UNITED SIKHS Aid distribution in Nepal. Click here.
Nepal is still vivid in my imagination. I reached Nepal on 28th April, 2015; just three days after the first major earthquake. I was one of the first team members of the UNITED SIKHS team in Nepal. To reach Nepal at its need of hour was crucial, it took me many hours to reach Kathamandu because of congestion. Finally I reached Kathamandu where we set our base camp at Gurdwara Nanak Satsang at Kupondole.
I am humbled by the spirit of Nepal.
In two months we established fourteen medical camps. All health camps were held in far-flung areas, which took us hours to reach, and required miles of walking. Our medical team treated 5,000 patients. Along with the camps, tarpaulins and food was distributed to those in need. Later, we helped people with Corrugated galvanised iron sheets, which are used for construction and known locally as Jaastas. One of UNITED SIKHS’ strategic decisions was to move away from Kathmandu and provide help to Nepalese who were cut off from all the support offered to Nepal due to reasons such as a lack of connecting routes.
My two months of seva, or selfless service, in Nepal has changed my life in many ways. It has added value to everything I do now. I never realised the worth of things, the way that I do now. Disaster has no religion; I realised that humanity is built across people of different nations, cultures, and religions. Some of them are amazed to see Sikhs for the first time in their life. I worked with a very enthusiastic team, with people from every profession and every age group working together relentlessly for the same cause. I realized that disaster binds humanity at large. The team was comprised of Amritpal Singh (Bhatia Uncle) 63, Architect Jasbir Singh, Inderjit Bhenji, Palwinder Veerji, Bhai Esher Singh, Mejinderpal Kaur, and doctors and volunteers between the age group of 25-40 years. Rishab, Gurvesh, Harneet, Harmeet, Amarjit, Intidnerpal, Gurjit, Majinderpal Singh, Manish, Amanjot, Sabin, Anup, Shyam Pandey, Raminder Kaur, Milanjeet, Martha, Latoya, Naina and our two drivers Ravi and Jairman. All of our work would have remained an unfinished task without the help of people from Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship): Karnail Singh, Preetam Singh, Gudi Aunty and other sevadaars (volunteers) who prepared langar; kids from gurdwaras who helped us in all this; a big thanks to all.
Exchanging a letter of appreciation with Nepal Army, Jagadal Battalion at Chhauni Kathmandu.
My journey of two months was made possible because of your kind support. Traveling to two epicenters of earthquake and almost all affected areas from Dolakha to Gorkha to Nawakot to Sindhupalchok all would have remained unfinished if it wasn’t for your donations and prayers.
I am thankful to UNITED SIKHS for giving me a chance to lead this project, especially in a region where women are still struggling to find equal ground. Their faith in me has enhanced my confidence like no other. This was not just seva, but a spiritual journey of understanding myself and assessing my strengths and weaknesses. I don’t have enough words to thank the Nepal Army headed by Captain Santosh as it shouldered our responsibility of relief work.
One of the most heartbreaking stories is that of Sagar, a 19-year old who lost his left arm due to the earthquake. Due to extreme conditions of poverty, Sagar couldn’t continue his education and had to work in a dance bar for two years. If that is not tragic enough, due to the loss of a limb during the earthquake, he is incapable of earning a living for himself.
I met him in the army camp where he was receiving medical treatment. He sounded very depressed about his future prospects as he is afraid to go back to his village because he thinks others will make fun of his disfigurement. He needs all the encouragement there is to start a new life. I plead to you that if you want to make a difference in the world, start with Sagar – help him realise his dreams, achieve his goals and foremost complete his education.
I have realized how a simple thing like one piece of tarpaulin can make a difference in anyone’s life. Nepal’s wholehearted acceptance of me and UNITED SIKHS’ help has changed me for life.
None of this would be possible without your support. Help us help them and donate to UNITED SIKHS today.
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Sincerely and in Chardi Kala,
Komal Jb Singh
Field Project lead, Nepal Quake Relief 2015, UNITED SIKHS