IU and Bloomington meet IU4Nepal funding challenge, raise goal

  • May 6, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- IU4Nepal has met its initial goal of raising $20,000 for emergency relief targeted to earthquake victims in Nepal. Now it is continuing the fundraising campaign, seeking to collect another $5,000 by May 15.

The funds are being collected through the international charitable fund GlobalGiving and earmarked for its Nepal earthquake relief fund, which supports a variety of international and local relief efforts responding to the April 25 quake.

Following an IU Bloomington forum and vigil, an anonymous donor offered to match up to $10,000 in donations to help Nepal. In one week’s time, the community responded to the call; the campaign raised $10,700 from 111 online donors. The total is expected to rise when mail-in donations are accounted for.

“Nepal needs lots of loving right now,” said Samrat Upadhyay, Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities and a native of Nepal. “As a teacher, I am devastated by the news that 16,000 schools have been damaged, with 575 schools completely destroyed. Now we have an entire generation of Nepali youths at risk of being deprived of the fundamental right to education.”

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake has resulted in at least 7,000 deaths, over half a million homeless, hundreds of schools destroyed and economic damage estimated to reach $10 billion. The earthquake resulted in the destruction of centuries-old buildings and at least three world heritage sites in Kathmandu. Secondary effects of the earthquake include avalanches and landslides that have resulted in severe damage in the mountainous areas closer to the earthquake’s epicenter.

“With thousands of people left homeless and the monsoon season approaching, the need for relief aid remains urgent and growing,” said Michael Hamburger, IU Bloomington professor of geological sciences and an earthquake expert. “Much of the effort thus far has been focused on the urban area surrounding the capital Kathmandu. Critical aid is only starting to reach remote outlying villages closer to the earthquake’s epicenter and crippled by landslides and other secondary effects of the earthquake.”

Students, faculty and staff announced creation of the IU4Nepal emergency relief fund at the campus forum and candlelight vigil April 30.

“The tremendous outpouring of generosity, both time and financial support, in such a short time from our community is a testament to what we can achieve together,” said Melanie Castillo-Cullather, director of IU’s Asian Culture Center. “We hope that this will inspire everyone to be involved beyond this initiative.”

Upadhyay said that every dollar contributed to the IU4Nepal fund will go toward relief and reconstruction in Nepal. “It’s important that we continue the momentum; 8 million people are in need of our help,” he said.

Updates and additional information are available at the IU4Nepal Facebook page.

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Melanie Castillo-Cullather


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