26th July 2005 or 26/7 – just the mention of this date sends shivers down the spine of the residents of Mumbai even today after a year of its occurrence. Nearly every person who lives in Mumbai faced some difficulty or the other on that day. Many had to spend the night at their work place, many in the trains, buses, taxis, or personal cars or may have been forced to spend that long night at the railway stations. The ones who were lucky somehow managed to reach a relative or friend’s house. Apart from this, each home in the city had family members who were restless and awake throughout the night waiting for their near and dear ones to reach home safely.
It is seen that by and large everybody eagerly awaits the first showers of the rain to get some respite from the escalating summer heat. But the continuous and torrential rains of 26th July 2005, left the people of Mumbai not only completely in a state of shock but also in a distressed condition. People still shudder at the thought of that day. It is said that Mumbai has not experienced this kind or level of rainfall in the last 100 years.
Mumbai was flooded from all sides. Only water and more water could be seen in all the four directions. The railway service had to be discontinued and the vehicles on the roads also could not move ahead. The smaller vehicles and other objects were seen floating around and many shops and houses got filled with water too. So much so, that in some areas the rainwater rose to higher heights than the first floor levels of the buildings. All around there was lamentation. Nearly everybody was stuck somewhere or the other. Along with objects, human corpses as well as animal carcasses were seen floating in the water. People could not reach out and help one another even if they wished to.
Even the next day, on 27th July the regular schedule of people was unsettled. Those who were caught and had taken shelter somewhere or the other on the previous night were now seen to be trying to get back home. The transport services were totally immobilized, people were now uneasy with hunger and thirst. The damage and loss of lives and property had made life very poignant. Whom could we expect help and assistance from? At such a frightening and gruesome time, the Disaster Management Volunteers (DMV’s) of the AADM, without being concerned about any difficulties ventured out and competently helped many people and also saved a number of lives.
At first nobody thought that one would have to get out of the comforts of their homes to help and serve others. But when the Mumbai police commissioner Mr.A.N.Roy sent a message requesting help for relief and safety, then instantaneously all our DMV’s were sent an urgent message and every one was asked to report at the Kalina 10 feet road location. All the DMV’s assembled there in rows of three in a very disciplined manner. From the conversation between the DMV’s one could realize that they had also not been spared from the difficulties around, somebody’s house was filled with water and the other one’s brother was stuck somewhere, somebody’s valuables had been carried away in the water and there was absolutely no food left in the other’s house! In spite of such a state in their individual lives they did not hesitate to come out and help others.
When a committee member asked them a question, “Who will pick up the dead bodies?” Then some of the DMV’s hesitatingly put up their hand, this was the first occurrence when they would be picking up corpses. This was the first instance when the DMV’s were performing such a service. Our organization had equipped the DMV’s with adequate gloves and masks to ensure their personal hygiene and safety. All the DMV’s reached the venue where the service was to be conducted in a very disciplined and organized manner. Due to the heavy rains there was a massive landslide in that particular area of Kalina. When the DMV’s reached the scene of the landslide they saw that many houses had collapsed and a number of people were buried under the rubble and debris of the wrecked houses. The situation was very alarming and worrisome. There was a heap of mucky mud and the dirty soil along with rushing water was playing havoc. The pouring and lashing rains were just incessant and uncontrollable.
The fire brigade was already present there and the police and home guards were alert too. When the citizens saw the DMV’s helping the police and the fire brigade in the relief work, they also joined in to do the same. The DMV’s were mainly assisting the police and the fire brigade. The DMV’s worked very hard and with a lot of dedication to remove the corpses which were buried underground or were captured under the huge rocks over a large area. Apart from this service the DMV’s also helped to regulate the traffic, clearing the way for the ambulances and other such vehicles.
There were 150 DMV’s from Kalina, Marol, Andheri, Kurla etc locations who were involved in this rescue service. At that time the situation was such that, staying in dirty and swampy waters for a long duration could lead to the contraction of a hazardous disease like Laptospoirasis. Even then without bothering about one’s own safety, hunger, thirst or comfort each and every DMV of the AADM continued to take part in all kinds of difficult services. Even after continuously serving for 2 long days, all the DMV’s were safe and reported back to their places of work.
