Newsletter 27 February 2016

Dear All,

Here we are again with the latest news on the situation in Nepal and our projects. Fortunately, on February 8th the blockade of the Indian/ Nepalese border was lifted and all kinds of goods, especially petrol, cooking gas and medicine, have been imported again without any difficulty.

However, throughout the country they have continued to be tremors and aftershocks, including last Wednesday. A tremor of magnitude 4.7 on the Richter scale with its epicenter near Kodari, 114 km from Kathmandu caused a quite a bit of alarm. Since the Great Quakes of April and May 2015 an astonishing total of 434 aftershocks have been recorded with an intensity of 4 or more on the Richter scale.

Hopefully, tourists will return to this beautiful country and now that the blockade has been lifted and life is beginning to return to normal, the people are beginning to regain their hope for the future.

Below is more information on our latest project:

Warm blankets for families in Newarpani and Old Budhasing:
On February 1st Ram and Saraswati distributed warm double blankets to 177 families at Newarpani and Old Budhasing in Nuwakot district. With the gasoline shortage caused by the border blockade, it was not easy to get the blankets to the village. But with some great perseverance Ram was able to arrange for sufficient petrol on the black market to make the four-hour trip road trip to Nuwakot by truck.

First they stopped at the Trishuli River to distribute some blankets to an old lady, who still lives in a temporary corrugated iron shelter, issued last year by Laxmi Support. A further elderly couple still living in a corrugated-wooden shelter provided by Laxmi Support and a young family with a baby and small two-year old child living in temporary shelter donated by another relief organization, were provided with blankets for the cold weather.

Afterwards, the trip continued up into the hills to the villages of Newarpani and Old Budhasing. As you know, after last years’ earthquakes, Laxmi Support distributed corrugated sheets for repairing houses and building temporary shelters to 82 homes in Newarpani and seven families in Old Budhasing.

Therefore, we are very pleased to be able to extend our support to these two villages by handing out warm kingsize blankets. Once the sun goes down at the end of the afternoon, it gets pretty cold. Although there is no snow, temperatures in the evening will fall back to around five degrees, which along with mountain winds and earthen floors mean that life is very bleak during these cold months. Late in the afternoon the truck arrived in the village, loud honking, and soon Ram and Saraswati together with the village council started to hand out the blankets to the people. The gratitude of the villagers is hard to describe in a newsletter but according Ram the villagers were extremely happy and in a land with little to no state social security, an almost unheard of piece of good fortune.

Distribution of Medicine:
Ram also brought a large box of medicine up to the village and over the next few days around 100 villagers with all kinds of health complaints knocked on the door of Ram’s family house. The medicine were for common colds, headaches, fever, diarrhoea and asthma and other rural mountain illnesses. As a professional pharmacist, Ram was able to provide a professional explanation to the people of how to use the medicine which is often a reason as to why the medicines do not appear to work to rural villagers. In hindsight, we could have taken more medication but maybe this is something for another follow-up project ?!

Donation of Holne Parish Council:
The Holne Parish Council, Devon, has granted Laxmi Support a wonderful donation of £524 which has given a great boost to the launch our Blanket Project. This generous contribution was the result of the proceeds from the Michaelmas Fair organized in the Holne village hall in October last year, the special crib service on Christmas Eve and the annual Holne carol singing. During the carol singing Samantha, and her parents visiting from Holland, Henk and Loes, sung their throats sore and our daughter Anneloes, was a great shining star in enticing the pennies at the door.

Our enormous thanks to all our sponsors for your generous donations. Please do continue to support us as Nepal is only just beginning the necessary reconstruction, which was so cruelly curtailed by the five month border blockade.

More information and pictures can be viewed on our website. Follow us on Facebook for more background information about Nepal and our Laxmi Support projects.

Best wishes,
Samantha, Alex, Ram, Henk, Sylvia