The date of 25th April will be etched in the memories of all Nepalese people for a long time to come. When the very ground beneath our feet started giving away to violent tremors, the streets we grew up in were reduced to rumble, our infrastructures crippled and over eight thousand lives were lost to mother nature. The Nepalese economy which was just beginning to shape up after crawling for a long time faced a major halt on most business operations. Despite the chaos that handicapped most of Nepal’s businesses momentarily, some businesses and foreign groups alike seized this catastrophic event and turned it into an opportunity to better serve humanity.
Taking an example, many of us know about ‘Foodmandu’, an emerging business which delivers food from over a hundred restaurants right at our doorsteps. What many of us might be unaware of is how Foodmandu reversed its typical role of delivering food by instead collecting food from our doorsteps to supply to Earthquake victims.
Another innovative idea, ‘Hack the Quake’, an idea competition for rebuilding Nepal was initiated by the alumni of Institute of Engineering, Janaki Technology, Nepal engineer’s Association and Kathmandu University. Having collected over 55 participants, ideas ranged from sanitation to housing to information access but they weren’t limited to these options. The three winners were declared on 24th June 2015, each receiving a cash prize of Rs 50,000. One of the winner’s proposal was to make a smart phone app as a reporting tool for diseases. While another’s was to make a hand held mechanical charger for smart phones for a price of Rs 400. The ideas which won are being organized so they will be more presentable to potential sponsors.
We have all quoted “Laughter is the best medicine” at one time or another but during the course of the earthquake, it escaped all faces. This was when the Dream clowns came to the rescue. A group of medically trained Israeli clowns visited Nepal post earthquake for providing relief, especially to children. During their nine day visit, they interacted with children in the worst affected areas by twisting balloons into animals, surprising patients with flowers, handing out toys and playing games with the delighted children. The purpose of their visit was to ease trauma effects and reduce pain and anxiety.
We may have lost several valuable monuments but the united Nepali spirit is stronger than ever. Citizens and foreigners alike have come together to help our fellow brothers and sisters in all nooks and corners. No one can expect Nepal to recover immediately. It will take a lot of both; time and effort. Taking an example of Haiti, the recovery process is still taking place five years later.
And lastly an excerpt from Haiti’s message to Nepal, “You are more than the disasters you suffer. You are not victims – you are survivors, you are heroes, and you will rebuild your country. Your brothers and sisters in Haiti are here to tell you that the ground will stop shaking, the dust will settle, and you will live on to build a new Nepal. And for those who have been lost today, the world will honor their memories“
We will rise, slowly but surely.