The devastating earthquake of April 25, April 26 and May 12 has left the country’s fragile infrastructure in ruins. It reduced a majority of the iconic world heritage sites into rubble. Damages has been caused to numerous historic buildings and archaeological locations, including six UNESCO World Heritage Site—Basantapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Temple, Changunarayan Temple, Boudhhanath inside the Kathmandu Valley. Also, the city’s landmark, the 61 meter high Bhimsen Tower collapsed and the historic towns of Bhaktapur and Patan, both crammed with crumbling red brick houses, have turned into scenes of destruction with people buried in the debris. The exciting and colorful old Bazaar Asan, which is also the major tourist hub to see the best of real Newari cultures, has been slightly affected.
The most terrible damage was in towns and villages which were five- to seven-hour drive from the Kathmandu city. Therefore we decided to support helpless and psychologically depressed villagers after the earthquake, so that our volunteering activities will also be part of their daily life to encourage them to re-establish.
We volunteered in supporting victim’s of Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Chisapani and other communities around Kathmandu valley. But still many other remote areas are facing delay in receiving reliefs. Due to the mountainous region and unequipped vehicles and with the damage from the earthquake the road of Nepal is risky task to drive along. So, because of this destruction there has been delay in delivering the mandatory supplies and help to suffering people. International aid needs to be sent so that the correct form of transport will be used to get to remote and isolated communities.
However, we are very optimistic about the future of Nepal’s tourism industry. Things are going to get better in the days ahead. Even though three out of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, mainly the temples in Durbar squares of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur, have been damaged, popular tourist destinations like Pokhara and Chitwan have not been affected. So, we can encourage tourists to come to Nepal and support rebuilding works as tourism is one of the key for economic remedy. To bring things in the right direction, there is a need for massive promotional campaign both by the government and the private sector in the major source market.