Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Anxious Wait for a Word from Kashmir

It has been two days since Hina Kaul heard her brother's voice. As the news of flood spread, her brother Ishfaque Kaul, tried to get in touch with his parents in Kashmir Valley for two days, and then caught a flight to Srinagar armed with medicines, blankets and packed food. Her parents are cut off from civilisation in their Naseem Bagh house, Srinagar. "He was searching frantically for them, but now, there's no contact with him also," Hina, a PG student at Osmania University sobs. Her friends have gathered at her Narayanguda home to comfort her. Hina and her brother came to Hyderabad for studies, and their parents, who stayed back in Srinagar, were happy to see their children their pursuing higher education. 

But Hina's story is not an isolated one. There are many other Kashmiris who are in Hyderabad praying for the safety of their dear ones back home. Samia Farheen has not heard from her brother Mohammed Zahid, who lives in Anantnag. "I have been trying to get in touch desperately. There are some social media groups that are active, and people are trying to help me reach out to my brother through phone." The only relief that she had was about hearing from her friend Huzaifa Pandit who lives in Chaanpura, Srinagar. "All he could say in a few seconds was that he's well and safe, but there is no water to drink. Then the phone went dead," she says teary-eyed, recalling her visits to the banks of serene Jhelum River. "We never thought the river will vent its fury on us like this. The bowl shaped Valley has now become a trap for Kashmiris," she says. 

Samar Banerjee, who lives in Madhapur, had bought a pearl necklace for the bride-to-be of his friend Rahman Malik in Sopore. He was all set to go to Kashmir and enjoy the grand wedding.But now, all his plans have been dashed; he has been able to locate his friend, and some of his relatives, thanks to the hyper-active social media. "I got hold of a Bangalore number. The person in Bangalore connected me to another guy in Delhi and finally, I managed to speak with Rahman, who said he's been rescued along with his mother and sister.They could save nothing from their twostoried house. Everything is destroyed.Because of the chill, his father now has fever, and at present, all they need is water-purifying tablets and medicines," says a worried Samar. "My friend and other people in the area need to be evacuated as Wular Lake is nearby and the Dal Lake is already rising," adds Samar. 

What they need 

We have been inundated with calls after our story -`City reaches out to Kashmir flood victims' - published we did on September 11, 2014. The calls have been from people who want to donate and reach out to people in the Valley. So, here's a list of things you can donate for the flood victims. 


Disinfectants, hand sanitizers, first aid bandages, betadine, syringes, needles, ORS masks, anti-allergic, medicines (for cough, cold, fever, malaria, asthma, skin irritation, pain killers and more) etc. 


Bleach powder, ropes, rubber boots, undergarments, chlorine tablets, water proof bags, toothpaste, tents, mats, delivery kits, torch, candles with matchboxes, mosquito repellents, old working mobile phones with chargers etc. 


Ready to eat food items, milk powder, dry food,juice,biscuits etc.Here are the numbers you can call to make contributions: 9866916734 or 7675043509.

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