Manisha Koirala feels “ashamed” at failing Nepal earthquake survivors, questions if “rulers” feel the same

By Ram Khatry, Sydney
2 July 2017

Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala has issued a scathing statement reproaching herself, the Government of Nepal, bureaucrats and everyone else responsible for failing to adequately help survivors of the 7.8 magnitude temblor that hit the mountainous country in 2015.

The earthquake tremors may be long gone but there are still people whose “family members are lost, where homes, hopes and will are crushed,” she reminded in a blog posted late Saturday evening.

The Mumbai-based artist, who hails from Nepal’s most prominent political family, lamented that she held many high-level meetings after being appointed Goodwill Ambassador to Natural Disaster Fund — but with “disappointing” results.

“During Sajha Sawal, it became starkly clear we had failed the earthquake victims. We all share that burden of non-delivery at the most critical time of our recent tragedy,” the granddaughter of late BP Koirala lashed out.

“I feel ashamed for this non-delivery,’ she wrote in her blog post. She wondered if “ALL others” feel as ashamed as she did due to the non-delivery on promises made in the immediate aftermath of the devastating Nepal earthquake.

Ms Koirala has lately emerged as a champion of positive thinking and healthy living. She has not only won the battle against the killer disease but has also emerged as a source of motivation for hundreds of thousands of her fans across India and Nepal — a remarkable achievement for someone who was diagnosed with cancer as recently as 2012.

In her TEDx Talks given at Jaipur last March, Ms Koirala explains why she devotes so much of her current life to helping others, or, making efforts to help. She explains that a particular doctor’s kindness towards her at a New York hospital made her promise to herself that if she ever got a second chance at life then she would “pay attention and be of service in whatever capacity I can”.

It was that vow that made her jump headlong into the relief and rehabilitation efforts mounted in the wake of the devastating Nepal earthquakes two years ago, she explains in the video.

Yesterday, she also paid glowing tribute to selfless volunteers who she said have been working real hard to keep the Bagmati River clean and plastic-free.

“No self-interest, no money involved, they in fact even put money from their pocket. They do service without any selfish interest and they are dedicated to it until Bagmati is not clean completely,” (sic) Ms Koirala of Saudagar fame wrote on Saturday.

Ms Koirala was appointed goodwill ambassador for Bagmati Clean-up Mega Campaign on 17 June. The environmental campaign was launched back in May 2013 and has shown some positive results already. The Bagmati, a holy river that flows by the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, was almost dead until some years ago but thanks to tenacious volunteers, it is now slowly regaining its health, media reports indicate.

Dipendra Nath Sharm, secretary at the Ministry of Urban Development, recently told local media that involvement of Manisha Koirala would inspire more people to participate in the clean-up campaign.

There are only few actors in Bollywood who come as hands-on as Ms Koirala when it comes to making practical efforts to bring about real and tangible results to the world. The daughter of ex-government minister Prakash Koirala expressed anger at the irresponsible behaviour of Kathmandu locals, “Our home is so beautiful yet it has been plagued by irresponsible human behavior of throwing trash, garbage and plastic poison in the holy river.’

“I hope it ends with some tangible value for my community and myself. And, I am talking about my hometown, Kathmandu,” she added.

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