After helping our interns in collecting donations and relief items from different countries, it was now time we went on some field visit to the earthquake affected areas in the outskirts of Kathmandu. The interns had spent some days to buy all the suitable stuffs. We decided to take our relief distribution team to Thali, Daanchhi and Sankhu, three of the most deeply affected areas of Kathmandu. We had assembled lots of goods including groceries, clothes, toys and stationeries for the children there.
A group of women called “Aama Samuha”, who were actively involved in feeding and taking care of the children had promised to help us. The families of those children either stayed in their houses, or in the fields and many of them were from the neighboring district Sindhupalchowk (the most devastated district after the earthquake). They had arrived Kathmandu for help and survival. Their condition in that field did not look good. People made their kitchens inside the truck, slept under the truck but had nothing to do. About 150 children were well placed and managed inside a bamboo house covered by plastics. They would play, learn and spend great time in there. Maybe this is why the parents happily left their children there so that they could enjoy. But among all these suffering of people and the fact that their lives were to change completely from now, that we observed so vividly, something else caught everybody’s eyes.
This brave bunch of women, the Aama Samuha was doing a commendable job there. It’s not easy to take care of little kids all by yourself in such a panic, while the males are out there drinking and doing filthy acts no one is proud of. They kept aside the trouble of their organization building not being built now for a year because of the deposits cancelled by the government. They were involved even in other social works vigorously. This became a perfect example when masculinity seems a mere word against the feminine power. When I talked to the women of Aama Samuha, some of them told me that their houses too had collapsed. But it was not just their sorrow, so they helped others instead. I could write a whole book on these amazing women.
So here we handed the relief goods, spent a lot of time with the great kids and promised to come again. The kids were singing, dancing and learning at the same time. Though schools were closed, it didn’t seem much of an issue. Then, we proceeded to Sankhu and what we saw there broke everybody’s hearts. There were very few buildings in that area that seemed intact. The old houses had all fallen apart, roads were closed. When we talked to one of the locals, he said that the Sankharapur Municipality was the second most affected one. There was one other about half a mile away. He said that others could somehow manage food, clothing and shelter but about 50 Dalit families were in a particularly bad situation. We had no more items left to distribute for the day, so we took his contact number and consoled him to be visiting soon with the relief goods.