Even irreplaceable losses haven’t shaken the faith of people in the state, it seems. With four religious pilgrimages to Uttarakhand restarting on Saturday, those who had lost their loved ones in the floods are optimistic that their questions will finally be answered.
Thousands of people from Rajasthan have been missing since the floods, but their family members are still waiting expectantly for their return home.
“How can we believe that they are no longer in the world when there is no evidence,” questions a member of the Sharma family, of which 10 family members haven’t returned from Kedarnath.
The families are hopeful that their loved ones will return and are ready to go all the way to Kedarnath to question God. “We want to go there and ask him why he did this to us. We would request their return from the Almighty,” says OP Sharma.
A number of contingents have been already sent out in search of the missing, only to return empty-handed. “We searched day and night, at every possible place they might have been stranded. But even then, our hearts refuse to accept that they will not return,” says Gyan Prakash, another member of the family.
Around fifteen days of continuous downpour and thunderstorms in June had wreaked havoc upon pilgrims in Uttarakhand from across the country. Thousands had lost their lives in the calamity after which the pilgrimage was cancelled.
Despite a massive search operation commanded by the Indian Army and supported by several state governments, including Rajasthan, many pilgrims are still missing, their hopes of making a safe return dashed.