PRAY FOR NEPAL
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NRIs RAISED $121,000
FOR SURVIVORS OF NEPAL EARTHQUAKE
(L to R) Kantibhai Shah, Dr. Nitin Shah, Mr. B. U. Patel, Honorable Consul General Rishi Dhakal, Dr. Jayesh Shah, Mr. Virendra Shah
Artesia, California, May 03, 2015
A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Nepal's capital city of Kathmandu has claimed more than 7,000 lives, caused thousands of injuries, destroyed homes and most of the historical sites and infrastructure. Because of the massive damage and recovery efforts focused on Kathmandu Valley we are deeply concerned about the uncertain devastation in Gorkha where the entire village has been destroyed !
Honorable Consul General Rishi Dhakal address the NRI audience
Nepal's Consul General Rishi Dhakal said that many people live in the open due to the devastating earthquake and Nepali authorities were trying to deliver food and water to them as well as provide them with basic necessities. Rishi thanked all NRIs who have already initiated the process to raise fund to help Nepali earthquake victims here in USA
Some 1.7 million children require humanitarian assistance, and NRIs worldwide like to help Nepal's government through their consulate generals to provide critical aid to children and families. The Nepali authorities fear the number of victims could rise to 10,000.
One week after an earthquake devastated much of the South Asian country of Nepal, the stories of death and destruction, staggering loss and sorrow, along with miraculous tales of survival continue to keep the world riveted.
"Service to mankind is service to God, " said Sumita Dass who did an excellent job as a MC. " Friends pick us up when we fall down and if they can't pick us up they sit down with us and call for help. They never abandon us."
" I was so proud to see the Indian community of Los Angeles helping Nepal through a fundraiser. The audience response really made me feel like we could bring Nepal back to its original state," Astha Sahoo, 12 years old, 6th Grade student, the daughter of Sumita Dass was sitting at front row told NRIpress senior reprersentaive. " When I saw the results of the devastation on the news, I wanted the people of Los Angeles should unite and raise money for the cause. This fundraiser made me feel good about our community.I saw my mom on the stage and was proud of her for conducting such an event. Her first words as she mentioned were, "Service to mankind is service to God." This quote really touched my heart.
By Dr. Nitin Shah:
Fund Raiser held at Sanatan Dharma Temple, Norwalk on Saturday, May 2nd for Nepal Earthquake Survivors Tarsadia Foundation’s Mr. B. U. Patel called Dr. Nitin Shah on Sunday morning after the 7.8 Earthquake in Nepal to organize a fund raising event to help survivors is the beginning of the efforts to quickly reach to Indian and Nepalese community of Southern California to seek their support. Jain Center of Southern California’s president Mr. Virendra Shah was approached first for support. Tarsadia Foundation offered to take care of all unsupported expenses related to the event so that 100% of the fund collected will go towards the needy people in Nepal.
We started the ball rolling and in a matter of one day many organizations agreed to participate in the event. Many singers volunteered their time to provide music and entertainment; this was coordinated by Mr. Vipin Vadecha and Mrs. Mayuri Patel.
The event was held at Sanatan Dharma Temple on Saturday, May 1st. Dinner started at 6 pm and food was sponsored by Jay Bharat. They provided delicious meal to almost 700 people who attended and generously donated.
Everyone was welcome at 8 pm by Emcees Mr. Qusro Patel and Ms. Smita Das followed by Shradhanjali and music for 30 minutes. Community activists Mr. Dilip Butani and Mr. Ashok Patnaik gave a brief speech followed by Fund raising. Dr. Nitin Shah gave brief presentation with slides and a video of the devastation in Nepal after the earthquake and then invited Dr. Jayesh Shah to join him for fund raising.
7 Families including Mr. BU Patel ($25K), Mr. Ravi and Vandana Tilak ($10K), Sarva Mangal Family Trust, Mr. Pravin and Sudha Mody, Mr. Shirish Hansji Patel, one Annonymous and Mr. Bipin and Hina Hira, all with $5K each pledged a total of $60K and invited the community to match the amount. Communities support was overwhelming and in no time a total of $ 120 K was raised. Money still keeps coming in so the amount will continue to rise. Funds were collected under Jain Center of Southern California who has a track record of doing several fund raising events following disasters in different countries.
Consul General of Nepal for city of San Diego Honorable Rishi Dhakal gave heartwarming speech giving details of problems faced by Nepal in the aftermath of 7.8 magnitude earthquake. He thanked the Indian community in Southern California for coming together in large numbers so quickly to Nepal’s rescue.
Music continued for another hour during which all musicians and singers were introduced. Tea was served and names of all donors including $ 100K donated by Avadhesh Agarwal to ParamShakti Peeth were announced in between singing that ended around 11:15 pm. We thank everyone who opened their hearts and donated generously. There were many who could not attend and still contributed.