Amid the devastation left by the natural calamity in Uttarakhand, a flame of hope still flickers on in the hearts of some distraught relatives who are conducting a door to door search for their loved ones in the worst-hit Kedarghati area.
Their prolonged wait since the June 17 deluge has failed to dampen their hopes of reuniting with their loved ones alive.
Holding the pictures of their missing family members and friends in their hands, they are searching for them from door to door in villages of the Kedarghati valley.
Even Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna's announcement that people who went missing after the tragedy will be presumed dead if they don't surface by tomorrow has failed to deter them.
A visit to Phata Bazar in Kedarghati brings you face to face with many such people roaming around with the pictures of their missing relatives.
Be it Anant Kulkarni from Maharashtra's Ahmednagar who lost 35 members of his team in the calamity or Pune resident Hemant Kulkarni, who lost track of 24 of his friends after the tragedy, all of them have a common tale to tell.
Alok and Ashish Pandey, two brothers from a village near Kapilvastu in Nepal are camping in Rudraprayag since Friday.
Their parents were in Kedarnath on June 17 when the calamity struck.
The elderly couple were holding each other's hand when the deluge occurred but the stampede it triggered separated them. Their mother reached home but their father is still missing.
They have searched for him in every hospital, dharamshala and ashram of Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar and Shrinagar but to no avail.
"The hope of reuniting with our father in one of these villages has brought us to Kedarghati," says Alok.
This is the plight of the kin of visitors who came from outside the state to pay obeisance at Kedarnath and went missing after the tragedy but similar is the tale of those locals whose loved ones were engaged in tourism related activities and businesses at the Himalayan shrine and are yet to be traced.