Miller School Students from Nepal Plead for Help for Earthquake Survivors

When Shaurya Joshi, a Ph.D. student in biomedical science in the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, heard about the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal Saturday, his first thoughts were of his mom and relatives living in the nation’s capital, Katmandu.

He immediately tried calling his mother, but couldn’t get through. Again and again. Finally, about 12 hours following the quake, Joshi heard his mother’s voice on the other end of the call. Their neighborhood was destroyed, but his mother, his aunts, and other relatives were okay.

“I was trying to stay calm,” said Joshi. “When I heard their voices – when I finally got through – that was the biggest relief to me.”

The shock and horror of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake continues to unfold as the death toll mounts, and survivors await relief efforts and endure frightening aftershocks. Joshi’s family is living in tents in open fields away from still-crumbling buildings.

As of this morning, the death toll passed 4,400, with many thousands more injured and much of the country in need of food, water, shelter and other basic necessities of life.

Joshi said he knows of four other members of the Miller School community who are from Nepal, or have family living there: Niraj Shrestha, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Saurav Singh, a graduate student in the Department of Cell Biology; Narottam Lamichhane, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Radiation Oncology; and Ruben Vaidya, M.D., a fellow in the Division of Pediatric Neonatology. So far, everyone seems to be safe.

Joshi and his friends are appealing to the UM Community to support relief efforts underway to help the people of Nepal, who are suffering greatly because of the catastrophe. He’s been compiling contact information for the Red Cross and other international relief agencies to share with others.

“The University community is very generous,” Joshi said. “We’re just hoping to get this message across so people can be more aware about this.”

This CNN article has information on relief efforts and agencies.

This New York Times article has information on agencies.

This Miami Herald article has information on a number of relief agencies.

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