Bollywood actress and Goodwill Ambassador Manisha Koirala, who hails from Nepal is anxious to go home to meet her parents following the devastating earthquake that hit the country
As news of the massive earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale hitting Nepal spread like wildfire, Twitter and social media were flooded with prayers and messages for the people affected. On the other hand, there are a few people in the city, who are anxiously pacing their drawing rooms, waiting for that one call that will bring them the news of the well-being of their loved ones settled in Nepal.
People clear rubble in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was severely damaged. Pic/ AFP
When we called Manisha Koirala, the actor sounded completely devastated by the news and said: “I don’t know how to react. It is a huge blow especially for a country like Nepal, which is already going through a political crises.”
Talking about the rising toll, she pointed out, “We only know about Kathmandu and some major towns. No one knows what has happened in the remote areas. The actual toll can be much higher than reported.”
Although she is relieved that her parents, former Cabinet minister Prakash Koirala and Sushma Koirala are safe, the actress is eager to meet them. “I wish I was with them right now. But as of now all airlines have cancelled their flights to Nepal. I will take the first flight out once they resume service,” she said.
She is, however, happy with the way the Indian government has reacted to the natural calamity and gone all out to help the neighbouring country. “I am touched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concern and the compassion with which he has acted. Also, I applaud the media, which has acted very responsibly. My country is in crisis and we need help and support from every corner.”
Aftershocks are still being felt across the country and Manisha hopes the government finds ways to minimise further damage.
“I really don’t know how Nepal will be able to come out of this grave situation,” she rues. On her part, the actress, who is also a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Goodwill Ambassador and social activist, is planning to organise group healing and meditation sessions for the affected.
Manisha Koirala. Pic/ File photo
Another actor from Nepal, Sunil Thapa, who has acted in Ek Duje Ke Liye and Mary Kom, has relatives staying just six km from Kathmandu. “I am not able to get in touch with them as communication has broken down completely. It is painful to see it all unfold on television. The Dharahara Tower, which was one of the biggest tourist attractions of the country, has crumbled. The Krishna Temple is damaged too. It will take at least two to three weeks for us to even breathe normally.”
For Udaishankar Pani, who had worked as a line producer in films like Gandhi and Salaam Bombay, the
first thing that came to his mind on seeing the news on TV was the well being of his FTII classmates hailing from Nepal.
“The immediate reaction was to try and get in touch with my FTII friends and colleagues in the film industry. One of them is Bhuwan KC who is shooting his new film as producer/director with his son in Jomsom. Thank God both of them are fine,” he said.
Indian embassy in Kathmandu: +977 9851107021, 9851135141
Police emergency number: 4228435/4226853
Metropolitan police range: +977 4261945/ (Kathmandu) +977 4261790
Metropolitan police range (Lalitpur): +977 5521207
Metropolitan police range (Bhaktapur): +977 6614821
Paropkar Ambulance service: +977 4260859
Lalitpur Red Cross ambulance service: +977 5545666
Bishal Bazaar Ambulance service: +977 4244121
Red Cross ambulance service: +977 4228094
Indian MEA 24-hr helpline numbers
+91 11 2301 2113
+91 11 2301 4104
+91 11 2301 7905
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