Registered nurse Babu Kandel and Nursing Manager at Ochre HEalth Grafton GP Super Clinic Mary-Anne Cole with tins raising money to help victims of Nepal earthquake.
Registered nurse Babu Kandel and Nursing Manager at Ochre HEalth Grafton GP Super Clinic Mary-Anne Cole with tins raising money to help victims of Nepal earthquake. Adam Hourigan

Grafton superclinic and hospital raise $1350 for Nepal

GRAFTON has pumped more than a $1000 into a tiny village in Nepal, flattened in the Anzac Day earthquake.

Through the efforts of Nepalese migrants Babu Kandel and his wife Ria Chitrakar, who both work as registered nurses at Ochre Health's Grafton GP Superclinic and Grafton Base Hospital, around $1350 will be spent feeding and housing people and repairing sewerage infrastructure.

Early this week the couple emptied about $750 from collection tins in the superclinic, which has been added to $600 already sent to the village of Ghyachchok in the district of Ghorka, which is near the epicentre of the quake.

While the couple's family live in an area largely unaffected by the 7.8 Richter scale earthquake, Mr Kandel has a close attachment to the village.

Last year he and his wife went back to Nepal to visit family and while he was there visited his childhood friend, Dhoj Gurung, who lives in Ghyachchok.

"Now the whole village has been destroyed by the earthquake," he said.

Mr Kandel's friend is a fine arts student, who loves the arts, travelling and exploring different cultures, but since disaster struck has been working to get help to provide basic needs to the people of his village.

He said what appears to be a relatively small amount of money in Australia can have a big effect in Nepal.

"For $2 you can feed a person for a day," he said. "A family can buy a tent to live in for $10 to $15."

Mr Kandel said aftershocks were still rocking the area, forcing people to live outdoors rather than seek shelter in badly damaged buildings.

"Just last week they had a 4.8 aftershock in the village," he said.

The big problem facing the village is the imminent arrival of the monsoon.

"We need to get toilets and sewerage fixed up before the monsoon arrives," he said.

"If the rains come before then, diseases will spread."

Mr Kandel said the money raised in Grafton was going straight to Mr Gurung, who was spending it directly on rebuilding the village and feeding its people.

The superclinic's nursing manager Mary-Anne Cole said the superclinic's patients and staff had supported Mr Kandel and his wife from the day of the disaster.

"Just after the earthquake hit, we had a number of patients come in to ask after Babu and Ria, to ask after their families," she said.

"All the staff at the superclinic have chipped in to help and the patients have been so generous."

Mr Kandel said he thought of returning to Nepal to help in the days after the quake, but was convinced to stay in Australia.

"Dhoj told me they had enough people over there, what they needed was resources and money," he said.

"He said I would be better to stay in Australia and raise money for them."

He said the recovery team his friend has set up was looking at longer-term rehabilitation of the village.

"They are helping locals to set up the schools by getting roofs and rooms fixed as well as building the toilets in that community," he said.

A Facebook page, Ghyachchok Relief Effort, has been created.



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