Bhagyale Bachekaharu – Nepal Earthquake: Heroes, Survivors and Miracles

Year: 2015

Director: Ganesh Panday

Playing time: 46 minutes

The dividing line between nature’s beauty and nature’s destructive violence can be unexpectedly thin. On 25 April 2015 Nepal, the land of the Himalayas and Mount Everest, was struck by a devastating earthquake (strength 7.8). This moving documentary by Ganesh Panday tells the story of seven survivors and their rescuers.

On 25 April 2015 Nepal, the land of the Himalayas and Mount Everest, was struck by a devastating earthquake (strength 7.8), with the epicentre 144 kilometres from the capital Kathmandu. The mountainous terrain made rescue work (and reconstruction work) much harder. Some 9,000 people died in the earthquake and over 20,000 were injured, while hundreds of thousands became homeless.

Three months after the quake, the Nepalese journalist Ganesh Panday presented this documentary about seven people who narrowly escaped death. Interviews with survivors and rescue workers are interspersed with live images of the events. Among other scenes, we see the ancient Dharahara tower collapse while visitors were at the top enjoying the view. Miraculously, Babita survived. Baby Sonis was found in the rubble after 22 hours. Rishi lay in a wrecked building for four days, and no less than five days passed before Pemba was rescued.

‘Bhagyale Bachekaharu’ is a story about the terrors and the scars. In the area around the epicentre, there is not a single family still complete. Many people saw their dreams wrecked and devastated. Many face an uncertain future. But despite all this, many people still retain hope of a better life. Ganesh wants to show the effects of the earthquake, but besides the story about the survivors and rescuers he also focuses attention on the future. The poet Madhav Prasad Ghimire, who survived the earthquakes of 1934 and 2015, expresses it in words: ‘Aftershocks are signs of change.’