The recent flood has decimated me completely. What fell on me was indeed God’s wrath, but how demigods of valley failed to rescue me is quite disturbing. After playing a role of mute spectators, lords of troubled state are now busy playing politics with my miserable plight.

After floods, there is no end of talk how people doomed their own lives by choosing low-lying areas for living. But shall I ask: What government was doing before thousands of houses cropped up in so-called forbidden flood channels?

Why state always need a bang to come out of its slumber?

There was no Master Plan violation when I handed over my lifetime savings to raise my home in those ‘cursed’ lanes. And please, for God sake, don’t tell me: Ignorance of law is no excuse. I may be culprit, but why state failed to mobilise law-enforcing agencies to arrest my ambitious move at its infancy.

I don’t think you are there to maintain law and order for a particular sphere of influence only.

Perhaps while fixing gaze at certain prism, I—the common man always faced state’s apathy. I was dogged for greasing the palms. But hardly anybody appreciated the fact how I always faced their red-tapism. I met their egos. I made multiple visits to push my file through, but of no avail. And in defeat, I had to pass the bucks under table.

Now flood has devoured my home. It has literally thrown me on the road. It has reduced my lifetime income into rubble. It has made slush of my marital assets. It has wasted my certificates, books and stacks of memories. Nature’s whip unleashed a crumbling agony on my life. My damages are beyond repairs. Winter is coming and I am still inside a makeshift camp.

And not everyone is insured to repay the losses.

While adding to my woes, the state government has kept me out of school. I believe schooling can’t wait in pretext of survival. State can arrange alternative sites if existing school buildings are vulnerable. It is me who has to sit in those competitive exams in future and not those who want to keep me indoors. I heard some people arguing: “How does it matter to keep our children out of school for some days?”

Well, how should one respond to such queries, I don’t know. But this much I know: by compromising schooling in any given circumstances reveals state’s seriousness for the education. I may sound like a compulsive lecturer, but then the fact remains: school as a social institute do influence my behaviour and departs me from my usual self—which is disturbed presently and craving for change.

Meanwhile to clear the compensation, my visits to government offices have just begun.

Bilal Handoo


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