Quincy business has ties to Nepal
More than 7,000 miles from his native country of Nepal, Kalu Krishna Maharjan and the families who work at the Short Stop mini-mart in Quincy are doing what they can to help their loved ones back home after a powerful earthquake devastated the Himalayan country last week.
Originally from Kathmandu, Nepal, Maharjan and his family have called Quincy home for the past four years. In fact, five people working at the mini-mart on Quincy’s east side are originally from Nepal. Owner Paul Singh is from India.
Maharjan was at work last Friday when he began to see news reports of the earthquake, which hit at a deadly 7.8 magnitude. (Nepal is 12 hours ahead of Quincy, so it was Saturday when the earthquake hit there.)
With many family and friends still living in Nepal, Maharjan quickly tried to determine if his loved ones were alive.
“Seventy-five to 80 percent of homes are collapsed,” Maharjan said of the conditions in Nepal.
With a population of 27 million people, Nepal is bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by India. The mountainous country has eight of the 10 tallest mountains in the world and is the gateway to Mount Everest.
The recent earthquake is the country’s deadliest natural disaster in some eight decades. On Tuesday, world news agencies reported that more than 4,800 people are dead and another 9,200 injured. Eight million people across Nepal are affected by the devastation.
The earthquake struck about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, Maharjan’s hometown and the capital city of Nepal. Kathmandu is shown in recent news reports as a city of shattered temples and toppled houses.
For Maharjan, some of the news was not good. One of his friends died when his house collapsed on him. Another lost both his mother and father. The employees at the Short Stop have lost several friends and family members to the disaster. Four close friends and family members are still missing, Maharjan said.
A donation box has been put up at the Short Stop for people to contribute to the relief efforts in Nepal. Maharjan put the box up shortly after the disaster hit, and customers have been putting money into it. He will donate the proceeds to the American Red Cross.
Through the grassroots effort, Maharjan wants people to know that even though the disaster is far from Quincy, they can extend a hand to the troubled country halfway around the globe.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, email@example.com