Nepal earthquake survivor

Winning medals and training for the Paralympics

When an earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, 2015, Ramesh, 18, found himself buried, fully conscious, under the rubble. “I was working in a small hotel,” Ramesh explains. “I’d just finished for the day when the earth began to shake and everything collapsed. Two people near me died. I was pinned under the rubble for at least an hour, conscious and in pain.”

Ramesh was badly injured and had to have both of his legs amputated. The loss of his limbs was a big shock. “I used to dream I could do everything. I wanted to do something good with my life. But after the accident, I felt as if my life was over.”

HI immediately organized rehabilitation sessions for the young man. “Ramesh had to do a lot of exercises to loosen up his joints and strengthen his leg muscles. Otherwise, fitting and using his prostheses would have been impossible,” explains Sunil Pokhrel, a physical therapist with Humanity & Inclusion in Nepal. Ramesh has been given a wheelchair and two prostheses, and is gradually learning to walk again.

Three years on, Ramesh is still receiving rehabilitation care from HI. “I felt seriously depressed for a while,” he continues. “I was really lonely after the accident. But thanks to HI, I’m walking again now. And I’ve discovered sport. It’s therapeutic and helps take my mind off things. I do a 90-minute workout every morning before school and swim in the afternoons. I play tennis and basketball on the weekends.

“People told me I didn’t know how to dance, so I took lessons and won the “Differently Able Idol” dance competition. I’ve won 22 sports medals. My new goal is to take part in the 2020 Paralympic Games. But it’s going to be tough. I need a sports coach to train me and I need equipment. But I can’t afford it. I feel really broke.”

Ramesh is back at school again, after an absence of seven years. “I’m the oldest child. I give my prize money to my parents and brothers and sisters. Their living conditions are very poor, and they live far from here. I decided to go back to school because I want to get a job and support myself.”

Ramesh, who does more than 20 hours of sports each week, is incredibly brave and very determined. He has risen to every imaginable challenge. We can’t wait to see where his determination takes him next!