A woman holds her child as she walks inside a temporary camp setup for the earthquake evacuees in the capital city of Kathmandu in Nepal. The deadly 7.9 magnitude earthquake killed around eight thousand people in Nepal and injured more than sixteen thousand. Photo by @burhaan_kinu #nepalearthquake #NepalQuake #nepalearthquake2015 #nepalphotoproject
Hours after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal in late April, a small community of photographers banded together to create a place to distribute useful and credible information from trustworthy sources on the ground. The morning after the quake, the Nepal Photo Project was born.
“When the earthquake hit, we thought this is the best way to collectively put out useful and credible information from people that we know and trust on the ground, all under one banner,” writer Tara Bedi wrote to The Washington Post in a e-mail. The project, run by Bedi and its creator photographer Sumit Dayal, is an Instagram feed and Facebook page that chronicles the aftermath of the quake.
“Our goal with NPP is to put out as much useful and helpful information as possible,” Bedi said. “Our main parameter for what we post is pretty simple: that it should communicate something purposeful or meaningful.”
The project not only chronicles the tragedy, but gives the viewer context — a catastrophe gets a face.
“NPP’s feed has a different vibe than that of a news wire, it’s much more ‘personal,'” Bedi said. “A lot of our audiences have reacted well to this aspect where photographers have the freedom to express in a more ‘real’ and humane way and I think people connect to that.”
Viewers connected, and the Nepal Photo Project gained traction with more than 33,000 followers on Instagram.
“One of the most amazing things we’ve seen is how people have engaged with the content rather than just consume it,” Bedi said. “… We’ve had instances where people have written to us and asked for contact information of the people in the photos, or coordinates of the location of the photo and amazingly, help has reached.”
As Nepal rebuilds and news agencies leave, the project will continue, Bedi said.
“Kathmandu’s major monuments now exist only in photographs. … It’s quite difficult to comprehend that the next generation of Nepali children will grow up without this architecture that infused a vital cultural identity,” she said. “One of the biggest realizations of the earthquake is the importance of ‘proper’ visual documentation.”
Photograph 6 – Expedition Kintang. Locals in Kintang have set up temporary shelters using tin roofs in open areas of the village. Holes and cracks in the tin cause water leakage and therefore Tarpins are required for water proofing these shelters. 'According to preliminary data, 200,552 private houses have been destroyed in 14 worst-hit districts while 186,285 others were partially damaged in Nepal.' – The Kathmandu Post. Meanwhile Nepal's political leaders continue to do what they know best – differ with each other and not arrive at a consensus on things. The three main political parties are not coming to a consensus on the 'rehabilitation package' to be distributed. Contrary to the ruling Congress party and CPN-UML's proposal to provide Rupees 300,000 for each house destroyed, the Maoist party has proposed at least Rupees 500,000 The time taken in making these decisions by the Ministers of Nepal is crucial. Hundreds and thousands of lives are depending on it. Photo by @sumitdayal #nepalphotoproject #nepalearthquake #nepal #kintang #nuwakot #gmin
Photograph 2 – Expedition Kimthang. MSG in da house ! On our way to Kintang we drive across this truck ferrying volunteers from self styled Indian Guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's socio-spiritual organisation Dera Sacha Sauda. A few months ago the 47 year old guru was in the limelight when his film MSG – Messenger of God got tangled into controversy. The 'rockstar baba' received over a million hits on video sharing websites. We drove by MSG's huge relief camp, located above Trishuli Bazaar. Saw hundreds of volunteers. All help is great and much appreciated at this point in time. Just as long as it doesn't come with strings attached or a hidden agenda. Photo by @sumitdayal #nepalphotoproject #nepalearthquake #nepal #trishuli #nuwakot #gmin #msg
Divya looks on into the serenity of the beautiful Himalayan range from her safe haven , the SOS Children's village. Divya is 5 years old and is a new member at the Children's village in Kavre district #Nepal When the #earthquake struck she ran out with the rest of the children from the village houses into the garden. Photo by @zishaanakbarlatif #nepalphotoproject #nepalearthquake #nepal
