What government has done to us is a joke, says Kashmir’s flood victims

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Majid Jahangir, Srinagar

Ajaz Ahmad Dar (18) and his other two brothers have not been attending their schools since floods in September last year washed away their home and paddy field in South Kashmir’s Gund area. Ajaz is living in a tent at Gund set up by the government for more than 37 families of the same village, where the floods had destroyed all the houses on 7 September 2014.

“We had never thought that we will one day be living in such condition. Floods on 7 September destroyed everything we possessed, our books, our clothes, our property and our dreams. We could not save any thing,” said Ajaz in a choked voice with tears rolling down his cheeks.

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Ajaz’s father is a daily-wage labourer, who is has no financial wherewithal to construct new house for their children.

Not being able to continue with his education has left Ajaz and his brothers dejected.

While talking to jantakareporter.com, he said, “We couldn’t continue our studies because floods snatched everything away from us. We had expected government’s help that now seems a distant dream. What government did to us was a joke. We have received Rs 1, 75000. Please tell me if we can construct our homes from this amount. This amount is not even sufficient to clear our debris floods had caused.”

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The people living in Gund relief camp have pinned hopes on their local MLA, who before winning the election had frequently visited them. Victims say that the MLA no longer visited them after he won the election.

“We had hoped that our local MLA will do something for us, but he came for votes only. He won the election and has vanished since then.”

Abdul Rehman of Adigutan Kulgam is living in a relative’s home as his home to was destroyed in the floods. He had kachha house that he constructed from his savings of thirty years in job.

He said, “I can not reconstruct another house. I am looking for government help for last one year. Our lives have turned into a living hell. The government’s promises are mere eye wash. The amount it gave was a joke.”

Dozens of families living in tent makeshift camps set up by the government at Parimpaora in Srinagar have similar stories to tell.

Frustrated by what they say has been government’s apathy, the flood victims in Kashmir valley marked bandh on Monday.

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