Boston Vigil for Nepal Earthquake Draws Hundreds

April 26, 2015. Somerville’s Sandip Bhattari, Puja Thapa, and Durga Shah look over candles lit during a vigil on Copley Square for the victims of the earthquake in Nepal . (Jun Tsuboike/BU News Service)
April 26, 2015. Sandip Bhattari, Puja Thapa, and Durga Shah look over candles lit during a vigil in Copley Square for the victims of the earthquake in Nepal . (Jun Tsuboike/BU News Service)

By Sharanya Pillai
BU News Service

Nepalis in Boston will receive the same trauma care the city extended to the Haitian community after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, City Councilor Tito Jackson announced Sunday evening in Boston’s Copley Square at a vigil for those affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal this weekend and killed thousands.

“The city of Boston, with our strong mayor, will do what we did with our Haitian brothers and sisters,” he said. “We will provide the same resources that we provided them, we will provide the same trauma care that they needed and that you will need.”

The vigil drew hundreds, who gathered with candles and flowers on Copley Square. The vigil was organized by the Greater Boston Nepalese Community and over a dozen other Nepalese organizations.

Mayor Martin Walsh, who also spoke at the vigil, pledged that the city will help the Nepalese “send money back home and move forward.”

“We know that building a country doesn’t bring back loved ones, but I want you to know that you don’t stand here alone tonight,” Walsh said.

Organizer Amit Dixit, of the Greater Boston Nepalese Community, said that he was heartened by the turnout at tonight’s vigil. “We are all Nepali today, we all share the solidarity with all the suffering, but also all the hope. And tonight here, we heal,” he said.

The organizers will also be starting an online donation system to raise funds for the Red Cross. Shanta Bist, 45, a Nepali living in New Hampshire, said she hopes that Bostonians will donate to relief efforts.

“We are really confident that the international community is going to reach out and pour as much as they can, whether in sending goods or money, or helping to rebuild the infrastructure,” said Bist, adding that the New Hampshire Nepali Community, of which she is a member, will also be raising funds.

Organizers are currently in talks with the Cambridge Mayor David Maher to hold another vigil in the Harvard area on Wednesday, April 29, according to the president of the Pashupalimath Buddha Foundation Maheshwas Pant.

In the meantime, Nepalis here like accountant Bimal Yadav continue to worry for the welfare of family members back home. “The earthquake is continuing for the past two days,” Yadav said. “We have to call a hundred times then maybe get through once. We are so sad.”

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