I could have written a fun post, but I thought this was more important. Saturday morning India Time 9:00 AM, a series of earthquake shook our part of the world. The tremors continued for 2 hours sporadically and with yet another set hitting us on Sunday morning. The epicenter of the earthquake was Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, a beautiful little state bordering India and impacting both Nepal and the eastern India, the part of world where my family belongs from. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.8 on Richter scale and has also triggered of several avalanches across Himalayan range, including Mount Everest.
According to BBC, 3326 people are now reported as dead and more than 6500 people injured, with several thousand still missing. While I am ok and so is my immediate family, I have several friends and acquaintance, who have been impacted by this earthquake. A couple, newly married friends who were trekking on the Himalayas are missing. Several family members of my friends have been grievously injured and some already dead. The beautiful city of Katmandu, one of my favorite cities in the world has been destroyed – its precious historically rich architecture has been levelled and can never be put back again. 4 UNESCO Heritage sites have been completely destroyed! The country is now running short of food and water and continued heavy rains has led to fears of diarrhea and cholera among those who have lost their homes and are now forced to live in camps.
One of the poorest of the third world nations, with a GDP of $67 billion, (Wikipedia) Nepal has been in continuous political ferment since the death of its King and Queen in 2001, leading to massive political unrest and finally became a republic in 2008. However it continued with problems of poverty, health and other developmental needs. But despite all these trouble, the land and her people have always been warm, accepting, hospitable and joyous. My visits to Nepal have always been such wonderful and heart rending experiences, as the poorest of the poor are happy to share whatever little they have, if it makes your life better. All through college and graduate school days, I had a bunch of friends from Nepal – fun, crazy and generous and through these years of staying apart, they have kept in touch across time and geography and stood by me in most difficult times!
This is a time for prayers and help for this lovely country and its wonderful people, who need our assistance badly. If you can, spare a moment for this wonderful land and its amazing people. They need all our help in any way or form. If you wish to help through any kind of material support, please visit this link published by US Today, which will give you several option to support in cash or kind.
I would end by remembering all those lost their lives in this unmitigated disaster!