By Dirgha Raj Prasai : After the massive earthquake 2015, April 25, Nepal has been receiving a great deal of support from various countries, international donor agencies, private organizations and even individuals following the April 25 Great Earthquake. As a least developed country, Nepal was/is too ill-prepared to cope up with the devastating impacts of as big tremor as 7.6 magnitude. Without the outpouring of financial, technical and other relief materials from all over the world, the scale of quake induced human tragedy and other losses would have been much higher.
Two immediate neighbors- China and India- as well as other nations including Bhutan and the US generously came forward to rescue the quake victims here in Nepal. Specifically speaking, the Chinese rescue team has played a vital role to support the people of the most affected districts like Sindhupalchok, Gorkha and Rasuwa. After the quake, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized a special meet to chalk out financial packages to help Nepal while Japan proposed holding an international conference among the donors to support Nepal’s reconstruction within a few months. Social media like Facebook and even international celebrities have been working to raise funds for assisting the quake victims in the country.
During the time of massive earthquake (7.8 magnitude-USGS, seismological department of Nepal claims 7.6 magnitude) April 25, 11.56 AM (local time), I was in my room at Kathmandu and my son Kangada and grand-daughter Kashwi were in their bed room upstairs. My house shook to and fro and up and down for about a minute. Mean time, although we were scared to death but manage to reach shadow zone (a safe place inside the house) .i.e. along the passage below the wooden door frame holding a pillow in our head. Then after the main shock, we rushed to our small kitchen garden to be safe from aftershocks. While rushing to the backyard, we saw, our boundary wall was already collapsed by main shock.
This is the first biggest earthquake, I have ever experienced in my life time. We experienced several continuous aftershocks on that very day. The frequent aftershocks made us more terrified. After sometime- we heard very sorrowful news around Nepal (mostly Central Nepal).
The next day, after 25 hours, me, my daughter Tista, daughter-in-law Divya and grand daughter were at Teaching Hospital- (Mahamohan Cardio Thoracic Vascular Transplant Center) where my wife Sanu Baba was staying at ICU after an aortic replacement type A (a major open heart surgery). My wife was very worried about us as she was at ICU. Although, the hospital building is designed to with-stand strong earthquake, it shook and terrorized us after a big aftershock (6.9 magnitudes). No structural damage was reported within the hospital territories.
The effects of the Great Quake are too enormous to handle alone. In the face of such crisis, there has been a generous outpouring of assistance from all around the world to minimize the sufferings of hundreds of thousands of the Nepali people hit by the tremors followed by collapsed building. Various countries, international organizations, private organizations, and even individuals both Nepalese and foreign are doing their best to help in the rescue, relief, treatment and rehabilitation of the victims. Around eight thousand people have so far been confirmed dead and another 10,000 are injured, some critically. Thousands more are suspected to be under debris in worst-hit districts like Sindhupalchowk, Gorkha, Dolakha and Kavrepalanchowk. If to believe preliminary estimates, the country’s economy has incurred as gigantic loss as US $9 billion (Rs 900 billion).
On the other side, the NRN UK community has raised $ 2 billion while movie star Rajesh Hamal amasses another billion dollars in his fund raising campaign in the Netherlands. Other bilateral and multilateral donor agencies have pledged yet another $ 100 million. The promise of such financial assistance has raised hopes that at least the initial phases of reconstruction and rehabilitation works will soon pick up in the country. Just getting the pledged sums is not enough to lend the much needed support to the hundreds of thousands of Nepali people hit by the latest disaster. How such largesse will be spent is indeed a million-dollar question. It is reported that almost all the funds are being channeled through the PM’s Disaster Relief Fund. So, there are valid reasons to raise doubt over their proper mobilization.
‘The government bureaucracy is outrageously inefficient, and corrupt. That is why conniving middlemen dare to siphon off a big chunk of funds earmarked by the government. The earthquake cash pool might also be marred by the same predatory tendency. At the same time, our donor agencies tend to fund the projects which serve their furtive interest more than the genuine needs of the country. There are some cases suggesting the donors funding their pet political projects by cunningly terming them important for Nepal. Another distressing fact is that 60-70 percent of such funds are repatriated to donor countries in the form of consultant fees. It highlights the need to check the misuse of the funds meant for the needy people. And, the government must take a lead in this regard.’
Sindhupalchowk, Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Dhading, Bhaktapur, Gorkha, Kavre, Lalitpur and Rasuwa have been declared the most affected districts. Similarly, the government has founded that altogether 60 districs have been affected by the earthquake. Based on the human casualty, Sindhupalchowk is the most affected district as a death toll reached 1250 in the district alone. According to the police report, 2848 people are killed in the central region, excluding three districts of Kathmandu Valley.
