Helping the lone survivor

Prem Lama, who lives in Andheri village in Kadambas VDC of Sindhupalchokdistric, was waiting for a new family member on 25 April.

Lama’s daughter-in-law was due to deliver a baby on that fateful date. Doctors had given her a due date of 25 April. She and her husband were about to visit a nearby hospital for routine check-up, and delivery. But just before they left the house, the ground beneath them started shaking violently. And within the next few seconds, it was reduced to rubble.

Lama managed to get out of the house before it went down. But his son and pregnant daughter-in-law, along with a fully-grown baby in her womb, were killed. Lama, a widower, does not consider himself to be lucky as he is now alone. His wife had died just two years ago.

When a team of Karuna Foundation Nepal (KFN) went to Andheri village, which is a cluster of 34 households of the poor and marginalized Tamang people, on 4 May, Lama was sitting by the ruins of what was once his home. He looked dejected, still not able to overcome the loss of his family.

KFN helped Lama by providing him with relief materials like tarpaulin sheets and foods. Although Andheri village is just about three kilometers east of Sanga, a border point between Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchok districts, the local people here had not received relief materials even a week after the earthquake destroyed nearly 100 per cent of the houses.

Lama was not the only person to receive humanitarian aid from KFN. All 34 families of Andheri village were happy to get foods and tarpaulins. KFN also reached out to other wards of Kadambas VDC and distributed foods and tarpaulin sheets for as many as 450 families. They used tarpaulin sheets to build makeshift tents to protect their children from rains.

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