Inside a truck, Raja Begum tries to console her 10-month-old grandson even as she fails to hold back her own tears. For the past two days, the truck, hired by the family of eight, has been their new home.
Begum’s family is one of about 1,000 who are on the road after Hamdania colony in Bemina, on the outskirts Srinagar, was flooded.
On Thursday, the embankment of the flood spill channel was swept away, taking residents by surprise.
“We were sleeping when water entered our house at midnight,” says Begum. “We didn’t even get a minute; we rushed to the upper floor and left our belongings behind.”
While her family has a truck as shelter, hundreds of others are living in the open.
“What can we do? We are helpless. Where is the government?,” says Mohammad Majeed. He says the only help so far has come from the Army: “They evacuated us when we were trapped.”
Mubeena, another one of those stranded, says, “All these years, we lived a hard life just to make a house. But look what happened.”
“Thieves have started stealing our belongings,” says Mohammad Rajab. “Should I take care of my family or go to my house, which is under water?”
Meanwhile, in the truck, Habibullah Dar moves a curtain to show us the makeshift kitchen. “We have nothing to eat, but the government is doing nothing. They are only making promises,” he says.