The Devastating Earthquake that left Nepal Mourn
It was 11.56am Saturday 25th April that saw Nepal sinking into the grieving state. A terrorizing tremor felt by the entire population of Nepal. Buildings collapsed like the deck of cards-thousands buried under the debris. Parent became bereaved of children and children became orphan. Relatively lucky ones, who survived the force of demonic energy of the natural disaster, were left without a grain of rice to fill their innocent stomach. The High Richter Scaled Aftershocks in hundreds added salt to the injury and it consequently made the survivals more terrorized.
From the day one, we the Rinpoches, Khenpos, monks and lay devotees of Sakya community in Nepal harbored one common thing in our minds- that is: how best we could help carrying rescue job and distribute the relief stuffs to the victims of the devastating earthquake without delay. However, in meantime, we were also waiting for someone influential personnel to take initiative. Dagmo Kalden la read our mind and sent SMS through Tsering Norbu la (Chagzod of IBA).
She wrote, “Tsering Norbu la, is IBA and Sakya community doing any help for the people sleeping outside. Giving food and water? Pls let me know and I will arrange funding. I have also discussed with Shabdrung Rinpoche about this matter”.
This assurance from Dagmo Kalden la became an agenda on which we the members of Sakya Monasteries in Nepal sat together and discussed under the auspices of Shabdrung Rinchen Paljor Rinpoche.
An hour before we sat together again to implement the decision we had made on the first meeting, some of the members received message from His Eminence Dungsey Ratna Vajra Rinpoche.
Rinpoche said, “His Holiness was of the wish that all the Sakya Community in Nepal must work together under single roof, representing entire Sakya community in the world. For this to happen, The Great Sakya Monlam Foundation has kindly decided to issue 30 Lakh Rupees”.
This message from Dungsey Ratna Vajra Rinpoche put in additional energy into us, to work for the victims of Nepal Earthquake. At the consent of Dungsey Rinpoche, we have decided to work under the name SAKYA EARTHQUAKE RELIEF TEAM.
There by, the Sakya Earthquake Relief Team started the relief work on 30th April 2015. However, a volunteered group of IBA students, monks from Tharig Sakya Monastery were already in the field from Day One. They lend their helping hands to Nepali Army and some of the rescue teams from foreign countries in digging debris with the hope to find victim alive.
The places so far we have covered are as follow:
1st May 2015
Ramche, a village in Sindhu Palchowk District, 85 Km from Kathmandu and only 30 Km before Tatopani, the border town between Tibet and Nepal was our first destination. This Ga Bhi Sa (Vilage Development Committee has nine Wards. And there are 1252 households in this nine wards village. Here in this village, we have distributed a rice sack of 30 Kgs; two liter oil bottle; a packet of instant noodle; one packet of biscuit; salt; lintel; one sack of beaten rice to each of the family. Since there was no motorable road to the villages, we have called a representative from each family to the main town by the road and handed over the relief materials at the presence of local administrators of the Village Development Committee. matrsses 200
The total expenses of this relief tour was NPR 426,182.63
2nd May 2015
Mangkha, a village in Sindhu Palchowk is also in the distance of 80 kms from Kathmandu. This ward has 330 houlseholds. Here in this village also, we have distributed a rice sack of 30 Kgs; two liter oil bottle; a packet of chow-chow noodle; one packet of biscuit; one sack of beaten rice to each of the family. On top of the materials what we had distributed in above village, here, we were able to distribute 100 mattress each to a family. Here at this place, we had to call down a representative from each family to the main town by the road and handed over the relief materials at the presence of local administrators of the Village Development Committee, since there was no motorable road to the villages.
The total expenses of this relief tour was NPR 1,077,069.11
3rd May 2015
Here, today, our destination was a village Sermathang in Sindhu Palchowk District. The village is inhabited by Yolmos, people of Tibetan origin. This village has 500 households. To each of the family, we were able to distribute identical materials as we did in earlier places. Even though distance to the place is only 105 kms owing to the bad road, it took the team to reach to the final destination at least 10 hours. By the time, the team reached there it was dark already. The team was shock to see, monasteries, temples, stupas, Mani shrines all fell down, let alone the simple local houses. This place has 230 households. The young nuns from Sakya Nunnery took the reign their hands to distribute the relief materials.
