“When the earthquake hit, we were all trying to save our own lives, no one was thinking about saving their businesses,” recalls Koshi Ram, who helped the community by organising rescues of people trapped, making sure there was food, shelter, and solar energy for the tent city that sprang up outside the village.
Dhanpurna Bakery had caved in, but Koshi Ram managed to pull his oven out from under the rubble. He set up the baking equipment under a tin shed, and restarted the bakery within a year of the quake. He took out another loan, made the structure more permanent, bought a dough mixer and expanded his menu.
Before the earthquake, Ghale would sell his baked items through local stores. Now, he only sells at the bakery in Mani Danda above the village, and has added a small café which has become the public sphere of Barpak’s community.
Koshi Ram is happy: “This is perfect for me. I can interact with my customers, and get all the village gossip.”
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