Tales of Heroism from the Nepal Earthquake

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After exactly a month of the 25th April earthquake, we Nepalese have mastered the art of scampering away from buildings, and predicting Richter scales to their nearest value with frightening accuracies. Our alertness is so high, a majority of people are still not getting a good night’s sleep these days. Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist, said it right when he said we are social animals whose initial concern is safety, security, and intimate relationships, and like most, I constantly think about my safety and my family’s safety before I think about other peoples’, but there are those extraordinary men and women who have risen and have heroically prioritized the safety of other people and worked tirelessly to ensure they are provided with the basic necessities.

These are some of the heroes who have shown great valor in times of need and inspired us.

  1. Ram Prasad Sapkota

Dr. Ram Prasad Sapkota and his team were in the delivery room of Prasuti Griha Hospital, Thapathali when the earthquake struck. He was operating on a pregnant woman who had just lost her unborn child, and then the ground started shaking and medical equipment topped off the table. The mother would have died if the stillborn baby was not delivered, so he and his team ignored the tremor and completed the operation saving the mother’s life.

2. Himalayan Disaster Relief Volunteer Group

Led by Nayantara Gurung Kakshapati of The Yellow House, Himalayan Disaster Relief Volunteer Group was born out of the utmost necessity of immediate relief in the affected areas. Doctors, travellers, photographers, students, and journalists came in to make the relief works more efficient and effective. From sending supplies to providing private helicopter medevac, raising about $75,000 through crowdfunding campaigns, and assisting international volunteers and relief teams, the group has helped to coordinate missions and channel the donated supplies to the required areas.

  1. Ishwor Ghimire

When the earthquake struck the capital a month ago, 19-year-old Ishwor Ghimire was having lunch at the Nepal Deprived Women and Children Upliftment Centre Orphanage in Kathmandu. When the quake struck, he immediately gathered and led 55 children to safety. He carried some children and escorted others and made sure all of them would get out of the building unharmed. Ghimire also helped to construct a temporary shelter in the nearby garden.

  1. You

You may have been donating just a box of biscuits, or volunteered at an organization, or maybe you walked all the way to Basantapur to help clear up the debris. You may feel it is just a small step compared to the heroic stories that keep popping up in the news, but you are nothing less than a hero yourself. Braving the fake/not-so-fake reports of the next earthquake and helping pack relief packages is not a small feat. You are awesome!

 – Jasina Gurung

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Shed A Little Light

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April 25, 2015.

We will all remember this sombre day as the day Dharahara crumbled down, the day Basantapur looked like a war zone, the day lakhs became homeless in an instant, and the day the whole nation started to realize the full extent of a devastating earthquake.

Moreover, it was also the day the Nepalese people stood up to bring quintessential relief and help at a time when the government could not fully rise to aid. There was purity in the service and it was laudatory to see the brave spirit of the Nepalese people in such critical times, but after the last grain of rice from the relief packages has been consumed and the last of the soap has been washed off, what happens? Do we keep on reimbursing relief packages forever? We need to look for even the slightest degree of a permanent solution.

Hence, Shed a Little Light was born from this awareness of contributing a sustainable solution. Sasto Deal, in collaboration with Women for Human Rights (WHR), aims to collect funds to distribute solar lamps and bring light to each family in WHR’s focus areas (Dhading, Gorkha, Nuwakot and Kavre along with a few areas on the outskirts of the valley).  You can help us gift light by donating only for the price of solar lamps (Rs.900/$9). You can donate for as many lanterns as you want, and your single contribution will bring a whole lot of light, sunshine, and hope into lives as these lamps do not need electricity to charge, and can last upto 12 hours.

For orders & inquiry, please contact us at: 9801-133-221 or email us at info@sastodeal.com. You can also drop your donations at WHR office (Opposite to Buzz Café, Baluwatar) or via Paypal.

As Ella Baker, civil rights and human rights activist, once said, “Give light and people will find the way.” So help us bring light to every dark corner, discard the uncertainty of the night, aid people to find way back to normalcy, and motivate them to re-build their lives.

 – Jasina Gurung

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25 Most Powerful Images That Emerged From The Nepal Earthquake

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It’s true: a picture can speak a thousand words. When the whole world was left speechless after the devastating M7.8 earthquake in Nepal, pictures were able to speak volumes about the aftermath. Amidst the disaster, the Nepali people have found hope amongst the rubbles, and as the days go by, even though we have become used to the occasional tremors, we still can’t shake the trauma.  The date, April 25th, 2015 will be etched in our memories forever, and conversations about the quake and the devastation that followed will go on. Recounting the recent days, these are some of the most powerful images that vividly portray how the disaster really shook all.

 – Anutara Shakya

1. Fallen carvings of goddess statues sit among the destruction of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. (Photo by: Shikhar Bhattarai, #nepalphotoproject)

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2. A man cries as he walks on the street while passing through a damaged statue of Lord Buddha in Bhaktapur, April 26, 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar 2 3. A women in Ghampedandha outside of Kathmandu peels potatoes and looks out to the destruction in a neighboring village. (Photo by: Rashik Maharjan #nepalphotoproject )

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4. Archan Basu, a 24 year old photography student from the One School Goa, came to Kathmandu hoping to document the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. Every day after his field visits, he doodled on his note book and what resulted is this drawing: a personal account of how he perceives the current situation. (. Photo by: @swastikpal #nepalphotoproject )

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5. Durgadevi Shreshta draws water from the well in the courtyard of her house in Sankhu, Nepal. The Shreshtas were all out working on their field when the earthquake struck and were surprised to see that the well had survived while the rest of their three storey home didn’t. (Courtesy @riteshuttamchandani #nepalphotoproject)

