As a motivational speaker, Mumbai-based Anand Chulani had helped many to master their emotions and attitude over the years, but it was during the Nepal earthquake that his own skills were tested to the very limit.
Mumbai-based motivational speaker, Anand Chulani helped other survivors with their grief and anxiety after the earthquake struck last Saturday
Having barely escaped death himself, the 38-year-old chose to help others handle their grief and anxiety. Even now, Chulani is working to collect funds for other survivors, and hopes to return there soon to help with the relief efforts.
Chulani had flown to Kathmandu just the day before to address a conference and was, in fact, heading onstage at the very moment the tremors began. Everyone ran outside the hotel just in time, before the ceiling crashed.
Chulani spent the entire night on the ground outside his hotel, Park Village. The situation got worse when it started raining, dampening spirits even further. “At this time, after seeing people panic and cry, I decided to calm them down.
As I specialise in emotional and mental fitness, I tried to help others with their grief and anxiety,” said the Nepean Sea road resident. It was 4.30 am when he finally saw a van and begged the driver to drop him at the airport.
Although the distance wasn’t long, it took an hour before they reached, as the road was quivering dangerously. Thousands were already waiting to take a flight, and it took him over four hours to just enter the airport.
“The crowd was uncontrollable. I feared that if another earthquake came, we would have no escape,” said Chulani. When he did make it inside, he bought two tickets for one of Air India’s concessional rescue flights one for himself and another for a teenage girl who got separated form her family.
“Around 12, another earthquake hit just as the flight was departing. I was lucky to escape the second quake,” Chulani said, adding, “I have never considered myself more lucky than that day, when I got on the flight. I started crying the minute I heard the announcement about landing in Mumbai, where I had all my family and friends.”
Want to help?
Chulani has launched a website to collect funds for relief efforts: http://ketto.org/anandchulanifornepal
He hopes to collect enough money to be able to return to Nepal and distribute free survival kits, each costing Rs 5,000, with essentials such as soap, disinfectant, water cans, blankets, etc.