Bengaluru: 450 families who lost their houses due to the earthquake in Nepal on the 25th of April today live in the security of their houses due to the efforts of ‘Bangalore Cares for Nepal’. All of them have a tin roof house over their head, though monsoon has made the life for the people of Nepal very difficult.
‘Bangalore Cares for Nepal’ had organised 2800 tarpaulins from India within the first three weeks to provide them temporary relief. But as the rains have set in, it was not possible to live under the tarpaulins. So the major challenge for relief workers and the government in Nepal was to provide semi-permanent houses. Within two months, people living in three villages were given tin roof houses by this Bengaluru based organisation. About 20 organisations from Bengaluru and outside have been brought together by ‘The Project Vision’ to work for disaster hit Nepal under the banner of ‘Bangalore Cares for Nepal’. Fr George Kannanthanam coordinated the efforts.
Each house cost Rs. 10,000. The dimension of a house is 12 ft long, 10 ft wide and 8 ft in height. There is enough of space for the houses keep two beds and a table. The cooking area is made outside. The tin roofs can remain for many years.
One of the villages that was provided with houses is called Budaneelkanta where only people affected with leprosy and those who are disabled are living. They have been there for the last thirty years and all the houses were damaged by the earthquake. Not helped by any organisation or the government, ‘Bangalore Cares for Nepal’ ensured that all the 50 families of the village, which is about 20 kilometres outside the city, are given houses.
Ten volunteers under ‘Bangalore Cares for Nepal’ spent a week’s time in this village to make houses for them. The volunteers from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala trained the people of the village to make their own houses. All the people of the village, most of whom are disabled persons themselves, were involved in carrying the materials, bending the iron rods and fixing the tin sheets. Once the basic structure was ready, the women and children were engaged in turning it into a house, by fixing tarpaulins, getting the remains of their fallen houses to make the doors and windows, cutting pieces of bamboo to fill the open areas and making their own kitchen space outside the house. It was their house. We were surprised to see the finished houses, fully furnished and liveable.
Out of the 450 houses, 150 were constructed in Dhading, 170 in Kavre and 80 in Sindhupalchauk. All these places are about 50-100 kilometres away from Kathmandu. ‘Bangalore Cares for Nepal’ has planned to construct another 150 semi permanent houses.
A total of 800,000 buildings are either fully destroyed or damaged due to the earthquake in Nepal. Even when the houses are not fallen, people are afraid to live in them since Nepal had over 300 aftershocks after April 25th. Rains too have made the situation very bad.
The government is still in the planning phase regarding the construction of permanent houses. The model, the cost, who will construct them – are among several issues that have to be settled. Above all, they also have to be earthquake resistant. The number is high for anyone to solve the problem easily.
‘Bangalore Cares for Nepal’ is preparing itself to build permanent houses for the families to whom, the semi permanent houses are built – 600 of them. It requires a great amount of money and human resources. Let us do our bit to rebuild Nepal. For details please visit www.bangalorecaresfornepal.org