The recent earthquake disaster that struck Nepal has left the Himalayan nation down on its knees.
The aftershock quakes that followed the initial quake have only added to the people’s misery by being unpredictable. Almost a million children are in need of assistance according to the UNICEF. Claiming the lives almost 6,000 people and leaving even more injured, this is one of the worst disasters that Nepal has seen in more than 50 years. Food shortage, lack of protection and possible threats of epidemics and gangrene are threatening thousands of lives. Unfavourable weather, unprepared infrastructure and botched government operations are only delaying any rescue operations.
Help has come from various corners of the globe. Rescue teams from countries including the USA, Israel, the Netherlands, France, Turkey, Japan, China and India, have all rushed to help with the rescue operations. Not only rescue teams but public firms as well as private firms from new start-ups to large business conglomerates are doing their little share towards the recovery of Nepal.
Efforts put in by India to help her neighbour are commendable. India, without second thought, has sent her Indian Armed Forces, National Disaster Response Force and Armed Forces Medical personnel to begin rescue and recovery operations. The Indian Railways have issued zero value tickets to almost 2000 people within India while several Bus services in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Uttarakhand have transported almost 10,000 stranded Indians from Katmandu as a part of the rescue effort. At low cost flying fares, Air India and Spicejet have also aided in transport. Large companies such as Mahindra and Mahindra, Emami, Dabur and ITC have sent relief material or are offering free services.
With technology now offering easier financial transactions, companies like Paytm & Oxigen; and Shopclues have pledged a percentage of transactions and separate donation portals respectively. Other start-ups are also offering their services free of charge. Twitter, once again serving as an excellent social networking platform, has proved its worth. Ms. Sushma Swaraj, easily approachable via Twitter, has responded to requests from relatives and friends for rescuing Indian Nationals stranded in Nepal. This is exactly the same procedure followed when Indian Nationals were being rescued from Yemen last month. Truly, India has been relentless in her efforts to help and come to the rescue of the suffering.
What can we, commoners, do to help Nepal? Easy money transfers can be done to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund (PMRF) to fund the efforts of the Govt. The Govt. has also launched a mobile number 9590666222, to which when given a missed call, Rs. 20 is deducted from the mobile account and transferred to the PMRF. It is also easy to donate money via several NGOs. Facebook even offers an easy ‘click’ donation process. Several local NGOs in each major city also offer to take donations of clothes, medicines and other utilities to be sent to Nepal.