More than 1200 houses has been destroyed in the village of Barpak in Gorkha. Once a picturesque village in Manaslu trekking route has now been turned into the pile of rubbles. "It will take months just to clear the debris", say locals. Barpak was the epicenter of April 25 earthquake. Roadway has been blocked by the landslides and relief supplies by helicopter is not adequate, though authorities like to claim the situation to be normal now. Photo by @kishorksg #earthquake #nepal #barpak #gorkha #nepalearthquake #nepalphotoproject
May 9, 2015. And as they say, life goes on. Today I attended my childhood friend's wedding, and it brought some much needed mental relief. Though it's a long road to recovery, life is slowly trying to move back to normalcy. Photo by @sachindrarajbansi #nepalphotoproject #fsevenphotographers #nepalearthquake #wedding #earthquake #nepal #sachindrarajbansi
Inside an India Air Force rescue helicopter, on our way back from Sindhupalchowk, 9 year old Suresh Tamang looks on while his father Mirghe stares outside the window. Suresh's left leg is bent like a bow and his forehead and left eye is swollen after a portion of his home fell on him. A technician in the helicopter asked them if they have eaten anything. Too dazed to respond, the young man didn't wait long enough for them to answer and offered Suresh a Dairy Milk bar. The boy from Singerchya wanted a sip of water first and offered him a bottle lying under the seat. Unable to open the packet he insisted I do the needful and feed him the chocolate bar. Photo by @riteshuttamchandani #nepal #nepalearthquake #nepalphotoproject
A man walks through the rubble of houses in the village of Barpak in Gorkha. Once a picturesque village in Manaslu trekking route with stone paved walkways and beautiful stone roofed houses has now been turned into the pile of rubbles. Barpak was the epicenter of April 25 earthquake and more than 1200 houses has been destroyed here. "Have you seen the picture of our village? It was such a beautiful village. It will take some time but if you visit us next time, you'll see a beautiful Barpak again", a youth of Barpak told me in a determined voice. I will visit Barpak again and want to walk through it's beautiful alleyways. For now it needs helping hands to rebuild safe Barpak and welcome people the way it used to do. Photo by @kishoksg #nepalearthquake #nepal #earthquake #barpak #nepalphotoproject #latergram
A photograph found on the rubble of houses in the village of Barpak, Gorkha. Once a picturesque village in Manaslu trekking route has now been turned into the pile of rubbles. Barpak was the epicenter of April 25 earthquake and more than 1200 houses has been destroyed here. Photo by @kishorksg #nepal #barpak #gorkha #nepalearthquake #nepalphotoproject
I met this man huddled up in the corner of a tent at a relief camp in Kavre and his eyes striked me as someone strong but fear can reduce the best of us to mere mortals at the mercy of nature. Krishna Bahadur Bhojan 70, from village phalate in Kavre about 60 km from dhulekhel. "My two storey house was reduced to rubble in a matter of seconds and now where do go?". He spoke with a broken heart. His wife, Shyamuli Bhojan 39, too was admitted at the same camp for a broken leg. Photograph by @zishaanakbarlatif #Nepal #Nepal Earthquake #nepalphotoproject #emergency #earthquake
"People here in Nepal are shaken after yet another quake. Life had slowly started coming back to normal and nowseems like we are back to square one again. But the disaster response from both the government and the public has been balanced and calculated this time around. There is electricity and internet(thankfully), however people are opting to stay outdoors. Seen in the picture is a person carrying sleeping mats, blankets and other essentials to the makeshift tent for the night." Photo by @aerawbic #nepal #nepalphotoproject #nepalearthquake #Kathmandu #silhouette #disaster #streets #night #fear
Kala Ghale, 60 years old, scavenges through the rubble of what used to be his home before the deadly earthquake struck Barpak, the epicentre of the 25th April 2015 #Nepal #earthquake. Kala looks for valuables like stored fire wood, dried corn to last them through the treacherous winters up here in the northern parts of the Gorkha district. Photograph – @zishaanakbarlatif #nepalearthquake #nepalphotoproject