2001 Gujarat Earthquake
Mother nature has given mankind the greatest of gifts; but sometimes, nature’s calamities brings us face to face with the ultimate truth. In 2001, the state of Gujarat experienced one of the deadliest earthquakes the nation has ever seen. It occurred on 26th January on India’s 52nd Republic Day, at 08:46 AM IST and lasted for more than 2 minutes. These terrifying 120 seconds broke havoc. It left the citizens shuddering in terror.
The epicentre of the quake at Chobari in Bhachau Taluka of Kutch District demolished everything. The death toll rose above thousands with the innumerable injured and displaced. The harm to life and property was immeasurable. The Earth swallowed up homes, shops, and life savings of the people of Gujarat; leaving remainders of the horrific tragedy that befell them.
The most difficult part of the situation was medical help. The earthquake destroyed the hospitals and health centres leaving the rescuers very little to work with. Providing the most basic medical assistance had become a task considering that there was absolutely nothing left – no medicines, equipment or even beds. Right from saving lives and nursing the injured back to health, to re-establishing those displaced, Gujarat was in dire need of help.
Several responsible citizens and organizations extended their helping hand and donated money and supplies.
Doctors from other states gave their time and effort in the temporary hospitals set up near the calamity-ridden places. The continuous help from other nations aided process. And then there were some people who went out of their way to help the victims of the unfortunate disaster.
One of such kind-spirited humans, Mr. Vivek Tankha, Chairman of Justice Tankha Memorial Trust extended his hand in support. Being a selfless person, he lent his service to rebuilding the lives of those who suffered. He immediately realized the desperate need for medical attention in this region. Getting these victims up on their feet became his mission. He arranged all the medical supplies and provided all the basic amenities for the relief. His initiative resulted in bringing 100 beds in the temporary hospital in the affected area of Bhuj, Gujarat.
This rescue initiative changed the lives of the survivors. Many major surgeries were performed at this temporary hospital that gave them a ray of hope for a new life. This hospital opened its gates to the ones in need and provided help and care for a whole month.
The efforts of heroes like Mr. Tankha has permanently impacted the lives of the ones he saved. His initiative may have gone unnoticed, but his deeds will be treasured in the memories of the survivors.