May 26: Stories From the Villages
During the WFN team visits to districts to distribute aid, we have heard many sad and heart wrenching stories. Laxmi Tamang is only 20 years old. Her 5 month old daughter was killed in the catastrophic earthquake of 25 April. In her own words, Laxmi told one of our team members this story of a mother in a situation where there was no one to support her or care for her.
“I had been visiting my mother’s house for a month when the earthquake of 25 April struck. I was feeding my daughter when the land started to tremble and out of nowhere the house I was staying in fell and my daughter and I were trapped. There was no one to help. After few hours, the police force came and managed to dig us out. I was pulled out alive, but my baby could not be pulled out breathing. I was helpless and cursed myself for being alive instead of my daughter. I have bruises all over my body and also cracked my leg. When I return to my in-laws place, I was blamed for my daughter’s death. They said if I had not visited my mother’s house, this incident would never have occurred. This was too painful to hear.”
At a time when Laxmi needed love and support to help her make it through the loss of her daughter, she was accused instead of her own baby’s death. With eyes full of tears, Laxmi said that being blamed for her daughter’s death was almost as painful as losing her daughter to the earthquake.
In another village we met this 70 year old single woman. She has no children and no one to take care of her. The earthquake devastated her home and belongings and now she has nothing left but the clothes on her back.
“This is the first time that I received relief. I have not been able to fill my stomach from the date of the first earthquake. Nobody care about me. I had only 2 kg of flour in my house, but that got buried when it fell down. Since the earthquake I have eaten only bark, leaves and roots of the tree Thank you so much WFN for saving me from starving and being my family in this hard time.”
Not only people have suffered during these hard times. We also saw many instances of animals that were trapped and killed in the earthquakes and landslides. The little baby goat pictured above was trapped along with 5 others and their mother goat in a collapsed building during the second great earthquake of May 12. People were busy rescuing family members and protecting them. When they came to realize their animals were also buried and trapped under rubble and stones, it was already too late- the other 5 baby goats along with their mother were dead. Even though it had been trapped for days under the rocks, by some miracle this baby goat was still breathing.
Disasters such as these earthquakes bring fear, loss and sadness, but it may also bring examples of how people can stretch their hearts and become bigger and better. People we met in these villages so racked by destruction were all disheartened by the many losses they had suffered, but they were also living together and most were sharing what little they had despite religious and other boundaries. When our team was there they were so happy to see us. They greeted us so well. They told us that they feel as if we are now part of their family and we feel the same. Although there are lots of challenges in front of us, we have the solution within ourselves and we will rise again soon