Helping Nepali earthquake victims
July 14 2016 09:27 PM
Dhurmus Suntali, the popular Nepali comedy couple.

By Usha Wagle Gautam

Two million Nepali rupees in one month — that’s how much the Everest Nepal Youth Association-Qatar (ENYA) raised in Qatar for the Dhurmus-Suntali Foundation. 
The campaign was led by Uttam Gurung and Rabi Joshi and the two were recently honoured by ENYA at a programme at Shalimar Palace in Najma. TV comedians Sitaram Kattel and Kunjana Ghimire — popular by their stage names Dhurmus and Suntali — were the chief guests. More than 500 people attended the programme.
Dhurmus and Suntali were in Qatar for a five-day visit, and performed during a show organised by SAS Creation on Eid al-Fitr.
Kattel and Ghimire have won praise for the work they have done to support earthquake victims. To date, they have built 65 permanent houses for the poor victims of the earthquake through their foundation, without any support from the government.  
A large number of Qatar-based Nepalis contributed to the fund. Santosh Poudel and Sumitra Lamichhane were two of the donators. Lamichhane said, “If I were in Nepal, I would have been physically involved with Dhurmus and Suntali. I have made a contribution from here, but if I go there for vacation, I will certainly work for them.”
Businessman Prakash Koirala and his wife Sarita contributed Nepali Rs600,000. Koirala said, “My son inspired me to donate. We had planned to go for a vacation to Italy, but my son asked why we can’t use the vacation money for a good purpose. I feel proud to have supported Dhurmus-Suntali Foundation and I feel relaxed that I have somehow contributed to my country and people.”  
Nepalese Women Society-Qatar also helped raised money for the foundation. Amina Khan, the society’s president, said, “Our organisation is happy to support a social cause.”
Speaking at the ENYA event, community leader Sagar Nepal said if there were more people like Kattel and Ghimire, every earthquake survivor would have been settled into their houses by now. 
ENYA President Uttam Gurung thanked everybody for their generous donations. He himself donated QR8,000 to the foundation. 
Kunjana Ghimire talked briefly about her foundation at the event. “When we started, we had only 1,600,000 Nepali rupees, but with the support of our good friends, we have raised over 40,000,000. As a comedian, people might think, why I should be involved in peoples’ pain? But, as a human being, I couldn’t resist the devastation faced by poor people in Nepal’s hinterlands. So, we got involved.”
Sitaram Kattel said his own humble background inspired him to help the earthquake survivors. “As a person who has come from a poor economic class, I know what poverty means.” He came to Kathmandu with loaned Nepali Rs1,700, and started caricaturing and making jokes in campus programmes. 
Senior artist Khem Sharma inspired him to perform on stage and TV programmes. He made his way to the then-popular Friday night TV comedy, Hijo Aja Ka Kura (Talk of the Days). Thereafter, he was introduced to who’s who of Nepalese comedy scene. His show, Meri Bashai, became a blockbuster and became a household name. The couple has also starred in Nepali films.    

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