Mumbai school to raise funds to rebuild school in Nepal

The BD Somani International School will help rebuild Shree Deusa Secondary School in Solukhumbu, razed to rubble in the earthquake

It's been almost six months since a devastating earthquake destroyed the lives of lakhs in Nepal. Today, even as they work tirelessly to restore their surroundings to the way they knew them, about 360 students of a school in Solukhumbu, Nepal, still have no building to study in. Keeping this in mind, led by a student, B D Somani International School has pledged to raise R18 lakh over three years to help rebuild the school.

Tanika Mehra
Tanika Mehra, brain behind the initiative, with principal Don Gardener of B D Somani International School. PIC/Datta Kumbhar

“Post the earthquake, people from across the world have been helping Nepal with food and healthcare, and I was wondering if we can help them through a long-term project. That's when I spoke to my father and he put me in touch with a friend in Nepal,” said Tanika Mehra, (18), a Std XII student of B D Somani. Tanika got in touch with The Small World, an NGO working to make education accessible to children in Nepal.

Shree Deusa Secondary School in Solukhumbu was destroyed in the April 2015 earthquake
Shree Deusa Secondary School in Solukhumbu was destroyed in the April 2015 earthquake 

While there are thousands of students without schools after over a hundred school buildings were destroyed in the earthquake, Shree Deusa Secondary School in Solukhumbu was zeroed in upon. “I shared my wish to raise money to rebuild a school, and we chose a school that was destroyed. Its students are currently studying at makeshift facilities provided by The Small World,” added Tanika. The NGO said that it would take about 30 lakh Nepalese rupees to rebuild the school. “This amounts to a little over R18 lakh. We have decided to raise this money over a period of three years,” she said.

School says
For starters, the school got in touch with the Rotaract Club in Nepal, in order to ensure that the funds were channelised appropriately.

“Everybody spoke about the earthquake when it happened, but quickly forgot about it. We wanted our children to participate in relief work and understand the situation firsthand,” said Don Gardener, principal of the school. He added that the idea is to direct money towards the project, as and when the money is collected. “So Stds XI and XII have decided to participate in a 6 km walkathon on Monday, and all the money collected through sponsorships will be directed toward the NGO in Nepal for rebuilding this school,” he added.

“It's a small step, but a concrete one at the same time. Over the next three years, depending on the response we get, we might also pick more such projects and get all students involved,” added Tanika.

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