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Posted Online on Saturday 29, October 2005 07:45 IST

Muslim Islamic NewsKashmir quake victims: report and appeal for urgent relief 

The Milli Gazette Online

29 October 2005

Following is a report filed by Mr Navaid Hamid after visiting some quake-hit areas in Jammu & Kashmir:

An eleven-member team of civil society representing two organisations, MOEMIN & ANHAD, visited the earthquake-hit areas of J&K from 21 to 28 October 2005.

Members of the team included Ms. Shabnam Hashmi (member, National Integration Council, Governemnt of India) and Mr. Manan of ANHAD, and Navaid Hamid, member, National Integration Council and General Secretary MOEMIN, Ms. Azra Razzack, Mr. Asim Usman, Mr. Fareed Ahmed, Mr. Sagheer Akhtar and two local activists from J&K, Mr. Tanveer Hussain Khan of Anantnag and Mr. Amjad Khan from Jammu. 

Members of the team had a meeting with Mr. Managat Ram Sharma, Deputy Chief Minister of J&K and Mr.Yusuf Tarigami, leader of CPM, to disuss the relief measures in the state.

The team visited Tangdhar region after crossing Sadhna Pass located at the height of 10400 ft above sea level and reached Tanddhar valley which is located at the height of 6300 ft. Tangdhar Tehsil has a population of 43000 and 7000 households. The literacy rate of the area is around 57% and the literacy rate of the girls is about 29%. About 70% of the buildings of the Tangdhar Tehsil are fully or partially damaged or have developed major cracks due to the tremors.

As most of the relief teams of NGOs and individuals are visiting the Uri sector, our team decided to visit Tangdhar area. The team had a fruitful meeting with the SDM, Tehsildar and the Relief Commissioner of Tangdhar before starting the relief work. 

We got informations that teams of Action Aid, COVA, Jamiat Ulama-i Hind and Satsang Vyas had also visited the area. 

Our member team visited 17 villages of Tangdhar namely Hajitra, Baghbella, Shamspur, Badwan, Kondi, Chandipura, Jabri, Nova Gabra, Tad, Dhani, Gabra, Amroei, Pandla Lohar, Bhatangi, Thangdar Nalkhal and Gali and distrbuted tents, blankets, inners, jackets, sweaters, woolen caps, woolen socks etc. At a number of villages our team was the first from the Non-governmental sector to reach them.

Around 55 tents, 1700 blankets, 1000 sweaters, 150 jackets, 2000 woolen caps and 2000 pairs of woolen socks were distributed to the widows, orphans, families of below poverty line, costing around 9 lakh Indian Rupees. ANHAD contributed 500 blankets to the relief material.

The team found the quality of the blankets distributed by the state government and some NGOs to be of low quality. It also found that the amount sanctioned by the state government for reconstruction of the damaged houses is insufficient. Most of the effected people are living under plastic sheets and the pace of the relief work is slow. The Army is doing a commendable job in the relief distribution and the quality of its relief material is also good. 

Members of the team were of the opinion that the decision of the Government to distribute tents to the affected people lacks vision as tents cannot sustain the snowfall which has almost started now. The people need at least tin shelters to survive the coming harsh winter.

A room of 10x12 sq ft areas needs 21 corrugated tin sheets and about seven wooden plys for insulation and eight wooden strips of 2"x3" to screw the sheets and ply over it to sustain life in the cold weather. The approximate cost of sheets, ply, and wooden blocks for each such structure comes around Rs. 14000. 

MOEMIN has started to identify around 250 widows, orphans, and families below poverty line living in the Tangdhar area to support them for erecting tin shelters.

Another team of MOEMIN activists is leaving on 1st of November along with relief material of around Rs. 10 lakhs, Insha Allah.

We have requested ANHAD and Charity Alliance to help us in the endeavor. Both organisaitons had agreed to accept drafts and cheques in their names. ANHAD has tax exemption certificate and all donations in ANHAD's name are exempted from income tax. You are requested to send your contributions at the earliest to support the people in dire need of urgent help. Time and generosity are the key factors for helping the people in need as those who braved the earthquake may not survive the harsh winter. Please keep severe weather conditions in deciding the extent your help. 

NAVAID HAMID
Secretary, South Asian Council for Minorities.
General Secretary, MOVEMENT FOR EMPOWERMENT OF MUSLIM INDIANS (MOEMIN)
Member, National Integration Council, Government of India

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