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J-K floods: Search begins for the missing

Anger and despair normal in such adverse conditions, say psychiatrists visiting relief camps.

india Updated: Sep 17, 2014 01:53 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Hindustan Times

Babar Chaudhary, a 27-year-old hotelier living in Rajbagh area of Srinagar, was rescued from the rooftop of his submerged two-storied house along with his mother and two domestic help after seven hours.

For the last few days, Babar has been visiting relief camps in Sringar to look for missing relatives and friends.”There has been no contact with them since September 7. We have now news that they are stranded near Lal Chowk,” he said.

Unlike Babar, many are looking for their missing relatives and friends at relief camps. “Acute stress reactions like anger and depression are normal in such abnormal circumstances,” says psychiatrist Dr K Sekar from the NIMHANS, Bangalore.

His team, including psychiatric social worker Fahim-ul-Hassan and community mental health specialist Dr Gaurav has been visiting relief camps to counsel the rescued.

Most of the victims complain of nightmares and memories of the flood, the doctors said. “Their daily routine is shattered, their children are not going to school, the price of food has gone up and their homes have been destroyed. At times, just providing psychological first aid of listening helps victims to deal with the trauma,” he said.

“It is only after their routine lives are restored that normalcy will return in their lives,” they said.

While the receding flood waters have left behind piles of filth, the pavement of the Jammu-Srinagar highway has turned into a hub for slums of migrant labourers — adding to the problem of poor sanitation.

First Published: Sep 17, 2014 00:29 IST