Today I am a little dumbfounded………. like many, I too want to know was India diplomatically competent enough to handle the raised Nepal India relation recently[ whichever policy both the country had undertaken previously it could have been amended in the time of emergency] ? Just for some immature stubbornness things are tilting in favor of China………could not India be a little more lenient and considerate towards Nepal or the political know hows are more important than humanitarian cause? Is it the right gesture to protrude in front of the rest of the World? Why SAARC’s intervention has not been introduced? Hope India has all the answers for this action.
NEPAL — Despite being diagnosed and treated for cancer, former US President Jimmy Carter is expected to travel to Nepal to witness a major project that the Habitat for Humanity organization is staging.
Former Pres. Jimmy Carter
Habitat said a medical team will be with Carter as he celebrates the nonprofit’s 32nd annual Habitat for Humanity Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The project will take place November 1 to 6 in Chitwan district, about 100 miles from the capital, Kathmandu, which suffered tremendously in an earthquake earlier this year.
Carter and his wife have been giving a week of their time for this kind of project annually for three decades.
About 1,500 volunteers from Nepal and around the world will help construct permanent homes in the Nayabasti Gairigaun village. “A majority of these families are Dalits, who are considered the lowest group in the Nepali caste system,” according to a news release from Habitat for Humanity. Many Dalits earn $5 to $7 a day working as construction laborers, farmers or garbage collectors, Habitat said. Some have jobs at a poultry farm.
During the previous 31 projects, more than 92,000 volunteers have built, renovated and repaired 3,943 homes in 14 countries, according to Habitat.
“We are so excited that President and Mrs. Carter are going to be able to join us. Their involvement has inspired millions of people around the world to share our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to call home,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “The two of them bring such energy and enthusiasm to our mission and we look forward to their participation for many more years to come.”
Current supplies may only last a matter of weeks
Massive protests and a diplomatic confrontation between India and Nepal over the latter’s new constitution has resulted in trucks carrying goods and fuel from India to halt at various checkpoints at the Nepalese border, forcing the earthquake-ravaged nation to ration fuel amid growing fears of a shortage.
On Sept. 20, the constitution of Nepal came into effect after a political quagmire that lasted nearly a decade — a move that prompted mass demonstrations that have so far led to more than 40 deaths, according to Reuters. New Delhi has also complained about the inequality the document afforded to certain minority groups in Nepal that predominantly live near the nations’ shared frontier.
Indian trucks have stopped entering Nepal ostensibly because of security concerns amid the simmering unrest, though many Nepalis accuse India of imposing a blockade in order to put pressure on its northern neighbor, and an effigy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was reportedly set ablaze amid anti-India protests in Kathmandu on Monday. Faced with fears that fuel could run out within a matter of weeks, the Nepalese government has begun rationing gasoline and introduced a quota system for all vehicles.
According to Swarnim Wagle, a member of the Nepal National Planning Commission, the shortage of essential supplies will soon prove crippling. The landlocked Himalayan nation’s dependence on imports from India has increased after April’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which killed some 9,000 people and blocked alternative supply routes from China. “We understand the Indian view that because of security issue they cannot allow the trucks to pass,” says Wagle. “The [Nepal] government’s view is that once they come to the Nepal side, security forces will escort them inside.”
India’s Foreign Ministry has denied the presence of a blockade at the border checkpoints. “The reported obstructions are due to unrest, protests and demonstrations on the Nepalese side, by sections of their population,” said a statement issued on its website on Sept. 25.
Kamlesh Kumar, the assistant commissioner of customs at the Indian border town of Raxaul, says some 300 or 400 protesters have made a human chain and are sitting on the Nepal side, blocking access and creating a security issue for Indian exporters. Raxaul and its corresponding Nepalese post, Birganj, form one of the border openings that have been closed for the past five days. “Around 1,000 trucks are waiting for clearance at the customs check point,” adds Kumar.
Meet Prasit Kandel, Whose On the Ground Work in Remote Nepal is Making a Major Impact
After that two-day trip, Homma went back in mid-June to bring in more supplies.
“After seven days later, Nepali Airport, so much stuff,” he said.
Homma brought 150 kilos worth of equipment from Denver, including concrete cutters, rocking climbing helmets and construction gloves through a partnership he established 10 years ago with the Nepal Rangers.
He stayed there for a week.
“More psychological support,” Homma said.
Along with help the Nepal Army Rangers and the We’re With You program, Homma helped provide meal services to those in need. The groups also provided psychological support in the form of Aikido and clean up services to help life children’s spirits up.
They also provided water.
His efforts are mostly self-funded, but he has received donations.
Homma hand carries all of the supplies himself into Nepal, and plans on returning in September.
If you could save just one object from an earthquake, what would you choose? Three months on from the Nepal earthquakes that killed thousands and devastated the capital and its surrounding areas, nine survivors tell the stories of the precious items they managed to salvage.
Dalli Maya Maji, 65 – A water jug
Dalli lives in the village of Chandani, where several people lost their lives during the earthquake. After her home was destroyed, she dug through the rubble to rescue her brass water jug.
