View Full Version : Aiding Nepal

29 April 2015, 04:32 PM
Namaste HDF,

I probably don't have to talk at length about the recent 7.9-magnitude earthquake that happened in Nepal. It's the proverbial "elephant in the room" at this point, in other words it's on everyone's mind because it's there.

What I do want to talk about is ways to help. That would be a far more productive thing to talk about than mourning the victims (although that's perfectly warranted), or whatever other negative situations are arising as a result of the quake.

I've written a blog post on my personal blog, Light Club (http://light-club.blogspot.com/2015/04/helping-nepal.html), about a couple of legitimate organizations that one can donate to in order to help Nepal. You can read my blog post if you want, as I also talk (briefly) about prayer and its role in disasters like these. But in case you want to get right to the point, here are the organizations I mention:

Global Giving (https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/nepal-earthquake-relief-fund/). They're legitimate because they're very transparent about what they do with the money they receive. They even go so far as to give you email updates about the causes you donate to, including Nepal.
Adhikaar (https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/immediate-relief-for-nepal-earthquake-survivors). This organization is a New York City-based immigrant association that consists mainly of and focuses on Nepali immigrants to the USA. The link here points to an Indiegogo campaign they've started to collect funds to donate directly to the organizations in Nepal they have direct ties to.

Let's all do what we can - for some people, prayer is the only thing that they can do, and that is good because prayer at the very least keeps the victims (and the survivors) in people's hearts and minds. But if you can do more than pray, please do so. (And before you ask, I donated $25 to Global Giving, if you want to know what I've done.)

29 April 2015, 05:44 PM

http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?13910-Big-Kathmandu-Earthquake-Ancient-Temples-Destroyed-Many-Dead (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?13910-Big-Kathmandu-Earthquake-Ancient-Temples-Destroyed-Many-Dead&p=124581#post124581)

The Global Giving charges 15% of the donations made as their fee. Then the recipient organizations will have their administrative and sundry costs (most times another 15%). At least that is the way I read from its website,

"About GlobalGiving

All donations go through the GlobalGiving Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, which receives a nominal 15% fulfillment fee."


01 May 2015, 08:18 AM
The death toll in Nepal is now at 6,200 and rising - probably will rise more. But many more are impacted who are, thankfully, alive and well but need hope and help for families.

My visits to Nepal are some of the most cherished times in my life, for anyone who has not been there and who is a Hindu, definetly you should go. I consider myself a Nepali in heart because of these travels to Nepal, and yes temples have been damaged or destroyed and it is very sad, yet if you are thinking of a pilgrimage to India or Nepal please consider Nepal first at this time because not only will it give you a wonderful charge in spirit and faith and communion with the Devas and Devi, it will help Nepal recover as well. And your pilgrimage will be an act of time with fellow souls to reach out to each and all and will be powerful.

Think of it as your donation to the relief effort. I have been giving donations to the best of relief efforts as well in terms of medical and rebuilding community every week as I can, again please use your intelligence and donate to those who are the most focused on true relief without other agendas. It is really needed at this time.

01 May 2015, 11:11 AM
My heart goes out to the people in Nepal and I very much hope they will get the aid they need.

In my country there are numerous relief organizations and people give very generously. People are constantly reminded of giving money and TV-shows and things are organized to raise money. Most warming is what people spontaneously organize. There definitely is no lack of money for the relief organizations.

I am not a supporter of the whole donation system we have come to develop, as it has turned relief in a very profitable business. In former times when such disasters happened the reaction would be that our government would sent specialized personnel and equipment often from the army to give immediate relief. Governments would contact each others to arrange that.

Now it is has become privatized and a money circus. For instance with the Tsunami relief organizations collected hundreds of millions from donations. But they spent only 15% of that money on relief. Why? Because relief is not a matter of money so much as people think. In fact the inpoor of lots of money into countries creates a lot of problems. When relief organizations start to buy local building materials with their big wallets, prices soon skyrocket, making it impossible for ordinary people to pay for building materials. The relief organizations have limited understanding of the culture and what people really need, and some of things they build are never used.

