It was indeed like any other fine Saturday morning until the mind boggling mishap took place. I was blissfully discussing one of the recent programs concerning menstrual hygiene for around 15 young girls. I was feeling hungry, so my brother had gone upstairs to brew something for me on my request. Amidst all of this, the jolting started. Mild at first, this grew stronger and stronger by the second. It was as if the building itself had begun to jump and dance with great enthusiasm. I could not help but laugh along with my cousin in disbelief, for it was my first experience of such a big tremor. It was 12th of Baisakh, 2072 the day when the massive earthquake hit our country Nepal.
Rather than being panic stricken and running towards open ground, like most of my neighbours, I waited in a safe place for the tremors to draw to a close. After disengaging the gas cylinder and main electric plug, I stepped out of the house. Within 5 minutes, my four enthusiastic young volunteers and I were all set to help and serve.
“The two most important days of your life consist of the day you were born and the day you realize why.” It was at that very moment I envisioned that I had been trained all these years and equipped with all my knowledge for this moment. This horrific crisis, that loomed in a threatening shadow over our heavy heads. It was then that all my experiences and training in psychological support, leadership, life skills and experience with the Red Cross was put to the test. Along with my profession itself as a nurse, all had a purpose in giving me the ability to help the needy and helpless. Since the very first day of the devastating quake, I volunteered in the field of first aid and psychological support in the role of service provider/trainer and continue to do so till date.
The Nepal earthquake of 2015 gave me a clear picture of what one girl can do during a crisis if she has been trained and given freedom to explore different dimensions of life. It goes to show that gender is completely irrelevant when lives are at stake. The only factor of value was the passion to provide service to humanity. Why is it that this notion has not prevailed eternally? Has humanity sunk to so low a point that we need to be threatened with a crisis in order to believe and make a difference?
Written By: Pabitra Basnet
Edited by: Elisha Joshi