Nepalese students take action in wake of destructive quake

BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) -- Bay Area college students from Nepal were banding together Wednesday to get help for the people of their homeland after the devastating earthquake that struck over the weekend.

At UC Berkeley on Wednesday night, about 200 people attended a vigil that started before sundown.

Many attending the vigil say family and friends are in dire need of help after the earthquake. Finding comfort amongst each other, students shared personal stories of anguish while holding the flag of Nepal.

"I'm really worried about my family. They don't have water or food to eat right now because they don't have anything to cook with," said Prajwal Chaudhary, a college student who lives in El Sobrante.

There was a silent march with candles to raise awareness about the plight of the people in a nation known as the "roof of the world." Students say as a third world country, the earthquake in their homeland is a devastating blow.

"We don't have resources, money. Even our government is not able to help the people," said Anushma Maharjan, a college student who lives in Richmond.

Earlier at St Mary's College in Moraga, a prayer circle was held by students, faculty and staff.

"The roads are blocked and no one is able to get there yet," said Slesha Thapa, a pre-med student, as she spoke to those who participated in the prayer circle.

Thapa says her grandfather is missing,

"It's heart-wrenching. It's heart breaking," said Thapa

The 23-year-old recently returned from a two month long trip to Nepal.

She led a student group to her home country. Her mission: to provide medical help for the people there. Now, the need is more urgent than ever.

"It's a feeling of hopelessness that we're already poor. We are more poor now," said Thapa.

She shared with KTVU photos family members sent her of damage to buildings and roads. She said family, friends, and strangers are camping outdoors because of homes lost or made unsafe by aftershocks.

Another blow: cultural landmarks are gone.

"At this point, we just need to tell the world Nepal needs us. Nepal needs you," said Thapa.

She started the Nidan Foundation last year to help the people of her home country. Thapa has set up an IndieGoGo fundraising webpage where interested parties can make donations.

Thapa and other students were also urging people to donate to Red Cross and Doctors without Borders.