Arts and Entertainment

Tito Satya stars provide succour

Tito Satya stars provide succour

Jun 4, 2015-

Deepak Raj Giri and Deepa Shree Niraula, the directors of the popular TV show Tito Satya, have been entertaining and counselling school students across the country after classes resumed from the beginning of this week, after nearly a month of school closure caused by the April 25 quake.  The duo have also come up with an arrangement whereby the schools will provide free education to orphans and poor kids in exchange for the services that Giri and Niraula provide. The Post’s Anup Ojha caught up with the comedians before they were to conduct a therapy programme at V S Niketan School and talked to them about their recent work with students. Excerpts:

What were you doing when the April 25 quake hit the country?

Deepak: I was in my car, just about to reach home. When the jolts started coming, I thought somebody was pushing my car. I figured it must be mischievous neighbourhood kids pushing my car. And I actually shouted at them to stop shaking my car. There was nobody around, and yet the car kept moving to and fro. That’s when I realised that we had been hit by an earthquake.

Deepa:  I had just reached Pepsicola, where we had scheduled a Sunday meeting for the annual Teli Awards 2072. The award ceremony was scheduled to be aired live on 13 TV channels all over the country. I was going to television presenter Prakash Subedi’s house to discuss the matter. I had just made a stop to buy some fruits and was getting back into my car when it started to rattle. The quake continued for so long. I noticed electric poles swaying and people shouting Bhuichalo Bhuichalo!! I exited my car and stood by the road.

What did you do next?

Deepak: I had not had lunch. By the time I got home, my family members were all out in the open space near my house. Once the quake stopped, I rushed inside the house. I was very hungry and I gathered all the cooked food we had in the kitchen and me and my family ate that outside our house. I even took pictures of us and posted them on my Facebook wall, but I quite a bit of flak for that. People were actually scolding me, saying that people had died, and here I was uploading such photos.  Because our area hadn’t been badly hit by the jolts, I didn’t see damaged houses around me. So I didn’t think that the jolts had been all that intense. Later, when I came to know about the

casualties, and how so many historical monuments had collapsed, I deleted the photos.

Deepa:  The road was rippling. I could see houses swaying, birds scattering in the sky and dogs barking loudly. It was extremely scary. I also saw people hugging each other and crying. Many of them were chanting the names of gods. Without realising it, I had taken a stranger’s hands in mine, and was asking him, “Dai aba ke hunchha hamilai?” When the quake stopped, I still felt dizzy. I could not drive my car for a while. Then I headed directly for my house in New Baneshwor.   

Are you houses safe? Have any of your relatives been affected by the quake?

Deepak: My ancestors’ house in Thankot has been totally destroyed. I used to visit the house every Saturday. That’s where I’d go to decompress. My uncle used to live there. Luckily, he and his family are all safe. But none of the traditionally built houses in the area escaped damage.

Deepa: It’s been two years that I have been living in my own house in Kathmandu. It’s safe. My family lives in Biratnagar and they escaped unscathed. I have not heard of any casualties among the people I know in Biratnagar.  

We hear that you have been busy with relief work.

Deepak:  We took rice, salt, edible oils, beaten rice and tarpaulins over to Rasuwa after the second big quake. We wanted to get all the way to Dhunche, but we had to stop short as the road there was totally destroyed. We handed over our relief materials to Chief District Officer and returned to Kathmandu.  

Deepa: More than providing relief material, we are fully devoted to cheering up people. We have been going to various quake-affected areas and meeting people. I believe God wants us to make people happy, and we are trying to help the people get better mentally.   

You have come up with a unique way to provide free education for children who are quake victims. Can you explain your proposal?

Deepak:  Ever since the schools reopened, many schools have been calling us to stage comedy shows. Before we go to the schools, we strike a deal with them: we will perform for free, but in exchange, we want the schools to commit to providing free education—all the way from grade one to 10—for one orphan or quake victim.

Deepa: So far, six schools have agreed to our proposal and we have already performed in those schools. Once the school takes up on our offer, we also pay for their child’s school uniform and stationery supplies. We also make a commitment to the schools that we will perform for free during their annual anniversary function.

Published: 04-06-2015 07:16

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