Q.1. Describe the destruction caused by the super cyclone as narrated in the story ‘Weathering the Storm in Ersama’.
- On 27th October 1999, Prashant went to meet one of his friends who lived in Ersama. The place was eighteen kilometres from his village.
- In the evening, a super cyclone came. Winds beat against the houses with great fury. There was heavy and continuous rain. Houses and people were washed away in the flood. His friend’s house was made of bricks and cement. It was strong enough to survive the wind blowing at 350 km per hour.
- The one uprooted tree fell on their house and damaged some part of its roof and walls. To escape the waters rising in the house, Prashant and his friend’s family took refuge on the roof. For the next two days, Prashant sat huddled with his friend’s family on the rooftop. They froze in cold and rain.
- In the early morning, Prashant saw the destruction caused by the cyclone. There was a sheet of water everywhere. Only parts of cemented houses were still visible. All other houses had been washed away. Even huge trees had fallen. Bloated dead bodies of animals and human beings were floating everywhere.
Q.2. Describe how Prashant reached his village after the cyclone?
- The destruction caused by the cyclone and the waves of the ocean continued for the next thirty-six hours. Two days later, the rain ceased and the rainwater slowly began to recede.
- Prashant was worried about his family. He took a long stick and started on the eighteen kilometers long and difficult journey to his village. There was water everywhere. He had to use his stick to locate the road. At places, it was waiting deep and the progress was slow. Sometimes, he lost the road and had to swim.
- After some distance, he found two friends of his uncle. They decided to move ahead together. They had to push away many human bodies floating on the water. There were also carcasses of dogs, goats, and cattle. In every village they passed, they could barely see a house standing.
- He feared that his family could not have survived the cyclone. At last, he reached his village Kalikuda. His heart sank. His house was gone. His family was nowhere. In order to look for his family, Prashant went to the Red Cross Shelter.
- Fortunately, his family was alive. They were very glad to see Prashant. He came to know that eighty-six lives were lost in his village and all the ninety-six houses had been washed away.
Q.3. Describe how Prashant helped himself and others at the time of the natural calamity?
- The cyclone caused a lot of damage in Prashant’s village and surrounding areas. Prashant decided to help his own family and the others.
- He organized a group of youths. They pressurized the local merchant to give rice to the starving villagers. They burnt a fire and cooked the rice, although it was rotten; their next step was to clean the place of filth, dirt, urine, and floating dead bodies.
- They tended the wounds and fractures of many who had been injured. On the fifth day, a military helicopter dropped food. But it did not return. Prashant and others devised a plan to attract the attention of the helicopters.
- They deputed children to lie there with empty utensils on their stomachs. This was done to communicate to the helicopters that they were hungry. The scheme worked and the helicopters started dropping food regularly.
- The Prashant brought the orphaned children and made a shelter for them. He asked the woman to look after them. But he found that women and children were sinking deeper and deeper into their grief.
- A non-government organization had started a food for work program. Prashant persuaded them to join it. He engaged other volunteers to help widows start their lives again. The orphaned children were resettled in their own community.
Q.4. Prashant did not help his family members, but he helped the whole community during the cyclone. What is your opinion on this matter?
- On reaching his village, Prashant found deplorable conditions all around him. He had leadership qualities so he took the initiative to rehabilitate people. He made a team of young volunteers and cleaned urine, filth, vomit, and floating carcasses.
- His team was fully dedicated to serving others. He persuaded grief-stricken women to look after children. In this way, he became a ray of hope for all.
- Undoubtedly, Prashant is a good leader. He has all the qualities of a leader. He has a special quality of taking initiative. His vision is quite clear. He faces adverse circumstances courageously. He is a source of energy for others and has great motivational power.
- I think that youth is power. This power can be used to assist society during natural disasters. Whatever job is assigned to the youth in such circumstances they perform their duty with full spirit.
Q.5. The widows and orphans of village Kalikuda remember Prashant’s help after the cyclone with gratitude. Explain how Prashant helped them in their darkest hour of grief.
- After the devastation, the shelter was established at Kalikuda. Around 2500 people were there. The whole atmosphere was grimy. The people survived on green coconuts. The men, the women, and the children looked helpless. They were filled with fear and groaning for the dead.
- Prashant took the initiative and organized many groups. They could succeed in their efforts and got rice to eat. They got relief packages sent through helicopters.
- Filth, vomit, urine and floating carcasses could be seen all around. Life seemed slow there. The people there passed their time gossiping and performing several activities. The situation of the shelter showed a clear picture of suffering humanity.
Q.6. During natural calamities, women and children need more protection. Explain Prashant’s role in organizing relief measures for women and children during the storm in Ersama.
- The scene after the storm and heavy rain was quite tragic. There were dead bodies and uprooted trees all around. A brown sheet of water covered everything. There was water everywhere.
- The rain ceased after two days but water could be seen as far as the eyes could gaze. Because of heavy rain, there was little hope for the betterment of the flood victims. Prashant tackled all these problems very carefully.
- First of all, he owned the responsibility of a leader of the group. He organized a group of youths and elders that compelled merchants to part with a good quota of the rice. They collected wood, cooked rice, and fed the people.
- Then he arranged a team of youth to clean the surroundings of the shelter. They looked after the wounded people. He persuaded women to look after the orphans. To bring people out of their grief he organized games for the children.
- For the same reason, he convinced women to take part in Food-for-work programs. He became the prime example of courage and compassion.
Q.7. Do you think adversity or crises bring people closer? How? Explain with reference to the lesson ‘Weathering the Storm in Ersama’.
- Man is a social animal. Despite food and other common needs, he cannot live without the company and love of his near or dear ones.
- In adversity or crises, it is noticed that they come forward to help one another without any previous ill-feeling for one another.
- Adversity or crisis brings people together. There is a bond of humanity. The victims of the cyclone in Erasama helped one another. They worked together during this resettlement. They took care of orphans and widows. Prashant managed to unite them and work for one another. Thus in the hour of grief, the people of the community joined hands under the leadership of Prashant. They came forward to help one another.
- Prashant brought the survivors together and formed a youth task force. The youth took the charge and volunteered themselves for cleaning the shelters of filth, urine, and vomit.
Q.8. The future of a country depends upon the power of youth. Explain how Prashant organized the youth in Ersama to help the cyclone-affected people.
- Prashant became the leader of the village. He sent a delegation to the merchants and got the full quota of rice for the people taking shelter in the shed. Then he organized a team of volunteers to clean the shelter.
- On the fifth day of the camp, One Military helicopter dropped food packets but did not return again. Then the youth task force was set up.
- The group debuted the children to lie on the floor. They had empty utensils on their stomachs. By that, they were able to communicate with the passing helicopters that they were hungry. Finally, the helicopters dropped a good quantity of food there.