Making a Difference in Nepal

Making a Difference in Nepal
How the Tents to Nepal Initiative is helping people on the ground

It is our essential human nature to respond to life with care and compassion. This is an invitation from life to directly experience how natural it is for all of us to operate from love, not just when a disaster happens, but for each one of us in every moment.
Bharat Mitra, Founder ORGANIC INDIA

In response to the massive earthquake which devastated Nepal in April 2015, the founders and employees of ORGANIC INDIA have come to the support of networks such as Tents To Nepal, ABARI and Learning Planet, offering relief to the earthquake survivors. This initiative sparked the worldwide #LoveInAction appeal which is raising further funds to assist in the Nepalese relief efforts.

The following entries from the ORGANIC INDIA #LoveInAction blog traces the inspiring journey of how the generous donations being made are reaching the Nepalese earthquake survivors and helping them rebuild their lives.

A tent being erected over a former house-siteA tent being erected over a former house-site
May 2, 2015
Offerings to Nepal

Here at ORGANIC INDIA we’ve been deeply touched by the devastation of the Nepal earthquakes, and as we pray for Nepal, we find ourselves called to respond with #LoveInAction.

We are partnering with a highly impactful initiative to provide shelter to the people of Gorkha at the epicenter of the earthquake.

Tents To Nepal is based in India and collaborating with ABARI, an organization in Nepal. These teams have been dedicated to providing shelter, food and medical support with much love since the day after the disaster, to one of the worst-affected areas.

However, they need further assistance, and the survivors desperately need tents to shelter them from the freezing rain. Over 90% of the houses have been flattened, all road access is gone, and only 4 homes out of 1,800 are left.

Last week, as a heartfelt response of #LoveInAction, ORGANIC INDIA employees in India donated a significant proportion of their own salaries to pay for the tents canvas and sewing machines that are being sent now for medical camps and temporary accommodations. Its so inspiring for us to receive this opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way, and so grateful to each of our managers and colleagues for responding from the heart.

Our founders are matching every dollar and more, as well as sending herbal medicines and food supplies. The trucks are scheduled to leave in the next few days, perhaps even tomorrow, as soon as we can load them up and get them on the road!

Ghorka - at the epicentre of the recent earthquakeGhorka – at the epicentre of the recent earthquake

If you would like to support this #LoveInAction to offer relief to the families of Gorkha, you can be assured that every dollar you can offer is of priceless value, and will be dedicated to having immediate impact by donating to Tents To Nepal.

Please visit this page to learn more. With your support we can provide much needed shelter.

One of our team members is traveling with the trucks and is dedicated to documenting the entire process of bringing the tents to these remote villages.

We’ll share the journey with you over the coming days, and as the journey unfolds how we can continue to support the people of Nepal. Right now, it’s most urgent to provide basic shelter.

May 5, 2015
Offerings On the Way to Gorkha

There’s a lot in the news about the challenges relief efforts are facing in Nepal, yet help is getting through. We are grateful for the opportunity to make any contribution we can to the people in Gorkha, at the epicenter of the earthquake.

We so appreciate the support of ORGANIC INDIA’s employees and founders who have responded with #‎LoveInAction to make these offerings. We’re sharing these pictorial updates so you can see how the donations to TentsToNepal are being put to good use.

Love in Action TruckHere’s our ‪#‎LoveInAction offerings to Nepal getting ready for loading: canvas for tents, sewing machines and supplies, along with ORGANIC INDIA food items and herbal supplements being sent with the Tents To Nepal team.

On Monday, this mighty 10 ton truck set out with over 500 yards of canvas, 170 pieces of tarpaulin, 1,100 lbs. of rope, sewing machines, accessories and tools, along with readymade tents for samples. We’ve also packed in ORGANIC INDIA food items and supplements such as ImmunityAshwagandhaTurmeric and Tulsi to support the health and well being of the people of Gorkha.

In the meantime, ABARI, our partners on the ground collaborating with Tents To Nepal, have already successfully provided shelter to 5,000 people in the Gorkha area. In our next blog, we’ll share more of the amazing accomplishments they’ve managed so far.

It was somewhat of an auspicious synchronicity that our Offerings to Nepal set out on the road on the day of Buddha Purnima. We offer our gratitude for the living wisdom that guides us to find peace in a constantly changing world, and for the realization that it is also human nature to respond to life with care and compassion. The farming families at Brindavan Farm join together with us all here at ORGANIC INDIA, with prayers for the people of Nepal and for the safe passage of these offerings.

As we post this blog, our ‪#‎LoveInAction offerings with TentsToNepal are already crossing the border, but so much more help is needed. If you feel inspired to join us and add your donation, you can rest assured it will be a direct support to providing more shelter to more people.

TentstoNepal-logoTents To Nepal is supported by a registered non profit 501(c) that can accept donations from anywhere in the world. If you’re donating from the US, your contributions are tax deductible.

