Nayeema, 25, had been married for two years when the devastating flood ravaged through the region in September last year and led to the collapse of her newly bought house in the city’s Raj Bagh locality.
The flood washed away the lifetime savings of her family. “On September 6, the flood water entered our area. My husband and I were rescued in a boat on September 7. For the next four weeks, we shuttled between various relatives till the water started receding at Rajbagh,” Nayeema said. “We were happy that we are alive, but everything changed when we returned home. The house was nowhere.
”Like hundreds of families, Nayeema and her husband have been still struggling to return home which they are reconstructing at Raj Bagh, the locality surrounded by the Jehlum on its two sides which suffered widespread damage due to the flood.
“For seven months, we could not reconcile that we are homeless. The only help we received till now is Rs 1,75,000 which can hardly buy things to rebuild the home,” she said. “It seems we have lost all our happiness. There is little hope now.
”The pain of losing house for Nayeema is that she suffers depression and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
A year after the flood, Nayeema is a shadow of her former self. She remains aloof and sad, gets up in the middle of night and weeps.
“She lost interest in everything, including children,” says her husband.
Nayeema, along with her two children and husband, now live in a rented accommodation in Srinagar as the family has been unable to afford the construction work as costs of building material have sky-rocketed.
Nayeema’s story is similar to those of hundreds of families in Srinagar and south Kashmir who lost their houses in the flood and are longing to go back to their houses.
“We treated a large number of patients who suffer from depression after the floods. There was an increase in the cases of women, children and young men. Most of them have lost their houses and businesses,” a leading psychiatrist said.