Interacting with the victims at a relief camp here, Patil said they will be given all possible support for their rehabilitation and that the country stands in solidarity with them.
“We are with you at this time of tragedy. I have come to meet you. We love and sympathise with you,” she said while distributing shawls and sweaters to the people living in the relief camp.
The cloudburst on the intervening night of 5th and 6th August, led to flash floods and mudslides which claimed over 175 lives and injured about 400 people, besides causing widespread damage to public and private property.
“We want you to be courageous to face this tragedy. I have been told about your problems here. Be it the Central or the State government we are ready to help you.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had come to meet you, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had also come to meet you… I want to assure you whatever they have said will be done. People of India are with you at this time of tragedy,” Patil said.
After meeting the president, 60-year-old Tenzing Dolma, who is living at the camp said, “Everything was devastated when the cloudburst occurred. I have been living here for a long time now.I wish to get into my house soon. The administration is working hard and has assured us of all help.” “We just hope that life gets back to normal before the winter season. …I hope that after the President’s visit the restoration work will surely be done fastl, 32-year-old Raziana Uzang, another woman at the camp, said.
The President was briefed by civil and military officials about the relief and rehabilitation operations as she took stock of the restoration works. “I have come to meet you on behalf of the people of India. We will give you all possible support. May God give you strength to brave this tragedy,” Patil said, as she went around the camp and interacted with the victims.
Piles of mud and debris could be seen lying around the once picturesque town even as relief workers continued the restoration work.
Patil, who was accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Union minister Farooq Abdullah, stopped her motorcade at a place to assess the work done by the administration here.
Omar said the state government is aiming to finish the restoration work before the onset of the winter season.
“The relief and restoration work is been undertaken on a war footing. We aim to complete the work before the winters begin,” Omar told a news agency.
Patil had donated Rs one lakh from her personal fund to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for rehabilitation of the victims.