Harmas--- the woman who led volunteers to save trapped people

Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, Nov 9: As her name was pronounced, 55-year-old Harmas slowly left her seat and walked with a calm gait toward the dice to receive the ‘Real Heroine Award’, an acknowledgement of her feat during the toughest times in Kashmir’s recent history.
 Wearing traditional dress, Harmas of Kulhama Bandipora pocketed warm reception from the audiences who clapped for minutes to acclaim her courage during the floods.
  She didn’t know how to receive the award to be given by renowned social organization Sakhawat Centre J&K here but organizers helped her during that prized moment, a lifetime achievement for any woman.
 “It makes us proud that our womenfolk is no less than anyone. Here, we have esteemed volunteer Harmas as an example,” said Dr Nisar Ahmad Dar, convener of the event while addressing the audience.
 “As the floods hit most parts of Valley on September 6, authorities approached us asking to cooperate with them. They said that they can’t do anything without cooperation of people,” Harmas told Greater Kashmir.
 “I asked my two sons to get prepared to help trapped people in Srinagar. I managed 24 boats and along with my two sons and some other local volunteers went to Bemina area. On reaching there, it looked like an ocean. I asked all the volunteers to head to different localities and shift the trapped people to safer areas,” she reminded.
 She took one of the boats and entered into the interiors of Bemina area. “My priority was to shift women and children. Some of the trapped families were weeping. I, on asking them to board into the boat, encouraged and promised them that I would shift them safely out of the submerged areas,” she added.
 She said it was difficult to row the boat in narrow streets. “However, I continued my job for weeks together and also supplied some of eatables and water to the families who refused to shift,” she said.
 Asked how she felt after receiving the award, she said, “I dedicate it to those youth who put their lives at risk to save the human lives and to my sons who encouraged me for the noble cause,” she replied with a sweet smile kindling her face.