018 – Biju Shrestha – Swoyambu, Kathmandu

ARTIST – CHARIS LOKE
PHOTOGRAPHY – MITCH WARD
INTERVIEW – TSERING LAMA

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Reflections_Portrait_BijuShrestha

Biju Shrestha is a shopkeeper from Katmandu, who gave immediate relief during the days after the earthquake. With wide open heart, he wanted to help the people of Nepal to restore their faith in human beings.

“At that time I was in my shop. Suddenly I felt the ground shaking, things were falling down. I was very scared – everyone was running. I fell down, I looked around and saw vehicles hitting each other and bikes falling, people were crying, children were fainting. The whole sky was dusty. I felt relieved because no one in my family was injured but they all thought that I had died.”

“We went all over Kathmandu. The earthquake came again and again. There was no way to stay at home. It looked like hell. Everything was scattered around, everyone spent their time in open areas under the open sky; no food, no water. Old men couldn’t enter their homes so they were hungry.”

“There was a church near ring road. The Father from the church said, “Don’t run away. Father will save us. There were 100 to 150 people in the hall. He locked it up and ran away. The building collapsed and everyone was buried. Then we went there; we couldn’t save many, just two or three.”

“I cooked for children and the elderly and handed out water. We distributed water, food, clothes, medicine in many places all over the Shwayambhu area. Nothing was certain; where to live, when to sleep, when to eat. It could come at any time. There was also stealing, looting – everyone was taking from homes. After 10 to 15 days we went to Sindhulpalchowk with food relief. Compared to Kathmandu, the destruction in Sindhulpalchowk was absolute. There were no houses left; 3, 4, 5, 6 houses of mine included. They had nothing. So sad.”

“And this was not the end. About 2 weeks later, the earth was shaking again – and I saw terrible things. One woman I know threw her baby out of the house while trying to escape, but she got crushed by the door and died. Lots of things like this happened there. ”

“It seemed that the people had developed REAL HUMANITY feelings. Before the earthquake people in cities around the world were so busy, always thinking of money, and having feelings of Jealousy and Hatred. After the earthquake people have begun to feel the real feelings of humanity and compassion inside the society. Love and compassion developed in the people of the community.”

“We must not stop helping each other, we must not wait for anyone else. We must keep moving positively, with faith.”


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