Arun Jaitley assured Nepalese Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay, who was present on the occasion, that every Indian is with his nation in this hour of crisis.
“After relief, rehabilitation process in Nepal should start and NGO’s should participate in the process,” Jaitley said while flagging off a consignment of relief material to Nepal here today.
The Minister added that the quality of life of those who survived in Nepal must improve.
“There is a principle of rehabilitation. Quality of life of those who survived must improve as compared to what it was earlier,” he said.
Noting that India’s disaster management capacity has improved, Jaitley said, “India’s disaster management capacity has improved. We rescued people from Iraq, Yemen and Nepal. Earlier, only USA had expertise in disaster management.”
The death toll in Nepal’s worst quake in 80 years has shot up to 7,040 with another 14,100 people injured, according to data from Nepal’s Home Ministry.
The figure is expected to go up further, with bodies still being pulled out from mounds of debris in several areas.
Referring to India’s quick response to the quake in Nepal, Jaitley said that within a couple of hours, a crisis management group was activated and it met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The first Air Force plane with rescue and relief material took off at around 4 pm on the day the quake hit Nepal.
“The people of India too responded with a feeling as though the tragedy of Nepal were their own. The entire country including state governments and different organisations responded by participating in the relief operations,” he said.
Jaitley assured Nepalese Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay, who was present on the occasion, that every Indian is with his nation in this hour of crisis.
Upadhyay expressing gratitude to India and its people and appreciated the “pro-active” role played by it in extending its rescue and relief assistance.
“Just an hour after the quake hit Nepal, PM Narendra Modi contacted the Nepalese Prime Minister and President as well as myself and consoled us and promised that the entire government and people of India were with Nepal in its crisis hour.
“We hear about people to people relationships but we found heart to heart relations in the form of India’s response to quake-hit Nepal and we express our deep gratitude for it,” Upadhyay said.
Three truckloads of relief material including 8.5 tonne of rice, blankets and tarpaulin sheets provided by Thakurdwara Trust were flagged off by Jaitley to Nepal.
The Trust Chairman Sardar Virinder Singh Jauhar and Secretary Bhurelal said that the first instalment of relief material will be handed over to the Nepalese Army at Raxaul on India-Nepal border from where it will be distributed among the quake-hit people.