Jalandhar, September 24
Villagers bid a tearful adieu to two children, Gurbir Singh Gora (11) and Samarpreet Singh (8), who drowned while playing near the Baupur bundh yesterday.
Wails and cries rented the air at the village cremation ground as their inconsolable mothers clung on the bodies of their sons, now lifeless.
Work on the ‘aarzi bundh’ (temporary bundh) at Baupur was suspended in the wake of the tragic loss of lives of the two children.
While the children belonged to two families of the flood-hit Rampur Gore village in Sultanpur Lodhi, the twin villages of Baupur and Rampur Gore, through which the under-construction bundh passes, collectively mourned the loss of the two children. Several villagers also came on boats to attend their last rites.
Both funeral pyres were lit side by side on the same ground. With much of Baupur village still inundated, the cremation ground is among the few dry places in the area.
A congregation of over 500 persons gathered for the cremation of the children who drowned in a matter of just 20 minutes on Saturday as they strayed away from their parents who were performing kar sewa on the bundh.
Satnam Singh and Ram Singh, fathers of the two children, and their entire families had been working on the bundh for over a month. Their children accompanied them most of the time like in the case of many other parents.
The parents launched a search for the two boys yesterday after they went missing. Their bodies were found in a deep pit created by the recent rain water.
No work was carried out at the bundh today. Paramjit Singh Baupur, who has been traversing the flood-hit region on a motorboat, said: “We don’t feel like going to the bundh. It’s a personal loss. The kar sewa is a personal initiative done without any government help. We are one big family. I have spotted and fished out several bodies during the floods this year. This is the most harrowing tragedy. The two kids were inseparable. We often saw them playing together. The village is deep in mourning.”
Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Rana Inder Partap and Congress leader Navtej Singh Cheema also attended the last rites of the two children.
We don’t feel like going to the bundh. It’s a personal loss. The kar sewa is a personal initiative done without any government help. We are one big family. I have spotted and fished out several bodies during the floods this year. This is the most harrowing tragedy. The two kids were inseparable. We often saw them playing together. The village is deep in mourning. — Paramjit Singh Baupur, a resident
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