Newsletter 30 July 2021
Pandemic eases slightly in Pokhara, Nepal
Binod Koirala, Coordinator in Pokhara, writes:
The number of positive cases each day are decreasing in Nepal. I was just looking on the statistics. In the last 24 hours 2,444 new cases added and 42 got death. Since late last week, the lockdown has made partially removed. The shops could open until 12 noon and alternately we can drive private vehicles. But, no public vehicles, schools, hotel/restaurants are opened yet.
If you sponsor a student, be assured. As they go back to school and college we will contact them all and help them back into education, and pass on any news.
Devastation from the monsoon
Many homes poor families around Pokhara are ramshackle and vulnerable, as when the Earthquake of 2015 struck. Back then our loyal supporters helped restore things through the Earthquake Fund. Now we ask again for support.
Members of the Rotary Club of Pokhara heard that some of our students’ homes had been affected by recent bad weather. They visited the family ‘homes’ of Fishtail Fund students Ashish Pun and Deepak Rabnahat:
While talking to Deepak, we came to know his house was affected by the landslide caused by the heavy rain. We walked up with them to see the house. We found its been too vulnerable to stay. The kitchen is like hanging room since the base was fallen down. So far, they got a tarpaulin from the government and assurance of few thousands rupees only, which is not much contribution for the protection wall. We are wondering if we can provide some financial support to protect the house. They want to build a retain wall which will cost 10,000n rupees (£60)
We invite you to contribute something to our Student House Repair Fund, to be distributed as necessary among our students’ families only. Payment details are at the end of this Newsletter. Thanks!
An early student comes good
An early Fishtail Fund Newsletter back in 2009 announced: We have a new student needing support. Kiran Banstola, in spite of desperate family circumstances, secured 1st position in his class with 78.14% marks. “He was,” said his Head Teacher,”very disciplinary and had 93% attendance in the school. Please help us keep him in school.”
A generous Rotarian couple, Seaun and Nancy McDonnell, accepted the challenge and agreed to support Kiran. Twelve years later, he’s rewarded their confidence by graduating with First Class honours in Agriculture. He plans to work on behalf of Nepal in developing new ways of improving stock and crop quality around his home city of Pokhara.
Two Trustees, Ian Ward and David Lumb, had the pleasure of visiting Seaun’s widow Nancy in Cumberland to say thank you. They handed over a letter from Kiran which said, in part:
I have decided to work for two years back here in Nepal so that I would be able to gain both professional and personal growth. The most important motive is to improve my financial situation so that I can offer a better life for my family. I have now become a grown and matured in both my thoughts who once was a child lost in his own dreams. Most of the credit goes to you, who have gone out of your way to support me. When I retrospect on my life, I realize that if I had grown up in a village with only a few resources to pursue my aspirations, I would never have become the person I am today. Thanks for believing in me and I am confident that I would never let down your hopes and dreams that you have been seeing through me.
Everyone in the small Fishtail Fund organisation is very proud of Kiran, and grateful to the McDonnells, especially Nancy.
Two Brave Rotarians
You will know that we have provided funding for five Food Banks. However it has taken some considerable personal courage to get the food to our students. Disregarding infection dangers to themselves, Binod Koirala and Laxmi Thapa, two of our Trustees and members of the Rotary Club of Pokhara Fishtail, went ahead with distribution:
Last few days, the number of Covid infected cases have seen decreased, which are reflected into the hospitals as well. However, the number of complicated cases are constantly the same. It means infections are expanded into rural areas and while they come to the hospital, they have been already severely ill and need ICU/Ventilators. There is no Covid tests in rural areas.
Since, the number of cases in India is also falling down and we guess we are getting down from the peak point of the 2nd wave. Nevertheless, the threat of 3rd wave is already coming in, which is predicted to effect much to Children.
There is no much development in vaccination. Further to my last email, China donated another 1 million jabs. The government has just shot today to the age group of 62 to 64 years old.
We were on complete lockdown until last week. For last few days, it has been soften. I can drive now in alternate day. We meet them at the road ends to the village. We have managed to meet two Fishtail Fund students already and delivered them food. Shortly, I am planning to visit two more students at their home, who are far. For others, immediate after opening public vehicles, we invite and handover the food stuffs. Some of the families in villages have some chunk of land and they grow some foods. Few others who are in rented rooms in Pokhara, have gone back to their origin until lockdown and may back again.
The food consists of a big bag of rice, vegetables and basic medicines. Well done Laxmi and Binod! Soon we will reach all the students
Ashish Pun: the student from the riverside
In 2013 we began support for a boy whose family lived by breaking stones by the riverside in Pokhara. The family sold stones to a lorry-driver who paid them by weight. This was Ashik Pun. His head teacher recommended him for help as he had high potential. Ashik has been supported by the Fishtail Fund and by the Rotary Club of Bristol Breakfast. Now he is at the University of Pokhara studying Engineering. He has done his best to continue study by using his mobile phone! We are providing him with a small motorbike to reach college, once he has passed his test, though the pandemic has slowed down all such planning. He received his Food Bank supply last week.
Coordinator Fishtail Fund