They would better give the money to local authorities but they are overcautious about corruption and want to do things themselves. Because press reporters are constantly reporting about corruption and demanding that the money that is given should benefit the victims only. This seems like a good idea but is not. Foreigners can not control that, that is an illusion. You always need the full cooperation of local government to get things done.

Some start giving money to the poor people themselves. This again may seem like the ideal solution, but is not. A women in Sri Lanka told that poor people who had never had any money before became terribly materialistic when they got large sums of money that way. Many became loan sharks and it caused all kinds of problems in the communities.

People have this simple idea that pouring money is a solution, it is not. Money corrupts. The government people in the countries hit also know that the relief organizations have lots of money and demand their share to allow them even to operate. In the relief organizations the managers and CEO's mostly have huge salaries. They use volunteers to collect money, but they themselves want extraordinary pay for part-time jobs. They increasingly use marketing tools and commercials playing on peoples guilt to extract more money.

Commerce and offering relief is not a good combination because it simply pushes the more social solutions out. Nowadays I never hear our government offer direct relief aid to other countries. Why should they, there are so much commercial organizations who spend more. It has become a circus.

I am not a fan of professional help for what parties should do amongst themselves. Governments should help their own people, it their prime responsibility. As they are overwhelmed by a disaster, they should call on other governments for direct aid (not money) and regulate that. That is what is best for the people, that creates the fastest help. And time is often of the essence. Nowadays government do little and wait for the money to poor in.

Governments should also give financial aid to governments in need officially. To rebuild. Yes some even much of the money will not be used properly. But in a society where people are related, it will trickle down, and at least it does not cause huge price rises that only harm the common people. Besides if the people know their government has been given money for aid by other governments or UN, they are more likely to demand they are helped, then when government officials extort money from relief organizations that need to do something to justify themselves to their donors.

It seems that Nepal government is taking very little action. What are they waiting for? The answer is money. By making relief more difficult for relief organizations they get bigger bribes. You want to help? Pay first.

01 May 2015, 11:44 AM

I think you probably missed my entire main point if you are responding, I am encouraging those who are Hindus travelling to go directly to Nepal on a pilgrimage to help the ecocomy, the water situation even or hands on, to be part of the community and to help their own soul spirit.

You under estimate the intelligence of Hindus not living in India to discern a good donation effort for relief from a bad one with an agenda, and awareness of the ones with an agenda has grown a lot over the years. Also, other nations including the US are stepping up to the plate and offering help while at the same honoring the dignity and indepenence of the Nepali government. Now is the time for action, not lots of excuses to be selfish instead or do or give nothing - that is far the norm anyway to help so those who do should be encouraged.

Yes, there are bad charities. Awareness of this has grown a lot. For example, back during the Haitian relief effort (Haiti) I was foolish enough to give no small amount of money to the "Clinton Foundation Haitian Relief" only to find years later 88% of the money went to travel and offices for Hillary Clinton to fly around with Bill Clinton to "build an international resume" with politicos foreign and domestic for her projected attempts to run for President, to build a resume so Hillary and Bill could demand huge (hundreds of thousands of dollars) private speekers fees on junkets giving private speaches and speaking tours ("inspirational") and hardly any of the money I gave, which is hard earned, went to the actual people in Haiti or the actual relief. I would never give one penny to the "Clinton Foundation" ever, never again.

We have become smarter, so who and what are YOU doing to help? I have given directly to medical corps that have nothing to do with any other religious organization agenda. What can YOU do to encourage relief on a personal level to help?

I am a Nepali in heart at this time.

01 May 2015, 11:56 AM
Namaste Avyayda,

I want to ask you something - if donating money is not the solution, then what is the solution for someone like me? Unfortunately I don't have nearly enough resources to fly to Nepal myself. Donating money (to reputable organizations) is all I CAN do. I can't simply appear in Nepal at the drop of a hat.

Would you call me a corrupter for only doing what I am able to do? I posted about Global Giving because a friend of mine who has connections to Nepal recommended them to me.

