Happiness is Helping Others
I am a technical person – I help run the livelihoods program as a regular job but when the earthquake happened, I wanted nothing but to join the teams going out of Kathmandu as soon as possible. I immediately headed towards Dhading, where I was deployed.
The environment was pretty chaotic, both at the organizational and community level. We were simply unprepared for such a huge disaster. But once we got to the field, I forgot everything except that I was there to serve. We did not know where we would take shelter or what we would eat, and my personal hygiene was compromised in the lack of sanitary napkins. But I did not let any of that bother me.
I only focused on the faces of the elderly ladies who would travel from afar to receive the tarpaulins allocated for them. The tears of gratitude on their eyes made me feel so peaceful. As we followed a blanket approach of covering the entire Village Development Committee (VDC), we had the satisfaction of knowing that no one in our program area had to go without a shelter over their heads. We stayed for 15 days in Dhading distributing immediate relief materials. It was an experience like never before. My biggest learning has been that we should do whatever we can right from where we stand, this is the only way we can create change. A single phone call asking you how you are doing makes such a difference during such difficult times.
My own home and my sister’s homes were damaged in the earthquake. At times I did feel guilty for being unable to do anything for my near ones. However, all my stress and worries were relieved the instant I caught sight of the smiles in the faces of elderly ladies and children.
Photo: Surmila helps in distributing relief materials