Medical students spreading kindness to Nepalese quake victim

29 May 2015

Mr Rajesh Nakarmi

On the morning of 25th April 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake strucked central Nepal, killing over 8000 people, and injuring thousands more. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless when their houses were destroyed by the quake, including the family of Rajesh Nakarmi, a Nepalese security guard working at Monash University Malaysia.

Rajesh’s wife and his 2 year-old daughter live together with his mother in Patan Lalitpur, situated in the south-central part of the quake-devastated Kathmandu. Fortunately, his family were not seriously harmed in the incident as they were out at a temple when the earthquake occurred. Rajesh’s family had to stay in an open field nearby for four days without a shelter. They suffered from lack of water, food and other basic necessities as all the shops were closed and help had yet to arrive. With the help of his brother, Rajesh’s family are now temporarily staying in rented rooms.

Given that Rajesh and his family are in dire need of help in order to survive and rebuild their home, the medical students from Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences (JCSMHS) undertook the task to help Rajesh and his family. The Monash University Medicos Society (MUMedS) collaborated with the Surgical Interest Group of Monash University Sunway (SIGMUS) to initiate a donation drive.

(From left to right) Eishatur Rodhiah, Roger Gan, Vidya Achan, Toh Mei Teng and Ooi Jia Xuan.

“Although there were language barrier and communication difficulties, we could still clearly observe his distress and worry for his family. The security management staff were very supportive in coordinating meetings for us to talk to the Nepalese guards and understand their family's situation back home,” said Eishatur Rodhiah, the Secretary of MUMeds. The initiative has successfully collected a total of RM888 from the JCSMHS students for Rajesh. Vidya Achan, the President of SIGMUS mentioned that the initiative would not be successful without the great effort from the medical students, their generous contributions and unwavering support, which reflect the Monash spirit.

“It was a valuable experience for me as it reminded me how fortunate we are and help us to empathise with Rajesh as he goes through the tough time,” said Jia Xuan, the Treasurer of MUMeds.

Rajesh (wearing black cap) expressing his gratitude to Prof Iekhsan and representatives from MUMeds and SIGMUS. With them is Mr Shanmugam, the Chief guard of Monash Malaysia (far right)

“Although the amount we collected is not that much, we sincerely hope that this can help Mr Rajesh and his family. I hope every Monashian would continue to spread their kindness to those who are in need. We will keep those who are affected in our prayers and may God bless them,” said Roger.

Last week, JCSMHS’ Deputy Head of School (Research) Professor Iekhsan Othman and the representatives of MUMeds and SIGMUS handed over the donation to Rajesh the day before he flew back to Nepal to visit his family. Rajesh was very thankful and said that he is very happy and appreciative of the donation.