AERO has been helping to support the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Orphanage for over ten years. They have 200 orphans and some mothers in three locations. Yesterday's 7.8 earthquake in Nepal was near their location and damaged or destroyed most of their structures, including their school and barn (see exclusive report, just in, below). Luckily none of them were hurt, a miracle! We're still trying to piece together information but there is no phone, electricity, or water.
Many of you know the story of how Ramchandra left Nepal at 12 years old, educated himself in India, and returned 20 years later to start the Sri Aurobindo Ashram/orphanage. It has now been running for 21 years. The buildings on the land were built with their own hands over that time. The record with their students is astounding. For example one boy who came there at three is now getting is Masters degree in Physics in Germany. It has been largely self supporting. For example, they sell the extra milk from their cows to Katmandu. Nobody pays for the orphans. Right now most of the children are sleeping outside. Ramchandra spoke at last year's AERO conference.
We are raising funds to help the Ashram. Of course there is no insurance. If you would like to help, go here to the special site we just created to help the orphanage. Please give generously. All donations go directly to help the Ashram.
Donations can be made here.
Here is a report just received this morning from Ramchandra:
Update on the devastation caused by the Earthquake (Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir Family)
Yesterday (25th April) there was a high magnitude earthquake
(epicentre Gorkha district, about 80 km away from Kathmandu) of the scale 7.9. Fortunately Ashram family was at collective work outside while the first major tremor was felt. The buildings were trembling and the walls came down rambling, making all of us and visitors run for life. As we rushed to the open space, we could see our buildings moving back and forth. We were devastated to see the walls of the building collapsing . We didn't know what was going to happen, we didn't know what to expect . We just sat praying for the safety of all the people in the affected area. Since yesterday noon we have been spending time in the open space, cooking, eating, sleeping outside. Gladly, no human life was lost despite of huge loss of property.
Old mud and stone house: Our first house is almost at the verge of collapse. A part of the roof is collapsed and along the mid of the building there is a crack which may collapse at any time. In order to reuse the house we have to reconstruct most part of its base as it is not anymore strong enough to hold even mild external force . The walls have deviated outwards from its original position.
Kitchen complex (6 floored building) which is still under construction has been in use since 3 years. Almost all the walls of the 6th and 5th floor have fallen on the ground in-front of our eyes. This morning we had a close inspection of the house and it was terrifying to see that almost all the walls of the Complex have crack and are not usable until we re-construct all the walls. Kitchen Complex includes a Theater, Show room, Dining hall and Kitchen, Rooms for the Guests and some rooms for the students. Sadly, All of it is not anymore usable because of safety reasons. This Kitchen complex has cost so far around 400,00 USD. As we estimate the loss along with engineers we have at-least the loss (SO FAR )of 180,000 USD, keeping the current rates in mind.
Boys Hostel Complex:
This Complex was built on the year 2003 with the estimated cost of 250,000 USD (cost calculated with inflation). It includes cow-shed and store room on the ground floor and first floor respectively. On the second floor we have boys hostel and a Pashmina shawl (cottage industry) on the final floor. This Complex is the most affected one, as the joints along the foundational beams have shifted from its
position. Experts suggest that we have to build extra structure in order to support the Complex and make it residential and usable. The estimated loss SO FAR is around 200,000 USD.
School Complex :
The walls of the school building has cracked and also has to be repaired at the soonest. The water reservoir (overhead tanks) and the unfinished walls have fallen down and caused water scarcity. The water reservoir has to be constructed at the soonest in order to fulfill the necessity of the water for the whole ashram family. At the moment we are carrying water from a distant for us and for the cows as well. The net estimated loss SO FAR has been around 100,000 USD.
The Guest House Complex ,
Mill building and the Main Building fortunately remained almost intact apart from some minor affects.
If you want to help or contribute please let us know.
Thank you all for you love and kind support .
P.S. Please forward this email to well wishers and your friends.
Ramchandra (Chandra Mani Bhusal)
Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir Trust
Thankot, Check Post
P.O . Box No 1993,
Tel: 00977- 1 - 4312157/
Donations can be made here.