Home is where the heart is for a Sutton man who is carrying out remarkable relief work to help victims of the devastating earthquakes in Nepal.
For Shailendra Shrestha hails from Aarughat Bazar, a city in the Gorkha district of Nepal that was the scene of the epicentre of the initial massive quake, which killed 8,250 people.
As soon as the tragedy struck on 25th April, Shailendra and his wife rushed to their homeland, leaving friends and relatives to look after their two young children.
For three weeks, he has been helping to provide relief materials, food and shelter to the most remote parts of the affected areas, using his experience as a senior project engineer for the Kirkby company, Alliance Group Solutions.
More than 480,000 houses have been destroyed and many people are spending wet and cold nights on open ground without food, clean water or even sheets for tents. Shailendra has donated money to rebuild schools and helped to build pits for toilets.
“He is doing commendable work,” says friend, Amit Bajracaharya, a GP based in Southwell, who has also been to Nepal to help with medical relief.
Shailendra has set up a fundraising website at http://www.gofundme.com/t4e4u8 to accept donations of help for his homeland in Nepal.
So far, £3,500 has been raised, but much more is needed before the start of the monsoon season. He says: “It will take a long time for the people to bet back to normal because of limited resources and poverty.
“Wherever I go, school buildings are collapsed. Students are working under tents, but tents will not work in the monsoon. They really are very poor people finding it so difficult to fund cleaning up debris, buying food or building shelter.”