Delhi Rains: Mother gives birth to one, mourns death of other

- July 4, 2024
| By : Kushan Niyogi |

Spread across their six feet by four feet rented room in North East Delhi’s New Usmanpur, the parents of Salman remain in agony, with mixed feelings.

Delhi Rains: At around 4:30 PM on June 28, as the national capital prepared itself to heave a sigh of relief after a long swathe of rainfall, two children also decided to do the same. Both Kashif and Salman were able to venture out of their residence after a long time.

The two children, along with a group of three others, frolicked across New Usmanpur’s Pusta Road crossing towards the Yamuna Khadar area. Playing inside what used to be a part of the Yamuna wetlands, the duo fell inside a ditch that had filled up with water owing to incessant rainfall across the national capital. However, they were never prepared for a ditch that was filled to the brim with five feet of water.

Spread across their six feet by four feet rented room in North East Delhi’s New Usmanpur, the parents of Salman remain in agony, with mixed feelings. His mother, Nurjat, sits in silence cradling her newborn, while Noor Alam, the father, scavenges across the room to look for the post mortem report. They could sparsely believe that their 10-year-old son was no more.

Helped to some morsel of stability, the parents of the deceased were supported by their neighbours who felt that both needed some sense of comfort. However, it was the grandmother of the 10-year-old who was the most affected as she remained weeping, expecting justice to be done to the child.

Much like the rainfall, Salman’s death was also unexpected.

Also read: Delhi: East and West part of Capital choke on contaminated water

“Normally he would never go out to play with his friends in the locality but I do not know what happened on that day. Him leaving that day was something that I had not expected,” said Nurjat.

On Friday, June 28, in a series of coincidences, the mother, who was undergoing post-partum care after going through a pregnancy last week, had to leave for the hospital.

“Salman had told me that he would take care of the house and asked me to not be worried. I had asked him to come with me because I was a bit scared to leave him at home alone since the baby also had to be taken care of. However, he said that he would take care of the baby,” she said.

Nurjat still has not been able to name the baby.

She added that after she returned, his friends had come to call him to play, and he left in a jiff.

“That was the last I saw him alive,” said the mother, weeping.

Salman was supposed to turn 11 on Saturday, June 29.

According to one of the deceased children’s friends, the group had asked a group of 20-year-olds to help but they refused.

“They told us that since we had called them names, they would not help Salman and Kashif,” he said.

Kashif’s corpse was also found inside the water with his eyes lined with a streak of blood.

His mother, who is a vegetable vendor with four children, has left for Bihar to live with her two daughters.

“She was all alone when she lived here. Even her husband had died a couple of years ago. She is the only earning member left to fend for her family. She lived here with her medically diagnosed son and Kashif, who is now dead,” said one of her neighbours.

Kashif was eight years old.

Following the heavy rainfall that flooded the national capital, the Delhi government had announced that all of the victims’ families would receive a compensation of Rs 10 lakh.

Delhi minister Atishi had taken to X to post, “The families of all those who lost their lives will be given a compensation of ₹10 lakh. Directions have been given that this compensation reaches the grieving families speedily.”

However, none of the money has so far reached the grieving families in New Usmanpur.

Also read: Flood Preparedness: MCD fails to meet deadline, DDMA ready to tackle the crisis

Presently, Salman’s family has only been given the post mortem report and the death certificate from the graveyard to prove his death.

“We had filed an FIR as well but the police refused to share it with us. Presently, we only have the post mortem report and what was given at the graveyard where he was buried. We had asked the cops as well about any other document which we had to sign but they just shrugged at us,” said Noor Alam, who helps his mother collect and sell garbage.

“We are ragpickers,” said his mother, who wanted to remain anonymous.

Eleven people have so far died in the national capital, of which four were children. Apart from the two at New Usmanpur, two others had breathed their last at Siraspur in Outer North’s Samaypur Badli. According to the police, the duo was taking a bath at the underpass which was flooded with two-and-a-half to three feet of water. Presently, their houses are empty, with neighbours stating that the family had returned to their village.