Soma Devi, a resident of Panthaghati, a suburb of Shimla town came all through to meet the Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, just to present him a cheque of Rs. 61 thousand, her one-month pension, as a contribution towards Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Apart from this, Ms Avni Singh, a girl child, also donated Rs. 51 thousand on her 15th Birthday towards the Aapda Raahat Kosh. This shows the compassion and wholeheartedness of a common Himachali, voluntarily extending support to the sufferers of the recent disaster that ravaged the State and helping the government fight back to make Himachal stand again.
The monsoon fury during the last two months of July and August caused severe devastation triggering flash floods and landslides, causing massive damage to both public and private property and the unfortunate loss of more than 330 human lives as well as livestock. To heal the deep wounds and comfort the people affected due to the natural calamity, many individuals and organizations have come forward to help the traumatized, directly or indirectly. Thousands of hands came forward to lend help to the affected and as a result, a contribution of more than Rs. 163 crore has been received in the Aapada Raahat Kosh-2023, set up for aiding those in distress.
The current monsoons, which surpassed the past 50 years’ record of heavy downpour has caused huge damage to the road infrastructure, water supply schemes, buildings, and other private and public property. The state government, under the stewardship of Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, not only took measures to rescue the stranded during the flashfloods but also adopted concrete steps, since day one, to compensate for the huge loss caused to the common man.
With a little aid from the center, the Chief Minister dwelt upon an idea to constitute Aapada Raahat Kosh-2023 and appealed to the people to donate generously towards it, so that, whatever help could be extended to the people affected, can be managed from the Kosh by the time adequate assistance is not received from the Centre. Since then, contributions from all sections of the society started pouring in.
The Shaktipeeths located in the state also contributed towards the noble cause. Mata Shree Chintpurni Trust donated rupees two crore, Shree Jwalamukhi Temple Trust gave Rs. 5 crore besides Tara Devi Temple Trust, Sankat Mochan and other temple trusts have also contributed towards this. Various social organizations, government and non-government organizations, educational and other institutions, local bodies have also contributed for the relief fund. The people from far and wide are also contributing to this at the individual level. Apart from this, contributions have also been made to the relief fund on behalf of various state governments including Rajasthan Rs. 15 crore, Karnataka Rs. 15 crore, Chhattisgarh Rs. 11 crore, Tamil Nadu Rs. 10 Crore and Haryana Rs. 5 crore.
The Chief Minister, all his cabinet colleagues and Chief Parliamentary Secretaries including MLAs, have provided their one month’s salary for the relief fund. The employees, who have always been conscientious in the progress of the state, have provided their one day’s salary for the relief fund as well.
To help those in distress, online donations can be made through Aapada Raahat Kosh 2023 portal. The Kosh also accepts online contributions through net banking, all major credit and debit cards. One can deposit his contribution through UPI IDs and QR codes and by cheque or demand draft drawn in favour of Aapada Raahat Kosh 2023.
The Chief Minister while thanking all the donors for their invaluable support said that this contribution would go a long way in helping the affected in this hour of distress. He expressed confidence that with coordinated efforts, Himachal would once again emerge from this calamity.