• People are stranded on rooftops in KashmirReuters
  • People are stranded on rooftops and homes in KashmirReuters
  • Rescue operations continue in KashmirIANS
  • Rescue efforts continue in KashmirReuters

As flood waters recede in the battered state of Jammu and Kashmir, larger worries of death and disease haunts the state in the aftermath of the worst crisis to have hit the state in the last six decades.

Lakhs of people still remain stranded, many stuck on their rooftops to escape flood waters, and most without food and water for several days now, which threatens to spike the death toll in the coming days.

But from the midst of the tragedy, heart-wrenching accounts of suffering and survival have emerged.

"My children have not eaten anything for the last two days"

Srinagar teacher Fareeda Dar has moved with her children to live along a road-divider on the national highway, ever since her house was submerged in the raging floods.

As thousands are struggling without food and water, Dar tries to reassure her starved children that they will get to eat soon.

"My children have not eaten anything for the last two days, and have only water, which local volunteers bring. I tell them after every hour food will soon arrive and they sleep waiting for that," she told Firstpost.

"Please Save Us" - Frantic Cries for Food and Water

"We want food and water urgently. Please save us," pleaded Meena Ahmed, who, along with her family members, has been stranded in Qayoom Colony in Rawalpora for the past five days, the Press Trust of India reported.

 "I begged for food"

In another sorry account of fighting over food and water among desperate survivors, a Kashmir resident recounts how he had to beg for food to feed his grandson.

"I have never seen this kind of crisis in my life. I begged for food for the only child of my son. My son and his wife are still stuck in Hyderpora on the third floor of our house. I was rescued by the army," Tariq Zaman, a resident of Hyderpora area, told Firstpost.

Russian Tourists Tell Army to Evacuate Needy First

Two Russian women who were caught unawares in the floods in the state they visited for tourism reportedly told the armed forces rescuing people in their hotel to first evacuate those who were ill first.

Religious fault-lines submerged in face of crisis

One positive that has emerged in the calamity in the communally-sensitive state is the fact that people have kept aside religious differences to offer help and aid in the humanitarian crisis.

Mosques, temples and gurdwaras have opened their doors to everyone affected, offering them food and shelter regardless of their religion. 

The inter-religious support in the face of the crisis is best evident through this Facebook post by Gurgaon resident Kiki Mathawan, as reported by The Times of India

"My Hindu parents were rescued by the Army and our Kashmiri Muslim brothers from our house in Gogji Bagh. They were led to the Sikh gurdwara in Sanat Nagar by my Muslim brothers."

"We had no hope of surviving. The Army saved us"

Chandigarh resident Sushil Garg and his family were visting Srinagar on a holiday, when tragedy struck.

" We were staying at Regal Hotel at Lal Chowk. On September 5, there were heavy rains. But there was no alert from the local government. The next day water started flooding the hotel," Garg, who was with his wife, daughter and son-in-law, told Hindustan Times.

To escape the floods, the family went to Raj Bhawan in hope of getting back home, but they were in a long line, and witnessesed fights and brawls among distressed survivors to be evacuated first.

"People were sleeping on roads, but there was no help from the state government. The children were hungry. We got packed food, which was from the central government. The local police was not intervening in the fights among the people standing in queues for evacuation," Garg said.

But the family has been lucky enough to get back safely from the disaster, and they have only the Army to thank.

"We had no hope of surviving. It was the Army who saved us," Garg said.

1,000 Army Officials, families stranded as Indian Army Rescues Thousands

Even as the armed forces have been tirelessly rescuing people stranded in the floods, more than 1000 Army personnel and their families are still stranded in various camps in Kashmir without food and water, according to the Press Trust of India.

Local Media Fumes at Army

While the Armed Forces have been reportedly undertaking valiant rescue operations, the local media purports there is another side to the story. According to Kashmir Watch, activists are accusing the Army of "leaving men to die and rescuing women with intentions to molest them".

While such claims may not have veracity, it could reflect the seething anger among locals in face of the worst tragedy.

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