THE four Nepalese men who run the Everest Express takeaway in Fitzpatrick’s shop on the Tulla Road in Ennis have been in shock since news of last Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal reached them.
Prioprietor Hiralal Gandharba, who has lived in Ireland for 15 years and in Clare for 13 years, says his village was destroyed but that his family, who now live in Kathmandu, are safe.
“I heard it around 12 o’clock Irish time on Saturday. A friend sent a message saying that Nepal had an earthquake. When I heard that, I got up from my bed. I had very little sleep because I was trying to talk with my family. Straight away I tried to contact my family but I could not get through. I tried to ring my son and I eventually made contact with him. He said that the family were ok,” Hiralal explained.
He is originally from Lamjung in western Nepal.
“Two days ago I spoke to my nephew’s wife. She said that the whole village had collapsed and that there was nothing left there. They are sleeping and cooking outside. There is no house left there. I try to call every day but it is difficult to make any contact with the village. Nobody died in our area, although the houses are all damaged,” he added, noting that he has received a huge amount of phonecalls from concerned Irish friends.
“Many people have been ringing us and calling to us. More than 70 or 80 Irish people have rang me,” Hiralal, who lived in Lisdoonvarna for nine years, said.
Hiralal is a noted musician and is planning to hold a fundaising concert. He is a very talented arang player.
“Some people have no food and no clothes. I will try to help the people where I come from,” he promised.
He says he is very grateful to people who have made him feel welcome in Clare.
“I met the right people in my life, like Pat Fitzpatrick, who helped me. I found the right place and the right people. A lot of Irish people have helped me. That’s why I have lived here for 15 years. I am an Irish citizen. A lot of Irish citizens go to England, America or Australia but I am not going there. I found gold in this country and a lot of good things. If the people of Ireland hadn’t been so kind to to me, I might have been lying dead in Kathmandu. I have a little umbrella with this business. When it rains, it shelters me. I really appreciate all of the Irish people who have helped me,” Hiralal concluded on what has been a horrific week for his country’s people.
By Peter O’Connell