Lackadaisical approach of the Srinagar district administration has compelled a family from Zakura area to seek public help after losing everything to a devastating fire incident.
It was April 20, when fire rendered the family of Altaf Ahmad, a labourer from Gulab Bagh, Zakura homeless and destroyed everything except the clothes they wore that day.
While the family is trying to come to the terms and restart life, they have sought immediate public help to rebuild their home at Zakura, more than 12 kilometers from the city center Lal Chowk.
Ahmad is still in shock over the incident. The father of two children said he was worried about how he would send them back to school.
“One of my daughters is studying in 8th standard and another in UKG, but I am not able to pay their monthly tuition fee,” he said.
He said they were living in the makeshift house since last eight years and it was gutted in a fire incident after leakage of gas. Within few minutes the house was totally destroyed, Ahmad said.
“I was at work, my children were coming back from school and my wife was waiting for them,” he said adding that when they came back everything was devastated.
After the fire incident some officials from district administration visited the family but except hollow promises nothing was done on the ground, Ahmad alleged.
“One day we were asked to visit District Development Commissioner’s Office to receive an assistance cheque. When the family reached there they came to know that only 4000 rupees have been sanctioned for them,” he said adding that even this amount also was not released by the officials. Ahmad who suffers from continuous backache is now doing grading to fruits in the nearby area. The family is suffering as no government or private organization has come to assist them in building their new house.
Narrating the woeful story, Kauser Jan, wife of Altaf said April 20, 2019 was the darkest day of her life as the family lost hope, which compelled them to live under the sky.
Amid tearful eyes, she said, “We lost everything, only debris is left here.”
“I had collected some 50,000 rupees over last 18 months so that we could use it money to build a new house but all hopes have ended,” Jan said.
She said two money banks, books, uniforms of children were destroyed in the fire incident and it was one of the biggest tragedy that family has suffered.
The family is now living in a nearby relative’s house and awaits help from the administration and people.
“Now we can’t live the way we used to, but we hope that people would come forward to assist us with whatever they can, so that we can rebuild our house,” Jan appealed.