Seems I can't please anyone these days.

02 May 2015, 01:01 PM
Namaste all,

It was not my intention to criticize anyone. Please do whatever you feel, you should do. Visiting a country and spending money in a normal way will surely help them. And there surely are good relief organizations that are not money driven, and simply do there best to offer relief all over the world where ever it is needed, or offer specific useful help. But I would advise you to be critical especially about the vultures that see great gains in disasters.

03 May 2015, 09:53 PM
It is really getting bad now, folks in thr mountainous regions are desperately peading for help, and to make matters worse the international airport is halting landings due to inability to secure the airport and to handle international aid supplies and workers.

So right now, anything you can think of to get supplies and money to those agencies who ALREADY had "boots on the ground" an don't need to fly in is the way to go, not sure how that will be done however.


03 May 2015, 10:38 PM
Namaste ShivaFanji

I think Vishwa Hindu Parishad will be quite good about this.
The international sites were OK to go to on Saturday itself (25th April) but now the following in India (VHP - Ahmedabad and some others in Hyderabad) will be in contact with their doctor teams who are already in Nepal. SEVA also has their teams there. So those who go thru SEVA will help too.


An Appeal by Dr Pravin Togadia to Support India Health Line & Hindu Help Line
Prayag (Allahabad) / Lucknow / Delhi / Patna / Gorakhpur / Karnavati (Ahmedabad),
April 26, 2015
Account Details...

04 May 2015, 01:09 AM

Nepal needs a lot of help from the world to survive and to get back to its feet. Let everyone join in and help in whatsoever manner we can.

I don't agree with the view that Nepal doesn't need money at this crucial juncture. Money is the most important thing that Nepal needs right now as NGOs working there can apportion money to the right areas of need. In fact, going there to help is not at all recommended at this moment as already there are many organisation working there and there is a great difficulty of managing the whole operation. Large people gathered there from outside have also become problem there.

Does anyone know a good NGO (not VHP) working there which accepts help in INR instead of US$ ? I have tried donating to Americares and Care but they accept only in US$.


04 May 2015, 10:07 AM
I don't agree with the view that Nepal doesn't need money at this crucial juncture. Money is the most important thing that Nepal needs right now as NGOs working there can apportion money to the right areas of need.
Namaste devotee,

I do not question your sincere intentions, but now look at reality

Haiti Earthquake: Five Years After (http://time.com/3662225/haiti-earthquake-five-year-after/)

On Jan. 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck Haiti, killing more than 160,000 and displacing close to 1.5 million people. Five year later, scars of the tragedy remain in Port-au-Prince, says photographer Gael Turine, who has spent the last 10 years photographing the country.

“When you walk around the country’s capital Port-au-Prince, you still see half-destroyed buildings around town,” he tells TIME. “The wounds are still here, and everyone says that they’re living in worse conditions than before.”

Given the costs of recovery from such a shattering catastrophe, it might seem logical that an impoverished country such as Haiti would still feel the effects a half-decade later, if it weren’t for the unprecedented help the Republic received in its aftermath. “When you look at the history of humanitarian relief, there’s never been a situation when such a small country has been the target of such a massive influx of money and assistance in such a short span of time,” says Turine. “On paper, with that much money in a territory the size of Haiti, we should have witnessed miracles; there should have been results.”

And yet the situation on the ground is dire, says the Belgian photographer: “Two years ago, there were still refugee camps in Port-au-Prince’s center. Now, they are gone, but the people have been merely displaced. They now live in the city’s suburbs – in these prefabricated shacks – [with] a parallel economy.”

For Turine, the international community has crushed the country’s hopes. “NGOs are pulling out, creditors have stopped investing,” he says. “Haitians find themselves in a social and economic situation that is worse than before the earthquake.” And yet, its people subsist. “I feel there’s this collective energy that comes from how close all Haitians live with each other. There’s this idea of collectivity, which leads to certain neighborhoods taking control of their own fate – cleaning up their streets, opening up their schools, etc. They have been forced to take over from the government, which is unable to offer these services.”

