Agenda for Survival'13 was adamant on making us realise the true
essence of survival. Being on the ground where the disaster is shaping
up gives you a unique perspective. We encountered rain, landslides,
long treks and a prolonged wait to be rescued on the week-long field
trip to Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh, bang in the middle of the heaviest
rainfall event in Kinnaur's memory. In this adventure, we also met
people who encounter such situations routinely.
Many people made our journey memorable, be it Capt. J. M. Pathania (DC, Kinnaur), the folks at the Karcham army base, Vidya Karan, Ashok, Raju, the chai wala at Baspa II hydro electric project, Pyarelal and Narayanji, our fellow travellers, ferrying us uphill. The locals who gave us water, showed us the way when we were lost, chatted with us and made our uphill trudge easy. People distributing fruits and hope to trudging trekkers in Tapri and those serving sharbat to weary travellers and survivors all along the devastated Sutlej valley. Sure, government will send help. Policy wonks will argue on news TV. Soon well knitted communities of these young mountains will get back to its feet. Soon tourists too will trudge up and pitch their tents under the clear blue sky beneath the pristine deodars. Life will need to be up and going.