UoH for Nepal is an initiative by the students of the University of Hyderabad. A group of students took up the task of raising money and personally going to Nepal in aiding relief work. Sipoy Sarveswar shares his experience and a report on the relief provided to the affected people in the Thecho village of Nepal.
UoH Herald lauds the efforts of the students for this noble deed.
UoH for Nepal is an initiative started by the students of University of Hyderabad, to help the earthquake victims of Nepal. The earthquake which hit Nepal on April 25th, 2015 has left many people in ruins. As researcher from Department of Anthropology, who carried out his fieldwork for 13 months in Nepal for his Doctoral work, is also one of the student who started this humane initiative. The students explored all possible avenues to collect funds from different sections of the UoH fraternity namely students, teachers, non-teaching staff and even the personal contacts of family and friends of the students were approached for contributions. Apart from this students also organised fund collection drives at public places such as, Shilparamam, DLF, Indra Nagar, to name a few. The students approached the public with innovative ideas such as organizing musical evening as a part of fund collection, where students played different musical instruments like Flute and Guitar to support the cause.
The UoH for Nepal initiative collected a total fund of Rs. 5,50,000/- (Indian Rupees), equivalent to Rs. 8,80,000/- (Nepali rupees). The fund was used to help the earthquake victims in the village, Thecho (Lalitpur District, Kathmandu valley, Nepal).
The UoH for Nepal volunteers, in collaboration with Hapa Pucha (a voluntary youth organization) based in Thecho village, surveyed and analyzed the situation in the ground level to understand the extent of damage in the village. After the survey, the volunteers and the Hapa Pucha came to an understanding that the victims of the village are able to manage the food grains, household items and clothes for them. However, their houses have been completely damaged and are staying in polythene covered tents (relief material given by different organizations) in the open spaces. These tents are vulnerable for even small rain making it impossible for them to stay in the forthcoming monsoons. Taking this into consideration the group thought of supplying corrugated galvanized (CGI) sheets to the victims so that they can build temporary shelters with these sheets and bamboo, to face the monsoons. These temporary shelters can be built within one day, with minimum expenditure and decent durability. The victims of the earthquake can stay in these houses until they manage to rebuild their permanent houses or manage an alternate accommodation.
Though the material supplied by the volunteers was not enough to build the temporary shelter completely, the initial support from other organizations (including government) providing relief, this enabled the families to build their temporary shelters and with their little contribution.
Total number of households in the Thecho 2543
Total number of households which are not feasible to reside (including the houses completely collapsed) 547*
Total number of households the initiative is planning to provide Relief aid 230**
* Though the total number of houses which need aid are 547, after field survey and cross checking the data provided by the village developmental committee, by the volunteers and Hapa Pucha members, it has been identified that the other houses received help from the other organizations or managed themselves with an alternative accommodation facilities. So the initiative decided to give the aid to the 230 households, within in the given limited funds.
**The number of household might come down as different organizations are extending their support to help the earth quake victims to build the temporary shelters. In that case the estimated money of those houses will go to the aid of re-construction public resting places in the village.
The initiative divided the funds in the following manner:
Total amount 8,80,000/-
Total number of houses getting relief aid 230
Share for each household 3434/-
Each bundle (comprises 9 CGI sheets of 26 gauge) costs 4400/-
Total required sheets for the 230 households 1616
Number of sheets each household receives 7
Money allotted for aiding the re-construction of few public resting places called as Falcha* within the village. 90,000/- (10.2%)
* Falcha is a common resting place which can be accessed by any person. Often used for taking rest or social gathering. These Falchas are traditionally maintained by the group of people or the temple. These Falchas play a key role in the Newari culture. The aid will be provided in the near future when the group (who is responsible to maintain the Falcha) initiates the re-construction process. With the allotted money it is expected that, partial help can be provided to 3-4 Falchas.
The initiative distributed the CGI sheets to the identified victims in each and every ward (9 wards) in the village. The pending 10.2% of the money will be kept in the joint account (Hapa Pucha Members) in one of the cooperatives (Palistha saving and cooperative ltd) in the Thecho village.