The earthquake in April left a deep rooted terror in the Nepalese minds. In the days that followed the earthquake, the fear was palpable. But amidst the fear and destruction, Ashok Maharjan, a student from Zing Secondary School, Khokana, Lalitpur rose to take action. Witnessing his community crumbling down and having to live out in the open with no shelter was a stark contrast to his normal life. For a Grade 10 student, the reality of being helpless weighed down his mind more than the terror.
The earthquake stripped the community of its basic essentials like water and electricity. At that time, people had no choice but to drink water directly from the source. This posed a serious health risk and increased the chances of an epidemic.
Keeping the threat of an epidemic in mind, Ashok bravely decided to use the skills he learned in his school’s Nature Club and produced Chlorine Solution, WATASOL, despite the ceaseless aftershocks and his family’s worry. As the Nature Club’s President, he called his friends Dipesh Dongol and Sajjan Maharjan and together with the WATA device, set out to find a place with electricity. The locals donated the salt needed for production of WATASOL. After half an hour of wandering, he reached Bhaisepati, the neighboring town where there was electricity and started producing WATASOL.
“Electricity and transportation was the biggest hurdle”, Ashok states. “The people were very supportive and were ready to help us. As part of our Nature Club activities, we had begun to produce WATASOL and distribute it in our community even before the earthquake. As a result, the locals were familiar with WATASOL and accepted it without complains or suspicion.”
He continues to guide and advise other students in his school as well as those who live in the vicinity.
Ashok Maharjan is a prime example of a motivated youth who leads his peers. ECCA is proud to be able to support Ashok in his efforts and hopes to empower and motivate others youths as well.