Srinagar: In Srinagar, where in winter the streets are desolate soon after the sun disappears at day end, 29-year-old Mushtaq Ahmed Lone of Sopore was rushing to get home to his rented accommodation in Srinagar’s Tengpora when he saw a woman with an infant in her lap near Rambagh Bridge.
Seeing the woman alone on the deserted streets, Lone says he offered her a lift.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, Mushtaq said, “As I started talking to her, I came to know that she was a homeless domestic violence victim and a divorcee. She had been taking shelter at different places and now she wanted to go to the Bone and Joint Hospital to find help for her ailing son who was suffering from cough and fever and crying constantly. She also wanted to spend the night at the hospital and asked me to take her there.”
Chairperson State Commission for Women (SCW) Nayeema Mehjoor took to social networking site Facebook and revealed the story of the young woman’s ordeal and a stranger’s nobility.
In her post she wrote, “Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, who hails from Sopore, was on (his) way from his office to his present residence, which is from Rajbagh to Taingpora (where he lives in a rented apartment). There he came across a woman, in her mid 20’s, standing alone near the desolate Rambagh Bridge in the wee hours of the night with an infant in her lap, drenched in the cold night drizzle.
“Being a man of conscience, Mushtaq didn’t feel it right to leave the young lady in such a pathetic state. Instead, he decided to escort her to the hospital and make it sure that she gets a shelter and some sort of treatment for her ailing son,” Mehjoor shared on Facebook.
Some days previously, the SWC chairperson had shared her phone numbers on Facebook and had appealed to women in need of any kind of help to approach her.
Mushtaq says he had saved the number publicised by the SWC chairperson only a few days earlier.
“I never knew I would use it soon and would help somebody to get in touch with the SWC. I called the number and informed Nayeema ji about the woman’s ordeal. She was very empathetic about the woman and her child.”
Talking to Kashmir Reader over the phone from Jammu, Nayeema Mehjoor said, “For the safety and security of the lady and her infant, I advised the duo to be taken to the women’s police station, which the lady refused. Considering her wish, she was given accommodation at the Bone and Joint Hospital, Barzulla.”