People Power Prevails: Volunteers Unite to Mend Breach Sites

by Antariksh Singh

In a remarkable display of unity and resilience, thousands of volunteers worked tirelessly for 18 days to mend the breached Gatta Mundi Kasu bundh on the Sutlej river in Jalandhar. The cries of “Bole So Nihal…Sat Sri Akal” echoed in the air as they completed the daunting task, symbolizing their unwavering dedication.

The recent flash floods wreaked havoc in the region, causing five breaches measuring over 3,050 feet in Doaba. What followed was nothing short of a miracle – a people-led movement with little or no assistance from the administration. Residents across Punjab pooled together tonnes of material to achieve this astounding feat in record time.

The five breaches in Doaba, including Mandala Channa (325 ft), Gatta Mundi Kasu (925 ft), and Darewal in Jalandhar, as well as Baupur Kadim (600 ft) and Ali Kalan (1,200 ft) in Sultanpur Lodhi, posed a significant challenge. Thanks to the initiative of MP Seechewal and Sant Sukha Singh, the Mandala and Gatta Mundi Kasu breaches were successfully plugged. Efforts are ongoing to restore the Darewal, Baupur Kadima, and Ali Kalan bundhs.

The dedication of the volunteers was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Over 5,000 trolleys of sand and soil were contributed by the “sangat” to repair the breaches in Jalandhar. Nirmal Singh, a farmer from Shahkot, shared that 500 trolleys lined up in a single day, with anonymous volunteers silently donating their materials without seeking any credit or recognition.

However, there were concerns about the government’s role in keeping track of the received materials. Singh emphasized the need for a formal record to ensure transparency and accountability.

Despite the challenges, Baba Sukha Singh’s initiative ensured that the Darewal breach would soon be repaired. Support from anonymous individuals, including the provision of earthmovers, bolstered their efforts. Encouragingly, a minister and JE have promised assistance with fuel, further reinforcing the community’s determination to restore the bundhs.

MP Balbir Seechewal expressed pride in the completion of the bundh plugging in Jalandhar and highlighted that efforts were now being directed towards raising the bundh height.

Remarkably, not a single grain of sand was provided by the administration throughout this entire endeavor. The extraordinary work was entirely driven by the initiative of Baba Sukha Singh and ordinary citizens, demonstrating the immense power of the people.

This massive exercise to mend the breach sites stands as a testament to the united strength of the community. While the administration provided sacks and MGNREGA workers, the bulk of the effort came from the resolute volunteers who stepped up to restore their region without hesitation.

The people’s triumph in mending the breached bundhs is a testament to the spirit of unity and resilience that continues to thrive in the heart of Punjab. It serves as a powerful reminder that, when faced with adversity, the power of the people can conquer any challenge that comes their way.

Antariksh Singh

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