A wire bridge that connected villages

Sometimes a wire bridge can bridge villages… those villages which are cut off due to natural calamity, those villages where people are alive and ‘safe’ but do not know how long they’ll continue to be so. There is shortage of food supplies, medicines and such likes. The roads are washed away and there is no way they can commute to or communicate with the rest of the world.
Yes, we are talking of Uttarakhand which took the brunt of the recent Himalayan Tsunami.

landslide at rudraprayg @lemonicks.com

Landslide: A vehicle was caught in debris & overturned.

Forget boosting tourism or rebuilding temples, these locals are struggling to have even a single meal! They have nothing to survive on. They have heart rending stories of losing their family members but their zeal to live & help others will surely move you.

When I see any visuals (which I try not to), I feel so helpless and also shameless sitting thousands of miles away from it.

But we have some real heroes who defied all obstructions that came in their way to reach out to the locals. I salute them for their commendable job. Here is what a team from Nature Connect (a group that takes schoolkids on treks to Himalayas) did.

Before I leave you with this pictorial story which was tweeted by Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) from the scene of action, I’ll appreciate if you comment on this post. This is going to be shown to the team and many other heroes and will definitely boost their morals.
I think we can do at least this !!

In Alok Bhatt’s words “Idea behind tweeting pics and what we did was to encourage all of us in doing things that r beyond twitter discussions…thr is a lot to do!”

Here we go! Captions are below the photos.

Yesterday, Team Nature Connect worked with @shaileshkpandey bhai to realise #sakaar dream of connecting 11 villages to Phata via a wire bridge.
It all started with getting down at a spot from where we had to walk down to the river bed, 1200 feet down.

Before starting the descent, we as in Sumit-Manoj-Amit-Ankit-Rajeev-Shivram & Pant decided to stock enuff water.

Time to check equipment and tools…here Pant is testing his tools

Water and Equipment- both were equally important!

Shivram-Manoj-Ankit-Rajeev-Amit-Sumit and Pant in that order walking down/ @shaileshkpandey bhai n I were followin them

As soon as v reached river bed, search for support began and important was to measure the width of bridge

Shivram and Amit spoke to @shaileshkpandey and a tree was identified…equipment recheck!

It was decided tht Amit and Shivram will cross the river to other side while rest of the team will work fm here only

Amit-true to his image-decided to lead frm front & walked on those electric poles over Mandakini, flowing dangerously

After crossing that pole bridge, they had to walk up that mountain…..

Sumit was to send the rope to other side where Amit and Shivram would prepare a base to pull the wire towards village

Then, ropes were sent to other side….

Even our ropes were proving to be too heavy against the current of Mandakini

After one end of the wire was brought down to river bed, it was tied to our ropes

The wire was pulled towards the riverbed and was kept in this fashion to stop it from coiling

Sumit rappel down to the river bed to put the stopper on the wire as river current was very strong n was pulling it

Wire and ropes were tied together and Amit/Shivram ensured fm other end that the rope base is strong enuff to hold it

After preparing rope base,Amit & Shivram decided to come bk as v had skipped breakfast, Maggi packets in our sacks helped

Then started the work of tying the wire to the tree

Tying wire around the tree are Shivram /Ankit and Sumit

Little sprain on wrist but who cares!

Tying the bolts on that wire…That job was given to Pant (in yellow) to use his expertise as a driver

Shivram, being a NIM trained instructor was to decide on the knots

After finishing work on right side, entire team had to cross bridge again and climb that rock to other side

Before I crossed it, took this shot.Do notice the current;though bridge wasnt as bad as it was when Amit cross earlier

Walking up that rock too was a challenge….there were no holds on that rock…besides it was slippery

Took this after I climbed it…and I was more worried about the descent

Then began d mammoth task of pulling 300 kg wire tied to a rope & against the current of Mandakini in ravaging mood

More n more villagers joined in and finally we managed to pull the entire wire to this side..200 mtrs long-300 kgs If you notice, there are kids pulling the rope as well.

Wire stoppers were put…

And wire was wrapped around one tree after untying the rope from wire

As we were working on this side, a 14 yr old slipped & was saved after herculean 5 min rescue by villagers.

Here Shivram tying the wire

Wire (in black) suspended over Mandakini….tightened as much as possible with human hands n yellow wire for belay

In red tee is Vasudev-lost his lone son to Uttarakhand tragedy-how many can gather courage to help aft goin thru tht!

Umed Singh is another pony wallah- lost his young son to Uttarakhand tragedy…..heart rending r their stories!

How many can smile after achieving something d way Narain Singh….he lost his young son to the Utarakhand tragedy!

U can see two of those in action here

And here too….Narain Singh went right up to the river to pull that wire

This pic of relief being pulled across Mandakini

This pic of relief being pulled across Mandakini

This woman from Village Dadoli was amongst many who served food 2 tourists.Told me-we emptied our stock n none bothered abt us

Dont have more shots of ration being pulled towards village side as by then cell battery conked off….and we all were dead tired…

But then we had to climb down that rock to cross towards other side & climb up to the road….by the time we returned to room, we were dead!

But entire team had a sense of satisfaction and achievement…..playing our little role in realising the dream of #Sakaar & @shaileshkpandey

Note:- All photos except the first one are owned by Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt).


26 thoughts on “A wire bridge that connected villages”

  1. Himalayan Tsunami was the biggest disaster for us. It has finished almost everything in Kaidarnath, but I would like salute these people who are still doing their work to connect villages and people..!!

  2. sabko mera salam .main man ke bhavo ko vyakt nahi kar pa raha hu.
    yadi main kuchh yogdan kar sakta hu to abhari hunga

  3. It was helluva disaster that had claimed thousands of human lives. But again it was due to some Good Samaritans many got rescued, were brought back to life. I salute all those heroes.

  4. Upasana Sundriyal

    That’s why I m proud of all The Uttarakhandi’s….. Hats off to u & ur team for this outstanding courage…….

  5. When we are told that today’s youth in India is self centered and materialistic, it’s great to see these kids putting in tremendous efforts to help ordinary people without any ‘expert’ advice. I hope at least somebody provided them the equipment and supplies which must have cost a fortune.

    Keep it up, kids!

  6. Pingback: A Mirror to India

  7. Ishita,
    Yes, Himalayan Tsunami should not happen again. Well, we can not push it away but we can be better prepared for next time by following certain rules.

  8. Rakesh,
    The idea behind posting these pictures is same. To applaud these unsung heroes. 🙂

    Bas aap itna zarur karein ki ye post apne sabhi jan-ne walo ko bhejein taki zyada se zyada log iske bare me jane aur shayad kuch ka man bhi aisa yogdan kerne ko ho jaye.

    Kam se kam hum in naujawano ka hausla afzayi to ker he sakte hain na !

  9. Shikha,
    You are absolutely right! Some of them were trained in mountaineering but I agree that the villagers should also be provided with these equipment or training to deal with such incidents in future.

  10. Hello, first and foremost thanks for bringing these stories from the field to us. I am working on the role of social media in human disasters. Can you put me in touch with this team? I would love to interview them over mail etc.Salute to these bravel souls. / ishita

  11. Ishita,
    Thank you very much for your comment. Sorry to reply late, this comment was missed out inadvertently.

    The man behind this fantastic work is Alok Bhatt and I’ll e-introduce you to him. 🙂

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