Srinagar: Days after he was airlifted along with his family to safety, ten-year-old Taukeer Ahmed was today on a rescue boat returning to his marooned house in Raj Bagh locality to retrieve his most loved possession—his school bag.
Taukeer, a class five student of a prestigious school in Srinagar city, was saved by the army after the flood water entered their house.
“He is the kind of kid who loves his books. As we all rushed towards the roof of our house to save ourselves from the floodwater, the first thing he tried to take was his school bag,” said the boy's father Mushtaq Ahmed.
Mushtaq said that as the family had to abandon their house in a hurry with a rescue helicopter saving them from drowning, they left Taukeer's school bag with other belongings in the house.
“After we were rescued, we took shelter in my sister's house in Rangreth. But since then he is adamant to get his school bag back,” Mushtaq said.
So the hassled father today decided to bring his son to the area to show him that “it was not possible to retrieve the bag” as their house was still under several feet of water.
The fact that a large part of the Raj Bagh locality is still submerged in the floodwater, however, did not deter the young boy as he took the help of a boat of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel to reach his house.
“We didn't want to break the heart of this young boy by refusing him help, so we are taking him to retrieve his school bag,” said Manoj Kumar Panday, an officer with the NDRF team deployed at the Raj bagh locality.
Manoeuvring through the lanes of the locality the boat somehow reached the destination from where Mushtaq had to wade in the water and used a ladder to climb his house through an open window.
A wall clock could be seen from the window, the two hands of the clock pointing at 9:10 AM, frozen in time after the area was submerged in the water.
Mushtaq emerged from the house with his son's school bag and some other household items. A smile of triumph was visible on the face of Taukeer.
Alas! the smile was short lived as all his books and textbooks in the bag were damaged in the flood water. The young boy could not hold back his tears as he returned to Rangreth with his father.