Having lost all their worldly processions to the September flood fury, more than 300 Jammu and Kashmir flood victims have taken refuge in Indore. Left to fend on their own, the flood affected people including children, women and elderly having been living under harsh conditions seeking help from local residents for survival.
The flood victims, mostly daily wage earners, shawl makers, and farm hands in their native state, have been living in tents pitched in Khajrana, a predominant Muslim locality in the city since December 11.
"We came to know about Indore from tourists when they visited our beautiful valley," said Bangru Shah, 41, a horse carriage owner who hails from Narbal in .Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district. "We chose this place because of its moderate weather conditions." "It is difficult to live in harsh conditions when you don't have a pucca settlement," he added.
The deluge victims, living in an informal settlement consisting of canvas tents have no regular income and are dependent of help from local residents with families, especially children having to brave icy winter winds.
"In this tent, one blanket is shared by seven children," said Abul Ghanayi, a pashmina shawl artisan, who lost his entire stockpile of shawls in floods.
Another flood victim, J Shah, 35, a graduate in Urdu studies, who worked as gardener in Pohul village said, "It would be very kind, if a doctor can visit us every Sunday and conduct a health checkup of kids and elder people in the camp."
Shah teaches flood victims' children at the tented colony. Though local residents have donated tents, clothes and food to them, it is not enough. Every day, they look for outside help to survive.
"We want to take up jobs. None gives us because we are not permanent settlers. We plan to return to our native place after winters. But till then, we need help to survive," Ghayani told Hindustan Times.
As they struggle to eke out a living, flood memories haunt them. Sitara, one the survivors, pushed back her tears and gathered strength to recount how she lost her 21-year-old college going son in the floods. "Even the bodies of our relatives were not recovered," she said.
Administration and police denied having any clue about the victims' presence in the city. Indore superintendent of police (East) OP Tripathi said he has no knowledge the flood victims living in the city. "I will enquire about them and see what can be done."
In September 2014, the Kashmir region of J and K was totally devastated by flood—the worst in more than 60 years— which had left more than 250 dead and millions homeless.