Qatar- Unified fund mobilisation a challenge for Nepali diaspora

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) For the 400,000-strong Nepali expatriate community in Qatar launching a unified fund mobilisation drive to aid the quake-hit back home is a challenging job as there reportedly are more than a 100 community organisations and many of them don't see eye to eye with one another.

And none of these organisations are recognised by the Nepali embassy so they remain unregistered. "Neither we nor the Qatari government recognise them," said a source at the embassy.

The only organisation the embassy-and the Nepalese government-recognise is Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA).

Rough and unconfirmed estimates suggest that there may be around 140 community associations of Nepalese expatriates, most of them based on political ideologies and regional and ethnic affiliations.

Efforts are being made to evolve a single forum representative of the entire Nepali expatriate community in Qatar for the purpose of launching a joint campaign for relief of at least those in the expatriate community whose houses have been destroyed in the quake.

So it is likely that a meeting of representatives of some of the major community groupings may be convened in a bid to concoct a coordination committee.

Senior community leader and former International NRNA office-bearer Sagar Nepal told this newspaper that efforts would be made to raise donations to help fellow nationals in Qatar who have lost their houses in Saturday's quake.

"We can at least help them financially so they can rebuild their homes," Sagar said. "So far we have been able to identify some 100 compatriots here who have either lost their relatives or homes in the devastating tremor at home." He said on an urgent basis what was needed to be done was to organise a team of some 15 to 20 Nepali expatriate volunteers from here who could take a month's leave and go home to help Qatar Red Crescent in its relief work in quake-affected areas of Nepal.

"It is important because the volunteers will be able to help the Red Crescent do its work more efficiently since they know the local language, culture and people," Sagar said.

He said he might visit the Red Crescent's office today and discuss the above proposal with them.

Sagar Nepal said, citing example, that there is a remote village in Gorkha district which is worst affected. Here, 700 to 800 houses have caved in and the death toll could be in hundreds.

The village is inaccessible even by helicopter and it is at four days' walking distance from the city headquarters of Gorkha district.

It was a model village and sent many Gorkhas to the British and Indian armies. The Gurungs of this village are famous.

Asked about infighting in the Nepali community in Qatar and that there were an estimated 140 organisations of different hues, Sagar said that wasn't true. "We remain united in the face of national crisis."

"What I suggest is that even if half of fellow Nepalese here agree to donate a day's salary the money thus collected could be huge and help our people in need," he said.the peninsula

Toll passes 4,000

Kathmandu: Hundreds of thousands of Nepalis spent another night in the open yesterday after a massive quake which killed more than 4,000, as officials warned the final toll could yet rise sharply once rescuers reach cut-off areas.

The Peninsula

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