Thirteen years ago in 2005, great snow storm overtook Waltengo Nard, a tribal hamlet, in South Kashmir’s Kulgam District. The hurricane was literally devastating and annihilating as it destroyed more than 200 houses, burying 158 persons alive under debris and displacing more than a thousand souls who had to seek shelter elsewhere since there was no structure left standing by the snow storm. Can a tragedy be greater?
Certainly the State authorities did not consider a tragedy big enough to move their hearts and act for the relief of the survivors. Some Government functionaries did visit the scene of disaster and promised to come to their rescue but thirteen years down the land still many of them are homeless and the promised hutments are nowhere visible for them. They are virtually on the roadside either living in small rented rooms or at the mercy of some benevolent people. Where are the people in charge of Disaster Management agency and where are the functionaries of Social Welfare Department? They are among the backward people of the State being residents of a very remote hilly locality in the remote district of Kulgam. They are resource less people and should they suffer for the reason of being resource less? It is criminal to say the least to leave these poor people in a state of destitution. Some state agency should take the responsibility of providing the victims a shelter after 13 years of long and futile wait.