Srinagar: Sitting near the debris of her house at Ikhrajpora locality of Jawahar Nagar, Dilshada is in a state of mourning. With her gaze fixed on the rubble, she weeps silently so that she isn’t noticed by her only son who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
“Our world has ended. This house will never come up again. Some years ago, our shop at Lal Chowk was gutted. Somehow, we managed to overcome the losses. However, the floods not only destroyed our house but our shop as well. We’ll never be able to stand up again,” said Dilshada, as her son Afroz Ahmad Naqash and grandson Sahil retrieve rusted trunks from the debris and place it along the road.
The approaching winters, Dilshada said, were giving sleepless nights to them as they are putting up with their relatives from last four weeks. To add to her woes is the failing health of her husband Ghulam Qadir Naqash.
“The state government has announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for the houses damaged by the floods. With this amount, one can’t build a house,” Dilshada said.
The house built around four decades ago, Dilshada said, collapsed on September 7. “For four days, we took refuge in our neighbour’s house. With us were Dr Daljeet Singh, and six other families. No one came to our help. Not even a bottle of water was provided to us. We had to buy a bucket of water for Rs 100, not to drink, but for washroom,” she said.
Dilshada said after four days her relatives bought a rafting boat from Ladakh for Rs 50,000 and managed to rescue and shift her family to downtown Srinagar.
“The flood waters came in a jiffy and submerged our houses. We couldn’t salvage anything. What we’re wearing is all that’s left with us,” she said, before bursting into tears.
Her son Afroz said that it was painful and distressing to see the house, where he was born and brought up, razed to the ground. He said it was very difficult for the family to rebuild the house again.
“I’m an orderly. I have two children and a wife to take care of. With a meagre salary, I can’t even feed my family properly. It’s impossible to rebuild it again,” he added.