Nepal aid ge4tting through

Ravi Gill in Nepal
Ravi Gill in Nepal

A charity volunteer who has headed to Nepal has described the scenes as he travel round delivering aid.

Ravi Gill left Bedford for the earthquake disaster zone in his role as a volunteer with Khalsa Aid.

Ravi Gill in Nepal

Ravi Gill in Nepal

Writing from Nepal he said: “Today, we found out there are still areas that have not received medical aid so decided to pack two trucks with medical and food aid, take some doctors and head into these regions. From the outset today proved to be a very testing, and quite dangerous day. Even so, I’ll say right now we were successful.

“After purchasing emergency food aid we loaded it onto our trucks along with the medical aid and set off. We hadn’t gone more than 10 minutes and there was a small aftershock and we saw a house front literally come away from the rest of it!

“The panic was horrific as people fled the area so the house wouldn’t fall on them.”

Ravi and his team continued for about two hours when they came across a group protesting that the Nepalese government is not delivering aid quick enough.

He went on to report seeing others looting a car which had food strapped to its roof. He said: “Luckily, they saw the banner on the front of our trucks and let us pass.

“They didn’t attack the occupants, they were desperate and wanted the food.”

Ravi decided to speed up his convoy to get to their destination, where they set up an outdoor clinic.

More than 300 people were assessed and given treatment before they headed back to Kathmandu.

En route to their base, the team helped demolish a collapsing house to ensure it did not fall on anyone.

The looters had set up a road block, which was holding up the traffic.

Ravi said: “Things were tense to say the least. We could be attacked at any time so I made the decision to take a couple of guys with me and walk to the people and through translator try to reason with them.

“There were some pretty angry people, both men and women, and some had sticks. In the end I knew I’d have to blag it by forgetting the food aid we had and say “we have no food, all we have is medical aid! Please many people are hurt and we need to get to them urgently”.

“A few of the guys began to remove parts of the blockade and shouted for us to pass quickly. Of course we didn’t need asking again! We got on the trucks and got out of there. As we passed, the protestors cheered and clapped us through.

A bit further up the road, police and army trucks drove by with their sirens on towards where we’d just been.”

Once back in Kathmandu, Ravi found people panicking as a rumour spread there would be another earthquake at 8.30pm that evening.

He said: “Even though I tried to explain there is nothing that can predict an earthquake, people were leaving their homes to stay in open areas. Even the Sikh Gurdwara we first stayed, had its grounds full of Sikh and non-Sikh worried men, women and children.

“It didn’t help that this predicted earthquake was reported on at least one radio station. Not till around 7.30pm did an official statement get released saying the alert was off.”

For more information, go to www.khalsaaid.org