Raja Ram Giri
The international media coverage on recent earthquake somewhat supported Nepal to be known to the world in some extend but the bad news is it has also made thousands of tourists cancel already booked holiday to Nepal due to the news headline showing the damage to the country much higher than on the ground, making international people feel the entire country is at standstill and it is a no go zone.
There is no doubt loss of life and fallen homes in villages and children staying outside the school without proper food, water and sanitation will take years to rebuild. Given the facts the earthquake has only affected 2% of the total tourist areas and remaining sites are all functioning as normal. This is not only the time to visit Nepal as tourist to see mountains, learn cultures but one can be part of this great rebuilding process and live in the hearts and minds of those affected for many years to come.
In the last one month I have travelled to all 11 districts in the hit areas out of 75 districts in Nepal, which is about 10% of the total land area which has been affected and this is what we need to let the world know it’s not entire country that has been affected. Nepal as a nation and people of this great society has gone through many difficult times in the past and have managed to cope, live and rebuild their lives. Given the support from within and outside the country, people of Nepal will prove to the world that they can not only rebuild their homes, school and health posts but are united in one spirit as Nepali citizens.
Read Sunil Kaul from India who posted in his facebook page.
My wife, daughter and i are on the fag end of our Nepal trip and we wonder what has dried up the tourists?? Yes, there has been an earthquake and it has damaged many many mud plastered houses, but i will not be exaggerating that not more than 1 in 10,000 concrete/ cement buildings have even developed a crack!! When earthquakes are unpredictable, what are we all being cautious about?? It is a pity to see the lack of tourists as this economy is based on tourism and many of the hotel waiters etc have lost their houses and need salaries and tips to rebuild their lives.
When our friend Anil insisted that we should not cancel our trip – we wanted to, as we felt it may hinder his work, since he works with the Nepalese Government through UNDP and his services would be most required at this time – and gave in precisely because we understand how badly a tourist friendly place awaits tourists to revitalise its economy. Even last time in Sikkim, we found that the media stories had exaggerated the fears in everyone’s minds and that ruined their economy far more than what the earthquake did!
ALL roads are intact, electricity and water supply going and only a handful of people still in the tents in open areas – at least where tourists go to. Pokhara is untouched and the views of Annapurna are breathtaking!! It rained in the evening every day we were there, so it is cool as well. Local airlines are very cheap (from the West Bengal border, we crossed over at Kakarbhita one hour away) and costed us only 3000 INR per seat for the 45 mins flight to Kathmandu! So i would say visit Nepal NOW if you are thinking of a holiday in the hills. Pokhara hotels are giving huge discounts – upto 50% – and even food etc is going 20% cheap.
It would be the best way to salute a nation rising from a 8+ Richter earthquake. Leave your worries and the heat behind and head for Nepal!!