‘I saw a bulb first time in my life at hospital’
Waltengu Naar, a small hamlet located on a hill in Kulgam district, made it to headlines across the world when more than a 100 people were killed in a snowstorm in 2005. It is famous for another reason: about 120 nomadic Gujjar families are without electricity.
“We don’t know how a home lit by electricity looks like,” said Mohammad Shafi, a resident of Waltengu Naar. People use candles and kerosene lanterns.
“Some years ago the government installed poles here and we all were happy that we will be the first generation to see electricity here but nothing happened,” said Junaid, a teenager.
The life for the residents of Waltengu Naar begins early in the morning at 6. The women start preparing food, doing dishes and washing clothes by the river side, and then they head for home before it gets dark.
“Once I was admitted to a hospital in Srinagar and that is where I saw an electric lamp for the first time. I delayed my treatment for a week so that I can stay in the hospital and enjoy the luxuries. It was a different world there,” said the octogenarian, Zeba.
The power development department officials had informed the Department Relating Standing Committee (DRSC) of the J&K Legislative Council that during a survey it was found that 108 villages in the state are without power.