A postman without a country

A postman without a country

Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Mir has been struggling to find people in Jawahar Nagar and Raj Bagh to exhaust his heavy load of mails

Srinagar: Two months ago, postman Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Mir was well-known in Jawahar Nagar and Raj Bagh, with residents of the two posh localities of Srinagar anxiously waiting for him to deliver their mails. For last one week, however, Mir has been struggling to find people on their addresses to exhaust his heavy load of mails.
“For last one week, after the floodwater receded from these localities, I have been going from door to door to deliver mails, but I don’t find people anywhere in their homes or offices to receive them,” said Mir.
Mir, who is posted at post office Jawahar Nagar, said there are hundreds of mails lying with him some of which were posted before the floods, “but I hardly deliver two or three mails every day.”
“People have not returned to their homes. At most places they have hired labourers to clean their houses, and the labourers refuse to take their mails. And the people who were living in rented houses or offices in these areas have shifted to other places. I don’t know their new addresses,” said Mir.
Four weeks after floods devastated Kashmir, Raj Bagh and Jawahar Nagar localities still present a ghost look. Hundreds of homes have been fully damaged and others partially and at least one dozen people lost their lives in these localities which remained submerged for over a month.
And most of the people whose houses have not been damaged too don’t live in these twin localities, as electricity and water supply are yet to be restored and roads are covered with debris.
“It took me one week to clean my house, but how can I return and live when there is no power or water supply,” said Ghulam Hassan, a resident of Raj Bagh.
He said that different government departments and volunteers helped in the restoration and cleaning process, but the damage is so huge that it will take another week to restore the service completely.
Many people in these twin localities used to rent their spare space for both residential and official purposes, but they now say the reenters don’t prefer these localities fearing that the houses are no more safe.
“My house has not been damaged. Even engineers have declared it safe to live, but the three families who had been living in my house for last five years on rent have left and shifted to other places,” said Yaqoob Ahmad, a resident of Jawahar Nagar.
Before floods, Ahmad said, people would often visit him asking for room on rent. “After the floods, the area seems to have lost its charm and attraction. I don’t know when the locality will recover and people will come back to live here again,” he said.
Mir, the postman, however, said that he will keep on visiting the localities till the people return to their homes, and also search for those who have shifted to other places.
“Some of the mails seem to be very important. It is my duty to deliver them to the right people, and I will keep on searching for them on their old and new addresses,” said Mir.

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