Youth Matters

A widow’s struggle for identification and documentation

Farah Humayun is a talented chef and imparts her culinary education to students enrolled in her courses at Skillston Institute. She also hosts a show on Metro TV for the institute. A mother of three daughters and having been appointed as a Chef at Movenpick Hotel, Farah’s story is awe-inspiring for single mothers who have raised families on their own.

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But Farah’s story is not all happy and cheerful. Behind this successful woman is a tragic story of loss and bereavement. 

Two years ago, Farah lost her husband to a tragic accident in Muzaffarabad where they were taking a vacation with their daughters. 

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Humayun slipped and drowned in the lake when they stopped by for a click-worthy moment. Little did they know that the trip would haunt Farah and her daughters forever. “Local people tried to help when he was drowning but the flow took him away,” she said. They never found his body.

After the accident, Farah had left her daughters at her sister’s place and went out to locate her husband’s body. She reported the incident to the authorities and a search began. Authorities tried to find Humayun at their pace but to no avail. 

During this period, a man accused of stealing Humayun’s wallet got arrested.  “I found this wallet in the middle of the night at the river bank where I saw a person’s body floating. I stole the wallet from the pants’ pocket and pushed the body back in the river,” he said during the police interrogation. 

After this, Farah lost all hope of finding her husband.  She waited in vain but her husband, Humayun, was never found. She tried to prove she was Humayun’s wife but the documents were not enough for the authorities. For any government job, she needed her husband’s death certificate but was told that would not be possible because the body was not recovered.

To issue a death certificate, NADRA requires an official document from the graveyard where the dead body gets buried, plus the medical certificate, and photocopy of the deceased’s CNIC in addition to other documents. Farah tried her best to extract death certificate of her husband but failed to do so. 

“For such unfortunate instances, NADRA requires the husband’s death certificate which was issued by Kashmir Government and his CNIC copy,” said Mr. Iqbal, NADRA’s spokesperson. 

Despite the recurring issue, Farah tried to stay positive and focused on her daughters’ upbringing. 

Today, Farah stands still and strong for women who have gone through similar tragedies in life. She is an inspiration for women who try to find solace in everyday achievements.

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