Kelam Gund (KULGAM): After the ferocious waters of Vaishaw nallah changed its course through this village washing away houses, cowsheds, cattle and everything that came its way on September 3, the people of the village found a local mosque the only safe place.
“As soon as the authorities issued advisory for the villagers to shift to safe places, most of the people evacuated while as around 200 who tried to save their cattle got trapped. Seeing the waters flowing ferociously we lost all hopes of survival. Finally left with no option we found masjid the only place where we could be safe,” said local Auqaf president, Abdul Ahad Dar.
He said all the 200 people made it to the rooftop of the mosque weeping and praying throughout the night.
“Allah perhaps listened to our prayers and we survived. The fast flowing water in the nallah completely washed away around 45 houses and raised to ground over hundred, but it was a miracle that the water did not even touch the masjid,” Dar said.
Another resident Tariq Ahmad said they remained trapped in the masjid for five days.
“As the floodwaters continued destroying houses and other structures we did not come out of the masjid for five days. It was after five days that a group of youth from Asmushi and Kelam villages risked their lives and came to our rescue,” Ahmad said. After being rescued it were the people of these two villages who organized community kitchens for them.
“People from other areas including the local Jama’at-i-Islami members were also generous enough as they continued with the relief work for several days. Nobody from the administration visited us for 20 days,” said another resident Maqsood Ahmad.
The villagers who have been rendered homeless are now putting up in the dilapidated government buildings or makeshift tents provided to them by the army near PHC Kelam. However they say that no serious measures are being taken up for their rehabilitation. “How long we can live here in these makeshift camps? With winter approaching, we are worried about our survival. If government is really bothered about the plight of flood victims of the village it should take some concrete measures for our rehabilitation,” a group of villagers told Kashmir Reader outside the relief camp in the area.
No official from the administration was available for comment as the communication network is still defunct here.