While walking past the piles of debris in Gulzarpora village in Pulwama district, I saw this young boy sitting with his father, Mr. Wani, on the rubble where once stood his house. Holding the mud bricks in his hand the boy said ÔÇÿthis is all that is leftÔÇÖ. I saw the sparkle in his eyes when he started talking about the happy times he spent with his family in his sweet home. On 5th September when flood waters entered the village the entire area was submerged within ten minutes, with houses under 12-15 feet water. The flood water receded after more than ten days leaving behind scenes of devastation with more than 100 houses in this village completely damaged, and many more with cracks, on the verge of collapse. Mr. Wani, his wife and three children are now living in a small makeshift shelter. Mr. Wani doesnÔÇÖt know how he and his family will survive the extreme cold and snow in the makeshift shelter that he is presently staying in. He took a deep breath and smiled with moist eyes. Every house has a story of loss and devastation, of shattered dreams, of fear and panic, but amidst all this I saw in their eyes — a hope. I cannot go back in time and stop the floods, but in this difficult time I stand with our brothers and sisters in Jammu and Kashmir. I feel good that I am working with CARE India, an organization that has been responding to disasters in India for more than six decades. I know I will walk with the people of J&K through the journey of building back safer. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Head, Disaster Management Unit, CARE India