I love Nepal and have plans to spend my retirement years (and dotage) there. Everyone who knows me knows that. My love for Nepal goes back to my childhood because I adored my father who adored Nepal and all things and people Nepali. So you can imagine how heartbreaking and helpless I feel watching from the sidelines as I watch this beautiful country come crashing down overnight and the unequivocal respect and joy I feel when I see the wonderful people rally around each other and build themselves up to get back on their feet. As my cousin Sujoy (himself a survivor of this recent natural disaster) said in one of his Facebook posts recently (I'm paraphrasing of course), "they have carried our bags and even us when we were ill or injured up and down the mountain, its time for us to help them carry and lighten their load".
There are so many people fundraising and doing their own thing. Good for them. I have already done a small donation to UNOCHA but wanted to something a bit more personal. Here are three opportunities - if you want to do something personal and want to be updated on where and how this is going and making a difference, here is your chance. These are personal and I can personally vouch for them - that the money will go where they should go.
- My cousin, Sujoy Das' has a small trekking company that does regular treks up these mountain and one of his partners in Nepal, Santaman Tamang, comes from a village in the Nuwakot district that has been destroyed. They need everything. You can read his first-hand account here. Sujoy has already begun raising funds to send immediately to Santaman to help him at least get tents, blankets and some water purifiers. If you want to help, here are the bank details (you need to email my cousin for the account number - since it's his personal one for now). Use my reference so he knows who you are - he's wary about who he shares his account with (with good reason of course). I have already sent my contribution and hope to go up to Nepal should he need an extra pair of hands.
Name Of Account Holder: Sujoy Das; Axis Bank, 2/1a Sarat Bose Road Kolkata 700020, India
Swift Code For Foreign Remittances: Axisinbb005; IFSC Code: Utib0000411 (For NEFT Transfers), E-Mail: Sujoyrdas@Gmail.Com
- Our mutual cousin, Mita Hosali, is also a Nepali supporter. It is her influence alongside those of my friends, Bibhu and Charu, Tina and Siling, that made me want to be Nepali (or as close to it as I can get) other than the influence of my childhood of course. She is auctioning off some of her personal prized possessions that she has accrued over her travels (as part of her UN lifestyle). You can see her note here. These are all in her home in New York so if you have a home here in Dubai (or anywhere else) you might need to consider shipping too. With her (and her husband's) connections to the UN, and her personal connections in Nepal, she will make sure that money gets to where it's needed most. My 'bid' has already been sent.
- And last, but not least, my friends Bibhu and Charu are working with the Dooley Foundation to help bring aid to remote villages outside Kathmandu. They are looking for donations of course but if you want to send goods instead, then they have a very specific list of requirements. Check out their poster.
If you want to do something personal and have specific donations, check out the Nepal Rises FB page where they are trying to put together resources with local folks. Help where you can. Even if it is to share this article with your friends and family.
Thank you for your support.