Asia

How to aid LGBTI people in earthquake-devastated Nepal

Sunil Pant (Photo courtesy of TowleRoad.com)

Sunil Pant (Photo courtesy of TowleRoad.com)

In the wake of the massive earthquake in Nepal, activist Sunil Pant sent the following message on behalf of Blue Diamond Society, Nepal.

In addition, the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation is collecting United States tax-deductible donations that will be sent to the Blue Diamond Society. To donate, visit the foundation’s donation page and select “Nepal” from the drop-down menu under “Donated For.”:

Blue Diamond Society (BDS) is the lifeline for more than 200,000 LGBTI members and more and more LGBTIs, as always, are reaching to BDS for help. Our massive responsibilities now increase to provide rescue, relief and rehabilitation to all LGBTIs that are in now need, due to this earthquake. As communication is improving in Nepal we are hearing of more and more cases of “casualties, injured, missing LGBTIs or their homes have been  destroyed” coming to us.

At this difficult time we expect all of our friends and well-wisher’s promptness and greater generosity.

Thank you very much,

Sunil Pant on behalf of Blue Diamond Society, Nepal

Nepal earthquake damage. (Photo courtesy of LionsRoar.com)

Nepal earthquake damage. (Photo courtesy of LionsRoar.com)

LATEST NEWS
(April 28, 2015)

Dear friends and colleagues,

With heavy hearts, sadness and sense of fear, Blue Diamond Society, on behalf of Nepalese sexual and gender minority communities, sends this updates on aftermath of recent devastating earthquake that hit Nepal hard. You must have heard the news and some information already shared from our founder Sunil Babu Pant and other colleagues of BDS that LGBTI community are also equally affected, if not more.

The level of devastation in Nepal is huge and much is still not known. Even before the earthquakes, Nepal had electricity power load shading. There is now an acute electricity shortage which severely limits mobile coverage too. Since the earthquakes the BDS has been trying to contact and search for our members and staff.

We found the body of Ciatala (Kumar Bhujel), who identifies as third gender, in a teaching hospital. We reached her in time and found her. Otherwise the security force were ready to do a mass funeral of unidentified bodies    We have informed her mother in Dharan and we did funeral at Pashupati Aryeghat today.

 

Crowds of people left homeless by the Nepal earthquake. (Photo courtesy of Unicef)

Crowds of people left homeless by the Nepal earthquake. (Photo courtesy of Unicef)

A member of BDS’s care and support team, Jyoti Prakash KC, is still missing. We visited several hospitals in Kathmandu and are unable to find him. Moreover we have got information today  that two more transgender, Melina and Bhawani, are also missing.

The BDS’s main building and its care and support building are both cracked and damaged. Friends’ and colleagues’ houses have collapsed. Most of  LGBTI people are spending nights under some tents with BDS banner for security and identification. There is shortage of gas and food and the BDS has run out of food for the care and support and hospice for HIV-positive LGBTI.

Around 300 trans women / metis in Kathmandu survive through sex work. They now have no way of earning money.

Many LGBTI members from Kavre, Gorkha, Dhading, Nuwakot, Kathmandu, Makwanpur, Bhaktapur,  Jhapa, Saptari and several other districts have lost their homes. Relief camps are there but only for general population, segregated facilities into binary genders, excluding THIRD gender. Even accessing toilets is a big issue for TG.

This is just a preliminary report, we will keep updating you as get more information from the ground, especially from remote districts of Nepal.

The needs are huge and for many months to come.

The immediate needs: tents, clothes, blankets, umbrellas, water, food and medicine, fuel for generator and BDS’s vehicle for about 4 to 6 months. It’s difficult to estimate the amount needed just now but we can suggest something in a week’s time, however it is going to be a significant amount in BDS terms, anything from $100,000s to a couple of million US dollars.

For longer term: fund to repair both the damaged building of BDS, rehabilitation of LGBTI who have lost their homes and income/job creating program to support livelihood of LGBTI, mostly for those sex workers whose income is completely stopped now.

People have been asking us  how to support LGBTI people in Nepal. This request  has details of the an appeal that has been launched by the Blue Diamond Society. Please forward it to your networks – we need your support right now.

You can support by different ways, for bigger amount please send fund directly to BDS bank account, Its details are:

Account Name: Blue Diamond Society
Account Number: 01400105200316
Swift Code: EVBLNPKA
Bank Name: Everest Bank Limited, Branch Office, Lazimpat
Kathmandu Nepal

Physical Address: Blue Diamond Society
Dhumbarahi Height-4, Kathmandu.
Ph: +977 1 4443350, +977 1 4426652

For smaller amounts, any agency in each country can initiate collection of funds for BDS and send it later to BDS. The St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation is collecting tax-deductible donations that will be sent to the Blue Diamond Society. To donate,  visit the foundation’s donation page and select “Nepal” from the drop-down menu under “Donated For.”

Thank you for your generosity, concerns and solidarity.

 

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