Darjeeling Residents help fire victims

Residents of the hill town have decided to come forward to help victims of the fire that gutted the houses of 11 families in the Ava Art Gallery area last Thursday.

Four houses were completely destroyed in the blaze as fire engines failed to reach the site owing to illegal structures blocking the road leading to the buildings.

The effort of the local people seems to be particularly helpful, as administrative and political relief is yet to come in, a source said.

To start with, residents of Barakakjhora have already given shelter to nine of the families at Annupurna Guest House, where they can stay till they find a proper place. “We will have to pay a nominal amount to the guest house authorities. We are glad that these people, who have lost everything to the fire, now have a place to stay,” said Seshmani Gurung, the secretary of Koseli Sangh, a social organisation in Barakakjhora.

While aid is pouring in both in kind and cash, Koseli Sangh has opened a relief fund at the UTI Bank in Darjeeling. “We are focusing on collecting money as the families need it the most. We have opened an account at the UTI Bank and anyone willing to contribute can deposit the amount there,” said Gurung. The account number of the Barakakjhora Fire Victims’ Relief Fund is 346010100015747. Rotary Club of Kalimpong and the local Nava Yuva Sangh have already paid Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,201.

The residents are also trying to address the problem of the lack of enough fire hydrants in town. “A meeting with different government departments is slated for tomorrow. We want rehabilitation of the victims, pulling down of illegal structures and installation of fire hydrants,” said Gurung.

Source: The Telepgraph