If you are an Indian passport holder, living in India or overseas, you can also deposit directly into the ORGANIC INDIA Foundation. Please email [email protected]

All the funds for Tents To Nepal are being received in India to pay for the supplies going to ABARI in Nepal. With your support we can provide much needed shelter and supplies to help the people rebuild their lives.

Stay tuned for updates on what is being accomplished on the ground as the journey unfolds.

Our thanks to everyone continuing to share prayers and offerings to the people of Nepal.

May 7, 2015
Introducing ABARI and How Tents To Nepal Donations Are Put To Use

The Tents To Nepal team arrived yesterday to face the sobering situation in Nepal. With hearts and hands ready to help, they are greatly encouraged by all that has been accomplished so far.

We are all so inspired by the #‎LoveInAction that ABARI is bringing to the people in the worst affected areas of Gorka and Lamjung.  ABARI have already sheltered 5,000 people covering three entire villages in the area, along with providing much needed supplies.

Now with the support of Tents To Nepal and Avaaz, another 50,000 people in six districts are being reached, thanks to ABARI and the tireless efforts of the Believers network of dedicated young volunteers. Believers founder, Pemba Sherpa Khambache, is the pilot who has heroically flown helicopters and co-ordinated efforts since the day of the disaster.

ABARI and Believers reached Dhawa just two days after the earthquake, providing relief to the worst hit and otherwise inaccessible villages of Aampipal, and Taklung, then Barpak, where they are now based, sending teams to outer areas still not reached by relief efforts, such as Nuwakot and Kavre.

Temporary sewing factory at Narayan GhatTemporary sewing factory at Narayan Ghat

Here’s some images of unloading and setting up at Narayan Ghat, one of the temporary sewing factories where the tents are prepared and transported to Gorkha.

Setting up the sewing factorySetting up the sewing factory

Tents To Nepal are also being used to establish much need health posts as well as sheltering the families who have lost their homes.

Discussions are already underway for Phase 2: to help the people rebuild their homes with sustainable natural materials. The buildings ABARI had constructed prior to the earthquakes are amongst the few that remain standing.

ABARI began their work in Nepal as a socially and environmentally committed research, design and construction firm that specializes in mud and bamboo construction. Today their #‎LoveInAction response is giving rise to the vision of building robust homes using local resources, to provide training to the villagers as they struggle to rebuild their lives, and to support their self reliance so they don’t need to migrate to earn a living.

Between ABARI and Believers, there is an on-the-ground network of engineers, pilots, planners, statisticians, social scientists, doctors and construction workers. ABARI are sending out a call to the architects and civil engineers who share the spirit of #‎LoveInAction and would like to come join hands in rebuilding Nepal with sustainable, natural materials. Please send in your resume to [email protected]. For people who feel called to help on the ground, please coordinate with People In Need.

According to the United Nations, more than eight million people have been affected by the earthquake and more than 2.8 million are displaced. There are still many, many people to shelter with temporary accommodations and support needed to help the people rebuild their homes and their lives. If you feel inspired by this initiative for TentsToNepal, you can rest assured that your tax deductible donation will be put to good use.

Our thanks also to Dwaba and the team at Ramana’s Seva Samiti for providing the means and co-ordinating the efforts of TentsToNepal from behind the scenes.

Please help us shelter the people with Tents To Nepal.

Stay tuned for the next blog when our team arrives in Gorkha

Nepalese mother and child surveying the damage to homes after the EarthquakeNepalese mother and child surveying the damage to homes after the Earthquake.
May 11th, 2015
Sustainably rebuilding Nepal

Can you imagine what it must be like to carry on amidst such devastation? With monsoon season fast approaching, our friends ABARI and Believers are still working day and night to bring help to the remote communities. Even after relief tents, medicines and supplies arrive, there are tens of thousands of people in the Himalaya mountains that will have to weather the monsoon without homes. Individual homes constitute more than 95 percent of the damaged structures. In some districts, over 99 percent of all homes are now uninhabitable.

Tents To Nepal are humble offerings for those who have lost ancestral homes passed down for generations, and yet they are so grateful to receive even the most basic shelter and supplies.

ABARI and the Believers team of young volunteers and helicopter pilots are helping to set up temporary structures in as many areas as possible before the rains start. They are also organizing medical teams to visit remote villages, especially those that have received little assistance and are in dire needs of support.

The Tents To Nepal, ABARI and Learning Planet teams are working on modifications for the next canvas orders from India for more medical aid tents and transitional schools, health posts and community centres. They’re experimenting with larger and longer lasting yurt-style designs. Even local authorities are excited about these structures, as they are made with fast growing inexpensive bamboo, and building them will provide instant employment to the people and can later be used as tourist accommodation once the homes are rebuilt.

Earthen structures can survive earthquakesEarthen structures can survive earthquakes

With their expertise in the field of bamboo and low cost construction, ABARI and Learning Planet are also in dialogue with officials in Gorkha to build the transitional schools required throughout the district. There is significant interest in sustainable alternatives as Nepal starts planning for the largest reconstruction effort in the country’s history.

