A day of action will be held at UNSW this Thursday (4 June) to raise funds for the people of Nepal as they recover from recent devastating earthquakes. 

UNSW postgraduate health student Rejuta Dixit says the fear of briefly not knowing the fate of her family following the April 25 earthquake and its aftermath is something she never wants to experience again.

“When I could not get through to my parents and husband on the phone I really started to panic and feared the worst,” she says.

While Rejuta Dixit’s family were among the lucky ones, her husband Kapil Dixit witnessed the collapse of Kathmandu’s Dharahara tower and the deaths of hundreds of people. This left him deeply traumatised.

Kathmandus Dharahara Tower.jpg

The remains of Kathmandu’s Dharahara tower following the Nepal earthquake. Canadian Bhutanese Society.

“I don’t want to remember that time but I still think of Nepal as a beautiful place and know that it will rise again,” she says.

The 7.9 magnitude earthquake, which was followed by numerous tremors, has left 7,800 people dead, 15,000 injured and 1.6 million families deeply traumatised and without safe drinking water or shelter.

Disturbing reports are also emerging from Nepal of orphaned children being snatched by human trafficking gangs.

The day of action is also aimed at raising awareness about how the earthquake has left thousands of young children, particularly girls, more vulnerable than ever.

Senior lecturer in UNSW’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Dr Patrick Rawstorne hopes the day will deliver some hope and relief to those affected by the natural disaster.

“We encourage the UNSW community to attend and support the event on Thursday. There will be Nepalese cultural activities and stories from the community, as well as a photographic display,” says Dr Rawstorne.

Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW, Professor Raina MacIntyre, says the School is committed to action and advocacy in all aspects of its work, and is proud to support UNSW students and staff in this fund raising event.

All funds raised will go to the Red Cross which is providing humanitarian support to people affected by the earthquakes.

What: Day of Action and fundraising campaign – Nepal Earthquake Relief.

The program for the day includes a BBQ, baked goods stall, a photography exhibition, Nepalese folk dancing and stories of strength and humanity from Nepal.

When: 10am – 4pm, Thursday 4 June 2015

Where:  Library lawn, UNSW Kensington Campus

More information is available at the School of Public Health and Medicine website.