will make part of your contribution available to the Pakistan National Chapter of PIPFPD.
Contributions in kind are also welcome (if those can be reached to us before the 25th of October). If you are able to collect medicine, blankets, woolen cloth and tarpaulin, please immediately inform us by telephone or e-mail, we will arrange to get these collected and transported. We will also need skilled volunteers, who can go to Kashmir on their own and help in the relief and rehabilitation work. Please note people with experience in earthquake relief particularly in hill areas and medical practitioners are needed.
PIPFPD is in the process of setting up an information center in Delhi as well as
information and logistic support center in Srinagar. All information collected from J&K as well as from Pakistan will be collated at these two places. Anyone who can contribute information and technical knowledge about reconstruction of houses in earthquake prone areas should send their information to PIPFPD on the-mail address: email@example.com
We request you once again to respond to this appeal immediately. Men, women and children severely traumatized by this natural disaster are spending their days and nights in the open under most severe weather conditions. They need your help, now.
Looking forward to your immediate response.
Tapan K. Bose
N.B: *Contributions made to PIPFPD are exempted under 80-G of the IT