Still, he has no doubt that Haitians will weather the crisis, even as it stretches on. “It’s already a victory to see that the country hasn’t exploded, especially when you see what has happened in the last decades — from Jean-Claude Duvalier to Jean-Bertrand Aristide, from the cholera to hurricanes, the country has faced a succession of social, political and environmental crises,” Turine says. “The fact that Haitians haven’t succumbed to madness shows that they’re resilient.”

Where does this believe come from that lots of Money helps? Money is simply another manifestation of greed. The more excess money is poured in the more it fuels greed with all parties concerned. All want a piece of this tasty pie. The more money is going around, the more ruthless opportunists it attracts. Look at areas in Africa where they find diamonds. There is no prosperity there, only constant bloody war. War in itself again is such a profitable business that military industry and contractors are lobbying for engaging in conflicts. Money drives out ethics.

Because of the delays many people under the rubble died that may have been saved. In stead of countries sending rescue teams and equipment right away, we are first starting campaigns to raise money. We need money! Nonsense. No money should be given at all, only direct help by other governments, that way local governments do not develop alterior motives for asking help. Go in help the people with food, medicine, shelter, and immediately start rebuilding infrastructure and housing, then leave. The people will do the rest. But do not give money.

If you do not repair infrastructure and housing right away, people will still be waiting twenty years after. In the mean time the relief organizations have found other disasters to raise new fresh delightful crisp money for. They are not going to tell the donors people in Haiti still live in the sewer. That would not reflect well would it? That could actually diminish the motivation of people to give money. We do not want that. There are ample places in the world where people are suffering and they could spend their excess money, but they specialize only in disasters.

Pouring lots of money in a local economy is a disaster because it makes part of the people richer, leads to price rises, and thus makes the poor actually poorer. That is why in the richest country in the world a considerable part of the population is living below the poverty line and do not profit from national growth, while in a poor country like Cuba all have decent food, shelter, education, and health care. Because it is not the amount of money that counts but the distribution.

People that give money want to see themselves as generous caring givers that put smiles on the faces of children, and that is the kind of pictures they are shown and the stories they are told. Relief organizations know exactly what people want to hear. Thanks to your money we saved this child! So why where some American organizations quickly going into Haity to pick up children and adopt them with false papers (http://harvardhrj.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/King.pdf), leaving their parents desperate? And why do children in great numbers become victim of kidnapping (http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/haiti_56554.html)? That is the other side of all those private organizations entering the country.

Now another extreme:
In India there are holy men who reject possession. Whatever they receive they immediately distribute among their followers. It can create funny situations. When they are asked by families to visit for help, they refuse reward but they are given money for the taxi. As the taxi fares can range widely, they get many times the amount they need. But whatever they have in their hands they give to the lucky driver, making these poorest of all people the most generous payers.

It is a sad world in which we believe that we can no longer help each other without money exchanging hands. Nowadays governments are creating ever more money to satisfy growing greed. But that money is not creating wealth, but only the illusion of wealth. Money has become the only way to get people doing things. The rich want it and the poor need it. And the more is created the more the rich want it and the more the poor need it.

If there is any place where money should not play a role it is in giving people in need direct support. If even that needs to be controlled by money, there is little hope for turning things around elsewhere.

04 May 2015, 11:17 PM
Namaste Avyadya,

I won't argue on this issue and won't say that what you are saying is wrong because there is truth in what you say. Whenever someone asks help from me, the questions you have raised come to my mind too. When there is clarity that my money is going to be abused then I walk away. However, when I feel that even though part of my money will be wasted or pocketed by some undeserving persons but a good part of it will reach the right needy man then I decide to give.

See, money creates greed and easy money creates even more greed and that is the cause of all troubles you are enumerating. However, if we stick to this thinking, many people would just die for want of help from people who can afford to give. If I can give / if I can spare something for the people who need, I thank God that God has offered me to be in such an advantageous position that I can give. It is more tormenting when you come to know - "the person I refused to help was really in need and because I refused to help, he suffered" ... than this - "person who I chose to give was unworthy of my help".