Just as we were thinking it couldn’t get worse for the earthquake survivors, they have had to face another trauma. There was a terrible bus accident in Rasuwa in early November, and many of the people we worked with and were trying to help died or suffered injuries.
At least 37 people lost their lives and many more were injured.
In the midst of this tragedy, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals who have continued to support some of the most disadvantaged earthquake survivors:
1) Saraswati Adhikari and her friends provided a cash gift of NPR 15,000 each to these three women in Rasuwa:
a) Late Savadol Tamang of Ramche VDC
Savadol had four children. Her husband, Sukuram Tamang, was a porter. He was in Langtang carrying trekkers’ bags when a quake-triggered mudslide buried him. His body was not found. Savadol not only lost her husband, but her house was also completely destroyed by the quake. Her youngest child was just a few months old.
Update: Savadol and her infant died in the bus accident mentioned earlier. She was on her way to Dhunche to register the death of her husband. Her two remaining children have become complete orphans now.
b) Kumari Ghale of Haku VDC
Kumari Ghale is a young single mother from Haku. Her husband died after falling from a cliff a little over a year ago. Her entire village was swept away by the devastating earthquake of April 25. Her house was completely destroyed and she could not even retrieve her belongings. She has been permanently displaced like most other families in her village. She is currently living with her one-year-old son in a temporary camp in Sankhule, Kalikasthan (Rasuwa).
c) Newangmo Ghising of Bhorle VDC
Newangmo is a disabled mother of four children (2 sons and 2 daughters). Her husband left her and married another woman a few years ago. The earthquake destroyed her house and exacerbated her already difficult situation. She has no income source and is unable to move without support.
2. Smriti Moktan provided a cash gift of NPR 10,000 each to the following individuals in Sindhupalchowk and Rasuwa:
a) Bhimsen Thami, Duskhun, Sindhupalchowk
Six-year-old Bhimsen Thami is from Duskhun-8, Sindhupalchowk, the district that suffered the highest number of casualties in the April 2015 earthquake. Bhimsen lost his mother soon after the disaster (she committed suicide). His father died many years ago. The family belongs to the Thami ethnic group, one of the most disadvantaged communities in Nepal. Bhimsen now lives with his disabled grandfather who can barely support himself. He is now in 2nd grade but may not be able to continue his studies if he doesn’t get external support.
(A small portion of the money, about NPR 600, was given to Ashish Thami, Bhimsen’s uncle, who walked down to Barabise to pick up the money from the bank and delivered it to Bhimsen’s grandfather in the village.)
b) Gore Ghale, Yarsa, Rasuwa
After years of trying his luck, Gore Ghale finally found a job last year in an iron factory in Malaysia. He took a loan at 36 percent interest from a neighbor to cover the cost of travel, recruitment agency fees, and initial expenses at his destination. But a month after he started working, he sustained a head injury on the job and had to be hospitalized for three weeks. After a long recovery, Gore finally resumed work and was beginning to hope for a better life for his family when he heard about the earthquake. He rushed back home in a state of panic. All the houses in the village including his had been destroyed. Nine people had died, including his wife, who was buried by a quake-triggered landslide as she was collecting firewood in the forest. Dazed and distraught, Gore was living under a tarpaulin sheet with his four children. If he returned to Malaysia, there would be no one to look after his children. His youngest was only three. If he stayed back, he would not be able to support them or pay off his loans. – See more at: http://recordnepal.com/perspective/heart-matter#sthash.U4C5zQny.dpuf
3) Sewa KC and Bhupal Adhikari provided a cash gift of approx. NPR 35,000 each to the following two mothers in Rasuwa (along with monthly transfer fees)
a) Buti Lopchan Tamang (aka Kali Ghising), Bhorle VDC, Rasuwa
Kali’s husband was killed in the quake and her house completely destroyed. The family was conducting the new baby’s naming ceremony when the earthquake struck. Kali, her husband and 8-year-old son, and her father-in-law were all buried in rubble but all (except her husband) managed to survive with minor injuries. She has no regular source of income and is worried how she will support her two children. Her younger child is only a few months old.
b) Buti Tamang, Haku VDC, Rasuwa
When the earthquake struck on April 25, Buti’s entire village was swept away, killing dozens of people and displacing entire families. Buti lost her husband and home. She is permanently displaced and now living in a camp for internally displaced persons in Kalikasthan, Rasuwa. She has three children; the youngest was only three days old when the disaster hit.
