Looking Around

and shouting everywhere. The ground was shaking and people were running all around. Screaming loudly I got up. On hearing me my mother also woke up. She came running and held me tight. It was the same bad dream! It has been more than six years now since the earthquake. But in my sleep I still feel the earth shaking and trembling. I am Jasma. I live in the Kutch area of Gujarat. I was eleven years old when there was an earthquake. It was 26 January, 2001. Everyone from the village – children and old people – had gathered in the ground of the school to watch the parade on TV. Suddenly the ground was shaking. People were scared and started running here and there. No In a few minutes, our village was flat on the ground. All our things–clothes, pots, grains and food – were trapped under the stones, mud and wood from the fallen houses. At that time everyone thought of two things – to save the people who were trapped and to treat the injured. The village hospital was also damaged. Many people were seriously injured. My leg also got fractured. The doctor treated people with the help of the villagers. Six people of our village died. My grandfather (Nana) was also buried under the houses. My mother wept all the time. Seeing my mother, I also cried. The entire village was sad and disturbed. House of Motabapu who is the sarpanch of our village was not much damaged. He gave rice and wheat to everyone from his godown. For many days, the village women cooked food together at Motabapu’s house and fed everyone. Imagine, being without a house in the cold winter! Fear and the cold kept us awake in the nights. All the time we were worried that there may be another earthquake. Discuss and write • Have you or anyone that you know ever faced such difficulty? • Who all helped at such a time? Make a list. 132 Looking Around Help arrives For some days after that, people from the cities kept coming to clothes that we got were very different. We had never worn such clothes before. People from different groups from the city, helped us to put up the tents. Staying in these plastic tents in the cold winter months was very difficult. Some of these people were chances of having an earthquake. People from our village talked to them many times. They had suggestions about building our houses again. Engineers and architects showed us some special designs for houses. They said that with this design, houses would not get damaged much in an earthquake. But our people were a little afraid. They thought if these people build our houses, our village will not look like our old village. So, the villagers thought they would build their own houses with their help. The groups would build the village school. We all worked together to rebuild our village. Some people dug and brought the clay from the pond. We mixed the clay with cow dung and made large cakes. We put these on one another to make the walls. We whitewashed the walls and decorated them with beautiful designs and small pieces of Discuss • A lot of people from other places came to Jasma’s village. Who were these people? In what ways would they have helped the villagers? • People in Jasma’s village rebuilt their houses with suggestions from the engineers. Will these houses be safer than before in case there is an earthquake again? Why? • Think, if there were an earthquake where you live, would your house be in danger? What kind of damage could take place? Write • Compare your house with that of Jasma. List in your notebook what materials were used in making both the houses. Jasma’s House Your House What will you do? People from the groups also made children in Jasma’s school practice what they should do in case there is an earthquake. This is what they said: - If possible leave the house and go to an open ground. -If you cannot go out of the house, lie down under a strong thing like a table and hold on tightly, so that it does not slip away. Wait until the shaking stops. • Have you been told in your school or anywhere else about what to do in case of an earthquake? • Why do you think one should go under a table during an earthquake? Who helped? Read this TV report on the Bhuj earthquake. Write • According to the TV report, thousands of people were injured and some died in Gujarat. If the buildings had When the Earth Shook! 135 been made in a way that they would not fall in the earthquake, would the damage have been different? How? • At times like this, when people have lost their homes and all their belongings, what kind of help would they need? • In such situations whose help would be needed and for what? Write in your notebook as shown here. Whose help will be needed How will they help 1. Dog 2. To smell out where people are lying trapped Discuss • Have you ever seen people in your area helping each other? When? • Why do people live together in a neighbourhood? • Imagine living in a place where there were no other houses or people around. How would it be? For example, whom would you play with? With whom would you celebrate festivals and special days? Would you be scared? • People face a lot of difficulties when they lose people from their family, or their houses and belongings. In newspapers of the last one month, look for news related to such disasters – earthquakes, floods, fire, cyclones, etc., in different parts of the world. Collect these news reports and paste them in your notebook. 136 Looking Around Your news report • Make your own report which mentions the following: -Cause of the disaster, date and time -What kind of damage did it cause – to lives, belongings, livelihoods? -Which people came forward to help? Which government offices or other groups? If there is no rain, crops can fail and there can be a drought. But food for people can be brought from other places so that there is no famine, which means people don’t have to stay hungry, and they don’t die of hunger. • Have people in your area ever got affected by famine or drought? Find such reports of different countries from newspapers. Make your own report. • You may need some help from these in case of an accident or emergency. Find out and write their addresses and phone numbers. Add more names to this list. Address Phone Number Fire Station Nearby Hospital Ambulance Police Station Difficult times Write a report with the help of the following words: floods, river water, injured people, food packets, rescue work, camps, dead bodies, dead animals floating in water, houses When the Earth Shook! 137 under water, aerial survey (to see the scene of disaster from a plane), sad people, diseases spread by dirty water, homeless people, trapped people. 138 Looking Around

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