As campus slept, one country was brought to the ground: buildings decimated, families displaced and people dead.
Sophomore Doug Adhikari woke up on a normal day in Mississippi to see multiple missed calls and text messages.
Unsure of what was wrong, he called his family back. On Wednesday, April 25, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake destroyed many cities in Nepal. The memories of Adhikari’s home lay in the rubble
“You forget to feel. You breakdown, you just don’t know what to think,” said Adhikari, a finance major. “You almost have this sense of guilt that you’re not there trying to help.”
As the days pass, the death toll continues to increase above 5,000.
“It keeps climbing every time I check, and it traumatizes you,” Adhikari said.
Adhikari continues to call or text his family to check on the progress they and the country has made. He said his parents continue to say ”It’s ok” and “We are fortunate to be alive” and that, even though this disaster has happened, life will go on. Despite their reassurances, he can recognize the impact this event has had on their lives.
“You can hear it in their voice that they are terrorized by this whole event,” Adhikari said.
After the earthquake, Adhikari’s parents, who reside in Kathmandu, slept in their car for three nights because it was not safe to be back in the house due to the aftershocks, which are strong as well.
“The first three days was probably the worst time I could think of after the earthquake,”Adhikari said. “They are trying to be strong so I don’t feel bad here.”
It hurts to think about the people still missing. He imagines people with broken ribs, broken arms, scared and alone.
“It’s pretty gory, but you think about that kind of stuff. You think about that kind of stuff when you know what’s happened,” Adhikari said. “People have lost parents, people have lost their children, everything they have ever known.”
Adhikari will return to his home once exams are over, but said he is heartbroken over the destruction of what he once knew.
“Places you went to when you were there a few months ago are not there any more, have completely collapsed,” Adhikari said. “It’s pretty terrible.”
Freshman Abhijaya Shrestha could not get in contact with his parents for hours after the event.
“I immediately wanted to call back home and check if they were fine or not,” said Shrestha, a mechanical engineering major. “It was like falling from a huge cliff. It was extremely shocking news.”
Shrestha is continuously told that he is fortunate he was in the United States when the earthquake occurred, but said he wishes that he were back in Nepal.
“I may have been struggling, but I would have been with my family,” Shrestha said.
Devastation is one word that Shrestha continues to use while describing his hometown. Kathmandu is highly populated, he does not know if everyone he knows is alive, or leaving the city and cannot help them if they need it.
“I can imagine how families have been destroyed,” Shrestha said. “They may be my neighbors; they may be anyone.”
Nosa Egiebor, executive director of global engagement, said the earthquake in Nepal has become a major human disaster, and his heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones in the earthquake.
“We, at the Office of Global Engagement, have contacted all of our 24 or so Nepalese students at Ole Miss to let them know that we are here for them,” Egiebor said. “Luckily, we are made to understand that none of them lost loved ones in the earthquake, but one of the students had their home destroyed.”
Egiebor said the Institute for International Education has established an emergency fund to support Nepalese students in the United States who may need emergency financial support. Nominations for the funds must come through the International Office at their institutions.
“We have notified our students from Nepal about the availability of this IIE emergency fund, and that we’ll be glad to nominate and work with any of them who may need such emergency funds,” Egiebor said.
Shrestha and Adhikari said donations and prayer are the best way to help. Shrestha said it is a priority for humanity and the world as a whole to help, there are actual people who still may be buried under rubble. Shrestha said $1 is equivalent to 100 rupees and that can buy a meal for five to six people. So, even if you think you are donating very little, it can turn out to be very helpful.
“We had a unique culture that was different from most of the world and now that is destroyed,” Adhikari said. “That is devastating news not only for Nepal but the whole world. Nepal needs help.”