ABARI believe with proper design and sustainable construction techniques, a lot of materials can be salvaged from damaged homes and the local commons. Earthen, stone and bamboo structures can survive earthquakes, as evidenced in the ABARI and Learning Planet joint ventures, still standing. They could restore the age-old architectural beauty, much faster, cheaper and safer than concrete buildings.

A brilliant team of planners, architects, engineers, social scientists, and poets are working out the vision, which we will share with you very soon. In the meantime, here’s an astute assessment on rebuilding right with safe sustainable designs and local materials.

Tents To Nepal is becoming a global movement!

The most urgent task is to complete setting up temporary dwellings, medical aid posts, and transitional schools.

If you feel inspired to join us providing shelter to the people, here’s where to make your #LoveInAction offering to Tents To Nepal.

Our deepest gratitude to you for your #LoveInAction, and to Dwaba and the team at Ramana’s Seva Samiti for providing the means and co-ordinating the efforts of Tents To Nepal from behind the scenes.

Believers Volunteer loading up with LoveInAction supplies to deliver?Believers Volunteer loading up with LoveInAction supplies to deliver
May 26, 2015
An ever-expanding circle: #LoveinAction collaborations

Thanks to generous donations and tireless service of many, the remote regions of Gorkha are receiving shelter and supplies. There is still a lot to do before monsoon and a long way to go in helping the villagers rebuild their lives. With #LoveInAction, the circle of support is ever expanding through the spirit of collaboration.

Each network is bringing to the circle unique expertise and much needed skills, generously offered for the greater good. This enables everyone to co-create solutions far more effective and inclusive than each one would accomplish on their own. Each of these networks are made up of dedicated individuals with hearts and hands ready to help, who are inspiring so many more, simply by showing up with such #LoveInAction.

Thanks to ABARI, for their expertise in designing and constructing contemporary natural buildings with traditional knowledge and using sustainable, salvagable materials. Kudos to Nepali founder Nripal Adhikary and all the team, for co-creating the latest innovative designs, for your impressive organization, and for the vision of Community Driven Re-construction, empowering the people to rebuild their lives with local employment and resources.

Thanks to Learning Planet, a socially and environmentally committed educational nonprofit, already partnering with ABARI on school construction projects in the Gorkha district since several years. Kudos to co-founder Justin Wickham for bringing together the joint ABARI/Learning Planet plan for transitional child-friendly classrooms to help Nepal’s children get back to their normal lives.

Thanks to Friends of India – Giving Back. There are so many around the world holding hands for Nepal – heartfelt gratitude to Dwaba and the team at Ramana’s Seva Samiti for providing the means to support Tents To Nepal, and especially to Paulo Thiago, for having a heart huge enough to feel honored enduring all conditions and circumstances involved in negotiating supplies from Kanpur, for swinging into action in Gorkha, helping to set up tents for villagers, children and monks, and for participating in boardroom discussions with officials and corporations in support of sustainably rebuilding Nepal.

Thanks to Believers, a network of young Nepali volunteers who deliver donated supplies. The Believers teams co-ordinate with founder Pembha Sherpa and other helicopter pilots from alliances such as the Mission Aviation Fellowship International. They set out from supply posts in lively teams each morning, hoisting huge baskets on their backs to reach the people in the remote areas where there are no roads.

Gratefully receiving blankets from Believers, a network of young Nepali volunteers who deliver donated supplies“Gratefully receiving blankets from Believers, a network of young Nepali volunteers who deliver donated supplies”

Our Thanks to the People of Nepal

We are grateful for the opportunity to give back to the gentle people of Nepal who so embody the spiritual teachings of this ancient wisdom culture. This circle is ever expanding as we join hands and share prayers and offerings, as one family. We embrace all the children and parents and grandparents, especially those suffering the loss of home and family. And offer our thanks to all the people of Nepal – every Sherpa trekking guide, every monk, every shaman and ordinary citizen. For being the living expression of spiritual teachings that offer peace in an ever changing world. For kind gestures freely given. For meals and humble shelter generously shared. For reassuring smiles. For carrying on with dignity. For the gift of joining you, in keeping alive the spirit of care and compassion.

Tents are humble offerings for all that has been lost, but we feel called to contribute in whatever way we can. For we know that they would do the same.

Its so simple. So natural. It is human nature to respond with care and compassion. And so inspiring to respond with #LoveInAction.

“This is an invitation from life to directly experience how natural it is for all of us to operate from love.”
-Bharat Mitra, Founder of UPLIFT & ORGANIC INDIA

Join us in sheltering the people by sending Tents To Nepal!

Any amount you feel inspired to give is greatly appreciated. Stay tuned to learn more about the transitional schools, health posts and community spaces in the districts of Gorkha.

What do you wish to sustain?

This blog originally appeared on ORGANIC INDIA USA

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