‘I cannot focus on studying for my exams’

‘I cannot focus on studying for my exams’

“I am in the middle of my final exams for the School Leaving  Certificate. These are the most important exams. But I cannot only focus on studying. Because at home there is no water in the tap or the pond any more. Before the earthquake we had plenty. Now I have to walk far every day to fetch water. This is going to affect my exams results, I’m sure, but water is our basic need to survive.”

Photo: Nitika Shrestha

‘We used to be a well-equipped school. Now we don’t even have a library’

“Six students were with me in the library when it happened. I told  everyone to hold each other tight. ‘Don’t panic! Be calm! Pray to god  this will be over soon’, I said. I closed my eyes, I could not look. It  lasted 2.5 long minutes.

“We used to be a well-equipped school. The students were always excited to use our facilities. But now we don’t even have a library. We don’t have a computer lab. We don’t have a science lab. And it’s School Leaving exams. We are hopeful the students’ results won’t be affected by the earthquake. The teachers are working a lot. But these exams are very tough.

“The students are not allowed to enter the school. It is not safe. There are cracks everywhere. The parents asked us: ‘How can we still bring our children here? It’s not safe!’ We had trauma session with psychologists and we built temporary classrooms, right next to the ruin. And a small zinc hut that serves as a canteen.

“We have written to the government. Some ministries want to help with the finances. We have the manpower. We could start building a new school right away. Sure, it will take a few years. We just need the government  to give us the land so we can start.”

Photo: Sven Wolters

‘Now this has become a relaxation spot for goats’

“On the day of the earthquake, the elder people of the village had gathered here. This was where they got together to relax every day. Then the structure collapsed and three of them died. Many others got injured. Now it’s almost a year,  but reconstruction work has not even started. This place has become the relaxation spot for goats. They are not domesticated, they belong to the god. They were given as gifts, for good fortune. As this is a public place, nobody is in charge. No one really cares about them playing in the ruins and the mud.”

Photograph: Sven Wolters

‘We became best friends because of the earthquake’

“We became best friends because of the earthquake. Her house collapsed and her family was moved to this camp, even though they are not from around here. Then she got admitted to the same school I am going to. First I saw her there and when I saw her again later in the camp, I talked to her. And since that day we became best friends.”

Photo: Pratik Rana

‘Before the earthquake, I would have targeted an A+. But now…’

“If we could at least have light, electricity and drinking water I could prepare well for the School Leaving Certificate exam. It is the most important one. But it is difficult to concentrate and study in a tent. Before the earthquake, I would have targeted an A+. But now I can only hope to get at least an A.”

Photo: Pratik Rana

‘Prince Harry’s visit does not make a difference at all’

“Prince Harry’s visit does not make a difference at all. He only came here because of Beckham. At least Beckham played football with my nephew when he was here a few months ago. But nothing change even then. I have heard much about donations provided from around the world, but it has not reached us.

Photo: Pratik Rana

‘I want the king back’

“I want the king back. Now the prince of another country came to us to know what we are going through. If we had our own king and a prince, then they would have visited us instead. And our situation would be better.”

Photo: Pratik Rana Magar

‘Holi is completely different this year’

“Holi is completely different this year. In spite of the destruction, I have never seen so many people celebrating together. And there are many tourist guests from all over the world, too. That’s why I’m having a good sale of colours this year.”

Photo: Sven Wolters