Sunday, December 04, 2005

Nature's wrath

There is a nip in the air; with the two-and-a-half feet snowfall in Kashmir this week, the prospects of a long and harsh winter will be daunting to the relief work being carried out in the quake-hit areas. Reports say that the heavy snowfall in the last week of November has led to a rise in the number of health problems: increasing cases of pneumonia, intestinal and respiratory tract infections in the affected areas. Braving the cold winter in Delhi, it boggles the mind to think how those souls in the centre of this chill might be coping with the situation in the immediate aftermath of a colossal tragedy.

This even as Chennai reels under the effects of flash floods for the second time in less than a month. NDTV showed images of water inside people's homes. One snippet showed a woman standing next to her computer, water grazing her knees, cursing the government for not doing enough to protect low-lying areas such as hers. The power of her plea, strenghtened by the candour of the image, made for a biting reminder on both the inefficacy of governance and the potential of the electronic medium. Potential to inform, sensitize and even provoke.

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