Earthquake Relief Program At Sindupalchowk
Earthquake Relief Programs at Sindupalchowk Fortunate are us who survived the ‘earthy’ devastation but unfortunate at the same time; to witness such desolateion of a thriving place. The earthquake has effectively changed the face of Nepal forever. Where even the ‘so called’ strong modern structures turned to lifeless debris, the rural traditional villages made of raw earth stood no chance.
Sindupalchowk District is known to be the worst affected with 3057 reported deaths and 63,885 houses severely damaged (according to the report from UN published on May 8, 2015). So, it was the first target for immediate relief service by a team of youngsters led by one of the establishing members of our organization, Rabin Tuladhar. The team that brought together some of other members of Istambha Nepal organized a total of 3 successful earthquake relief programs within a month and a half. The mission was to distribute immediate relief packs to about 400 households and 1 school spread around 9 different wards in 3 major VDC’s (viz. Nawalpur, Bhotenamlang and Lagarche) of Sindupalchowk. The relief packs contained basic food materials like rice, salt, sugar, oil, noodles, biscuits, tea, beaten rice along with other necessary supplies like soap, common medicines, sanitary pads etc. We even managed to take mattresses, tarps and blankets along with stationery and entertainment goods for children in our second program. The third program was exclusively for a school in Lagarche VDC named Shree Saraswoti Primary School where we provided educational and ECD materials along with recreational materials necessary for the school. These were personal undertakings with help from relatives and close friends who showed eager willingness to support the campaign in all operations involved like fund collection, purchasing the materials, carefully packing, transporting and distributing those. The fund for the programs came from individual contributions from these relatives and friends, spread in various parts of the world, who are directly linked with members of the team.
The field executive team comprised of friends who volunteered in short notice although they, too, were affected by the earthquake. The sight of motorbikes, accompanying mini-truck laden with the relief packs on the rough hilly terrain of rural parts of the country, was an exclusive one. The journey was long and tiring. However, all the labor was proved worthy when the expression on the faces of victims inhabiting those areas turned from fear and disappointment to hopeful smiles due to our tiny effort. In a way, it was a live proof of the fact that every small effort for service to society counts. There were, undoubtedly, a lot of glitches we had to face along the way, some geographical and some political. But, all were easily overcome thanks to the determination of each member of the team. The whole experience worked as a good lesson for all of us that even unimagined achievements can be attained with enough willingness and determination and, of course, with a little help from our friends.