The total expenses of this relief tour was NPR 604,245.00
4th May 2015
Marmik, Tatopani was a very remote area. There was no motorable road to lead the team to the place. The team went with caravan of trucks and jeeps. This place also lies within Sindhu Palchowk District. The 100 households of ward No. 3 received their own share of rice, mattresses, oil, lintel noodles, buckets, salt and bags. The village for which the relief material was earmarked situated on High Mountain-only a narrow track that connects the local to main town on the road. There was not possible even to call down the people from that village let alone going there since the aftershocks triggered a lot of landslides and constant rolling of boulders from hills. Therefore, the team assigned ten representatives from respective villages to deliver the relief materials on conducive date.
The total expenses of this relief tour was NPR 574,610.00
Under the name of Sakya Earthquake Relied Team, NPR 500,000.00 as donation was given to Nepal Buddhist Federation.
5th May 2015
After acquiring some experience, today we have divided ourselves in three groups and set out to three different villages, namely Bod-thang in Sindhu Palchowk, Ramkot, behind Swayambhu hill, Narayanthan, near the site of the memorial Stupa dedicated to His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche which is under construction. The team for the third place was led by His Eminence Shabdrung Rinchen Paljor Rinpoche himself under expenses of Jamchen Monastery. The relief material distributed is identical. The first place is in the far remote area, at least 110 Kms un- pitched and un-graveled roads. Due to the bad condition of the road, the team reached the final destination only in the mid-night. The team had to spend a night under a hatched tin-house meant for local police. The team reached to the village called Dab on the first day. Therefore, the relief materials were put under the protection of local police office. The next day, with overseeing and assistance of local policeman and local administrator, the team distributed the relief materials to as many as 600 families.
To each of the family, we were able to distribute identical materials as we did in earlier places. On top of that, here in this village, we have distributed each family a blanket (in high quality) –made available by Ven. Thupten Palbar’s (student and staff of IBA) sister who happened to have these items in her store. Even though the distance to the place is only 105 kms owing to the bad road, it took the team to reach to the final destination at least 10 hours. The condition of the road was so bad, in the extent that monks standing over jeep remain alert, all the way up and down. Some made themselves ready to jump if the jeep met with accident or roll down against the jaw-opening precipice.
The total expenses of this relief tour was NPR 506,100.00
6th May 2015
Our team left for village called Baruwa, Sindhu Palchowk District. This village has 350 households. To each of the family, our team distributed a sack of rice, (thirty Kg) blanket, lintel, mattresses, oil, salt and noodles. Three truck loads of rice, blanket, lintel, salt, and noodles left for Baruwa which is only 60 km distance. However, due to the condition of the road, it took the team to reach there almost 13 hours. There are over 350 families to whom our team distributed relief materials.
The total expenses of this relief tour was NPR 2,955,718.00
Above mentioned amount includes the cost of around 1000 Tirpal (temporary thick plastic shelter)
7th May 2015
The relief team spent the day on shopping and preparation for the next day’s relief Work.
Shopping expenses NPR 1,214,864.75
8th May 2015
The team split in two groups and one group went to a village known Satungal and other team left for Besi Shahar in Lamjung District. The later (Besi Shahar) is situated to the north west of Katmandu on the way to Pokhara. The distance from Kathmandu to this place is over 200 Kms. The team spent a night there before proceeding to the place known as Bul-buley, next morning to distribute the relief materials. The team distributed the relief material such as rice, lintel, biscuits, oil, salt blanket and Tirpal to each family of the village which has strength of 130 households.
The total expenses of this relief tour was NPR 269,273.92
9th May 2015
The group of Sakya Earthquake Relief Team sat together at IBA under auspices of Shabdrung Rinpoche and Khenpo Jorden la, to discuss how best the team can move forward for the relief work. This being an intense and serious meeting, the team spent almost whole day to figuring out the evaluation of the procession and for a smooth transition.
10th May 2015
The team did preparation to dispatch 5 consignments to five different places in row. For this consignment, the team will keep itself busy at least for another three days.
This will conclude two phases: Rescue and Relief
Next phase will be that of rehabilitation job, which the team/new team shall work under supervision and guidance of His Eminence Dungsey Gyana Vajra Rinpoche.
A triumphant end of another cheerful beginning!