Symphony of international brotherhood played on May Day in Kathmandu

For many people in Nepal, the May Day, or International Labor Day on Friday is the time to do extra work, playing a symphony of international brotherhood.

Khokana village, Lalitpur in the Nepalese capital, was one of the thousands of villages flattened by the deadly quake which killed thousands last Saturday. Over 300 were killed in Lalitpur alone.

At the entrance of the village, a makeshift bus stand has become the office and reception center for the local Nepal Red Cross Association. Six women and one young man, three Red Cross workers and four volunteers, were distributing water purification tablets, medicines and health and hygiene pamphlets to the villagers.

They worked from early morning to the nightfall, helping about 100 people daily.

Uddesh Dangol, a 20-year-old Red Cross worker, told Xinhua that now many villagers were suffering from skin abnormalities due to lack of clean water. Some are suffering from body pains, headaches and stomach pains. He and his colleagues were also going around the villages to check the situation.

Three kilometers down into a small valley away from the village, there is a small town and Buddhist religious center, Bungamati, which was almost destroyed by the quake. Most of the residential houses were in rubbles while a central pagoda of a hundred-year- old Buddhist temple had collapsed.

Santoshi Gazurel, a 17-year-old student of the Kist Medical School in Kathmandu, said she and her classmates were going from community from community to help people protect from diseases and prevent the outbreak of epidemics like diarrhea in a program called “Oral Rehydration Solution”, meaning providing purified water to the villagers to stop virus from entering the bodies.

Samjhana Tuladhar, a local 27-year-old IT programmer, who lost her house in the quake, said she had been helping the Nepalese army carry out rescue and relief operation in the town since last Saturday.

“Five people were killed in the quake here. Fortunately, when the quake took place, it was mid-day and most of the people were working in the farmland,” she said.

Since Friday, a medical team, the Thai Royal Army, has set up a base by the side of the ruins of the Machhindranath Buddhist Temple.

Colonel Teerasak Krisnaseranee, chief of the Military Medical Emergency Purpose Team from Fort Surasi Hospital in Thailand, told Xinhua that he and his colleagues were eager to help the Nepalese people in this crisis.

Five kilometers from this town, there is a Bangladesh Army field hospital set up in a local high school. The Bangladesh Army was among the first foreign armed forces to provide Nepal with rescue and relief aid, having arrived since last Sunday.

Colonel Younusur Rahman, chief of the hospital, said that the hospital was chosen near a Nepal army regional headquarters at the request of the latter. It has treated over 1,000 injured or sick people so far.

Two doctors were receiving patients non-stop at a reception clinic on the playground of the school-turned hospital. The doctors also go to the homes of the villagers each day as many could not travel to the hospital due to illness or old age.

“Now the rescue and relief operation has entered the second phase, providing food, clean water, treating patients and handing out medicines. We are worried that an epidemic could break out here like diarrhea. But so far there is not sign of it,” said Rahman.

Bhaktapur, known as the “cultural gem” of Nepal and residence of numerous ancient Nepal kings and princes, was severely damaged to a miserable state during the quake. Over 290 were killed there while thousands were made homeless.

A mobile hospital of the China Red Cross was parked by the side of the ruins of the Bhaktapur. Chen Jinhong, chief of the China Red Cross team, said that the Chinese expedition consists of 18 doctors, including all medical sections, and the best equipment and materials.

“We are now investigating the newest situation of the disaster. What we are focused on now is prevention of epidemics, purification of water, observation of the recovery of the sick and injured, and will produce a plan to be carried out in the next few days,” said Chen.

He said the Nepal Army helicopters will bring half of the team to the provinces which were hit by the quake the worst this weekend.

Zou Shaodong, a Chinese tourism agency worker in Nepal and now working as coordinator for the relief agencies operating here, said he is working with several teams of rescuers and aid workers from China and has a association of local Chinese community helping the quake victims.

At the camp where Zou and his colleagues were staying, all the relief workers got up early in the morning and set off to various parts of the capital city to help people in need. They brought food, drinking water, medicine and clothes to the most vulnerable people like poor women and children.

A large state-of-art field hospital was also set up by the Pakistan Army besides Bhaktapur. Consisting of a dozen large military tents, the hospital has treated over 500 people so far and has been sending rescuers to nearby areas as well to look for survivors and injured.

Major Shahzad Nayyar, a surgeon general at the hospital, said that the Pakistani rescuers have saved at least one survivor from the rubbles. The nine doctors and seven nurses were working intensively to save lives over the past several days.

At the central square of Bhaktapur where several ancient palaces were topples by the tremor last weekend, some Israeli Army rescuers were joining digging at the ruins.

An Israeli Army officer told Xinhua that one still cannot say that there is no survivor under the debris. Equipped with the best tools, some 250 Israeli military personnel were sent to Nepal by Tel Aviv to help the Himalayan kingdom whose mountaineering and trekking sports are the passion of many Israeli tourists.

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