Kashmir students garner aid for flood-affected in New Delhi

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New Delhi: A group of Kashmiri students and professionals studying or working in various institutions have set up a camp here and garnered humanitarian aid worth millions for the flood-affected population of Kashmir.
The group started the camp on September 8, day after devastating floods wreaked havoc in Kashmir, killing around 300 people and rendering hundreds of thousands homeless. The floods collapsed healthcare infrastructure and sparked a humanitarian crisis in the region.
So far, the group has sent aid to worst-affected places in more than 10 cargo planes and four trucks.
The aid included items like medicine, food items, blankets, drinking water and tents for those who are out of their homes.
The group, which comprises mostly of university students, first set up camps at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Kalkaji. Currently, the camp is located at Jangpura.
“The inspiration came from Self Help Group for Kashmir Flood Victims, members of which braved the floods and came to the rescue of their brethren,” a volunteer, who is a doctoral scholar at a university here, said.
“So we thought it as our responsibility to do something for our own people.”
The process to receive and transport aid to Kashmir is gruelling.
For example, volunteers have to sit in a building’s basement day and night to receive the aid. Then their colleagues load and unload the trucks, in a hurry to send it back home by air or by road.
However, there were few instances in which the aid was momentarily blocked at New Delhi Airport because a government airline company denied transporting it to Kashmir after having carried three shipments.
Every day, average two tons of shipments are sent to Kashmir where the group’s student colleagues receive the aid and distribute it to the affected at Government High School Hyderpora and Sanat Nagar relief camp.
The group’s members presently in Kashmir have also taken four trucks of aid to Pulwama, Islamabad (Anantnag), Srinagar and Palhalan.
In Islamabad, the volunteers said, the aid was distributed in cooperation with Majlis-i-Mushawarat, a local rights group.
“The aid mostly came from Kashmiris settled in India and abroad,” the volunteers said.
One Kashmiri Diaspora group based in America, he said, has donated 20 water purifiers for the affected.
According to the group’s rough estimates, aid received for the victims was worth around one crore rupees.
The volunteers sought not to be identified because “we are working for people, not publicity.”

Author Author
Imran Muzaffar

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