Bringing aid home: SMU student veteran returns to Nepal

By Jesse Carr

It was around 3 a.m. when Namita KC’s door burst open as her sister ran screaming into her room. “Namita Namita wake up, there’s been an earthquake,” she said. Namita stumbled into the living room April 25 and quickly turned on the news. The headline read, “7.9 magnitude earthquake hits Nepal.”

“I felt helpless,” Namita said, “We tried calling our parents but could not get a hold of them.”

Namita was born in Bhaktapur, Nepal, just ten miles from the capital city Kathmandu. Initial reports put the death toll in the hundreds, but just four days after the earthquake, the death toll is reported at over 5,000. On Tuesday, Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told Reuters that the death toll could rise to 10,000. An estimated 8 million people have been affected by the quake.

On May 16, Namita will be returning home with her sister Nicky. Their goal is to raise $10,000 in aid to take with them through an account they set up at GoFundMe.

Namita came to America in hopes of becoming a doctor. But after two years of studying at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Ark., she lost interest in the medical field and joined the Army. She spent four years in the Army as a logistics specialist, and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting at SMU.

As reports of the quake were coming in, Namita and her sister tried contacting their parents but to no avail.

“We hurriedly tried calling our parents but could not get hold of them, we tried a couple of our relatives and friends but none of them responded. So I put a status on Facebook urging them to contact me if they can,” Namita said.

After six long hours, they finally received a phone call from their dad assuring them that everyone was safe and okay. However, terror would strike once more.

“There were more than 90 big and small shocks after the major one. The second shock was about 6.7 on the Richter scale, which frightened us all again, and that was almost repetitive of the same scenario, us trying to get hold of them desperately,” said Namita.

It will be an emotional journey for Namita and Nicky to make, however they are eager to return home with aid.

“I felt helpless not being able to do anything besides making a few donations,” Namita said.

Namita will be in Nepal for two weeks while Nicky will remain there for a month. They plan on using whatever funds they raise to assist the areas hit the hardest, and Namita will continue to raise money when she returns to the U.S.

Namita KC dreamed of being a doctor. She dreamed of helping others and saving lives. Now utilizing skills she learned in the Army, she will be helping those she cares for most – her friends and family.

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Namita KC is a junior accounting major

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