In April 2015 I was working towards the release of my new album Unexpected Turn of Events, safe and sound in the comfort of my home, a luxury I sometimes take for granted. Seeing the news about the earthquakes that hit Nepal during that same period reminded me once again of my privilege to not have to worry about basic necessities to survive. That privilege gives us not only comfort, but more importantly power. The power to contribute, even if it’s a contribution in the smallest sense.
As a goodwill ambassador for the Global Human Rights Defence, I’ve been exploring my power to contribute and encourage others around me to do the same. When it comes to the major challenges that natural disasters like earthquakes present us, we tend to think the solution lies only in major contributions. But we can offer support in the minor decisions we make on a daily basis, and GHRD has shown a great way to do that with their new crowdfunding campaign: “Forgotten Villages: Humanitarian Aid to Nepal.” This campaign encourages you to make a shift in your daily choices: instead of going out for dinner and a movie, donate that amount to the crowdfunding campaign to provide families with basic needs such as food and water. Instead of going out for drinks, donate that amount to provide people with warm blankets for cold nights.
The small contributions can truly make a difference. That’s why I’m donating 25% of the hard copy album sales of Unexpected Turn of Events of this year to the crowdfunding campaign. People who order the music through my website (www.pravinimusic.com) will also get a signed copy with a personal thank you for their contribution. The events that took place in Nepal have been unexpected and unfortunate to say the least, but hopefully you are willing to make some unexpected turns in your daily choices as well, exercise that power of privilege, and help families in Nepal to rebuild their lives.
Want to know more about the crowdfunding campaign? Check out: http://www.geef.nl/actie/vergeten-dorpen-in-nepal
Painting a grim picture, the IMF today predicted a down slide in Nepal's economy, due to the consequences of the massive earthquake of early this year. Moreover Nepal is facing increasing unrest and disruptions to economic activity due to protests by minority groups over the new controversial Constitution.
Noting that the earthquakes in April and May claimed thousands of lives and caused major damage, the IMF said it also caused economic growth to slow to 3.4 per cent in 2014/15, down from 5.5 per cent in 2013/14. Read more here.
The devastated earthquake of this year, that killed close to 9,000 people, also destroyed Anita's small home in Sindhupalchowk , a town about 70 kilometres from Kathmandu, and all her family’s belongings. With an ailing mother and a young brother in school to take care of, Anita came to the capital with an agent who promised to get her a job as an office assistant. Instead he brought her to a dance bar ,where she was first told she would serve drinks, but was soon asked to dance to Bollywood songs in front of customers. For seven hours of dancing every evening, with not a day's break in the two months since she arrived, Anita has managed to earn 8,000 Nepali rupees, the equivalent of 5,000 Indian rupees or 76 US dollars. Most of this money she send back home to support her family. Read more here.
With the Nepali government dragging its heels over reconstruction, despite the availability of $4bn in donor funds, fears grow among villagers whose homes were destroyed.
“Over 80,000 homes were completely destroyed [in the district]; 95% are uninhabitable,” said Rupak Khadka, the police inspector of Chautara, a nearby town which suffered massive damage. “Most people are now coping on their own. They have their own resources, they have built a small hut and now its harvesting season. But they don’t have a permanent residence. That’s the main problem.” Read more here.
The Nepalese government has admitted it has been slow to start rebuilding and assisting citizens four months after one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the South Asian nation killed nearly 9,000 people, and left nearly 10 percent of the population in desperate need of shelter, food, and other necessities. Read more here.
With complaints piling up regarding irregularities in distribution of relief to earthquake victims, Chief District Officer Basudev Dahal has started investigation by reaching the victims’ doorsteps in Ramechhap Read more here.
Aftershocks still haunt Nepal till this day. District Dolakha was hit with an aftershock with a magnitude of 4.1. Read more here.
Of the total 5.4 million livelihoods affected by the earthquake in 14 major districts, poor women and disadvantaged groups suffered more in terms of death, injury, displacement and impacts on other livelihood assets. Read more here.
There is an increased risk of earthquakes for the area that straddles India and Nepal, scientists warn. New data has revealed that the devastating earthquakes did not release all the stress it has built up underground. Listen to the “Science Hour” here.
More than three months after the devastating earthquake struck the country killing over 8,900 persons, the situation here has turned from bad to worse in the camps housing displaced victims. Read more here.