Program: Empowering Uttarakhand - Holistic Development
The 2013 floods were undoubtedly Uttarakhand’s worst disaster in living memory. The flash floods swept away everything that stood in its way like villages, households, towns, offices, livestock, men, women , children. While the national media was solely covering the rescue of thousands of tourists and pilgrims stranded in these floods, there was a section of the population that had to bear the brunt of the tragedy long after everything was said and done, long after everyone left. The local populace, especially the men whose major source of income was from the annual yatra that takes place around the areas of Char Dham, suffered the most. These are the same people who run small shops for the entire 14 km trek route from Gaurikund to Kedarnath, selling raincoats, umbrellas, canes, sticks, soft drinks, water bottles, and all other essential supplies. You would also often see them carrying children, the old, the infirm on their backs or running around ponies or horses carrying the yatris.
It was these young boys and men that lost their lives in the disaster leaving behind households with widows and orphaned children, often without any alternative and viable source of livelihood and income.
Sewa International’s endeavours in Uttarakhand began precisely with the objective of rehabilitation of these village folk and local population of the mountains.
The cradle of our rehabilitation program in Uttarakhand is Sewa Kaushal Vikas Kendra (SKVK), which is further split into 6 specialized constituents dealing with different aspects of the rehab:-