Homestead Epitaph Issue 7
Published March 30, 2015
By Shauli Bar-On
The local community mourns victims of Saturday’s devastating earthquake that trembled Nepal. The record 7.9 magnitude earthquake originated 50 miles north of the capital, Kathmandu, causing a death toll of over 4,600, CNN reports.
Senior Anshuman Bhusal and sophomore Anubhav Bhattarai were born in Nepal and spent parts of their childhood there.
After hearing the tragic news, both families tried to contact their families. At first, Bhusal was unable to reach his relatives due to the cellular backup of the world trying to contact the country.
“At first I couldn’t believe it, it’s not often that my small country comes on the news. But video after video, gruesome picture after picture, struck it into my mind that this was happening,” Bhusal said.“We immediately began attempting to contact our relatives without success.”
Bhattarai did not realize the full extent of the damage until he did some research on his own.
“In the beginning, I didn’t think it was a big deal… but then we were talking to my relatives and I found out the tallest building in Nepal was ground-zero,” Bhattarai said.
To Bhusal and Bhattarai’s relief, both families are fine, but the quake’s aftershocks required the Nepali people to stay outside due to the constant dangers of collapsing buildings. Many other problems that may prove more dangerous than the actual earthquake are developing.
“Food is starting to become scarce, [and] this forces the prices to rocket up. Even though there are many people willing to give donations, it’s difficult to send aid due to the poorly built roads and infrastructure,” Bhusal said.
Bhattarai and Bhusal felt the need to help their home country, making it a priority to inform society of the calamity.
“I thought about how I could help my country out and considered the lack of media on the subject and decided to inform people about the subject,” Bhusal said. “I looked online for ways to donate, and found text numbers that people could donate to. I wrote the numbers on my arms and asked people to donate to the effort.”
In honor of all Nepali people, Bhattarai and his friends asked the local community for donations. Just this past weekend, the group of friends raised $500.
On Sunday afternoon, Bhattarai took part in a Serra Park ceremony where candles were lit as tribute for fallen Nepali people.
Bhattarai hopes to continue receiving donations in support of his home country. He plans to spread awareness of the tragedy by posting flyers around the area.
“Pray for Nepal” he said.
If you want to donate money to the effort you can text “Give Nepal” to 80088 for the global giving or, alternatively you could text “Red Cross” to 90999