25th April 2015 - Nepal Earthquake & Gaurav Kandel's story

25th April 2015 - Nepal Earthquake & Gaurav Kandel's story

25th April, 2015 – One very important day for me as I was able to organize the Nepal’s first ever +The Art of Living’s NOVICE teachers training program ( Nurturing of Values in Children Everyday) that would have made 40+ Trainers who could conduct +Know Your Child, Know Your Teen workshops for Parents and Teachers along with Stress Free Teaching / Learning seminars in schools. This initiative was brought through a lot of hard work that I had been doing and planning since last 2014 and scheduled to have organized after hundreds of kids and teenagers were joining the Nepal’s first Teenagers Leadership Conclave. All of this was a planned process to empower the kids, teenagers, young and adults from Schools and Colleges through our YES! Club World - Nepal. When I see myself being active at my age of 13 started with activism and my engagement with several initiatives, I had always believed anyone else can do it too. I was more than happy that this day was the day I would have a wide smile on me as the program ends and we have 40 young and adults who would reach out to hundreds others to empower.

This very day of the year – the very moment of 11:56 am Nepal was shaken by 7.8M of 8.2 km deep #NepalEarthquake with epicenter being Barpark, Gorkha which took thousands of lives, injured and traumatically disturbed.  I was at NOVICE training, we all the participants were conceptualizing a lotus dance as part of the team work efforts. We were just performing it and all of of us got shattered, I still can recall my heart was panicking but I still was alert and asking everyone to evacuate and reside on the garden.  Also, as I am spiritually inherited belief and all of us as well at +The Art of Living Nepal  – we started chanting Om Namah Shivaya. The earth was shaking we were still continuing to chant the mantra. I believe that had calmed a lot of us and not let us panicking. I was all set with my laptop and started seeing what the magnitude was and how badly it has hampered. Also side by side, I was scared of mom – she was along with her siblings celebrating birthday back home at a high tall tower apartment where we live. I was not able to connect where as asked my sisters who live abroad were updated about the quake right away to let me know what the status is. Later, I got updated that mom and everyone are fine and I had a big relief for myself.  I was also tweeting and asking people not to panic and to be safe where ever they are along with where I was with other hunderds of people to also not leave the place as it was one of the safest place being one wide space.

Moments back, I was updated of the intensity which was a violent IX intensity and the magnitude being 7.8M of 8.2 km deep. Social media had already shared updates floating disasters all over. I could not even believe that Dharahara and a lot of historical monuments were destroyed badly. What I was scared about is the impact it would have cause and the death toll along with injuries. Also, I tweeted and updated on social media that I was safe along with everyone who was in the training. So that who ever was looking forward to know the status would be at least not panic. All of us, many of us being youths started planning to got to Bir Hospital and most of us were either on green and yellow zones were all injured patients where brought from across the city.  The Art of Living centre turned into a shelter camp providing food, shelter and other material relief as we had been organizing the training we had catering team available who were preparing food in large scale. I felt that atleast we were able to do what ever we could do. We asked people to come to the shelter camp and there was already relief team set up.

By the end of the day, I had to also leave as mom would be on her own. We were not allowed to go back homes and we were on our own with whatever needs we had. I met my mom and aunt’s and we stayed outside at their space. The aftershocks and damages while going back home was something that I was filled with tears. But again, as I was a Messenger of DRR since 2012 which I along with my colleagues at +United Nations Youth and Student Association Nepal as part of +WFUNA Youth Network had organized with support from +USAID Nepal  with encouragement from Amb. +Scott DeLisi , I was glad that we had learnt a lot back them which made be do a lot of needful. The Art of Living - AOL headquarters called me and I had already disseminated the information and more than 62 media’s world widely were already covering it from the very day and how relief efforts could be reached to us. All countries were backed by team with AOL – IAHV  disaster relief team. A lot was already happening and had already started. I had also responsibility of the international trainers to evacuate them. A lot of responsibilities and I was already starving we went to a nearest restaurant and ate whatever food was available. It was Mom’s birthday and we were all shattered with an earthquake and not just me but thousands others were losing hopes.

But, I said to mom the very moment – Mom, you know that I have always been looking forward to contribute back to society all so far and I want you to be safe and you wont be able to do much at this hence I will stay back here in Kathmandu and you may leave to Bhairahawa. That was the moment I was already saying to myself be it what ever the circumstances come I would look forward to do what I can. My mom has always been glad for what I have done and despite for all her love for me and care for me – she knew that I must look forward to do as I can at this age.  While I am writing this, I am in tears as I recall the very moment of that day.

In few days, I was much more responsible with other Shapers to work on relief and rescue efforts through my personal extent as well as from +GlobalShapers Kathmandu  . I along with few other shapers were already reaching out to 453 cities across the world and partnered with our Young Global Leaders to build strategy and create a mechanism to fasten of the relief efforts as well as evacuating and carrying out efforts.

I am thankful to many and many and more than thankful to +sneh rajbhandari di, her mom Swaraj aunty and dad Mohan uncle who welcomed me at their home and sheltered me where I stayed for around 2 months carrying out all the relief and rescue efforts. This was one such moment where I experienced the love, care and support from a family outside your home making it feel like a family within. There are hundreds of others whom I am always thankful to – +Global Shapers  world wide family, +World Economic Forum  family, The Art of Living and IAHV world wide family, Facebook, Twitter, Viber, Skype, WhatsApp - Social media channels ( without which all of the important communications and efforts would rarely happen) and several volunteers, friends, family members, relatives and several strangers who later connected as friends in all these efforts.

As its almost a year, and I along with many others are still working on rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts. 

I would look forward to share you in days to come be it here or through my blog +View Your Choice- तपाईको सोचाई हाम्रो रोजाई -  www.viewyourchoice.org.

Thank you so much for always supporting me and encouraging and motivating me. Each one of You have been a blessing to me and have bestowed your grace on me.

Heartful thank you and Heartfelt condolences to several families.

I am always there for you all, I am just a message away – please reach out to me and I would look forward to contribute in however I can.

Keep the smile on you and Spread smiles

Lots of Love,

Gaurav Kandel

+Gaurav Kandel Founding initiator of +View Your Choice- तपाईको सोचाई हाम्रो रोजाई -  actively involved himself actively in Crisis Communication and relief efforts along with rescue and has been continuing with rebuilding efforts.

Follow his facebook page to know more about his works



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