Earthquake relief effort by the Jackson School of Geoscience community

06/23/2015 update

The project got delayed a bit but we wanted to implement the project in coordination with the local government authorities and provide more durable shelter for the victims of the Earthquake.  The project has been finally executed successfully with some changes based on local circumstances.

10339420_1077463148939784_5111644498039440812_oProject leader Sushma Paudel (middle) and my father (middle, with a cap) along with other social workers handing over the steel truss system to be used for Homestay.

The target area was Barpak, which was completely flattened by the Earthquake. Until the Earthquake, Barpak was a famous tourist destination and it was very well known for it’s unique tourism known as ‘Homestay‘. The local people wanted to revive their tradition and we decided to support them. We coordinated with the Office of the Chief District Officer, Officer of the District Development Committee, local social workers, and media persons to identify the families in need. The project was led voluntarily by Sushma Paudel, a local female journalist and social activist, who is also a member of the Federation of Nepali Journalist. We were able to fund two families for constructing shelters to be used for Homestay from the fund that we collected at the Jackson School of Geosciences. Two additional shelters will also be supported from another source of Funding in the following week.

The shelter will be constructed using steel truss system and CGI sheets which can be easily assembled on site and moved to another location if required.

The families being supported will operate the Homestay and will invest a portion of the profit back to the community. They will also provide shelter to the people in need during the upcoming Monsoon season and provide space for community activities.

11655101_1077518918934207_590971975_nCGI sheets and other accessories to be used for building the ‘Homestay’ shelter. 

11650796_1077519072267525_936741343_nHand-over ceremony held in the office of the District Development Committee, Gorkha.

I heartily thank the project leader Susma Paudel and her team, CDO Uddav Raj Timilsina, Local Development Officer Prem Giri, and other local activists for supporting this project in different ways. This project was only possible due to the generosity of the people from the Jackson School of Geosciences Community listed below. I am again extremely grateful to them.

Follow this link to read a news about this project published in a local newspaper. I will soon be posting more pictures after the shelters are built in the actual site.

Thank you again to everyone involved in this project. We can certainly make great difference with our little effort.

05/22/2015 update

The collected fund has been sent to Nepal via Western Union – thanks to Western Union for waiving the transfer fee. Construction of a community hall in a worst-hit village Barpak, Gorkha is being considered. This fund will provide the CGI sheets and additional support for the whole building construction is being sought.

May 11, 2015 update

Many members of our community at the Jackson School of Geosciences have responded to the Nepal Earthquake and donated generously to the victims of the massive Earthquake that occurred on April 25, 2015. Although your supports have been more than what can be expressed in words, I can only thank you all for your support and financial contributions made through various organizations involved in the relief effort on behalf of the people of Nepal and myself. Specifically, I must thank Dr. Laurie Schuur Duncan, Dr. Bayani Cardenas, Dr. Kathy Ellins, Dr. Zong-Liang Yang, Dr. Gary Kocurek, Dr. Sharon Mosher, Dr. Kerry Cook, and Dr. Rong Fu for supporting in this effort in different ways.

Some bighearted people including Dr. Kathy Ellins, with whom I am doing TA, showed their desire in helping the Earthquake victims directly after I sent e-mail to the Jackson School of Geosciences community. Together, as of 05/13/2015, we have been able to raise $1,225.00 in cash/check in addition to the donations made online. I would like to thank the following people for their generous contribution:

1. Laurie Duncan and her husband Drew, UT-Austin

2. Kathy Ellins, UT-Austin

3. Bayani Cardenas, UT-Austin

4. Alison Hansen, UT-Austin

5. Chengling Gong, UT-Austin

6. Liuqin Chen, UT-Austin

7. Patricia Bobeck, UT-Austin

8. Katherine Strandberg, UT-Austin

9. Jisun Kim, UT-Austin

10. Karen Relly Brown,  Lauderdale, Florida

In order to distribute the collected fund to the victims directly, I am coordinating with some of my friends affiliated with a club in my hometown, which is just about 50 miles away from the epicenter of the Earthquake. In the verge of the upcoming monsoon season, the plan is to provide Corrugated Galvanized Iron (CGI) Sheets to some worst-hit families of the Earthquake and assist them in constructing shelter so that they do not have to live under the open sky. Some members of the club led by a female journalist have volunteered for the cause and will be executing the project in coordination with the local government authorities. Please note that, in Nepal, one small house roughly requires about 20 CGI sheets worth $200, which means that about 5 families will be directly benefited from $1,000.

I will be updating this page as we continue to help the victims of the Earthquake. I also wrote an article (although it is in Nepali) in a popular digital media of Nepal Setopati to raise awareness about the Earthquake. If anyone is still willing to donate, I can be reached at psagar@utexas.edu or at my office JGB 5.322.

Once again, thank you very much to all.

Please read my earlier post to get more information about the Earthquake including some videos and pictures, and additional ways to help.

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