Earth­quake mission

Wanaka-based Nepalese men in quest

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By MAR­JORIE COOK Adifferent Lax­man Bas­net Fundrais­ing ef­forts for Nepal: Adventure Con­sul­tants: Mal Hask­ins and So­phie Ward:

En­er­getic Taek­wondo coach Lax­man Bas­net has spent many hours help­ing Wanaka and Cromwell ath­letes com­pete at their best in tour­na­ments around the South Is­land.

Now he and his US-based brother Binod Bas­net are turn­ing their hearts and minds to their home dis­trict of Kavre in Nepal, where their par­ents, Hare Krishna and Isori Bas­net, and Lax­man’s wife Chandika and their chil­dren Sas­man and Sas­mini are bat­tling the im­pacts of Nepal’s dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake.

Lax­man Bas­net has lived in Wanaka since June last year and works in the evenings at New World Su­per­mar­ket.

His ef­forts in the Cen­tral Last month he was named one of five fi­nal­ists in the Cen­tral Otago Sports Awards. One day he hopes his wife and chil­dren can join him here. But for now, he is fo­cused on re­liev­ing the suf­fer­ing he has seen on tele­vi­sion. While his fam­ily is safe, their vil­lage has been de­stroyed, as has the vil­lage of one of his as­sis­tant Taek­wondo in­struc­tors, who is now home­less.

Lax­man Bas­net said Kavre is one of the most af­fected dis­tricts in Nepal. His friend Gham­mar Bo­hara, who works at the Sai­gun Restau­rant in Wanaka, says his dis­trict of Baglung is not so badly dam­aged. Bo­hara said his fam­ily were OK and he has de­cided to do­nate money to a fund set up by the Bas­net broth­ers rather than re­turn to Nepal at the mo­ment, for visa rea­sons.

‘‘Our goal, with my brother who is living in the USA, our goal is one vil­lage at a time. Me and my brother, maybe we can help rebuild also . . . First, my job is to help my fam­ily and then my Taek­wondo fam­ily,’’ Bas­net said.

Bas­net had tears in his eyes watch­ing tele­vised re­ports and re­al­is­ing some peo­ple may never be freed from the rub­ble.

‘‘First, we will go home and look at what they have had [in the way of re­lief] re­cently. Then maybe we will go to the very re­mote ar­eas and try to help there. Be­cause in some places, there are still no res­cue teams,’’ Lax­man Bas­net said.

Mem­bers of the Wanaka Taek­wondo Club have ral­lied to con­trib­ute more than $700 since their coach’s Face­book plea for prayers and fi­nan­cial aid.

Binod Bas­net told the Mir­ror from the US that fundrais­ing was go­ing well and he had Wanaka men Gham­mar Bo­hara (left) and Lax­man Bas­net, are help­ing fundraise for earth­quake re­lief in their home dis­tricts in Nepal. Bas­net will join the re­lief ef­fort later this month in the dis­trict of Kavre.

Photo: Mar­jorie Cook/Fair­fax NZ raised nearly US$10,000 to­wards their $50,000 goal. Binod Bas­net works as a bio­med­i­cal en­gi­neer in Fort Worth, Texas, and re­turns to his fam­ily vil­lage at the end of this week, while Lax­man Bas­net plans to fol­low later this month.

To sup­port Lax­man and Binod Bas­net’s re­lief ef­fort: ring Lax­man 02040152714; go to the Wanaka Taek­wondo Face­book Page or do­nate via www.crowdrise.com/OneVil­lage-At-A-Time-Lo­cal­izedRelief-Ef­fort.

There were ru­mours in Cen­tral Otago that Lax­man Bas­net was al­ready in Nepal but this is a case of mis­taken iden­tity. Bas­net said the res­cuer was a man of the same name, work­ing with Nepal’s armed forces.

The Wanaka guiding com­pany’s main Ever­est team ar­rived safely in Kathmandu on Sun­day morn­ing and were stay­ing in a ho­tel in Laz­im­pat, which was mostly un­af­fected by the quake. Many were in­tend­ing to fly out but Guy Cot­ter, Suze Kelly, Rob Smith and Scot­tie Sim­per are still in Nepal. They stayed on in the Khumbu Val­ley to help with the cleanup at Ever­est base camp and were to start walk­ing down the val­ley on Mon­day. The Wanaka-based com­pany has now lost six staff, with the death of in­jured man Jangbu Sherpa at the week­end. The fam­i­lies of the de­ceased and seven other in­jured staff mem­bers are be­ing sup­ported by Adventure Con­sul­tants. Con­tri­bu­tions can be made to the Adventure Con­sul­tants Sherpa Fu­ture Fund: ad­ven­ture­con­sul­tants.com/ adventure/AC_Sher­pa_Fund.

Wanaka moun­tain guide and speed flyer Mal Hask­ins and his wife So­phie Ward have been living and work­ing in Nepal for sev­eral months.

They are now work­ing to sup­port re­lief teams in out­ly­ing vil­lages. Hask­ins has been de­ployed in Timbu in the He­lambu dis­trict. Hask­ins’ work has in­cluded help­ing an earth­quake vic­tim stuck in a creek bed with a bro­ken leg. The pair have raised nearly $35,000 on givealit­tle.co.nz/cause/ Nepal-earth­quake-2015.

Master­ton eight-year-old Emily McMaster has been awarded the Best Photo in the 2015 Top Out­door Spot, for this pic­ture of the au­tumn trees on the edge of Lake Wanaka. The na­tional com­pe­ti­tion in­vited stu­dents to send in pho­tos, draw­ings and de­scrip­tions of their favourite out­door places to the New Zealand Walk­ing Ac­cess Com­mis­sion’s Both Sides of the Fence web­site. Emily, who’s great-grand­fa­ther was a mayor of Wanaka, said, ‘‘Wanaka is a beau­ti­ful place with na­ture all around you. You would fall in love there. I will never for­get this place’’. Com­mis­sion chair­man John Forbes said the judges were ‘‘blown away’’ by the qual­ity of en­tries. A to­tal of 180 en­tries were re­ceived. The Best Drawing went to Bos­ton Bean­land, 12, of Christchurch, for his pic­ture of Mt Cook and Best De­scrip­tion went to Laura John­son, 12, of Hast­ings, for her piece about Mako­rori Beach, in Gis­borne.

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