Building a Better Nepal

Building a Better Nepal

Publication info

Grishma Raj Aryal

Grishma Raj Aryal, Communications Officer for CARE Nepal, writes about his personal experience on how communities are coming together to help those affected by the earthquake. 

Two days after the big earthquake in Nepal, I woke up at 3 am. I felt another tremor. I had only managed to sleep for an hour and I could not get back to sleep for the rest of the night. We were still sleeping outside our house. At around 8:30 in the morning, I reached the CARE office in Kathmandu. Most of my colleagues were already in the office. 

As I had some media interviews that day, I quickly started setting up a separate media room for skype interviews. As I was answering the queries put forward by media from all over the world, the horrific scenes during the time of the earthquake kept running through my mind. The way people were screaming; the way everyone was trying to reach friends and relatives; that look of fear and worry in everyone’s eyes; the way people were setting up their tents in the streets and in open spaces.

Between my interviews, whenever I had some free time, I called my friends to check on them. Fortunately, all of my friends were safe. Most of them had already started to volunteer for relief activities for people affected by the earthquake.

Some of them were procuring goods and distributing them to the people who had lost their homes; doctors provided free medical services; engineers inspected damaged houses and everyone was doing whatever they could to help the people in the affected areas. 

Everyone I met was eager to help. When I went to Nallu village where CARE was distributing relief items, I had a chance to speak with some of the affected people. I was really surprised to find a man who was standing in front of his broken house and he told me that he was collecting money from his friends and sending relief items to affected areas, even though he had lost his own home due to the earthquake.

There was another women whose daughter was struggling to rescue herself during the earthquake, as she was physically disabled. Her neighbor helped her. He risked his own life going inside the collapsed house, carrying her outside.

There are many examples where people were inviting their neighbors to share their tents. Even famous singers posted songs on social media to help people remain positive. The Pulchowk engineering campus in Lalitpur has even developed a model house which can be prepared in few days with minimum costs and construction materials.

Amidst all the devastation that took place in Nepal, I believe that the spirit of volunteerism and the eagerness to help each other during crisis has brought the people of this country closer together. Personally, my involvement with CARE is very fulfilling as I am getting a chance to serve my people and humanity. My priority in life to be useful to my community has become much clearer as I am working with CARE.

I think that there lies a long way to recovery ahead of Nepal. But with everyone coming together, we will build up Nepal – safer and better than before. 

CARE staffer, Grishma Raj Aryal, speaks to earthquake survivors as they await relief at Shankha Park, Kathmandu. © 2015 Prashanth Vishwanathan/CARE