Helping Nepal

Posted by Suchi Shenoy on Apr 27, 2015
2828 reads  
A close friend in Nepal, Umanga Pandey, runs an NGO called Kehi Garoun, that supports poor, school-going children with simple but vital things: a healthy meal, a sweater, a notebook, shoes.... KG tries to tap into individual support (rather than institutional) and be volunteer-run. Here is a note that KG put out, especially regarding media coverage, that I thought would interest all of you.

"We request that media facilitate healing for us, the injured people. As injured we all are - some through bodily damage, many through the loss of loved ones and many more through the loss of properties; still more through the shock of the ongoing earthquakes.

We have lost much. But not all. And to heal, we must get in touch with that portion of our lives that is not yet broken. What is not broken? 1. Solidarity in our community and 2. Relief response from well wishers.

1. We are alive with care. We are committed not only to protect ourselves but also to help others. Can the media cover these stories of community coming together to volunteer and help each other (and not only of human insecurities and pettiness that too can come as a shock response)?

2. We are cared for. Well wishers have sent prayers and help, and aid workers are busy with activities. Can the media highlight these stories of sincere and transparent efforts. Sure there are corrupt people everywhere, and they have received ample media in the past . This time can we refocus on successful stories of sincere activists and aid workers?

Some ideas:
1. Publish a list of stores that will pledge not to hoard to create artificial shortage and price hike of necessary goods. Those who pledge should be open to transparency (verification through citizens' inspection).

2. Publish a list of volunteers or group with pledge specific resources and skills they can provide. Those who pledge should be open to transparency. We are one such group who will keep track of these types of initiatives and provide whatever support we can muster.

3. Publish a list of PR persons from aid agencies and their specific mandates. The PR persons should be willing to engage transparently in public forum.

4. Most importantly, in choosing your editorials and content , consider how you might be able to facilitate healing.

In summary, to borrow an old jehudi saying - let us have the courage to change what can be changed, the humility to accept what cannot be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Thank you."

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