‘As the Nepal government focuses on relief distribution with the search and rescue mission almost coming to an end, 13 Indian, eight American and three Chinese helicopter are providing relief materials in various quake-hit districts. This also comes amid media reports in national and international media that strategic rivalry between India and China over addressing Nepal quake was heightened and both Asian nations are gearing up their hard and soft power clout in Nepal. According to Nepal Army, choppers belonging to the Indian Air Force are based in Pokhara and Kathmandu and have been dropping relief materials in Gorkha district, the quake epicenter. They are also dropping relief materials in Makwanpur, Rasuwa and Dhading districts which were majorly affected in the tremor.Six Indian choppers are based in Pokhara while seven are stationed in Kathmandu and dropping relief material according to the need, said the Nepal Army. (China National News (IANS) 7th May, 2015).
‘The massive earthquake not only destroyed our historical, cultural and religious monuments, but also claimed the lives of around eight thousand people and injured above 15 thousand people (by the time of writing this piece). Above two hundred thousand houses have collapsed and the same number of residential houses have been badly damaged. Some villages have been swept away from the landslide and avalanche after the earthquake. Of the 403 estimated missing people, 113 are foreigners, the NEOC said. A vast majority are tourists who were in Langtang valley, a popular spot for trekkers north of Kathmandu, when the quake hit.
It has already been 12 days since the quake jolted the nation, in many quake affected areas, there is no presence of the government. It seems, there is no government in the country. In the 1990 BS great earthquake, the then government didn’t receive foreign grants and foreign rescue teams, but during that time the then government had handled the crisis in a better manner. Nepal Army number was double than the present strength, the Nepal Army alone could manage the present quake crisis.’ -Pushpa Raj Pradhan- Peoples Review 15 May 2015.
The international community that helped sponsor the destabilization of the country now is thoroughly exposed to the extents of official Nepali non-performance. If nothing, the policy sector is naked in the eyes of those seeking a semblance of coherence in disaster relief and the extents of self-serving paralysis can no longer be swept under a carpet tattered by mounting unaccountable neglect of which the death and destruction at the Dharahara and the cracks in Kathmandu high-rises is mere mute witness. The international competition for relief will be meaningful and long lasting only when there is international comprehension, coherence and competition for the restoration of meaningful political stability in Nepal.
It is a matter of grief that we Nepalese people are suffering from the looters, corrupts and traitors’ regime since 2006. In such crisis, the corrupt and visionless government has failed to manage the crisis created by the devastating earthquake. The visionless government, which has not been able to show its presence in the quake affected areas, attempted to block different organizations and individuals from distributing relief materials by issuing a notice that all the help should be deposited at the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. Different hurdles were created in distributing relief materials to the victims. As the organizations as well as individuals were unable to distribute relief materials, for many days the victims had to suffer. Yes! UN official says donor response slow to meet Nepal’s needs.
Nepal is a sovereign ancient nation with its traditional identity. Nepal is a mini-world. Physically, Nepal is built of high Himalayas including the highest peak in the world, hills and the low-land Terai. People belonging to different ethnic groups settle here. The soil in this country varies from place to place. It differs from east to the west and hills to the Terai. Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, and Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak is in Nepal and hundreds of mountaineers from across the world come to conquer them. Nepal is blessed by the nature with several rivers, lakes, streams and fountains. Nepal has ample sources of water in the form of white gold. Nepal can also be a great store of food-grains if well irrigated and it has high potential of hydroelectric energy.
The Himalayan country Nepal is known as a unique natural, cultural and adventurous destination in the tourism map of the world. Nepal is a land of eternal attraction, a place where one visit is hardly ever enough. It’s a land of colorful cultures, ancient history and people, superb scenery and some of the best walking on earth. Though Nepal is a small country, it is a common home of various ethnic communities and caste groups. The national aspirations can’t be met by belittling any of the castes and sub-castes. Nepal is fortunate enough to have one-cultural nationalism. This culture is made with the components of Hinduism and Buddhism. Tolerance and civilization make our sublime culture. But, due to the traitors’ regime since 2006, Nepal is converted in the ranks of the poorest nations in the world and this is because there are no sincere leaders and people’s representatives. Leaders of the political parties are always tangled up in petty disputes and are carelessly playing with the prestige of the nation.
Nepal has been always showing goodwill towards India. Cordial people to people level relations between Nepal and India has existed since ancient times due to our similar cultural and religious traditions. Nepal and India have to keep friendly relations each other. But, since 2005, Congress (I) and its RAW’s nefarious conspirator roles had humiliated the cordial situation between us. The permanent institution- ‘Monarchy’ can put unites the cordial relation between Nepal, India and China. Nepal’s monarchy had been playing a balanced role between the two big neighbors-China & India.
We hope, especially, the BJP Govt. should have to change the nefarious design of former Congress (I) Govt. and it’s RAW to maintain the cordial relation with Nepal. The BJP Govt. should propose as is is the Hindu Kingdom and constitutional monarchy in Nepal. We Nepalese people can adjust our way of life prosperous keeping sovereignty intact reinstating the norms of 1990 constitution which was itself smoothing democratically. If not implement the popular constitution 1990, the situation would have created uncertainty, confusion and anarchy in Nepal. So, to keep intact Nepal’s sovereignty, there must be focused to keep in existence-the constitutional monarchy and Hindu kingdom honoring the national integrity.
We Nepalese people pray to Lord Pashupatinath to save from the massive earthquake