Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jan 18, 2018

Local Nepalese help earthquake victims

By NICOLE HESTER-WILLIAMS Ledger staff writer | Apr 29, 2015

In the aftermath of one of the worst earthquakes to hit the South East Asian nation of Nepal in 80 years, local residents join in as humanity pulls together from around the world to assist victims of Saturday’s natural disaster near Kathmandu, claiming the lives of more than 5,000 people according to The Guardian.

The Nepalese Students Association at Maharishi University of Management recently launched a crowd funding website in hopes that local residents will assist in the relief efforts.

“There are 17 Nepalese families here and 70 students living on campus,” said Prajwal Pradhan, MUM’s financial controller. Both Pradhan and his wife, Binita, hail from Nepal. “Here from the MUM student side, the Nepalese Student Association has set up a Gofundme.com website.  In Des Moines, the Iowa Nepalese Association is also fundraising on their own website, and they will donate to a guy who is going to Nepal from Cedar Rapids to help.”

In two days, Cedar Rapids resident and native Nepali Janak Adhikari, will travel to Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu with a team of 10-12 medical workers from Iowa.

“Janak and his team will be focusing mostly on affected areas outside of Kathmandu,” Pradhan said, adding that many of the areas outside of the nation’s capital suffered the most devastation.

“The places that were the most affected were outside of Kathmandu and those people didn’t get assistance because people are not trained,” he said.

Pradhan’s hometown of Dolakha is one of the eight Nepali towns that were hit the hardest during the quake.

Pradhan said around 90 percent of homes there are now uninhabitable.

“I haven’t reached all of the family yet, but whoever I spoke with said their families are safe,” he said. “On Saturday, all of the Nepalese families and students gathered, and as far as we know, none of their families have been affected —although there have been some casualties as far as friends or people that they knew. We just want to know what we can do. How can we make an impact? Everyone feels so helpless.”

Although news of his own family’s safety came as a relief, Pradhan’s voice was strained as he described the nightmarish reality of the many lives lost, the panic of not being able to initially reach immediate family members, and the survivors’ need for basic necessities.

According to The Guardian today, in Nepal alone, the death toll climbed to 5,057.

Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala predicts a final death toll of 10,000.

Dinesh Gyawali, an Ayurvedic physician and Ph.D. candidate at

MUM began circulating a letter around the campus.

“I wish I could have been there at this hard time when my country and my people need me the most,” Gyawali expressed in the letter. “Besides following the news and praying for my country, I could barely do anything to relieve the pain.”

Pradhan agreed.

“I found out about the earthquake about 2:30 in the morning, and tried to call everybody, family friends; the lines were down, and I felt panic, helpless; nobody can even dream this in their worst nightmares,” he said. “All of the town and temples and places we used to roam around … nobody can imagine.”

Pradhan said those living in Nepal continue to live in fear as strong tremors reverberated along the fault line.

The local Nepalese community gathers daily to discuss ways to increase their efforts in assisting their ravaged homeland.

“There’s a lot going on here, but we are holding up. We are sending our prayers for the people whose lives have been cut short in this natural disaster,” he said. “I’d like to request that people help in any way they can and donate whatever resources they have to whatever organization they feel comfortable … even prayer will help.”

For more information, go to:  http://www.gofundme.com/nepalistudentsmum.

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