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Ultimate do-it-yourself challenge: Video shows how Nepal earthquake survivors turn to rehabilitate themselves


Powerful earthquake hits Nepal

By  NewsGram Staff Writer

The devastating earthquake on April 25 killed over thousands of people and flattened towns and villages across central Nepal.

As estimated by media reports, about 519,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed by the quake. Several organisations, government and foreign came forward to help the survivors in resurrecting their houses and livelihoods.

However, many such destructed houses are in mountainous regions, served by few if any roads, and where aid has been slow and difficult to reach.

One such village is Barpak, where due to poor road network, the relief funds have become difficult to reach. However, the lack of aid from government and foreign organisations hasn’t deterred the spirits of the villagers.

The inhabitants of the village have taken upon themselves to rebuild their shattered homes and rehabilitate themselves.

A video shot for National Public Radio depicts the tremendous spirit of resilience of the villagers in Barpak. The quake destroyed their houses, but instead of lamenting over the past, they are trying to turn their thoughts to future.

Here is the video showing the determination of the villagers:

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Khalsa Aid: This Sikh Relief Organisation is Restoring Faith in Humanity Since 1999

‘Khalsa Aid’ has also been assisting Yazidi women, escaped from the clutches of terrorist organization ISIS recently, by providing monthly food rations to 250 women

Khalsa Aid
‘Khalsa Aid’, an international humanitarian aid organization being run by Sikhs, Source:

New Delhi, August 10, 2017: Prevailing scenario across the globe suggests that the cruelty has almost wiped out the humanity and the disheartening greed of human beings has made everyone egocentric. Increasing crime rate, conflicts, corruption, and negligence, are all symbol of this transition.

Despite the widespread selfishness, a Sikh relief organization is fighting hard to preserve the soul of humanity and keeping the hope alive. ‘Khalsa Aid’ is an international humanitarian aid organization run by people of Sikh community and it is setting a perfect example of peace and compassion among people.


This organization works for providing humanitarian aid to the people affected by disasters or are in conflict areas. Started in 1999 in the United Kingdom with UK Charities Commission, ‘Khalsa Aid’ has volunteers all over America and Asia. They have provided relief aid to most part of the Middle East where the conflicts are much serious. They have led their activities in countries like Lebanon, Haiti, Bosnia, Nepal, and Serbia.

In Lebanon and Serbia, the ‘Khalsa Aid’ has been providing food, medical and educational assistance to the refugees there. It also had supplied food aid to famine and drought struck areas of northern Kenya.

Back in 2015, the organization also rushed to Nepal after severe earthquakes hit the country and arranged food and temporary shelters for the affected citizens. It also helped in conducting missions in rubble clearance and building temporary shelters for 250 families there.

Meanwhile, at the time of Kashmir floods (2014) in India, ‘Khalsa Aid’ had actively taken part in relief measures in flood-devastated parts.

 Similar was its role during Uttarakhand floods and the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013.

Khalsa Aid helping women in need

‘Khalsa Aid’ has also been assisting Yazidi women, escaped from the clutches of terrorist organization ISIS recently, by providing monthly food rations to 250 women.

Ravinder Singh, founder of ‘Khalsa Aid’ was awarded ‘The Sikh of the Year 2014’ for doing humanitarian works all over the world. His first mission was in Albania border where Khalsa Aid provided assistance to the victims of civil war and genocide.

Though there are only a few people working for the welfare of humanity, yet there is a hope and these people are the flag bearer for the same.

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter @sumit_balodi


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‘Games of Change’ Festival at New York Gives Gamers a Reality Check by Introducing Video Games based on Social and Civic Issues

The Games for Change festival didn’t shy away from difficult or touchy topics and set to herald the beginning of a new trend in the gaming world

Games of change festival
New video games are increasingly seeking to target issues of social injustice in a user-friendly interface . VOA

New York, August 8, 2017: You’re in Nepal. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has just struck your village and you must rescue the survivors. This is “After Days,” a video game based on the real-life Nepal earthquake that killed almost 9,000 people in 2015.

Minseok Do was showing the game at the recent Games for Change festival in New York City. The games on display were a far cry from “Mario Brothers” and “Call of Duty.” These developers featured titles that tackled civic and social issues.

Public consciousness about civic and social issues has long been raised by the news and entertainment industries in the United States and other parts of the world, and now video game creators are making their own statements and hoping to reach the younger digital generation in the process.


In “After Days,” players take on the role of Ahsha, a young Nepalese woman who attempts to rescue her neighbors in the aftermath of the massive earthquake.

