Bishnu Adhikari, one of six members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints featured in the 2014 film "Meet the Mormons," is alive and actively engaged in the recovery effort following Saturday's devastating earthquake in Nepal.
Adhikari and his family are safe, according to "Meet the Mormons" director Blair Treu and officials with Choice Humanitarian, who have both been in contact with Adhikari since the magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck, killing more than 3,000 and injuring thousands more.
Adhikari was honored by Choice Humanitarian in 2010 as its "Humanitarian of the Year." The Utah-based nonprofit organization, which works in 180 villages in the Lamjung district of Nepal, posted on its Facebook page Saturday that Adhikari is coordinating with the country's government in the relief effort.
Pearl Wright, Choice Humanitarian's communications specialist, has been in contact with Adhikari since the earthquake. She said he and his family were at a church watching sessions of the 185th Annual General Conference when the earthquake began.
"Bishnu and his family are fine. They are emotional, overwhelmed and tired, but otherwise fine," Wright wrote in an email. "Fortunately, they did not lose their home, but due to the continuing aftershocks, they have limited access. Luckily that is changing as the situation stabilizes."
Chris Johnson, Choice Humanitarian's program director, spoke of finding Adhikari in Nepal Sunday evening. He said it had been raining all night, but the morning dawned with a clear blue sky.
"I found him (Bishnu) in good spirits and ready to tackle the day," Johnson wrote in another email. "In two hours he will be meeting with the Red Cross of Nepal and begin coordination on relief efforts to be mounted and where to focus. They have continued to experience minor aftershocks but things are getting better. The people in Kathmandu are returning to their homes and starting to return to their lives to some small degree of normalcy."
LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins released a statement Saturday saying, "The humanitarian arm of the church is determining how it can best help to relieve the suffering."
Hawkins added that one senior missionary couple serving in the area was confirmed safe.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those in Nepal impacted by Saturday’s earthquake and particularly those who have lost loved ones," the statement read.
With tens of thousands left homeless in the Kathmandu Valley and remote regions in Lamjung and Gorkha, people need food, water, shelter and medical support, Wright said.
Wright is maintaining a daily blog with information about conditions and needs in the areas that were hit hardest by the earthquake at choicehumanitarian.org. To contribute to the relief effort through Choice, visit campaigns.choicehumanitarian.org.
For information on donating to the LDS Church relief effort in Nepal, visit LDSCharities.org or LDSPhilanthropies.org. LDS Church members can also donate at local wards and branches by filling out the tithing and other offerings slip and indicating the "Humanitarian Aid" category.
Email: [email protected] Twitter: tbtoone