On Saturday, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, leaving more than 5,000 people dead and 10,000 people injured. On Wednesday night, the Nepalese Students Organization at Ohio State held a candlelight vigil to come together and show their support for the victims.
Sweta Shrestha, a graduate student in chemistry and the president of NSO, said she recognized the need for food, water and other supplies in the wake of the earthquake.
“We are trying to collect funds and also raise awareness among the OSU family,” she said.
NSO hoped the candlelight vigil would create a sense of unity among those who attended, Shrestha said.
“That’s what we need right now, we need to stay strong and we need to be together,” she said.
Bishal Karna, a graduate student in comparative studies and the public relations officer of NSO said that he spent the first two days after the attack simply trying to find out find out which of his friends and relatives who live in Nepal were alive. Now, he is focusing his efforts on what he can do to support his loved ones.
Max Mullen, a graduate student in chemistry, attended the vigil in support.
“I think it’s really good because it will get money to the people in Nepal,” he said.
The vigil also included Columbus community members who spoke of their ties to Nepal and how the earthquake has affected them.
Dr. Rupa Hamal, a clinical assistant professor in OSU’s College of Dentistry attended the event.
“Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy,” Hamal said.
NSO has a goal of raising $8,000, accomplishing $3,500 before the vigil, according to Shrestha. They plan to continue their efforts until the goal is reached. NSO has also raised funds in Hagerty Hall and in the Ohio Union for the earthquake victims, which are being directed to CARE, a humanitarian organization devoted to fighting global poverty, according to its website.
Shrestha said she and NSO are doing as much as possible to support the people of Nepal from afar.
“It’s really heartbreaking and gut wrenching, but I’m trying to do as much as I can from here,” she said.