WEATHERING THE STORM IN ERSAMA
Prashant went to his friend’s house in Ersama on 27 October, 1999. It was seven years after his mother’s death. In the evening, there came a super storm. Heavy and continuous rain filled the darkness. Trees were uprooted. The water entered his friend’s house. The speed of the wind was 350 km per hour. Everything was destroyed. Prashant and his friend’s family had taken refuge on the roof. Prashant was greatly shocked to see a huge sheet of water all over. Houses were broken. Dead animals and human bodies floated everywhere. Two coconut trees had fallen on the house of Prashant’s friend. Its tender coconuts kept them alive for several days.
For the new two days Prashant sat huddled on the roof-top with his friend’s family. They were nearly frozen by the cold wind. He thought of his family and decided to go. He was worried about his family. He got a strong stick and started on his eighteen-kilometer journey to his village. The flood water was swollen. Prashant waded through the water. On the way he found two friends of his uncle. They had to push away dead bodies of human beings and animals to move ahead. There were hardly any houses left in the villages they passed. Prashant kept thinking that no one in his family would have survived.
Finally, he reached his village Kalikuda. The roof was the only thing left of his house. He went to the Red Cross shelter and saw his maternal grandmother and his whole family there. Prashant decided to assess the damage and the danger awaiting the survivors. He organised a group of youths of his village. They made a fire and cooked rice taken from the local merchant and decided to clean up the place of filth, urine and floating dead bodies.
On the fifth day, a military helicopter dropped food. But it didn’t return. They deputed children to lie there; finally they got food through air dropping. Prashant became a saviour. He made a shelter for orphaned children and asked the women and children to join the food-for-work program. It was started by a Non Government Organisation (NGO). He engaged other volunteers to help widows to start their lives and to settle the orphans.
Six months passed since the storm, now finally Prashant had time to think of himself. The widows and
orphaned children thought of him only in their hours of distress.
I. Read the extract and answer the questions that follow :
1.In the evening! A dark and menacing storm quickly gathered. Winds beat again the houses with speed and fury that Prashant had never witnessed before.
a)Which is the evening that has been referred here?
b) What caused to raise winds?
c) Who is the writer of this passage?
d) Find a word from the passage which means same as dangerous.
2. He brought them together and put a polythene sheet shelter for them. Women were mobilised to look after them, while the men secured food and materials for the shelter.
a) Who are ‘he’ and ‘them’ in the extract?
b) Women were mobilised look after them. Why?
c) Who secured food and material for the shelter?
d) Find the idiom from the passage which means love and care.
II. Answer the following questions in 30-40 words :
1. Describe the aftermath of the devastating super cyclone.
2. What was the scene of destruction around the house of Prashant’s friend? What was the cold terror of the family?
3. How were the orphans and the widows resettled?
4. Prashant’s journey to home was a ‘journey he would never forget.’ Explain the statement.
III. Answer the following question in 100-120 words:
1. Give a character-sketch of Prashant, a practical leader and a social worker.
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