Gurdwara a symbol of communal harmony in flood-hit Srinagar

  • Sukhdeep Kaur, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Sep 13, 2014 20:09 IST

Amid anger and hostility, there are heart-warming stories of communal harmony coming out of flood-ravaged Srinagar.

The Shahid Bunga Gurdwara in Burzulla area of the city has emerged as a major relief centre for people who have been affected by the devastating floods in the Kashmir valley.

Mohammad Amin and Nazeer Ahmed from Allauchi Bagh are among over 1,500 Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Ladakhis who have registered at the control room set up within the gurdwara for food, shelter, medicines and being transported to the airport or to safer areas of Srinagar.

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Twelve-year-old Javed’s home at Chaanapura in Srinagar is still under water but his mother has been able to cook for the family at a relative's house with rations from the gurdwara.

Nearly 120 school students, who were in Srinagar to take part in various tournaments, also took shelter at the gurdwara for five days till they could be flown back home.

A flood victim gets ration at a gurdwara in Srinagar. (HT Photo)

And lending them helping hands are people like Bikram Singh, a bank employee, and KN Singh, a lecturer, who are enrolling the flood victims.

A local transporter Dara Singh is ferrying people to the airport and carrying food and medicines while retired paediatrician Dr Pritam Singh and Dr JP Singh have been tending patients in the library of the gurdwara which is now being used as a medical camp.

"The first day of this week, we had just 250 patients. Now, we are catering to nearly 800 to 1,000 a day, providing them with insulin injections, medicines for diarrohea, hypertension and gastroenteritis," said Dr Pritam Singh.

The rush at the gurdwara has forced the committee to pull the shutters down after the langar hall filled to capacity and offer food in batches.

But what stands out is the gurdwara committee’s decision to shift the holy Guru Granth Sahib to a smaller room so that flood victims can sleep in the main hall.

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