KU asks flood victims to vacate campus within 3 days


Srinagar: The flood hit victims of Kashmir who were shifted to the University of Kashmir (KU) have alleged that they have been asked to vacate the varsity’s main campus within three days.
“We had just finished our lunch, when some officials came here yesterday to warn us that the water has receded and we must vacate this campus now. We don’t know who they were but they asked us to go home within three days,” said a group of victims currently sheltering at KU. They said their male family members and elders have gone to find an alternative place to live.
While reiterating their fearful stories, the victims said that living in KU campus too was hard for them as there was no help from state government. “We also don’t like to stay here, it’s equal to living in the hell because we spend our days and nights on these open walkways as KU authorities did not open class rooms for us. At the same time we are worried where to go after leaving this campus, our homes are still submerged. We are so helpless and facing hard time,” a victim from Shaanpora, Muhammad Aafaq said. As per the victims, the State government which is currently at the receiving end of rising public rage all over Kashmir has not visited them or granted any relief. Instead of helping, they are being asked to leave. “We have no place to live, our homes are destroyed and water has not been withdrawn yet, it is still there with our homes submerged in it. There is no help from government’s side, only volunteers are our saviors. Our elders have gone to find a way-out for living,” the victims added. Moreover, privacy, health and hygiene are the three main problems which the victims are facing besides other issues. Scores of families sheltering in KU complained of these issues. They said, it was not easy especially for young girls to live under open sky with others as privacy matters for them at most of the times. “Authorities should have opened up class rooms for us but unfortunately that was not the case here. They didn’t think of our privacy, their priorities were something else,” said Parveena Bano, 26, one among the victims. She said children were falling ill every day and mosquitoes, honey bees had made their lives miserable. She added, no hygiene could be maintained as it was all impossible for them.
According to the volunteers working in KU, soon after receiving the news of havoc caused by the floods in Kashmir, around 80000 people were shifted to KU. Among them, more than 2400 people were the students of National Institute of Technology and others were people across the city. Currently, there are 97 households, each family having 5 to 6 members which means almost 600 people residing in KU campus. These families are served by 30 volunteers who are also the students of KU. However, there is no help form government’s end and no rehabilitation plan for those who have lost everything in flood. “We serve them 24×7 with alternate duties,” said one of the volunteer from Bandipora who was serving food to the affected families. There are hundreds of such examples of locals who have been working tirelessly to save the victims. Such scenes are witnessed at various voluntary camps and they reflect a heart wrenching picture of the flood hit victims. Meanwhile, even as the people have set their minds to rebuild their lives, the State mechanism is left struggling with the panorama of epidemics across summer capital.

Author Sumaiya Yousuf

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