The package consists of medication, relevant information, and a direct hotline to volunteer doctors to answer any questions they might have about symptoms, tests and vaccines. The demand for the packages has now snowballed, with local governments in more districts approaching for help.
Ek Ek Paila raised Rs7 million for the distribution of the Covid Health Packages — all from local donations. In fact, that is what makes the non-profit different from most other charities in Nepal, it relies almost completely on donations from Nepalis.
“If foreigners and international organisations want to donate to Ek Ek Paila, we do not say no,” Thapa explains. “But 99% of the funding for Ek Ek Paila comes from local donors.”
The fact that Thapa is also an accomplished musician, and a lead guitarist in the band ‘The Blue Fret’ helps with fund-raising concerts. “I had always wanted to be a musician, and being a doctor was actually the next best thing for me,” admits Thapa, grinning through his mask during a recent interview at Ek Ek Paila’s new Community Health Centre in Kathmandu.
Ek Ek Paila had a humble start after the earthquake six years ago. Thapa contacted some friends and found fellow doctors who committed to spending one weekend a month for a year to provide medical care to survivors in remote villages badly hit by the earthquakes. In the first year alone, Ek Ek Paila organised 12 health camps in Sindhupalcok, Dolakha, and other districts.