Update: Buti Tamang and her baby were also on the bus that met with an accident in early November. Buti is receiving treatment at a hospital in Kathmandu but her baby is in a critical condition. Buti’s mother died in the accident, her father has a fractured limb, and some of her relatives have also suffered serious injuries.
In August we provided basic school supplies to 8 children from two extremely vulnerable families in Alampu, Dolakha. The funds were provided by Nehi Fund.
Six of the children were from Sete Thami’s family in Alampu-4. On July 4 Sete’s wife was returning to the village from Babare with some bundles of zinc sheets on her back (provided by a non-government organization). She fell ill on the road and when she reached home, she vomited blood and died soon after. Sete Thami has been mentally unbalanced since his wife’s sudden death. He spends most of his time drinking. His seven children have been left without any support. One of his daughters has gone to live with her uncle, who is a wageworker in Darjeeling, India.
The other two are Subash Thami’s children. Theirs is one of the poorest families in the village. Their condition has become more critical since the earthquake destroyed their house.
The supplies provided included:
School uniform, stationery, bag, shoes, books and umbrella.
To see the expense summary for this initiative, please see the Nehi Fund page.
We finally found someone willing to provide a small monthly allowance for Buti Lopchan Tamang (aka Kali Ghising) from Bhorle VDC, Ward No. 3, Rasuwa. Buti’s husband was killed in the quake and her house was completely destroyed. She has no regular source of income and is worried how she will support her two children. Her younger child is only a few months old.
Smita Shrestha Nepali, who lives in Kathmandu, has kindly agreed to provide a monthly allowance for Buti. We met Buti on 8 August 2015 in Kalikasthan, Rasuwa and handed over a cash allowance of NPR 5000 (for two months). Subsequent allowances will be sent to her directly via a money transfer agency, and the local coordinator in Kalikasthan will help her withdraw it. Thank you, Smita, for your valuable support.
There are many more women who are living in harsh conditions and could benefit from a small monthly allowance. Please let us know if you or anyone you know would be willing to support them.
Bishnu Laxmi Tamang, 84, is a single woman from Shankhu VDC, Ward No. 8, Lalitpur. She is the second wife of late Lawan Dorje Lama, who died 5 years ago. She has no children. Since she has no one to support her, she had been living with her stepson’s family, who treated her as an unwanted burden. After the 25 April earthquake destroyed their house, they told her to leave the family and go fend for herself. The family was already poor. Their main occupation was subsistence farming. Bishnu Laxmi used to help collect fodder from the forest and work in the fields, but due to old age, she had become unfit for heavy manual labour. That was why they sent her away.
Her citizenship certificate, which was with her daughter-in-law, got lost nearly 15 years ago, so she cannot claim the monthly allowance for the elderly provided by the government. Obtaining a new citizenship certificate would be a difficult and complicated process, and she does not know how to go about it. But recently, she managed to obtain a copy of her citizenship with the help of a social worker, Krishnaman Lama of Bukhel VDC, Lalitpur. Krishnaman came across her while she was desperately trying to find basic means of survival. He then contacted our team and requested relief support on behalf of Bishnu Laxmi. We hope the support we have provided will help her through this difficult transition.
Relief support provided:
A set of cooking pots (cooking pots and pans; a complete set of stainless steel utensils including a knife and a tea strainer; a plastic bucket and mug); basic rations (30 kg rice, lentil, oil, sugar, tea, salt and spices); a tent (6mx 4m); soaps and detergent; and a cash gift of NPR 1,500. The total cost of the supplies including the cash gift was NPR 5624. In addition, she received a used bedsheet, blanket, pillow, a thermal mat and some clothes.