This Article is From Sep 12, 2014

Jammu and Kashmir Floods: The Unsung Heroes of Rescue Operations

Srinagar: Among the tales of misery in the flooded city of Srinagar, there are stories of many "unsung heroes" who risked their lives to save many stranded persons.

"Even before the Army, the police or anybody from the civil administration could reach us, we were rescued by locals who risked their own lives to save us," said Inderjeet Singh, a resident of Jammu who works at the state health department.

As soon as the news of the flooding spread in the city, many local residents rushed in to help the stranded people.

"We are thankful to the unknown boys who rushed to the house where we all were staying, made way into it and saved our entire family from drowning," said Abdul Aziz, a resident of Poonch district who was waiting for his turn to fly back home in an Indian Air Force plane.

Many people who were rescued say that they owe their lives to the local volunteers who jumped in to save them.

"Death was imminent as the water level continued to rise and the rain did not stop. We thought that we were going to die and had taken shelter on the third floor of the house".

"It was only when some young men came in a boat to rescue us that we took a sigh of relief," said Misbha, wife of Aziz while holding her three-year-old daughter and five-year-old son in her lap.

Across Srinagar city there are hundreds of local residents who volunteered to help the stranded residents.

"These young men did not care for their own lives and rushed to save us. They reached us at a time when nobody from the Army, police or other government establishment could reach us," said Murtaza Ahmed, a resident of Pir Bagh locality who is now taking shelter at a local hotel.

Minister for Finance Abdul Rahim Rather said, "We were caught by surprise and it was a collective effort to save the human lives. We are thankful to the people who risked their lives to save the lives of the people stranded in the flood".

Not only the volunteers saved of the stranded people but also made arrangements of food and shelter.

"We keep on hearing about violence in Kashmir Valley, but on ground we saw the humanitarian side of Kashmir, as residents in the unaffected areas opened up their houses for unknown people and provided them with food and shelter," said Anil Kumar (37), a resident of New Delhi.