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Sikhism: Kashmir Flood Relief
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Kashmir, India, Sep 17, 2014

A state of emergency has been declared in Kashmir as the areas of Jammu, Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag are battling one of the worst floods in decades. The deadly floods in Kashmir are continuing to cause scenes of mayhem, displacement and uncertainty. Jammu and Kashmir is located in the mountainous vicinity and fears are growing for victims as the weather will soon be turning cold.

The UNITED SIKHS humanitarian aid and relief team is providing food, clothes, and medicine to the areas affected by the worst flood in 60 years in Kashmir, India. Over a million people are affected by the catastrophic floods and water levels reached staggering 15-18 feet. The heavy rain which hauled its way into Kashmir has left over a million people displaced, without food, water and communication channels. Approximately, hundreds of thousands of people including many Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims have been affected by the deadly upheaval and remain stranded. The town has suffered six days of heavy rain and flooding; leaving more than 400 people dead while approximately 970 people have been rescued from the Panjab province of Kashmir.

Furthermore, many families have been displaced and left without shelter and basic requirements for survival, forcing them to build shelter from wreckage. Communication systems have been interrupted, with telephone networks not functioning, leaving many areas inaccessible and only reachable via boat. Essential roads which lead to the airport have been inundated under several feet of water.

The Indian Army has stepped into full action and is helping those who are severely stranded. 600,000 people are still trapped and struggling to survive. The army has deployed 184 columns and the IAF has also supplied helicopters to help with rescue efforts.

At least 30-35 thousand Sikhs have been affected by the floods. A Gurdwara which has not been affected by the floods, based in the Budgam district, called Shaheed Bunga Sahib, has become a place refuge for many survivors, Sikh, Muslim and Hindus.

Gurdwara based in Budgam district, called Shaheed Bunga Sahib has given shelter and food to over 8,000 people. Furthermore, medical camps have also been set up in the Gurdwara where 1,000 injured victims have been treated. At one time there are 4000-5000 people at the Shaheed Bunga Sahib Gurdwara and Langar is being served three to four times a day to all victims."

The UNITED SIKHS humanitarian aid and relief team is carrying out work in the areas where aid assistance is most critically needed. UNITED SIKHS is shipping 2000 blankets to victims in Srinagar, as this is region in which the situation is most dire.

UNITED SIKHS is asking its supporters for donations, in order to provide medical supplies and baby food as main hospitals such as SMHS and Lalla Ded have been severely affected and communication is severely hindered. This is a matter of urgency.

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