A Three-fold Loss
A Three-fold Loss

Damodar Subedi is an entrepreneurial fellow. Like many Nepalis, he’s constantly on the lookout for how he can use his skills and resources to improve the lifestyle of his family. Along with his wife Pukar, and his children Ichaya, Ishan and Sushma, Damodar lives close to UMN’s partner school at Dolbhanjyang, where he works as an office helper.

That is, he did until 25 April. Schools have been closed since the earthquake, and will not reopen until the end of May at the earliest. Not only that, but Damodar and his wife ran a small canteen for teachers and students. That source of income has gone too, and the building he used is damaged. But the worst impact of all has been the loss of his houses. He owned two – one in which his family lived, and another which he rented out to teachers who were not local. Both houses are completely ruined, and the Subedi family is living in a shack made of corrugated iron that a neighbour helped him build.

When Damodar heard that a relief distribution was to take place nearby, he was hesitant. “Why should I wait all day in the sun for just 10 kg of rice,” he wondered, “when I could be working at home to improve my family’s shelter?” He was glad he decided to go, though. Like his neighbours, he received a full support package from UMN, enough for several months: 50 kg of rice, lentils, sugar, tea, spices and oil, blankets, a kitchen utensil set, a hygiene kit and a tarpaulin.

This is a wonderful relief for him; it will not only make his family more comfortable; it will bridge the gap until his job starts again and he again receives an income. He is already planning how to restart the canteen, and begin to save enough to rebuild at least one of those houses.

Damodar and his family near the ruins of their old house.

Their new home; a shack made of corrugated iron.

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