“Somehow in all the chaos I found my water jug. I can’t remember how long I searched for it, I just kept searching. I had worked many hours in the field to save up and buy this water jug. I had had to travel to the neighbouring village to buy it,” she says.
“Having the jug means that when visitors or family come I can serve them water in the right way.”
Meena, 33 – Her baby
A few minutes before the earthquake hit, Meena put Sundari, her seven-month-old baby, into a wicker basket. While the baby slept, she took her grain to the mill to be ground – but then the earth started rumbling.
“I ran home. I ran while the ground was still shaking under my feet,” she says.
By the time Meena got home, her house had collapsed, and a wooden beam had fallen on the baby’s wicker basket. She could hear Sundari crying so she knew she was still alive.
“My husband and I started to remove the debris, but it was taking so much time. I rushed to ask neighbours to help us, but they were dealing with their own suffering, there was distress everywhere, screaming and crying. And all the time I could hear my baby crying.”
She says that for a desperate hour, she scrabbled through the rubble to free her child – eventually some neighbours were able to help, and together they freed Sundari, who was covered in scratches, but not seriously injured.
Sangata Tamang, 41 – Prayer beads and bells
Sangata keeps her most precious items – a collection of brown and black beads, small brass bells and what look like carved effigies or figurines – wrapped tightly in a muslin beige cloth.
She says: “If these were lost for ever, I would feel so bad because our beads are holy and important to our worship.”
Rahar Singh Tamang, 60 – Larja Purja (red paper)
Rahar’s house was badly damaged in the earthquake, and is now held together with corrugated iron sheeting and tarpaulin. He says the most important items he saved were the “Larja Purja” – or red papers – which are his certificates for proof of land and house ownership, as well as the yellow papers that prove he has paid his taxes.
“My Larja Purja papers were kept inside a small black book that I keep locked. For the first days after the quake I could not return to our home, because the shaking just kept coming. Then, after about 10 days, I found the courage to go inside and get the box.
“Without official papers, things can go wrong. You need to prove that you are the one who owns the land and the building.”
Panch Maya Tamang, 40 – Her drum
Clasping what looks at first sight like a rusty hub-cap, Panch breaks out into a smile as she makes rhythmic music with her instrument – a home-made drum made out of deer skin. She regularly plays the drum at weddings and religious festivals, and she was desperate to save it after the earthquake.
“I can’t remember how long I’ve had this drum. It has been with me always. I remember when it was new and the deerskin was newly stretched across it. It plays just as well today as it did then,” she says
“Music is important for us during special occasions. Even with the misery of this earthquake, we still need music. That is why the drum is important for me, my family and for my community.”
Krisma Lama, 19 – School certificate
Krisma lives in the village of Balthali, which sits on a plateau amid terraced rice fields.
Krisma had already sat her School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exams before the earthquake struck. Without the certificate to show that she had passed, however, she would not have been able to continue her education.
She says: “I was proud to receive my SLC certificate. It is a good achievement for me. I kept it locked away in a cupboard. After the earthquake it was still there safe, inside the cupboard.”
Shyam Bahadur Tamang, 70 – Woven wicker grain separator
Shyam says his home was taken down after the earthquake by the army, as it was deemed unsafe, teetering on the edge of a cliff top. The most precious item he saved was his wicker grain separator.
“I was right here in the house when the earth started to move. I spent a lot of time dashing in and out of the house collecting my belongings.
“Although its women’s work to separate the grain, I do it. I’m old but I am still useful. When the family sit down to do this work, I join in with them. It’s important for family to clean rice together.”
Suku Maya Tamang, 35 – A bag of rice
Suku says her five-year-old son was playing outside the house when the earthquake struck, and her 15-year-old daughter was working in a nearby field.
“When the shaking started, it was difficult to keep a hold of my son. He kept slipping through my hands, like rice grain through fingers,” she says.
“I don’t know how, but I rushed inside the house and pulled out our sack of rice, and ran down the hill holding my son and the sack.
“I met my daughter down in the village. She was crying, and we were all afraid.
“We have been careful not to eat all the rice quickly, because we first have to find our feet again, so for now this bag of rice is still feeding the family.”
Rama Napal, 53 – Gajali the calf
Rama remembers working in the fields when the earthquake struck. She ran home to make sure that members of her family were safe – but after that, she was determined to rescue her prized calf, Gajali.
Animals are crucial to subsistence farmers like Rama, providing milk, meat and a source of income. They are also an important part of the spiritual life of communities. Rama named her calf Gajali – which means “eyeliner” – because of the animal’s sensuous eyes, which look as if they have eyeliner around them.
Rama says two of her cows and five of her goats were killed in the earthquake, and she spent three days digging through rubble to find Gajali.
She says: “I heard no sound from Gajali, after digging the earth looking for her. Then on the third day as I was moving the earth, I saw her tail shake. Many people in the village came to help me dig her out.
“I was so happy I cried, and I gave Gujali water and grass. This is a very special calf to me. I’ll never sell her.”
