A four-day journey across 354 km, undertaken by three cousins, is what it took to save their aunt and niece trapped in Jawahar Nagar, where flood water had reached the 25-foot mark.
On Sunday afternoon, Shahida Parveen, a teacher, called her relatives in Baramulla to tell them that flood water had reached the second flood of her three-storey house. “My aunt was pleading for help. I told her to take shelter on the roof. After that, the phones went dead. I called two of my cousins and we decided to go to Srinagar the next day,” said Shaviaz Ahmad, a government official.
On Monday, after travelling 50 km, they had to return from the outskirts as “there was water everywhere”.
On Tuesday, they left for the city again, but had to stop to spend the night in Pattan — 27 km before Srinagar — as the national highway had been closed off. “On Wednesday, we took a longer route and reached Siobagh in Budgam. The locals did not allow us to cross the bridge as it was not safe for traffic. We had to return again,” said Iqbal Ahmad, an accountant.
Despite this, the cousins did not lose hope. On Thursday, they left for Srinagar again. However, this time they took a longer route and reached the old city by car. After a point, they had to walk 12 km to reach Jawahar Nagar, which was submerged.
Once there, the third cousin, Saquib, a lecturer, asked the Army for help. “After a lot of pleading, they allowed us to board the boat and we reached my aunt’s house. A window on the second storey was open; I used that to enter,’’ said Saquib.
Shahida was initially apprehensive to leave the house, but got on the boat with her 12-year-old daughter after the cousins persuaded her.
“I thought I will be buried under water. Around 50 neighbours had taken refuge in my house. When their houses started collapsing, we thought we will meet the same fate. The almighty saved us,’’ Shahida said.
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