25 June, 2021

Cold Tin Roof And Some

Shaukat Khaliq, 35, engineer & Muneed Ul Hasan Malik, 34, bureaucrat: Heroes who kept their wits at a time of chaos

Sanjoy Ghosh
Cold Tin Roof And Some
It helps when you have been friends for over 20 years. Little wonder then that when the October 8 earthquake left its ugly imprint on Tangdhar and Uri, Shaukat Khaliq, an engineer with the state government's mechanical engineering department, called up Muneeb Ul Hasan Malik, an assistant director with the tourism department. Both were convinced that they had to do something. "What that something was, we didn't know," says Shaukat on the road to Srinagar after another long stint in the mountains of Uri in sub-zero temperatures. The dark circles under his eyes and the beard on Muneeb's face are a mute testimony to the nights spent in planning shelters for the quake-affected. As they planned the rehabilitation package, they also planned for ingenious means to fund it as they went along. Shaukat remembers the first day they arrived in Uri, they were ill-informed on what was needed. "We just packed a truck with bread and milk because we did not want to travel empty-handed," he says. But they realised what the people needed desperately before the first...

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