Table of Contents

Nepal Relief Update

Nepal Earthquake Relief – Report 3
Genuine relief support provided for victims who are in the bottom of society.

Subhash with two other volunteers Mr. Bishnu Nisthuri and Mr. Manoj Pandey visited Khoplang village of Gorkha district, a place near to the epicenter. On the 5th of May, we walked around the hilly village for about 7 hours and visited about 160 devastated houses and families. Most of them were dahlit (‘untouchable’) and Kumal (a disadvantaged ethnic group) settlements. About 70% houses are collapsed by the earthquake in the area.

We went to the village with an open mind and did not take any relief material along. We wanted to have first hand observation and information about the important needs in the community, we also wanted to not waste the relief material by duplicating, and we wanted to reach the voiceless and powerless families directly. In this way- we stay out of relief politics and conflicts on the ground.

Case of Mr. Ramji- 32 years and Mrs. Bimala Gaire- 24 years:

One of the families we visited was the Gaire family, an extremely poor

The 5 year old daughter of Gaire family carrying water to help her mother. Photo credit: Mr. Bishnu Nisthuri May 2015

and just literate Dalit family with 3 children in a row, the youngest being one and half months old. They had an about-to-fall-down mud house with hay roofing, the infant was sleeping in an extremely narrow cradle made out of jute sack hung by a plastic rope under the badly cracked mud house. The baby and mother needed clean cloths to replace. Mosquito bite spots were visible on the faces since they were sleeping on the open sky and had no tent. The oldest daughter- about 5 years of age- was carrying about 10 liters of water from about 2 kilometers distance to help her mother. The mother- with very weak looking physical condition and scared face- was cleaning some dishes in front of their damaged house. The infant and mother both were suffering from fever. And, this was too much for us to witness. We said to the father, “Take your child to the health center immediately, and inform us as soon as possible what happens, we will arrange some basics for your family.” The father went to the health center and came back with some medicine.

 

Bimala Gaire with her one and half month child, nearby sitting is her son. Photo credit: Mr. Bishnu Nisthuri May 2015

Our visiting team in the community instantly concluded- there is a genuine need of women and babies in the area and decided to address this need which is unnoticed and untouched by the rest of the relief supporters- from the very big agencies to the individuals. Our team discerned that this would be the best use of our limited resource.

We came to our shelter in late evening and in our hand we had a list of women who needed such support. Instead of coming back to Kathmandu and take a long time to secure support for the women, the next day in the early morning we traveled to the nearby biggest market in Gorkha district headquartes to prepare relief packages for the women. We prepared a special package for Gaire family, arranged a hard-to-find tent with the help of local journalist, bought two sets of baby cloths, and one set of clothes for the mother. Having contacts with local journalist we managed to buy materials at wholesale price. We made 22 separate packages and went back to village center, invited the women, and distributed relief packages in shortest possible time. All women returned home with delighted smiles.

In this trip, we offered support for 22 women. Then, when the money we carried ran out we returned back to Kathmandu on the eve of 7th May with full of satisfaction. We will go to the next place very soon.

This relief package included: 1 kg dry coconut, 1 kg peanuts, 1 kg Mung dahl, 1 kg Musuri dahl, 1 kg Mishree, 2 liters of cooking oil, Jwano, a mosquito net, 2 detergent soaps, and 1 bathing soap.

 

Handing over a Relief Package to a Dalit women. Photo credit: Mr. Bishnu Nisthuri May 2015

Expenses:

Relief materials for 22 families- US$326

Logistics- US$32

Total US$358.

Donated: Mr. Manoj, our team member contributed his vehicle for transportation for three days. We were hosted by a local social worker and business person Mr. Basanta for our food and shelter in the village. So we did not have to spend cash for this. Local journalist Mr. Kishor arranged a tent free of cost for Gaire family and also contributed Nepalese Rupees 5,000 (US$50) to this end.

The journalists group appreciated our special attention to the special population and they wanted to produce a news report on this. But for some other emergency reasons, the reporter of a national daily had to leave the village.

Thank you all.

in friendship,

Subhash Kattel