SRINAGAR: Five days after her house at Srinagar's Dalgate was gutted in a devastating fire, Afroza Banoo and her family of five have been forced take shelter in a plastic tent in a nearby graveyard. Afroza and her family is not alone. Nearly 100 families whose houses were burnt in that blaze are also living in these tents in the biting cold.

The families are finding it very difficult at night as the mercury plunges below zero degrees Celsius. The families have to huddle around bonfires to keep warm at night.

"We don't have any facilities here, we have rice but don't have a stove to cook it on. It will help if we get gas stoves, as there is no place for our children to sleep in this bitter cold," said Afroza.

Students are among the worst affected by the fire as those appearing for their board exams don't have any books.

"I go to a friend's place to prepare for my papers. I go by whatever concepts I have learnt earlier, I am totally at the mercy of God," said 16 year-old Shagufta Malik appearing in her matriculation exams.

Local self-help groups have arranged for some blankets and have even set up a community kitchen. The government, on Thursday, finally stepped in with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announcing cash relief and free ration for up to six months for the victims of this fire.

"Those houses which are fully-damaged will get Rs. 50,000 and those that are partially affected Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 1 lakh for the damages to each house and free ration for six months," said the Chief Minister.