Thirteen-year-old Eshaan Mangal spoke to his mother from Srinagar last on Sunday. Eshaan, an eighth standard student from Mumbai, has gone to Srinagar along with his sister and grand parents. The entire group lost contact with their relatives in Mumbai due to heavy floods in Srinagar.
As floods in Jammu and Kashmir continue to wreck havoc disrupting the routine life, the families of tourists trapped in the flooded areas try desperately to reach out to their loved ones, without success. “He is an asthma patient and is scared of water. He couldn't stop crying when he saw rising water levels outside the hotel. We have lost contact with them since Sunday,” said Eshaan's mother Seema.
Purushottam Agrawal (64), Kumkum Agrawal (58), Ramratan Agrawal (70), Kailash Agrawal (65) and Khushbu Mangal (19) are the other five members who have accompanied Eshaan. The grandchildren joined the four senior citizens on a Kashmir trip. The group reached Srinagar on September 4 morning.
“They stayed on a boat in Dal Lake on that night, but moved to Hotel Grand Mamta the next day, realising the rising water levels,” Purushottam’s son Vikas Agrawal told The Hindu .
“There is not a single adult who can take care of four senior citizens and two kids. We are more worried because of that,” said Ms. Seema. She said that Mr. Purushottam too cried over the phone on Sunday as he felt too burdened with the responsibility of safety of two kids with him. “Their room is on the second floor and the water had reached the first floor. We can only pray for their safety,” she said.
According to Mr. Vikas the helpline numbers given by the government are turning out to be useless. “Either these lines are always engage or we don’t get necessary information. We are thinking of flying to Delhi or Srinagar to get information about our parents,” he said.
Mr. Purushottam’s nephew Rajeev Singhal has contacted Maharashtra’s chief secretary and the secretary, relief and rehabilitation department seeking help. “I also met our local MP and told him our problem. But we haven’t received any response from them,” he said.