23 years old Adil’s father passed away in 1994. He was only two years old at that time. His mother Shareefa Begum had separated from his father and had moved back to her maternal house. Adil was raised by his paternal grandparents. Upon completing his graduation in Political Science and History, he was reunited with his mother. He brought her back home and they lived together under one roof in their Khanday Pora house. However the joy was short-lived. In September 2014, Adil and Shareefa Begum saw their house drown in front of their eyes during the Jammu and Kashmir floods. They had to flee and take refuge in a village located on a higher altitude until the heavy rains stopped. When they returned all they saw was an empty piece of land where their house once stood.
“Just like the unstoppable rains, our tears did not stop. My mother and my grandmother wept for days together. All our belongings, valuable, whatever little money we had was washed away. We had nothing left. I spent my childhood here and all I have now is memories”, recalls Adil.
They did not have anything to eat and went hungry for many days. A few days later, many non governmental organizations (NGOs) started their relief operations in Srinagar and began distributing food, water and other essentials for the flood victims. Adil and Shareefa even volunteered with the NGOs and helped provide relief material to others in need.
Habitat for Humanity India built a new home for Adil and his family. Their 400 square feet home has a living room, a bedroom, a kitchen and a toilet. Habitat cares deeply about ensuring access to secure property rights for everyone, especially women. And hence the ownership of this home is in the name of Adil’s mother Ms. Shareefa Begum. On being asked about the new house, Adil could not contain his excitement and said, “Ammi can’t wait to move into our new home. She wants to decorate it and make it as pretty as the home we had.”
Adil is deeply influenced by ancient philosophers like Plato and Rousseau and enjoyed learning about them in his History classes. He is now pursuing his M.A. in rural development from Indira Gandhi National Open University (Srinagar) and is hopeful of getting a worthy job opportunity upon completing the course.
He says, “I have been able to pursue higher studies only because Habitat for Humanity India built a home for my family. We were left with no belongings and I would have had to do menial jobs to be able to support my family and build a roof over our heads. Our hopes, dreams, aspirations were swept away with our old house. But thankfully Habitat has given us a glimmer of hope. The purpose of my life is to make my mother happy. I want her to be proud of me. Now I want to focus on my studies and bring all the happiness to my family so that they forget the hardships they had to go through. Inshallah, my dream will come true.”