When they lost father to death, home to fire
Srinagar, Mar 23: Since last year when this sole bread earner for the family, Farooq Ahmad Shah died, he had nothing to leave behind for his wife and three children, expect a three-storeyed house in Makhdoom Sahib locality of Shahr-e-Khaas.
But on Monday when Tehmeena and the orphans left the home for days work, little did they know they would get a sudden call to rush back home only to find their dwelling in ashes.
But this is exactly what happened on the fateful day.
“Their father’s death, last year, rendered them without a source of income and now another calamity has befallen on them. God knows how they will be able to recover and restart their life?” wailed a woman in the yard of the Shah’s Makhdoom Sahib residence.
The abode of Tahmeena and her three orphans—Humaira, 16, Aneesa 13, Sameem 19 is gutted. The rubble around narrates the story of destruction by the fire, which broke out Monday afternoon due to a possible short circuit.
In the morning, Aneesa and Humaira had gone to school, brother Sameem to college, and their mother was out a see her ailing aunt in a hospital. They were called back at around noon, only to see their home razed to ground.
“At 12:45 I received a phone call and I was asked to rush back for there had been some emergency. When I reached back, I fell unconscious to see the gutted house and the debris around,” narrates 50-year-old Tahmeena who looks older than her age.
The family had lost its patriarch, Farooq Ahmad Shah, last year to kidney failure. Farooq had been a businessman, co-owning a printing press along with his brother Mehraj Ahmad Shah, the family said.
While the family was yet to recover from the last year loss, the fire has rendered it homeless, seeking refuge in the house of a neighbor, Imtiyaz Ahmad.
Imtiyaz said: “Farooq was diabetic and he died due to kidney failure last year.
They (the family) have no source of income since the death of Farooq except some support from Mehraj Ahmad Shah.”
“In just 15 minutes the fire consumed their entire household including clothing, furnishings of the house and even the books of the children. Only God knows how they will recover under such trying circumstances. Even the education of their children looks impossible now,” he added.
Mehraj himself is the victim of the fire as he resided in the same house along with his family of three. Since his brother’s death, Mehraj has been managing the school fees of his two nieces and the nephew, besides their two time meals and the expenses of his own family.
“After my brother’s loss, I have been running mine and his family from whatever income our printing press generates. But this fire has destroyed everything, our house, property and everything,” Mehraj said.
Shahs’ neighbors are now planning to raise funds for rebuilding their house.
“One can only feel the tragedy the families are going through. We hope they are able to recover soon and restart their lives,” the neighbors said.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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