A Tragic Reminder of Neglect and Loss in Kashmir


Suhail Khan 

Gandabal-Batwara Srinagar on Tuesday bore the weight of the heaviest coffins, each one a poignant reminder of innocence lost and futures stolen. Amidst the anguished wails of mothers, the air echoed with the piercing cries of grief, painting a chilling tableau of doomsday. 

Small school bags lay abandoned, their contents untouched, waiting for the tender shoulders that would never return to carry them once more.

As the morning sun cast its feeble light upon the scene, one could almost imagine the tender moments that preceded the tragedy. Perhaps, before setting off for school, each child pressed one final kiss upon their mother’s cheek, bidding a fleeting farewell to their fathers. They might have cheekily requested a meager 10-rupee note for a snack, or entrusted their younger siblings with the task of procuring treats for their return. 

Yesterday’s promises to friends, whispered eagerly by the school gates, now lay broken and scattered amidst the rubble of shattered dreams.

In the aftermath of this heart-wrenching event, the locality is left to grapple with the harsh reality of unfulfilled potential and irrevocable loss. Each small coffin serves as a testament to the fragility of life and the cruel capriciousness of fate. And as the echoes of grief reverberate through the valley, one cannot help but wonder: how does one bear the weight of such profound sorrow, and what solace can be found in a world shattered by tragedy?

The boat capsizing tragedy at the Batwara – Gandabal River Jhelum crossing has left the entire Kashmir in mourning. The loss of six lives, including innocent school children, has cast a shadow of grief over the Batwara Gandabal locality, leaving families shattered and reeling in shock.

Locals have voiced their grievances, highlighting the absence of essential infrastructure such as bridges and the lack of advisories cautioning against travel during periods of high water levels. Despite the pressing need for safety measures, the tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the negligence and oversight that plagues Kashmir.

The heart-wrenching scenes of thousands participating in funeral processions, parents bidding their children a final goodbye, and classrooms left eerily empty paint a picture of profound loss and devastation. 

The poignant imagery of school bags filled with books, lunches untouched, and classmates left waiting for friends who will never return underscores the magnitude of this tragedy.

It is imperative to question the authorities responsible for urban planning and infrastructure development. The delay in constructing essential bridges, despite promises made seven years ago, is inexcusable. The failure to prioritize the safety and well-being of our citizens has resulted in irreparable loss and anguish for countless families.

As a society, we are left grappling with profound questions and overwhelming grief. Why did it take a tragedy of this magnitude to spur action? Why were the voices of our people ignored for so long? The weight of little coffins serves as a poignant reminder of the heavy toll of negligence and indifference.

Today, every eye in Kashmir is moist with tears, every heart heavy with sorrow, and every soul haunted by the unanswered question: Why? As we mourn the loss of innocent lives, let us also demand accountability from those entrusted with our safety and well-being. Our collective future depends on our ability to learn from this tragedy and ensure that such heartbreak is never repeated.

In memory of those we have lost, let us unite in our resolve to build a safer, more resilient Kashmir, where every life is valued and protected.

Suhail Khan
Suhail Khanhttps://www.kashmirdespatch.com

Suhail Khan is a filmmaker, content writer, and freelance journalist.


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