By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad, Oct 21 : The inundated colonies in flood-hit Hyderabad are witnessing a novel rescue and relief operation as horse riders have come forward as saviours to the marooned people.
Going door to door in Nadeem Colony and other inundated areas, the equestrians from Hyderabad Horse Riding School (HHRS) are providing food, milk, medicines and other essentials.
A group of 10-20 trained horse riders wearing HHRS uniform can be seen riding through the flooded lanes of Nadeem Colony, Neerja Colony, Balreddy Nagar and Virasat Nagar to extend a helping hand to the victims of one of the worst floods the city has ever seen.
HHRS president and chief trainer Mohammed Abdul Wahab is leading the group, divided into different teams. “Aur kisi ko kuch chahiye (Does anybody need anything else)?” he can be heard asking in a flooded street.
Abdul Wahab told IANS that while the school is engaged in various social service activities, this is the first time they are using horses for rescue and relief work.
As the heavy rains and flash floods left many areas in 4-5 feet water, carrying out relief work is not easy. “Horses are natural swimmers. History shows horses have helped warriors win the wars by swimming across rivers,” said Abdul Wahab, who planned the entire operation and execution by assigning the tasks to different teams of horse riders.
Abdul Wahab, who comes from a family of equestrians, said he was moved by the devastation caused by the floods and wanted to do his bit. “Serving humanity is the biggest service. When you have everything at your disposal you should go out and help those in distress. It gives an immense satisfaction that we are of some help to people,” he told IANS after the sixth day of rescue and relief operations.
Not confining himself to the Toli Chowki area, Abdul Wahab also visited Hafiz Baba Nagar, the worst affected area in the old city. “We are not using horses because the water has receded but the havoc wrecked by the flood water is shocking. People have lost everything,” he said.
He along with his team is going door to door to provide essential commodities to the affected. “They need utensils and clothes because everything got washed away with water. Mud has piled up in every house,” he said.
The heavy rains and floods since October 13 have claimed 33 lives in and around Hyderabad and inundated hundreds of colonies.