Pictures and interviews courtesy of Cafod
A damaged village seen from the Araniko Highway after the earthquake in Nepal last May. Landslides during the monsoon season could bring more devastation. Photograph: Alamy
It has been just over two months since the devastating earthquake in Nepal and, for much of the world, the event has faded from memory. But for Nepalese people the nightmare continues and now that the monsoon rains have arrived a new threat looms.
Every year landslides are common in Nepal during the monsoon, which usually runs from June to September, but this year is likely to be particuarly bad. Steep hillsides have been seriously destabilised by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in April and its subsequent aftershocks, and it is feared that the heavy rains will trigger multiple landslides from these precarious slopes.
Of particular concern is the Araniko highway, the main road linking Nepal with Tibet and China and a major conduit for goods from China. Unfortunately, this region, to the north-east of Kathmandu, was hard hit by the earthquake, and the road has only recently been reopened after mammoth clearance efforts.
But travelling down the highway is likely to be exceptionally risky during the monsoon. Cracks created by the earthquakes have left entire hillsides hanging and falling rocks are a constant hazard. Meanwhile, sludge-like landslides pulse down the rivers that the highway crosses. The usually bustling trading towns are now empty, their residents evacuated to makeshift tents in Kathmandu. And the new threat makes it too dangerous to return.
The Nenagh Nepal Earthquake Fund committee were in the residents lounge of the Abbey Court Hotel on Friday afternoon to express their thanks for the unprecedented level of support the fund has received.
To date over €30,000 has been collected. €17,000 has been delivered to small NGOs working on the ground with earthquake victims in Nepal. The Nenagh Nepal Earthquake fund has contributed to four Nepali NGOs.
Grass Roots Movement in Nepal (GMIN) works to build schools in rural areas. After the earthquake, GMIN was a first responder delivering food and medical supplies and tarps to affected communities both in the Kathmandu valley and also in Sindapalchowk, the epicentre. In particular, GMIN targeted Dalit or low caste communities who have historic difficulties in accessing entitlements. After the initial aid needs were met, GMIN moved to building temporary shelters with tin roofing. Money from NNEF contributed to both phases.
Tsum Valley is a remote Himalayan valley accessible only by walking or helicopter. Just west of the epicentre, 90% of all dwellings collapsed on April 25th. Tsum youth society was a first responder providing emergency relief and also a temporary shelter rebuild team, which included a team of engineers and craftspeople in early June. NNEF contributed to this rebuilding mission.
Dolpo Tulku foundation has worked in villages in Sankhu in the Kathmandu valley, which were devastated by the quake and also in villages near the epicentre, again providing both emergency relief and tin roofing for temporary shelters. NNEF contributed funds to both aspects of the relief aid.
Sama Village Foundation in the Nubri Valley aims to promote development in this remote Himalayan district, which has no road access. The Sama Village Foundation aims to restore the district to pre-quake conditions. The NNEF contributed to their efforts
As the monsoon rains have now arrived, rebuilding efforts have been postponed until the autumn. NNEF’s remaining funds will be channeled to the rebuilding efforts of these four NGOs. NNEF is also looking to contribute to the psychological recovery of the people of Nepal so other groups or initiatives supporting this may also be added.
The committee would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to everyone who contributed to the fund.
by Martin Thomas
Top surgeons from the Ear, Nose and Throat team at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool went barefoot to support a national social media fundraising campaign to help survivors of the Nepal earthquakes.
The ENT team at the hospital are best known for their work as the regional centre of excellence, and leading national research programmes. The team are part of the largest Head and Neck unit in the country.
But they swapped their skills in the theatre to go barefoot for the #NoSocksRocks charity fundraising initiative led by their colleague, consultant anaesthetist Dr Shambhu Acharya.
The campaign on social media aims to raise funds for UK charity Health Exchange Nepal. HExN has already sent a 21-strong team of volunteer doctors from Britain to help survivors of the two earthquakes which struck Nepal in April and May, causing thousands of casualties.
Dr Acharya, pictured centre, said: “It’s great to get the support of my colleagues for such a worthwhile cause. We’re well on the way towards our £100,000 target, and every time someone takes a photo and makes a small donation then we move that much closer. Every penny donated makes a difference to lives of people in Nepal who survived the earthquakes, but who now have significant medical needs.”
To help HExN raise awareness of the earthquake appeal and to reach their fundraising target of £100,000, the charity is inviting supporters to share photos of themselves without socks at work or taking part in their favourite activities, using the hashtag #NoSocksRocks to then challenge their friends.
Prof Satyan Rajbhandari, General Secretary of HExN, said: “People have been very generous across the country, and that support has enabled us to get doctors to the areas most in need in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.
“The terrible injuries many survivors have will require long-term support. Our next challenge is to offer rehabilitation treatment to people in Nepal, so that we can give them the best quality of life.”
Jeremy Ward, Chairman of HExN, added: “We hope that lots of people will support the No Socks Rocks! campaign and donate to the appeal, because every penny makes a difference. Using #NoSocksRocks will ensure that we’re continuing to make people aware of how much help is still needed for those in Nepal.”
To find out more about the No Socks Rocks campaign, follow HExN on Twitter @HExNepal, Facebook at HexN, or visit the website at http://www.hexn.org.