Monday, July 20, 2015

Politely, don't believe the hype, and by all means, please don't spotlight the hype

Totally alarmed at sensational photos of Kathmandu and Nepal still being posted on social media. With the exception of a comparatively few places (which have been identified and are receiving care and attention), Nepal is doing quite fine. The images are alarming and turning potential tourists away precisely when the economy needs them most. Posting them is not doing one of Nepal’s most vital industries any favors and directly injures the many people who rely on tourism from hoteliers, restaurateurs, taxi drivers, goods sellers and suppliers, guides and porters and everyone in between from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp and back again. Posting gratuitous images seems a self-serving ploy to elicit money for dubious projects without regards to a greater whole affected by a graphic mis-portrayal. 

With the exception of a very few places, Kathmandu and all of Nepal are open and ready for tourists and the people are totally looking forward to receiving visitors, again.

One illustrative example, a friend’s home was damaged in a remote village of Gorkha District, not far from April 25th quake's epicenter. His father received 15,000 rupees (about 150 USD equivalent) from the local administration. With those funds he has already fixed up the home and built a new two room shelter that is quake-resistant. The community there has worked together and swiftly rebuilt each other's homes and more.

Contrast that with many mind-blowing stories of deception including filing of false pleas from people with undamaged property to gain (and get) sympathy money—actively doing a disservice to real victims in true need.

It is sickening dishonesty when the task of recovery is acute for some people. I don't know how people can justify taking the opportunity to feed off the misfortune and misery of others, and that includes carpetbagger foreigners capitalizing, too. Sensational photos are not helping and can paint a false image of the situation and discourage visitors and sabotage a hardworking industry that could otherwise immediately endeavor to revive Nepal.

With all due respect, the best a foreigner can do is visit and encourage others to visit this enchanting land. Nepal will be glad to welcome all with a legendary hospitality and endless natural and cultural treasures.

#NepalQuake #DonorDarling #Corruption #FreeNepal

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