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2008 Floods in Pakistan



I saved my sister

© UNICEF/Huma/RL_0001
Bilal with his sister Tayabba

By Huma Khawar

Bilal, 13, a Grade 8th student at Government Boys Secondary School, Village Nar Sher Ali, Bagh was in school on the morning of October 8th when the earthquake rocked parts of South Asia, severely damaging Azad Kashmir.

“Our classroom roof came down and I was stuck inside the building with all the others,” he narrates the story at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, in Islamabad. As soon as he was able to come out of the rubble, Bilal ran home to check on his family -- his father in Karachi, he was worried for the safety of his mother and three sisters at home. “The house was a heap of debris when I arrived but I could see my sister Tayyaba’s neck sticking out from under. I called for help and with two men was able to pull her out, her chest all covered with wreckage. She had hurt her leg and was crying of stomach pain. Later they took out my mother’s and sister’s dead body out from the same heap.

Holding Tayyaba on his shoulder Bilal walked four hours down to Bagh to seek medical help and met relief workers who asked him to hand her over. Refusing to let his younger sibling go, he also jumped on the helicopter carrying injured children to Islamabad. “I brought her here. I can’t believe I saved my sister!



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