By Shahzada Irfan
Khursheed Bibi stood out amongt the recipients of relief goods with a bandage worn around her fractured arm. Being over 60 her arm would take a long time to heal. Besides, she knew the treatment would prove a heavy burden on the limited resources she had at her disposal.
Khursheed recalled the fateful day when all of a sudden her life changed dramatically. “It started raining heavily. All of us stayed inside thinking we were safe but actually we were not.”
Her three-room house built on mud foundation in Rehampur village, Okara, could not withstand the onslaught of heavy rainstorm and caved in. The room in which she lived with her husband suffered the most damage. The roof and walls fell to the ground with a thud entrapping the occupants.
“I didn’t have enough time to leave. The bricks fell on my arm and caused the fracture. But the biggest loss was the death of my 14-year old granddaughter Shama who suffered a head injury,” says Khursheed.
Tears well in her eyes and roll down her wrinkled cheeks as she talks about her ordeal.
She says the family has moved to another room where her married daughter lives with her husband and children.”
Khursheed was rushed to the village hospital, run by the local Church, where she got quality treatment at a nominal cost. She feels better now but her heart sinks when she is reminded of Shama. “They examined her without delay and referred her to another hospital but she didn’t survive,” she states.
That day she had come to Caritas Pakistan’s distribution camp to receive relief goods. She had lost most of her household belongings in the disaster and reported this to a Caritas assessment team when they came round.
The relief pack includes cooking oil, wheat flour, sugar, pulses, milk powder, tea, chillies, salt, bottled water, bath soap, washing powder and a large bucket with a lid.
“Nobody from our neighbourhood helped us out,” says Khursheed adding it was Caritas people who shared their grief.
The relief supplies are large enough to last 15 days or more. This will allow the villagers to spend their savings or earnings on repairing their houses.