Weathering the Storm in Ersama Class 9 Notes English Chapter 6


This was a real experience when the cyclone hit Orissa in October 1999 which killed thousands of people and devastated hundreds of villages. On 27 October 1999, Prashant went to the headquarters of Ersama after seven years. It was 18 kilometers away from his village Kalikuda. In the evening, a dark storm quickly gathered. Winds were very strong and Prashant had never witnessed this before. Heavy and incessant rain filled the darkness. The ancient trees were uprooted and crashed into the earth. Screams went in the air as people and houses were swiftly washed away. Prashant kept himself in the house of his friend which was strong enough to survive the devastation of the wind’s velocity of 350 Km per hour. The rain continued for 36 hours and when it stopped a brown sheet of water covered everything as far as the eye could see; only fractured cement houses still stood in a few places. Bloated animal carcasses and human corpses floated in every direction.

When the rain ceased, Prashant knew where he had to go, so he equipped himself with a long sturdy stick and started on his 18 Km expedition back to his village through the swollen flood waters. On the way, he met two friends of his uncle. Ultimately Prashant reached his village and found his family safe in a Red Cross shelter. After watching the painful condition of the people Prashant decided to lead a group of youth and elders to jointly get rice to fill the bellies of the starving people.

On the fifth day, the military helicopter dropped some food parcels but didn’t come again. Then Prashant deputed the children to lie in the sand with the utensils on their stomachs to communicate their need for food to the military helicopter. Thus the helicopters got the message and made regular rounds of the shelter to drop food and other basic needs.

Then Prashant put up a polythene sheet shelter for a large number of orphaned children and some women was mobilized to look after them. But as weeks passed, Prashant felt that women and children were sinking deeper and deeper in their grief, so he took the help of an NGO and also organized some sports events. Thus, Prashant’s courage and affection for needy people teach us to stand stiff in hard times.

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