“Other media, such as novels and movies, require consumers to use their imagination to understand characters’ emotions,” said Do, CEO of GamBridzy. “Games have players be in characters’ shoes by letting them command and control. It is, in my opinion, the most powerful platform.”

Video games draw increasing attention from children and adults alike.
The intent of these games is to expose children to the ‘real issues of the world. Pixabay

In the game, players carry out various missions like transporting injured victims in stretchers and coordinating with rescue teams to restore critical infrastructure.

The first episode is set in Sindhupalchok, one of the hardest-hit districts of the earthquake in Nepal.

“Some say it will take about 10 years to complete all the restoration, but international attention is not focused on this, and it is important that we show our interest and support,” said Do. Twenty percent of proceeds from game sales will go toward rebuilding efforts.

Elin Festøy, a producer from Norway, also was in New York to promote her game.

“We really wanted to create attention and awareness around children born of war … children being born of the most hated soldiers in the world,” said Festøy.

She and her team created “My Child Lebensborn,” a mobile game in which players are the caretakers of World War Two-era children from the Lebensborn project, an attempt by the Nazi regime to create an Aryan “master race.”

Lebensborn involved child kidnappings as well as anonymous births by unwed mothers in and outside of Germany, with their offspring adopted by German families. After the war, many Lebensborn children faced prejudice and discrimination, even from their own mothers.

“It’s about being able to see children as children and not as symbols of [the] enemy,” said Festøy.

“My Child Lebensborn” is targeted at players aged 13 and up. Recognizing that 13-year-olds might not exactly run to play the game, one of the team’s goals includes creating a bundle for schools that includes both the game and an accompanying film on the Lebensborn project.

Video games at the Games for Change festival didn’t shy away from difficult or touchy topics. Indeed, they were a vehicle for discussion and dialogue.

“The problem in a lot of developing countries is that people do not talk about issues. People do not want to share their problems out of embarrassment,” said Dr. Ilmana Fasih, a director at ZMQ.

The New Delhi-based consulting company developed “YourStoryTeller,” a mobile app that is less video game than a digital narrative.

User-contributed stories are transformed into comic strips. Each week, a new story addresses women’s issues in India, a country where patriarchal attitudes are common.

In one example, a young woman’s studies are disrupted for an arranged marriage that takes her from India to Canada, where she is physically abused by her new husband.

Fasih acknowledged the stories are definitely not of the Disney fairytale variety, and they definitely have a point of view.

“Kids grow up watching those stories. We want kids to grow up watching these stories where there are struggles,” said Fasih. “A young boy is able to understand what are the struggles that his mom, his sisters go through. That is probably one of the best ways to defeat patriarchy.” (VOA)


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UK architect assists Locals rebuild Ancient 5th Century Temple Changu Narayan destroyed by earthquake in Nepal

Out of those 600, Sanday decided he would take on the temple as a project, and take up the role of a technical adviser for locals

Ancient Temple (representational image), Wikimedia

Nepal, Jan 18, 2017: The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shaked up Nepal, killed nearly 9000 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings – including what many consider to be the country’s oldest Hindu temple in Changu Village. Gradually locals are rebuilding their beloved Changu Narayan temple with help from a British architect, who also helped in the restoration of Angkor Wat in Cambodia through the World Monuments Fund.

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It is believed by the locals that Hindu god Vishnu once appeared at Changu Narayan, the fifth-century temple dedicated to the deity. Only priests had the allowance to enter the intricately carved wooden structure before the earthquake. When locals witnessed the devastation inflicted on the World Heritage Site caused by the natural disaster, they felt their lives had ended. But they didn’t give up hope, and began to restore to its previous store as much as possible. 61-year-old Gyan Bahadur Bhadal, who is a member of a group of villagers maintaining the temple, told AP, “I see now our world coming back alive.”

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Architect John Sanday has always been intimidated by Changu Narayan for decades, and also mentioned he was very emotional visiting the site after the devastating earthquake, which damaged 600 historical monuments, palaces, and temples in Nepal. Out of those 600, Sanday decided he would take on the temple as a project, and take up the role of a technical adviser for locals. He stated, “Sure, it’s peanuts, a little temple, so why is it so special? The detail. The grace. It’s one of the few World Heritage Sites that hasn’t been completely destroyed by development.”

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So far locals have painstakingly cleaned and made some repairs to the temple, but there’s still a lot of work left to be done. The community needs to raise around $300,000 to reach their goal regarding the restoration initiative. Inspired by the dedication of the locals, Sanday has already assisted rebuild a guardhouse-sized shrine. Now he’s looking beyond the shrine to the temple and he is convinced that it is not impossible to save the ancient building.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang