With their homes and their schools lost in the devastating 25 April earthquake, children in Nepal pass the time any way they can, while their parents fear for their safety and wonder when school will start again.
NUWAKOT, Nepal, 11 May 2015 – Standing next to her heavily dilapidated school, 56-year-old Rita Pyakhurel is worried about how to rebuild it, as her students are constantly asking when they can return to their classes.
As the principal of Shree Kalika Secondary School, where she has worked for more than 20 years, she is still trying to overcome her grief over the death of four of her young students in Ward 5 of Gerkhutar Village Development Committee, 100 km south of Kathmandu. This is one of the worst-affected wards of Nuwakot district, which was hit severely by the 25 April earthquake in Nepal.
In Nuwakot, as of 5 May, nearly 30,000 houses have been completely destroyed, 977 people killed and more than 1,300 injured, according to Nepal Government’s Ministry of Home Affairs. In addition, 140,700 individuals have had their homes damaged.
Once a beautiful hamlet and a prospering place, Gerkhutar has now been reduced to rubble from the heavy destruction.
Children are seen rummaging through the debris searching for things they lost, especially their textbooks, notebooks, diaries and arts and crafts materials.
“I miss my school very much,” says 12-year-old Samikshya Chalise as she sits in her ruined classroom with her younger brother Sanjog, 8.
Sanjog is so fond of going to school that he often brings his sister to the damaged school near the house where they lived.
“We have lost both our home and school,” says the boy.
Just a couple kilometres away, children live in the even more damaged Ward 3, where the sight of the destruction is shocking.
The most pressing issue for the community is the security of their children. As parents are busy finding relief, children are playing in the ruins their school, which is falling apart every day.