I had the opportunity to experience the Indomitable Spirit of the people and children of Jammu and Kashmir even as they were just recovering from the devastating earthquake in 2005. I visited Urusa village on 26th November 2005 which has been adopted by the Western Air Command, Air Force for providing relief and medical aid to the residents of that area.
When I went there, I found that the school building had been severely damaged. I met all the school children and the village citizen of Urusa. The villagers apprised me of their losses and had all praise for Army and Air Force role in rescue and relief operations along with state government. I appreciate the courage of the people of Urusa in defeating their problems. They have actually become the master of the problem rather than allowing problems to become their master. Despite the severe loss due to the earthquake, the children and the members of the village participated in the relief operation with the Armed Forces bravely and were smiling when I went to meet them.
They interacted with me and said that the school was functional in the temporary tents. Here, I also witnessed the participation of acting Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir along with State Government authorities in on-the-spot settlement of relief grants to be provided to the victims whose houses had been damaged in the earth quake. I have experienced many such acts of courage from our citizens when faced with severe challenges.
Courage in combating calamities
In 2005, I met the Tribal Council Leaders, Students, Children of Chuckchucha village during my visit to Car Nicobar Islands. While various reconstruction and rehabilitation activities were in progress, during the discussions with the members of tribal council, I realised the unique trait among the Car-Nicobar islanders. Even though there were many human losses due to the Tsunami of December 26, 2004, the tribal islanders had taken possession of affected victims as their children and there is nothing like orphanage in Car-Nicobar Islands. Touched by their courage, I composed few verses called "Sea Waves" which reads as follows:
We are the children of sea waves, sea waves are my friends. When they become angry,
Sea waves give the challenges.
God has given the courage,
To challenge the sea waves.
And we will succeed,
We will succeed
With Almighty's grace.
All the members who were gathered in the village sang the poem with me and exhibited lots of courage and enthusiasm even though they had gone through severe suffering during the Tsunami.