Floods bind people across religious lines in J&K

15-year-old Abdul Rahman has been staying in a Gurudwara here along with his family ever since he was rescued from his house in marooned Wazir Bagh locality after the floods ravaged Jammu and Kashmir.

PTI| Updated: Sep 14, 2014, 16:35 PM IST

Sringar: 15-year-old Abdul Rahman has been staying in a Gurudwara here along with his family ever since he was rescued from his house in marooned Wazir Bagh locality after the floods ravaged Jammu and Kashmir.

With temporary shelters being set up at gurudwaras and mosques for the victims, the calamity has bound people together cutting across religious lines.

"We have been staying at Shaheed Bunga Gurudwara since Tuesday after some volunteers saved us from our house. We eat food at the 'langar' (community kitchen) hall and sleep in the main hall of the gurudwara," Rahman said.

About 2000 rescued families of Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus have been staying at the gurudwara since past seven days.

A few meters away from the gurudwara, a relief camp has been set up at a local mosque where around 500 families including, a large number of migrant laborers from various parts of the country, have been staying.

"We adopted the concept of langar from our Sikh brothers and instead of giving dry ration we are serving pre-cooked food to the flood-affected people staying in the mosque," said Ghulam Qadir, a volunteer at the mosque.

Many tourists, who got stuck in the Valley due the floods and are now staying in the mosque, say they are overwhelmed with the love and care shown by the people of Kashmir.

"Without enquiring about our identity or religion, people of Kashmir saved us. We are Hindu and are staying in a mosque where the local Muslims are taking our care. We now understand what Kashmir and Kashmiriyat is," Anil Kumar, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, said.

Mehboob Ahmed, a volunteer at a local mosque at Barzulla Bagat area where several flood-hit victims have found shelter, said, "When the flood hit the Srinagar city, it did not distinguish between a Sikh family, a Muslim family or a Hindu family. We all have been affected. Now we all are fighting this calamity as Kashmiris."

Gurudwara committees from across the country have been sending relief material for the flood-affected people.

The Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) too has been dispatching relief material, including cooked food, for the flood-affected people.

"The SGPC has started sending pre-cooked food and the packets are being either distributed to the flood affected people in the relief camps or are being dropped from air by the Air Force" said Daljeet Singh Bedi, Secretary, SGPC.