My name is Peer Tehleel Manzoor. I am from Natipora Srinagar. Currently a student of B.Tech at Chandigarh, I am associated with the Kashmir Student Union, which is based at Chandigarh. This last designation of mine is actually what my story is based on.

The recent pandemic & lockdown has been difficult on everyone’s part. While I was lucky to be home before lockdown, many others were not. They got stuck in Chandigarh and had no idea for how long!

I first assessed the gravity of this situation when students from my own college contacted me for help. Being a member of student union, I had still a lot to figure about the whole process of evacuation.

The first thing I did was to contact the J&K Government officials, Nodal officers. After that, I had a mentor named as Indervansh Singh Chadha, who is the Vice President of NGO named as Chinar Foundation. He had some contacts in the Punjab Government, so he played a vital role in this whole process.

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Now it was not only the matter of my own college, it was about a lot more J&K students who were stranded in Chandigarh & nearby areas. Subsequently, I contacted the Nodal officer of J&K in Chandigarh, Dr Inderjot Singh. Together, this team made it possible to set the ball rolling.

I created the list of all the J&K students who were stranded and forwarded it to the Punjab Government official Mr Harjinder Singh. After accepting & approving the list, they not only arranged the buses but also got a medical team ready for screening of every student.

During the same time, Basant Rath (IPS officer) posted a tweet through which students from different colleges came to know about the evacuation. Gradually, the list of stranded students increased but the help of wonderful team never receded. We have been able to evacuate almost 480 students till now.

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We had a sigh of relief once the busses left for Samba through proper procedure and screening but once they reached there, another challenge was waiting for us. There were no proper facilities provided by the J&K Government officials for carrying students to their respective homes / districts. So, we contacted the Nodal officers of Samba and various police officials too who figured out the things for us.

This was certainly a mammoth task, but it was made possible by Almighty’s grace and wonderful teamwork. What I learnt from this situation that no matter how much uncertain & difficult a situation seems, we must not shy away from helping each other in any way possible. You never know, a small act of help can impact someone’s life for good in a big way!

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