This past Wednesday 28th of April, a special vigil was held in Union Court in memory of an estimated 10,000 Nepalese earthquake victims that passed away in tragic circumstances, and even more that were severely wounded. The event, which was organized on short notice by the ANU Nepali Student Association (NeSA) and the Postgraduate and Research Student’s Association (PARSA), had more than a hundred students and staff attend and hold a minute’s silence in a showing of solidarity and support.
NeSA President, Keshab Goutam, urged a compassionate response from the ANU community in this difficult time.
“”I have been shaking, until now, for three days,” said Goutam, addressing an empathetic audience.
“At this critical moment, I would like to appeal to the whole of the ANU community to help us emotionally or through any other means.”
The earthquake, which took place the previous Saturday morning, has displaced nearly half a million Nepalese residents, who are still affected by constant aftershocks.
Bishal Chalise, another ANU Nepalese student and PARSA representative, called for a fund raising effort towards helping grieving families and casualities. Nearly a week on, many cannot return to their homes, or in some cases, no longer have a home to return to at all.
“My family lives in Kathmandu which is one of the highest affected areas. Fortunately they are safe but they can’t go back to their home because it is still too risky with the aftershocks,” he said.
PARSA Communications Officer, Kimberly Ashby-Mitchell, praised the commitment and swift response that members of the ANU community took towards organizing this event, including Goutam, Chalise, PARSA International Students Officer Kim-Marie Spence, as well as PARSA President and Treasurer, Benjamin Niles and Chris Wilson, respectively.