A Sheffield man has spoken out about his recent ‘humbling’ trip to earthquake-devastated regions of Nepal.
Dave Hargitt, of Gleadless, visited the country more than nine months after the earthquake of April 2015 - will killed 9000 people and left millions homeless - expecting to see a country busy rebuilding itself.
The retired-lorry driver says he was shocked to find whole families living in small and cold tin shacks with no repairs in sight.
“In a number of hillside villages, not a single house that was destroyed had been rebuilt or repaired,” said Dave, who has been a volunteer speaker with The Leprosy Mission England and Wales for three years.
“It’s not what I’d expected. There was so much poverty. People in the hilly regions where the poorest of the poor, yet they seemed contended, which surprised me. They seemed to be thankful that they had shelter over their heads because many of them had been living in the open fields for weeks.”
66-year-old Dave, whose two-week trip was organised by The Leprosy Mission, also visited Anandaban Leprosy Hospital where he met patients.
He said: “What amazed me is that in the leprosy wards even the people who had horrendous disabilities had a smile on their face. For many of them the hospital was like their family. They had experienced so much stigma in their own communities that the hospital was the place where they found acceptance.”
“It was my first visit to any Asian country. I had no idea what to expect. Now I have huge admiration for the people of Nepal.”
Visit www.leprosymission.org.uk to find out more about their campaign to help rebuild homes in Nepal.