Orang, Nepal. Sixty permanent houses for the 2015 Nepal earthquake were handed over to the beneficiaries on Thursday, April 12, by the ‘Bangalore Cares for Nepal’, an initiative of the Claretians of Bangalore. The houses which were constructed in the Dwalaka District, in Orang Ward catering to the needs of all the sixty houses in Tartung village.
The houses were built in Dwalaka district which was the epicentre of the 7.8 scale earthquake that killed about 10,000 people. The houses are built under the leadership of Caritas Nepal, in the remote area almost 3000 metres above the sea level, in the Himalayan ranges. It is an eight hour journey away from Kathmandu, though the distance is below 200 kilometres.
Sixty houses were constructed at a cost of Rs. 300,000 each. Thirty of the houses were built with the support of Fundacion Proclade. Another thirty houses were supported by AIFO, an Italian agency based in Bangalore.
The earthquake resistant houses were constructed as per the ‘owner driven method’. They were given the grant amount and were made responsible to construct their own houses in their own land. They contributed the labour part of the work by the whole village working together for each house. Masons were trained from the community to build the houses. Stones from the old houses and the wood from the forest were used to build the houses.
According to Mr Yuvaraj Bhusal, Chief Executive Officer of the Nepal Reconstruction Authority, out of the 750,000 houses that were destroyed in the earthquake, 115,000 houses have been reconstructed so far. He also said that the financial support for the building all the houses has been given as grant by World Bank, other countries and non governmental agencies.
About 20,000 houses are built by the NGOs. Caritas Nepal is building about 4825 houses, with the support of Caritas from about 20 countries.
Bangalore Cares for Nepal, initiated by Fr George Kannanthanam immediately after the earthquake, brought together various like minded organisations that contributed to the relief and rehabilitation for the earthquake victims in Nepal. Later on Fr Vincent Kiran and Fr Sebastian Machukuzhiyil were involved with the relief work. All the Provincial Superiors of the Provinces in India visited Nepal to assess the possibility of starting a combined mission in there, though it was not materialised.
Having reached Kathmandu the day after the April 25th earthquake, Fr George along with Mr Sibu George, districted Shelter Boxes to 100 families in remote villages. Tarpaulins were provided to 2750 families. With the help of about ten youth volunteers from different Claretian parishes in India, Bangalore Cares for Nepal could distribute relief materials to about 20,000 people.
Temporary shelters with tin roofs were made for about 450 families within a month of the earthquake at the cost of Rs. 10,000 each. Out of this fifty houses were made for the leprosy affected families in Budaneelakanta colony, in the outskirts of Kathmandu. No one was willing to work for the leprosy affected people who had lost their houses in earthquake. A community hall was built in Madhurapatty VDC.
Bangalore Cares for Nepal helped more than 1000 students who had lost everything, to go back to the school giving them uniforms, books and bags. A School building, library and computer lab was built at Shree Janakalyan Secondary School in the Kavre District with the support of Proclade in 2017.
In order to help the students who had stopped their higher eduction due to the earthquake, about 30 of them were admitted to ECHO College for Hotel Management in Bangalore. Many of them having completed their one year diploma program, are already working in various reputed hotels in India, Nepal and other countries, taking care of their families to cope up with the financial burden of the tragedy.
25th of April is the third anniversary of the Nepal earthquake that brought down about 800,000 buildings.