About a fortnight had passed from the time the monsoon broke out in the country. Newspapers had been publishing news of satisfactory and heavy rains at different places. But there was nothing in particular about rains in our locality. I had gone to Delhi to see my maternal uncle who was ill. I saw from the rain, when it passed over the railway bridge, that the water level in the Jamunu River had risen very high. However, the next day the newspapers hinted that the water may cross the danger level in the Yamuna within the next twenty-four hours due to incessant rains at different places. And actually the forecast came out to be true. I heard on the radio in the morning that the Yamuna River was in heavy flood.
As the news of great interest to all the Delhi wallas, many people went to see the scene of the flood. I, too, went to see the flooded areas and, if possible, to help the flood victims. On reaching there, I saw that there was a great crowd of spectators. The Government servants and the police were trying to check them from going ahead.
I stood upon the roof of a bus which was standing there. As far as I could see, there was nothing but water and water alone. The water in the river was flowing with a great speed. On one side I saw that a thatch was floating down on which a goat was sitting. In this way many small and big creatures were seen floating on the water.
Some people were simple looking at all this as an interesting sight. They had no idea about the loss, the floods had caused. But there were others who were greatly pained to see the havoc. According to some reports, nearly all the villages, which were situated on the banks of the river, had been completely destroyed. Villagers had been rendered homeless. Property worth cores of rupees had flown into the water. Many animal and human lives had been taken by the floods. Above all this, the condition of the numerous families which had been uprooted was pitiable. The problem of giving them shelter was formidable.
Many people were doing their best to help these unfortunate families. Many people were seen carrying their luggage and their shoulders. Some private organizations were also helping the needy. But they had not enough volunteers. Many youth men offered themselves as volunteers. I, too, become a volunteer of the “seva samiti”. I was deputed to the dharmasala were about hundred families there to be accommodated. My duty was to prepare list of children who needed milk, and also of the sick that needed first aid and medical care. Some other private organizations collected subscriptions to give help to these people. Some milk was distributed to children in earthen pots, because most of the families had no utensils with them.
In the mean time, the government ambulance car reached there. Some private doctors were also called to give first aid on the spot. Others, whose condition was serious, were removed to the hospitals in the ambulance car. Thus, medical help was given to all needy people.
Besides this, the government also rushed food stuffs to the flood affected areas. In those areas, which were surrounded by water on all sides, food stuffs were dropped from aeroplanes. The home minister visited the flood affected areas in the helicopter. After his visit special officers were deputed to give every possible help to the flood victims.
From this personal visit to the flood scene, I could learn that such floods are very devastating. They cause heavy loss of life and material. Modern science has conquered nature in various ways. Let this knowledge be used for controlling the floods also. Only then would the life in villages in the neighborhood of big rivers be secure.