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The disastrous and tragic events of a recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake has touched the East Central University campus, particularly 90 students from the Asian country of Nepal who were directly and indirectly affected.

With ECU having one of the largest Nepalese student populations in the state, the ECU Rotaract Club is partnering with Rotary International and the Rotaract Club in Nepal in seeking donations to help in the relief effort of Nepal, which is in a state of emergency.

The April 25 quake, centered near Lamjung, Nepal, has led to more than 5,000 deaths, countless injuries and a massive destruction of homes, businesses, buildings and property throughout the country.

“Nepal is going through a very difficult time and those of us who are far away from home are also emotionally grieving for our country,” said ECU senior Nabin Shrestha who is a member of the ECU Asian Student Association and ECU Rotaract Club, which is under the umbrella of Rotary International.

Another ECU student who is a part of those groups is Shristy Uprety, who is from Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu, where her father, Dayaram, and mother, Shila, reside with her brother, Dristant.

Kathmandu is located approximately 50 miles from the quake’s epicenter.

Uprety was pleased to learn that her three immediate family members were fine after hearing about the news and calling and making contact with them on her first attempt around 3 a.m. Saturday. Their home was spared from destruction, but the current living conditions are dicey.

“There’s a scarcity of water and food and there is no electricity,” said Uprety. “Our house was not damaged, but the water and food supplies are low and it’s hard to get those supplies in because many of the roads are blocked.”

Uprety says her family is able to sleep in their house at night, but without the benefit of electricity, unlike many neighbors who are sleeping on the streets because they were unable to return to their severely-damaged homes.

“I’m afraid food is going to be very scarce and now I’m scared about the epidemics with most people outside and no (working) public toilets,” she said. “I talked to my mom yesterday and she said it’s starting to smell.”

Uprety says her family is making the most of the situation by helping others who are in worse shape than they are.

According to Uprety, immediate needs, other than food and water are items such as blankets, pillows and tents.”

Several avenues have been established for those wishing to help give in the relief effort. One of those is through Rotary International. If sending a check, put on the “for” line Nepal Relief. Donations through the Red Cross are being accepted as well.

According to Uprety, much of the giving focus by the ECU groups will be on a village called Sindhupalchurok, which needs immediate help and has seen limited resources reach them so far.

“We’re so pleased that our ECU Rotaract Club and Asian Student Association are collaborating with Rotary International to provide support through this tragic situation,” said ECU President John Hargrave. “Here on campus we have polite, hard-working and model students from Nepal, who through their heartache, are making a difference in their relief efforts.”

For more information on the relief effort contact Arlie Daniel, a Rotary International Club member, at 580-332-1901. Daniel is collecting donations as well. They can be mailed to 1206 Tower Rd., Ada, OK, 74820.



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