Prashant, all of nineteen years, decided to step in as leader of his village, if no one else did. He organised a group of youths and elders to jointly pressurise the merchant once again to part with his rice. This time the delegation succeeded and returned triumphantly, wading through the receding waters with food for the entire shelter. No one cared that the rice was already rotting. Branches from fallen trees were gathered to light a reluctant and slow fire, on which to cook the rice. For the first time in four days, the survivors at the cyclone shelter were able to fill their bellies. His next task was to organise a team of youth volunteers to clean the shelter of filth, urine, vomit and floating carcasses, and to tend to the wounds and fractures of the many who had been injured.
Despite the fact that Prashant was just nineteen years old at the time, he decided to take charge of the 2500-needy people. He gathered a group of villagers, including the elderly and youngsters, to compel the local merchant to give the rice stock to the Red Cross shelter. Perhaps the merchant had not contributed before, but Prashant's group was able to collect rice from him. They even managed to carry food to the entire group by swimming through the floodwaters.
People had been starving for four days without good food in the Red Cross shelter, so they didn't mind eating the rotting rice. People from the entire shelter were able to cook and eat food thanks to Prashant's volunteer group, who had collected rice, grains, and other stuff. They gathered fallen tree branches and used them to light a fire with which to cook the rice.
Prashant then organised a group of young volunteers to help the Red Cross shelter with the cleanup. The team concentrated on cleaning excretory waste, removing corpses, and assisting numerous injured people suffering from their wounds and fractures. The cyclone survivors benefited from Prashant's initiative.
Meaning of difficult words:
|Pressurise||To persuade somebody to do something|
|Delegation||A group of people chosen to speak or take decisions for a large group of people|
|Triumphantly||In a way that shows happiness at an achievement|
|Reluctant||Unwilling to do something|
|Filth||Refers to an unpleasant dirt|
|Wound||An injury to part of the body|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. Weathering the storm in Ersama - Hasrh Mander (pp.37-42). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.