The flash floods of 2013 devastated the downstream villages of Badrinath Valley. Pandukeshwar village was epicentre to witness unprecedented devastation to public, private property and precious Himalayan ecology of the valley. The breached embankments left community stranded and vulnerable to being washed away from any further heavy rains, which is a frequent occurrence in the valley. This needed immediate resurrection and protection.
Also, Pandukeshwar community being pilgrim dependent, with people visiting Badrinath shrine, was faced with negligible turnout of pilgrims post the disaster. This led to huge fall in the earnings to local resindents. Ti make matters worse, increase in women drudgery pre winter and severe winter conditions were amongst the challenges witnessed.
The need assessment conducted by CAF India revealed that the affected population in villages like Pulna, Pandukeshwar and Govindghat were living in dormitories which have been converted to the residential schools for the children. Among these three villages, Pulna was the most affected one and was absolutely inaccessible – thus most vulnerable. Our visit to Pulna had highlighted immediate need for attention, in terms of rebuilding of the village. This village is also on the way to valley of flowers and Hemkunth Baba Saheb. Thus a major stop over for many pilgrims. The District Authority suggested to focus on post disaster rebuilding work in these areas.