Shakra Bi and Farid Ahmad Khan were like any other married couple, with dreams of a better life for themselves and their children.
But tragedy struck on December 4, 1984, the day after the killer gas leaked. They lost nine members of their family, including their children — seven-year-old Shahana and three-year-old Wasim.
Ahmad, now 63, lost his parents, Ahmad Khan and Ashraf Bi, soon after. His younger brother Salim, sister Husna Ara and his nieces, Shamim, Parveen and Rizwana, also died.
Scenes from the horrific night are still vivid in her memory. “Panic gripped the locality and several people started running. We took both our children and started running too,” she said.
They found a truck and sent their daughter Kausar in it, hoping she would be saved. “We came to know after 24 hours that Kausar had died and her last rites were performed by one of our relatives,” she said.
“I could not even attend the funeral of my son Wasim and was informed of his death after his last rites were performed,” she sobbed.
Today, she has five children, who were born after the tragedy. She is partially blind and suffers from a speech disorder. “I received some compensation, but a major share of the amount has been used in my treatment.”