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Nepal Earthquake & Ham Radio

I received some great news today – worthy of a Blog post. Here’s a very “brief” version of the back story:

A few years ago our 240 DX Group rounded up an Icom 718 to donate to a gal in T30 (Western Kiribati). For some reason the unopened package was returned 10 months later. I suspect an import duty or tax wasn’t paid and after some period of time the shipping company “returned it to sender”. I tested the radio and put it on the shelf.

Enter the April, 2015 Nepal Earthquake.

In the hours and days after the earthquake, calls went out for donations of HF radios, batteries, connectors, VHF handhelds and other radio related items – all items that were desperately needed in Nepal to re-establish communications.

David (W6DTW) stopped in on the 20 Meter Emergency Communications Net I was helping with to offer his services and to also offer the services of a group he is associated with – “Radio Mala” (Radio Mala was founded to ensure the Nepali amateurs could communicate during the anticipated quake and the monsoon season. Radio Mala is a disaster communication infrastructure to connect Kathmandu and the surrounding region in a ring of protective amateur radio communication).

In short order, we found a new home for the Icom rig. I sent it to David, and here’s the email I received today from Suresh, his Radio Mala associate:

Nepal Earthquake – Amateur Radio

Nepal Earthquake “Dear Lumpy,

I wanted to send you these photos earlier but could not as they were still undergoing processing between multiple government agencies in Nepal. I did not want to send information out until all of the paperwork had cleared.

Roughly a week after you shipped the radio to us, a team of California medical doctors in a mercy mission to Nepal volunteered to take it with them and deliver it personally to Dr. Panday [9N1SP, Dr. Sanjeeb Prasad Panday]. I personally rushed the package to a doctor who was waiting in one of their hospital emergency rooms. Air Ethiad generously agreed not to charge excess freight fees.

Once it arrived in Nepal, it took a long time to process all of the paperwork. Dr. Panday wanted to be completely sure that all procedures were followed.

Likewise, your radio is now being used by the Nepali people to learn and train others on HF operation.

Here are some of the photos.

Thanks so much for your help.

’73

Suresh
W6KTM”

I’m glad of many things here. I’m glad our 240 DX Group gathered up the radio. I’m glad W6DTW stopped in because between David and his friends, they were able to “make it rain”. I’m thankful to all the people along the line that helped get that radio into Nepal, and I’m glad Dr. Panday has it and it’s being used by the Nepali people!

Now that’s a total team effort and some real Ham Spirit for ya’!

Thanks Fella’s!

Interesting Links:

Radio Mala on Facebook
Computer Association of Nepal-USA (CAN-USA aka GNPN)
International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 – Nepal Earthquake
ARRL Nepal Earthquake News
Amateur Radio Newsline

N0UN

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