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Heavy Flooding Forces Thousands to Flee in Punjab


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Indian/Punjab Government looking on as usual.

Please try and help with whatever you can.

Jalandhar, Punjab - UNITED SIKHS Sikh Aid team headed by Bhai Amrik Singh, Harinder Singh, Daljeet Singh, Amritpal Singh, and Narinder Kumar from Nizamdinpur and Talwandi surveyed flood affected areas in the districts of Ferozpur, Jalandhar and Kapurthala

The team reported thousands of people have fled their homes in over 140 villages affected by the flooding, and several thousands of acres of crops have been destroyed. The levee on the river Sutlej, about 200 kilometers from Jalandhar, collapsed inundating the nearby region, including agricultural land, with torrents of water.

UNITED Sikh Aid team visited several villages, including Gidderpindi, Madula, Walajodh Singh, Chhina, Nasirpur, Naal, Watanwaali, Kutbiwaal, Jucepur, Daarewaal, Supwal, Darwana, Kiliwara, Takiya, Sherpur, Sanda and Shekhmogan to assess damages.

The floodwater has caused immense damage to life and property. Crops ready for harvesting have been completely destroyed and submerged. Villagers are either on rooftops or have escaped to higher ground waiting for water to recede. Cattle and other livestock are hungry with no food and shelter.

Sarpanch Baljeet Singh of village Gidderpindi said, "Satlej water flooded the village damaging the crop, houses and schools. Residents are grappling with flood waters and looking for a safe and dry place to spend the night."

Sarpanch Ranjodh Singh of Wallan Jodh Singh village said, "There has been no respite from flood waters since it first started flooding the region on Aug 16, 2008 and we have not received any help from state agencies, as of Aug 21. People are living in the open on higher ground with no shelter. It is extremely difficult to spend the night in the open, especially for families with small children."

Sarpanch Gyan Singh of Daarewaal village said, "Our villages need tents, tarpaulin, plastic sheets and canvas sheets for temporary roof arrangements. We need food supply and blankets for villagers"

Satnam Singh and Ranjit Kaur, residents of village Daarewaal asked UNITED SIKHS to help the family rebuild their house that was washed away by the flood.

Historical Gurdwara (Sikh Place of Worship) of Guru Nanak dev Ji, 'Rababsar' is also flooded and is under 5-7feet of water. The Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh Holy Scripture) is being kept temporarily on the roof top of the Gurdwara. Langar (Free Kitchen) is being organized by local communities to supply hot meals to victims of the floods, but there is immense need for food, clothing, medical supplies, cattle feed, and building materials in affected areas. UNITED SIKHS will begin relief efforts immediately. UNITED SIKHS also calls on the Panjab state government provide adequate compensation to victims of the flooding in view of extensive damage caused to crops, life, and businesses.

DONATE now to assist the Panjab Flood Relief 2008. To send your contribution to UNITED SIKHS please contact us at 1-888-243-1690 or give online at http://www.unitedsikhs.org/donate.php. To print a relief poster for your local community center, workplace, or place of worship, please click here.

UNITED SIKHS Base Camp:

Bhai Amrik Singh

Gurudwara Nijamundinpur

Kala Bakra, Jalandhar

Relief Coordinator: Harinder Singh Phone: +91-(0)9463573036

Volunteers, with food and supplies, are continuing to arrive at the disaster affected areas to further support the relief effort.

If you wish to volunteer please email sikhaid@unitedsikhs.org

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