In the disaster zone:
On May 08, 2015 Friday, thirteen days after the devastating earthquake hit the country, our voluntary team headed to Golche village of Sindupalchowk to deliver relief materials. It was our eight location and it was one of the farthest one our group “Jai Nepal Youth Group” had undertaken so far. Our six members were on a Tata Sumo, along with two trucks full of 200 tents, 200 rice bags, cooking oil and medicines.
After crossing the bridge at Balefi, we turned left to head towards our destination. As soon as we hit the off-road, our eyes were stunned by the scale of destruction. It was similar to a war scene from the movies and documentaries. We felt like we were passing through a jungle of dust and rubble. We felt the houses (what was left of them) on the both side of the road crouched helplessly after getting razed by cannon balls. For the next 25 kilometers, the scene remained the same.
A few communities near from the highway had received tents and food but for the others far from the main street had been waiting for relief for days. Even though the people had already salvaged and arranged wood planks, stones, bricks and possessions on the road side, they did not have tents, enough food and medicine.
On our way, we met a team of Nepal Army (they were Rangers from Bhadrakali) who informed us that we could only go to Kattikey and Golche was completely inaccessible. They also escorted us to Kattikey to prevent looting from some desperate people.
As we reached Kattikey, we were surrounded by over 1000 people who had come from Golche and other villages for relief. The situation was tense and we had to again resort to the army personnel’s help. With the help of local police and army personnel, we were able to distribute the materials to 200 families of Golche. We felt helpless as we couldn’t support the rest. But on our way back, we were relieved to see that there were several more trucks heading up that way for relief. In addition, we knew that the government (finally) had also distributing relief to the earthquake affected people and hoped that every family would get the help.
In this ways, our ad hoc group of volunteers, Jai Nepal Youth Group, had been working for the last ten days to support the earthquake survivors in various villages of Kavre, Sindupalchowk, Makwanpur and Nuwakot districts. We have been running our operation from Red Mud Café, Jhamsikhel. Our team comprises of former students of Kathmandu University, young entrepreneurs and educators and came together with a single objective to immediately help the people in need. We were all terrorized by the massive quake but since we were lucky to survive, we felt that it was our duty to help others. At the same time, we knew the government would be slow to react and groups like ours (and hundred others) had to be proactive.
We created a pool of funds by collecting money from ourselves and then from friends and well-wishers (home and abroad). We are very thankful for every known and unknown supporters for trusting us with their hard earned savings and we feel humbled that we were able to support over 1000 families and make a small difference in their lives.