‘Excluded from Evacuation List, When Will We Go Back to Kashmir?’
We are not even sure when and if we will get help.
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Video Producer: Zijah Sherwani
On 1 May, the Jammu and Kashmir administration started online registration for its stranded residents across the country and has since collected details of those who wish to return home amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
Several students like me who came to Delhi to study, for internships and college projects have not be able to go home since 24 March. Special trains have been arranged for evacuation, but our problems don’t end here as the helpline numbers do not work. As a result, several of our names are not mentioned in the list.
You just have to be lucky to be connected to some helpline.
“We called some designated officers and the people who are supposed to handle all this. Nobody is picking up our calls, nobody is answering. We texted them on WhatsApp but they are not even seeing our messages and some phones are switched off.”Mehrunisa, Student
Filling the form does not guarantee that our name will be on the list as there are several conditions to meet.
Zenaira Baksh, who came to Delhi for an internship, was not included in the list and the reason given to her was that she was not studying at a college in Delhi.
“There was a section at the end of the form which was meant for remarks and I clearly mentioned that I am a student and that I came here for an internship as part of my degree. But I guess they didn’t take it very seriously and thus I am not among the students who are going back.”
The students whose names are on the list end up waiting anyway as they have not been given further directions.
“The evacuation was supposed to start on 9 May. But as of now, I have not been able to contact anyone and I have no idea when and how the evacuation will start.”Munazah, Student
Erratic Communication, Endless Wait
Because communication has been snapped in Kashmir, we are not only facing troubles connecting to the authorities but also our parents who are eager to know of our whereabouts. It is tough to stay away from family in such times and more so because we are not able to reach out to them.
“We really want to go home and it is only possible if J&K administration will help us out. Every hour, me and my friends who are stuck here get hopeful but it gets back to ground zero in the next hour because of the responses we are getting.”Gafira Qadir
For the moment we are not even sure when and if we will get help.
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