Nepal Earthquake: Indian Branding Missing
Dr K K Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee and Honorary Secretary General IMA @
President Heart Care Foundation of India
At IMA when we heard about the Nepal Earthquake incidence, we at IMA HQs immediately decided to help the victims of Nepal Earthquake. Under the leadership of our National President Padma Shri Awardee Dr A Marthanda Pillai, a group of 13 doctors led by Padma Shri Awardee Dr. Ashok Kumar, Padma Awardee was sent to Nepal.
Heart Care Foundation of India, a national NGO, joined IMA in this cause and its Senior Boarad Member Mr. Harsh Garg, an Industrialist managed all the local arrangements through DIG Police.
The team stayed over there for a week and saw over 1500 patients, did complicated surgeries and saved one person from developing Gangrene.
In the meantime, Health Ministry of Nepal wrote to us that they do not need more medical teams, therefore our team was withdrawn.
In between, we contacted Dr. Anjani Kumar Jha, President and Dr. Mukti Ramshrestha, General Secretary, Nepal Medical Association and they requested us to supply medicines. Due permissions were taken from respective Health Ministries and Indian Ambassador to Nepal for transfer of necessary drugs.
Udyog Development Foundation led by Shri Amitav Joyprakash Choudhury joined the movement of HCFI & IMA and medicines over Rs. 42 lacs (Nepalese currency) were collected and dispatched, courtesy Indigo Airlines.
On 27th May, 2015, Dr Pillai, Myself, along with Dr. Chetan Patel, Chairman, Disaster Cell, IMA and Imitav reached Nepal to assess the actual situation.
At the airport, we had meetings with the President and Secretary of Nepal Medical Association. We also met Shri. Ranjit Rae, Ambassador of India to Nepal and we were told that we could only work through Nepal Medical Association or Nepal Govt. We were also told that Indian Govt. has donated over 4 lacs Tarpaulin tents and also donated Vans, money and food material to Nepal.
Next we addressed a Press Conference which was organized in Tarpaulin tent with no branding as a make shift reporters club.
We also met Dr. Senendra Upreti, Director General Health Sciences and Shri Shanta Badure Shrestha, Health Secretary and Shri Khagraj Adhikari, Minister of Health & Population, Nepal Govt. All help was offered to them by IMA through Nepal Medical Association.
After that we went to various affected areas and also interviewed many victims, local leaders and families. We were shocked to see the amount of disaster but we were happy to see the large efforts to rehabilitate those people.
We could differentiate the efforts of China from that of India. The efforts of China were visible everywhere. Their tents were made of a better quality material and were branded prominently with name of China everywhere. In one of the area where there were 40 tents, out of them 10 tents were of China but were prominently displayed with their branding in the front and visible from the main road.
While speaking with the people of Nepal, they were of the opinion that only China Govt. was helping the Nepal victims. When we talked about the help of Indian Govt., their answer were negative.
In Bhaktapur, a nearby district of Kathmandu, we saw a rehab tent of 1700 people. They all were living in 40 tents. In this area, Indian branding was not visible. Only visible branding was of China tents
To help victims of post trauma stress disorder (PTSD), we saw a two-hours Musical Therapy programme being organized by them, supported by China Mission again.
We also saw meals being prepared by the local Nepalese people and when we asked them, they informed us that the raw material lunch was sponsored by China.
We interviewed one of the Noodles Company who said that for Rs.14,000/-, they were providing 2000 bunches of ready-made Noodles for these people, which meant for a total value of less than 5 lacs, 2000 people were sponsored for lunch by China for over a month.
I personally believe in the philosophy "Jo Dikhta Hai, Vo Bikta Hai" / "Jangal main mor Nacha, sabne dekha" ( not kisne dekha).
If you are a true believer of Vedanta, it is Okay to do charity and not talk about it. But in today’s world, it is important to not only do the charity but to make it visible also.
In contrast to India where most of us probably believe in "Guptdaan or secret charity), China was visible in showing its charity towards the people of Nepal Earthquake.
Our day ended with meeting with Office Bearers of Nepal Medical Association where they requested us to donate a Van to them, which IMA hope to provide but not in Indian Vedanta way: the van will have the IMA branding on it.