Srinagar’s poor sink further into poverty, reach brink of starvation

Srinagar’s poor sink further into poverty, reach brink of starvation

Srinagar: These days, Mohammad Sultan, 45, a resident of Noor Bagh, is going around knocking on the doors of all his acquaintances to ask for some financial help. He is finding it difficult to meet the expenses of his family, consisting of three children, wife, and aged parents.

Sultan used to work as a labourer. But now there is neither work nor income. “First it was last year’s situation and now this virus. We are in a very bad condition. I called one of my relatives for help as I was urgently in need of money,” Sultan says.

Initially no help was coming but after his case was flagged with a non-governmental organisations working to help the needy, he was provided with household items.

Fatima Jan (name changed), a resident of Rainawari, had nothing left to feed her children. Two years ago she lost her husband to cardiac arrest, and found herself as the only bread winner for her family of three daughters and an ailing son.

“After the death of my husband, I somehow got a job in a private school as peon. I was able to provide two meals to my children,” she said.

Now the school is shut due to the Covid-19 lockdown and she is getting no pay. “I don’t know how I will provide for my children. No one visits our family to help,” she said.

Similar is the condition of Gulzar Ahmad, a labourer who lives in Parimpora. “All my relatives and neighbours know my condition but no one has come forward to help me and my wife. We are skipping one time’s meal so that our children don’t suffer,” he said.

He added that his daughter has not been feeling well. “I am very worried that if something happens to her, where would I go, who would help us,” he said.

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