Click to view interview. Credit: CBS 47 News. April 28, 2015.

The tragic earthquake in Nepal has hit close to home for some faculty and students on the Fresno State campus, including here in our own college, where several faculty actually hail from Nepal.

Dr. Gyanesh Lama, Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work Education, is one of them. He recently spoke to CBS 47 News regarding the devastation occurring in his beloved homeland, where his family resides in a village northeast of Kathmandu. Lama, who regularly returns to Nepal to conduct research, has been in contact with his brother and sister, but has not been able to communicate with his other loved ones.

The poverty of the country and lack of communication lines makes it difficult, Lama said.

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He and other Fresno State faculty and students stress that international relief efforts are essential right now, as the death toll of over 5,000 continues to climb in the already severely impoverished country. Over eight million individuals across Nepal have been affected and are currently in need of aid, including food and shelter.

Lama said this serves as a particularly bad time because of the impending summer and monsoon season on the horizon.

“This is the plantation season, so if they don’t work for the next couple of months they won’t have food for the entire year,” said Lama. “It is a really horrible time.”

In an email to the community, Fresno State President Joseph Castro urged the campus community to donate to agencies specifically providing help to those directly impacted.

“While many organizations are aiding in the relief efforts, these agencies have excellent reputations and are providing targeted relief services for the people of Nepal: UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services and the American Red Cross,” said Castro.

“The spirit of service is strong at Fresno State and I am confident that our campus will play an important role in helping Nepal recover from this devastating natural disaster.”

We send our thoughts and well wishes to all of those affected by this tragedy, including all of the Fresno State faculty, students, staff and their loved ones back home in Nepal.

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