Rah tirelessly rescued 400 people before losing battle for life

Shabir Ahmad

Khudwani: After the flood waters submerged most parts of southern Kulgam district and the administration failed to come to the rescue of the people, a brave heart from Rahpora Khudwani, Mohammad Yaqoob Rah, decided to do it alone.  He rescued at-least 400 people before he died due to flood.
Rah, a tractor driver, on seeing the people crying for help from upper stories of their houses and roof tops left for “rescue mission” in his boat. “As the entire area submerged in flood and people lost all hopes of survival, Rah amid continuous heavy rains rescued at least 400 hundred people of the area for two consecutive days,” locals said, recalling that he would ferry at least 10 to 15 people to safer places in a single trip.
During the rescue mission, they said, Rah waded through neck deep waters to help the women and elderly people board his boat.
“When we saw him (Rah) on the evening of second day of his rescue mission he was shivering with cold. Though we advised him to take rest for few hours he refused saying many more people were still trapped,” the locals said.
As fate had it, it turned out to be his last trip as he died of hypothermia, they said.
Rah who had lost his parents some ten years ago is survived by four sisters and a brother.
“My brother did not take rest for even a minute for two consecutive days and kept on rescuing the trapped people. We found his body in one of the neighboring houses two days after he had died. Doctors told us that he has died of hypothermia,” one of his sisters told Kashmir Reader.
Another resident, Showkat Ahmad said, “Indian news channels might have played army as massiah for Kashmiri’s in times of crisis but reality is that neither army nor administration recued even a single person from our area. It was this brave heart who proved to be massiah for the people of the area,”.
“Though we could not congratulate and garland him on our return to homes but will never forget his heroic act saving hundreds of people,” Ahmad said.