Anjana was inside her home when violent tremors shook the ground beneath her. Her house, made of mud and stone, began to crumble right in front of her eyes, blocking her only exit. Anjana made a spit second decision in that moment and jumped out of the window. If she had not taken this step, she may have been buried underneath the rubble, as her house was completely damaged in that earthquake. Instead of panicking, Anajana Poudel showed strength and courage and she survived.
Anjana stands in front of her house. She still shows hope and a smile, despite her injury and her loss.
Anjana sustained some injuries to her nose and face during her escape from the window. Although the rest of her family members did not get harmed physically, the constant fear and panic of another huge earthquake striking is causing all of them mental and emotional distress. Watching their home fall to pieces was heartbreaking and a traumatic experience for all of them, especially since all of their mementos and belongings are now buried in the debris. Anjana’s family had to move into a small tent and live without basic necessities for a couple of days before Rukmini Foundation’s emergency relief package arrived. “I was so relieved to see the Rukmini Foundation team and receive the supplies. Before the relief items arrived, it was very hard for us to survive. All of our food and grains got buried and the house was in no condition for us to go inside to recover them,” Anjana said. “I am also very upset to have lost all my school books, my uniform, and stationary.”
This is what Anjana’s home looked like before the earthquake. As with most homes made of mud and stone, it could not withstand the power of the quake.
Anjana is a new scholars joining us this year. The new year started so happy for her as she took part in the scholarship ceremony and was looking forward to 9th grade. She lives with her parents, grandmother and has a younger brother. Her family’s livelihood depends on agriculture, but they also own a small shop in their village which gives them a little extra income.
Happier times: when we first met Anjana as we were interviewing new scholars of 2015.
The aftermath of this devastating earthquake has resulted in the family no longer being able to rely on their usual sources of income. Anjana’s father is worried about how he will be able to afford rebuilding their home and providing for his family. Her mother had the same concerns when she told us, “Our home has been completely destroyed and we don’t have money to build another one. I wish we could build another, eve if it is a small house just as long as it won’t fall apart in another earthquake.”
Anjana’s home after the quake: completely destroyed and with what little possession they had buried in the rubble.
Rukmini Foundation is working with local agencies and partners in the area to come up with plans on how we can provide shelter to families like that of Anjana who have lost homes and are exposed to the elements “Helping people during their time of need is one of the most important humanitarian deed a person can do,” says Rojin Shreshta, a new mentor of the foundation. He is part of our team in Nepal that have helped to provide the survivors with relief goods including food, health and hygiene items and other materials that will help them get through the immediate aftermath. The foundation is also using funds to hold health and hygiene classes along with counseling programs in the villages to help all survivors in the community deal with their current living conditions and the trauma they are dealing with. Sadly there are many families like that of Anjana who have lost a lot, but they take solace in the fact that they have each other and a community that is stepping up to help in their time of need.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
To support our scholars and their communities, you can give to: Rukmini Foundation Earthquake Relief Fund
The money you donate will go towards providing families who have become homeless with the goods they need to survive. Rukmini Foundation’s relief package contains essential items such as foam mattress, food, water, glucose water, water cleaning solution, hygiene items, and utensils that should sustain them for a month. We are also looking into temporary residence options for families who have lost their homes so that they won’t have to suffer as monsoon season approaches.
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