Nepal faces a crisis situation in relation to Covid and with such limited medical resources, severe lockdown is their only means of protection from the Indian variant now sweeping the country.
On 25th May with cases of the virus rising in Gorkha where GDS work is based, the Doctors at Gorkha Hospital contacted our Committee to ask for help in the supply of Oxygen Concentrators and masks to be used with them.
Though the aim of GDS is to aid development in health and education, our strong links have demonstrated we are able to help quickly in such an emergency as shown following the devastation caused by the Earthquakes of 2015 where we were able to fund emergency classrooms.
Now, in the Covid crisis, we agreed to help.
In the UK, Deaf Awareness Week aims to raise awareness and challenge perceptions of hearing loss and deafness. In Nepal, we are pleased to share GDS connection with Gorkha Deaf School which several of our Trustees have visited and we recently offered to support a number of children at the remarkable deaf school in Manakarmina near Gorkha through our sponsorship programme.
We are thrilled to have received photos from Gorkha Chair Ram Chandra as he handed over books and uniforms to the six nominated children earlier this year. The Headmaster Anil explained GDS sponsorship programme to the children through sign language.
Little could former Essex teacher Joy Leighton have imagined that when she formed GDS and the sister charity in Gorkha in 1988, that as she celebrates her 95th birthday (sadly in lockdown) 33 years later, her work would continue to support the poorest of families and children’s education in her beloved Nepal.
As a result of this global pandemic and after over nine months of lockdown, the schools in Gorkha and rural areas have re-opened and we can at last offer support to the returning children. The local GDHEDS commitee have worked so hard with Headmasters of fourteen schools in the region and we have agreed their recent application to support 124 children. We look forward to sharing updates as we hear more.
In rapid response to the recent hosptial request for support, oxygen cylinders of medical standard as well as PPE has been delivered by GDHEDS President Ram Chandra and founder member Perusotum.
‘The Hospital authority expressed their gratitude and convey their message to GDS and happily assured us that the equipments will support them to fight against COVID-19 in Gorkha. Each set of PPE includes body cover, boots, cap, eye glasses, face save, mask, gloves and boot-cover having plastic and rubber coated, air and water proof with two layers, products of National Invention Centre, Nepal, by Dr Mahabir pun. They are reuseable after being washed or sanitized.’ Our established links have allowed this emergency response to the crisis though of course we unusually hope in this case the equipment will not be in high demand.