Street skittles
Street skittles

Fourteen-year-old Dipesh was bathing when the earthquake struck on Saturday 25 April. It felt as though the whole earth was shaking itself to pieces. First one side of his building crumbled, and then the whole building was falling down around him. He rushed outside, to find that everywhere buildings were toppling as the shaking continued. Terrified, Dipesh and his neighbours huddled in the open space where two roads meet.

It wasn’t until later that they discovered the Dipesh’s grandmother had not escaped the falling building. Desperately they searched for her, and found her at last, trapped by her leg and unable to move. They were able to rescue her and take her to the hospital, where she is now recovering.

Dipesh is very traumatised by his experiences. When he first saw Suresh, from UMN’s partner CASA, he ran away and wouldn’t speak. His mother encouraged him to come out, and Suresh found a great way to take his mind off his fear. Putting some water in empty water bottles, he set up a skittles game in the street. “How many bottles can you knock down?” he asked. Together they played for some time, forgetting the tension and having fun.

Sometimes, it’s simple things like this that can make a difference.

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