5 6. Nine year old Nayan Sakya and Murnu on the balcony of the only home that remains standing at Yugdol, a neighbourhood in Sankhu. (Courtesy: Sumit Dayal #nepalphotoproject )

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7. A girl carries a candle outside the remains of Dharahara. (Source: Ayush Karki)

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8. Buddhist monks salvage a Buddhist statue from a monastery around Kathmandu’s fifth-century Swayambhunath stupa, damaged by Saturday’s earthquake.  Courtesy: AP /Niranjan Shrestha

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9. A rescue worker does not wait for a shovel or tools and starts digging in with his bare hands. (Photographer unknown)

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10. An old woman picks upbricks that were once a part of her house.  (Photographer unknown)

10 11. Broken but still strong. (Photo: Deependra Bajracharya)

11 12. The clock tower that has stopped functioning after the first earthquake shows the exact time of the national tragedy. (Source: Ayush Karki, Photographer: unknown)

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13. Miracle child: A soldier blows dust away from the face of a rescued infant buried under the rubble for over 20 hours. (Source: Ayush Karki, photographer: unknown)

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14. Local crowd and rescue team celebrate after rescuing 15 year old, who was trapped for 120 hours. (Source: Ayush Karki, photographer: unknown)

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15. Start of the nature’s wrath. (Photographer: James Kirk)

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16. Suresh Parihar kisses his daughter Sandhya at a hospital in Kathmandu (Photograph: Manish Swarup/AP)

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17. Survivors mourn their friend that was burried in the rubble at Durbar Square, Kathmandu (Source: ©KellyPhotos)

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18. Locals help a man dug out from the rubbles. (Photograhper: unknown)

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19. A flower grows amidst the rubble of the house.(India Times, Source: Ayush Karki)  19

20. Drone image of Basantapur. (Source: Ayush Karki Photograhper: unknown)

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21. Remembering those who have fallen. ( Source: ekantipur.com)

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22. A man helps a senior citizen. (Source:Ayush Karki, Photographer: unknown)

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23. A child imitates the adults clearing the rubbles in his neighborhood. (Courtesy: Sameer Bhattarai)

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24. A man sits on the rubble of his damaged house in Bhaktapur. (Courtesy: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)

2525. A tired Nepali soldier takes a break from rescue efforts in Kathmandu. Courtesy: Getty Images

KATHMANDU, NEPAL - 2015/05/01: A tired Nepali soldier takes a break from rescue efforts in Kathmandu, Nepal on May 1, 2015. On April 25, 2015, Nepal suffered a magnitude 7.8 earthquake killing over 5,000 people and injuring thousands more. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/LightRocket via Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL – 2015/05/01: A tired Nepali soldier takes a break from rescue efforts in Kathmandu, Nepal on May 1, 2015. On April 25, 2015, Nepal suffered a magnitude 7.8 earthquake killing over 5,000 people and injuring thousands more. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/LightRocket via Getty Images)

 

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The Brighter Side of #NepalEarthquake

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This is the largest mobilization of youth volunteers Nepal has ever seen. This is when people from urban cities met with the rural communities to provide #HelpInAnywayPossible. This is when communal values overpowered individual values. This is when Nepalese voiced together and against anything or anyone who did not share the same interest. #GoHomeIndianMedia.  This is when larger corporations and smaller start-ups coordinated to make tools for help. This is when a team of Gurkhas returned home to help with the rescue efforts.  This is when Nepalese Diasporas saved every dollar they’ve got to send money & relief materials back home. This is when companies sacrificed their profits despite their expenses. This is when the political parties set aside their differences in the interest of rebuilding the nation.  Also, this is when many of us trusted the government.

11:56 AM, April 25, 2015: The 7.9 magnitude earthquake that lasted for 20 seconds changed Nepal forever. Over 8,000 people have been reported dead and over 16,000 injured and 568,697 houses damaged.

Will we ever recover from this? The tremors hasn’t stopped yet and most businesses still closed, immediate relief efforts are still ongoing, the government and Nepalese citizens are all very tired and puzzled about the situation.

All hope was lost in the first day of the earthquake but what happened next was simply unbelievable!

My own brother, Atup, whose warehouse building collapsed resulting in over 60 Lakhs of damaged goods. His immediate response was not to checkout the site or to call the insurance company but to call the blood-donation organizing camps. My friend, Darryll, who was in Italy at the time returned home with a container filled with relief products. Help camps were set up immediately and organized by volunteers. NGOs, groups, companies, military, police, government agencies, international community and individuals all sprang into action.

FaceBook rolled out ‘Safety Check’ and India sent help immediately followed by other nations.

This was the first time Nepal witnessed such unity and strength in numbers.

May 8, 2015: 14 days since the disaster, we have found hope. Not only hopes to rebuild the nation but to recreate it.

At many rural villages, people have started building shelters on their own using whatever remains from their damaged homes. Banks have rolled out schemes such as 2% interest home-loans to ease out the situation. TIME magazine today released an article stating Nepal is completely safe to travel. And most importantly, people are smiling again, resuming their lives as nothing ever happened.

Yes, it was a disaster but it was also a lesson – a lesson that Nepal will never forget. Our only wish is to embrace it whole-heartedly, learn from it and move forward with even more positive attitude.

Bhimsen Thapa when he built the ‘Dharahara’ in 1832 AD would have never imagined that his now-fallen tower would unite the nation like it has today.

This is history in making!

– Amun Thapa

“Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you”

#StayStrongNepal #WeWillRiseAgain

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