Dilmaya, 70, Nepal

Dilmaya, 70, lives with her brother Byakuman, 75, and sister-in-law Sunamaya, 67.

Their house was destroyed by the earthquake.

Dilmaya (foreground), 70, was rescued from the rubble of her house by her sister-in-law.

(c) Guido Dingemans/HelpAge International

Dilmaya (foreground), 70, was rescued from the rubble of her house by her sister-in-law.

“I was twirling a thread of cotton for our oil lamp when the earthquake struck. I couldn’t escape quickly enough because I have joint pains. Suddenly the ceiling fell down on me and I was pinned to the ground with my head covered in blood,” Dilmaya narrates.

Her brother and sister-in-law had managed to escape the room upstairs and saw her pinned under the collapsed ceiling.

I felt so helpless

“I saw her there bleeding, but I couldn’t do anything. I was too weak to pull her out. I felt so helpless,” Byakuman said. It was then left to Sunamaya to dig her out of the rubble.

“I was really scared. The house was still shaking but I kept on trying to pull her out. I never gave up. It was hard but thankfully I was able to pry her out of the rubble,” Sunamaya shared.

“We then dragged her out of the house. I thought we would not make it out alive.”

Covered in bruises

They all managed to get out of the house before it completely collapsed. Dilmaya, however, is covered in bruises, from her neck to her legs, and her entire body is still aching.

They treated her head injuries themselves at first, but it was evident that they needed to go to a health clinic to have it checked.

They found the strength to go to a health clinic and they treated her head injury there. They also gave her some ointment for her bruises.

No money to buy food

They are currently living at their neighbour’s house, but are afraid that they may be asked to leave at any time. Food is also a problem.

“We don’t have money to buy food. We are vegetable farmers but we are too weak to work now. All our animals – our chickens and ducks – all of them died when the shed collapsed,” Dilmaya said.

They said that they now rely on others to give them food and that they are not able to get relief goods because they cannot get to the distribution sites.

“We know that there is food being given away, but we are not able to reach there,” Dilmaya said.

“What we need now is food and a place to live”.

What we're doing

We're carrying out rapid assessments and distributing cash transfers. We are starting to distribute cash to 10,000 older people and their families.

Our work will take place in 11 of the 13 worst affected areas through the support of five of our current partners.

Cash transfers allow people to buy items they need most whether it's food, shelter, medicines or as a means to start earning an income again to support themselves and their families.

Find out more about how we're helping older people and their families affected by the Nepal earthquake.

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