Former India midfielder and FC Pune City's Kashmir-based player has been trying in vain for almost a fortnight to get in touch with his parents who are stranded in Jammu & Kashmir's flood-hit capital city of Srinagar
The last 10 days have been among the most testing phases of Mehrajuddin Wadoo's life. The former India footballer has been frantically trying to get in touch with his parents — 60-year-old Mohammad Sultan Wadoo and 52-year-old Hajra Wadoo — who live in Srinagar's Rainawari area that has been inundated by floods leaving nearly 1.5 lakh stranded and at least 250 dead in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Mehrajuddin Wadoo at the FC Pune City's training camp yesterday
With communications in the area down, Wadoo's efforts of calling up home have been in vain. "I was training in Florence (in Italy) with (Indian Super League team) FC Pune City when I got to know about the floods. I've been frantically calling my family and my friends in J&K since, but haven't been able to get through as the phone lines are dead.
I used to speak to my parents everyday, but haven't spoken to them for nearly 15 days now. I even tried calling our neighbours, but have not been able to connect to anyone. Finally, one of my cousins called another cousin in Pune to inform them that my parents are safe. But I'm yet to hear from them, so I cannot say what the situation there is like.
I don't know where they are right now or how they are coping with the situation. But the FC Pune City officials have put me in touch with the army and they have assured me that they are doing their best," Wadoo told mid-day from Pune yesterday.
A file picture of Mehrajuddin Wadoo with his son Mohammad Ahmad
According to reports yesterday, the Rainawari area witnessed incidents of stone-pelting at the helicopters carrying food and relief material. Even as he scrambles for any updates on his parents, there is some reassurance for Wadoo, with his wife Zulaikha and 16-month-old baby, Mohammad Ahmad, likely to join him in Pune today.
Wadoo's wife and child were staying in another house in the Haiderpur area of Srinagar, closer to the airport. "I only got in touch with my wife four days after the floods first hit the region. She told me that she and our baby were staying at a friend's place and that they had left as soon as the water started entering our house.
"It was a lucky escape because the two-storey apartment has been submerged till the first floor. She and the baby have not been getting proper food, but hopefully they will be with me here soon," Wadoo said adding that they will be staying with him at the accommodation provided by the Pune ISL franchise.
A view of Srinagar's Jahangir Chowk area yesterday. Pic/PTI
"It is very sad, but I have to stay strong. One has to live. Hopefully, I will get some good news about my parents soon," he trailed off.