In the wake of last Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal, Stanford students are teaming up to help fundraise for relief efforts. Aditya Todi ’14 started a crowd-sourced campaign on Indiegogo following the earthquake, and the effort has since been spotlighted on campus and by the national media.
According to Paurakh Rajbhandary Ph.D. ’17, co-organizer for the campaign at Stanford, current students have taken an active role in popularizing the effort, which has raised over $100,000.
“The Stanford Nepali groups are trying to use this as a fundraiser here at Stanford,” Rajbhandary said. “We are trying to channel the donations that have been raised and take them to NGOs directly.”
Saturday’s earthquake was the most powerful in Nepal’s recent history, with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. Officials say that the earthquake killed more than 5,500 people and injured another 11,000; however, those numbers continue to rise.
Rajbhandary explained that earthquake victims still have limited access to aid, especially in rural areas.
“There are still a lot of people in tents, without food supplies,” Rajbhandary said. “A lot of stuff has been accumulating at the airport, but local management has really been unable to sufficiently organize resources that have come in from outside.”
Todi’s cousin, who is already based in Nepal, will oversee the use of the funds. According to Rajbhandary, the effort plans on assisting both short-term and long-term projects.
“Once everything settles down, there will be a lot of damage that is left behind,” Rajbhandary said. “A lot of people will be left without anything, so we need to focus on that.”
The project strikes a personal chord for many of those involved. Rosy Karna ’13 M.S. ’15, another Nepali student and co-organizer, explained that even from afar, seeing the earthquake and its aftermath has been a highly emotional experience.
“It has been extremely difficult to remain calm when your loved ones are in pain and asking for help, especially if you are miles away from your country, your loved ones,” Karna said in a statement to The Daily. “I could not stay doing nothing when I saw the pictures of people trapped in rubble, collapsed buildings and stranded people with no help and comfort.”
“I, therefore, tried to reach out to as many people as possible through my social connections and requested them to make contributions [through the Indiegogo campaign],” she added. “I am very thankful to people who have made the contribution.”
Those who wish to learn more about the campaign can visit its webpage.