No compensation, no help
CHADOORA: When Mohammad Shafi Yatoo was hit with several bullets on his leg on August 05, 2016 while returning from his paddy fields at Nagam Chadoora during the 2016 uprising, many called him a lucky survivor.
Eighteen months down the line, Yatoo, huddled in his room with an amputated limb supported by a prosthetic leg, sees himself as a “living corpse”.
“My life is caged and confined to four walls” Yatoo said.
Worried about the future of his family, the 42-year-old father of three says government and society have forgotten him, despite promises of help.
Yatoo’s family told Kashmir Reader that they received no compensation from the government.
“Although Chief Minister announced compensation to victims of 2016, we have neither received any compensation nor any justice has been done till date”.
Yatoo lives with his wife Dilshada and three school going children in a single room.
Yatoo says the family income came to a standstill the day he was injured, but expenses are consistently increasing.
“We have sold all household items and gold jewellery for my treatment and have not been given anything by the government so far,” Yatoo said.
Dilshada, said that many people approached them with offers of help in the aftermath, but “it seems it was just a ritual”.
“With the passage of time, people forgot the suffering of my family so did the government,” she said. “I have lost faith in the government as well as people, and have only faith in Allah.”
Yatoo had to undergo several surgeries, and the medication also cost him a lot, but the doctors could not save his right limb from amputation.
According to the family they had to sell gold jewellery and house hold items (including cows and cattle) to buy a prosthetic leg for him.
“We sold all gold jewellery and household items to buy a prosthetic leg for him that costs almost 3 lakh rupees. We have nothing to sell now,” Dilshada says with moist eyes.
The daily expenses are managed by selling a few litres of milk, they said, wondering what happens when their cow stops giving milk.
“I always think about the sufferings of future. How will our family earn money and from where will we get the daily needed things,” Shafi said.
“Who will pay the school fee of my young children? No one. Rather we have been simply left to die by the government,” he laments.
Pointing to one of the children, Yatoo said,
“He is good in maths and science and wants to become a doctor. But it seems that he can’t study for a long. The family suffering may prompt him to leave studies and earn livelihood for family”.
Yatoo longs for justice but has no hopes.
“Although an FIR stands registered at police station Chadoora but I don’t think I will get justice ever. Justice aside, I even stopped thinking of compensation,” Yatoo rued.