वाहे गुरु का खालसा, वाहे गुरु की फतेह ।
WAHE GURU KA KHALSA, WAHE GURU KI FATEH
Apart from the above the DMV’s of the AADM conducted various kinds of services in many other flood-affected areas too. Some of them are listed below:
- The secretary of the relief and revenue department, Shri Vatsyaji appealed for help to distribute food packets in the flood affected areas. For this service, 22 DMV’s helped in the Mantralaya and 27 DMV’s lent a helping hand in the Collector’s office at Bandra.
- 20 DMV’s assisted in the relief function at the leprosy camp at Borivali.
- There was request for help even at the Air India Colony at Santacruz. Our DMV’s distributed 1000 candles, facemasks, and food packets in this area. The volunteers from the Kalina and Vile Parle centers also extended their support in the AADM services being offered. The Police Commissioner Shri A N Roy personally came and inspected this area and acknowledged the services and help extended by the institute.
- AADM had also promptly sent medical teams to Shahad and Murbaad. Totally 523 patients were examined and individual need based medication was immediately given.
- Medical Teams were also sent to 4 villages at Badlapur. Here, our teams examined 1436 patients. The CIO of Badlapur Parishad, Shri Prakash Borse was also present there with the Chief Medical Officer.
ANIRUDDHA ACADEMY OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT
The memories of last years monsoon floods are fresh in everybody’s minds. To combat any such possible situations this year, AADM volunteers and the AADM Committee members worked day and night and came out with various proposals.
AADM purchased Life Boats for effective rescue operation, AADM instructed every center to prepare the things like Rope ladder, Tire tube float, PET bottle float (A float prepared by joining together various closed Pet Bottles), Plastic Rope (A rope made by tying together plastic bags) prepared various, all these things are made under the guidance of our Sadguru Bapu.
The above mentioned things are ready at every upasana center in the quantity of 3 to 5. This is made possible by the combined efforts of AADM Dean Param Pujya Shri Samirdada, AADM committee members, and DMVs.
We can see that the above mentioned things are very easy to make and require no further cost to purchase them. Things like tires, Plastic PET bottles, plastic bags etc. are easily available at anybody’s residence, and generally they are thrown out as waste. So by doing this, we are utilizing our creating best out of waste.
MCGB (Brihan Mumbai Mahanagar Palika ) also recognized our work in various activities, like the sevas performed by our DMVs at Saki Naka land slide during 2005 flash floods, Ganeshmurti Visarjan and punarvisarjan, Siddhivinayak Mandir Seva (Crowd control) etc., and thus the MCGB approached AADM this year so as to assist them in combating various disasters during this years monsoon within the municipal area of MCGB.
BMC asked us to arrange for demonstrations of rescue operations in each ward, and our DMVs performed these rescue demonstrations (Mock drills) successfully.
MCGB’s Asst. Muncipal Comissioner authorities made necessary arrangements of 10 DMVs in each ward ( total 25 wards ) on an” all time ready “ position. 18 dates have been alloacated by the MCGB authorities as maximum “high tide dates” and all these DMVs will be stationed at various wards.
All these things were decided in the meeting that was called by MCGB Commissioner with Sadguru Shri Aniruddha Foundations CEOs and Jt. Director and Dy. Directors of AADM.
In the next step, a list of all flood prone areas and the areas of possible land slide is collected from BMC by AADM, AADM core team members have personally visited these places.
All these things were decided in the meeting that was called by BMC Commissioner with AADM Directors.
According to the current updates obtained by AADM office,
- Every center has their disaster plan ready.
- A total 3000 DMV’s are ready in Mumbai to counteract the possible flood conditions, as well as any disaster. Each ward office will be provided with 110 DMV’s (10 members of rescue team and 100DMVs to support them )
- DMV’s will only play a role in assisting the government bodies and Police force; they will not take any decision on their own.
- On the other side AADM is also organizing AADM- Basic courses for BMC employees on their request.
AADM is always ready to combat any disaster,
We also witnessed the way the DMVs helped the Mumbai citizens by using their water floats made from truck tyre-tubes and pocket lines during the heavy monsoon rains lashed the city on 4th and 5th July 2006.The DMVs informed their fellow DMVs by using the communication chain , reached the water logged areas, formed groups and rescued the old , kids and all those who needed their help.