Gurkha veteran Baljit Rai
89-year-old Gurkha veteran Baljit Rai lives with his wife Dhani Maya and son Bibadhan in the small village of Bhudrung, a three-hour drive away from our Welfare Centre in Rumjatar, Nepal.
Four years ago, Baljit suffered a stroke. As a result, he’s no longer able to move his left arm and leg and can’t sit up straight. He’s looked after by his son as he needs full-time care to help with things like eating and getting around the house.
A brave Gurkha veteran
Baljit enlisted in the Army in 1948 and joined the 7th Gurkha Rifles once he’d finished his training. He was deployed in the Malayan Emergency in the 50s. He has a clear memory of his time in the Army:
“I remember we used to patrol the jungle and set ambushes. On our fourth ambush, we managed to kill 4 communist enemies. On another occasion, our troop was also ambushed and we lost 2 soldiers, I separated from the group and ran all night to reach our unit in Bentong, Pahang.”
“It was horrible. I cried all night. I remembered my younger brother who was in Nepal. I had lost my parents when I was young. After that night I chose to return back to Nepal.”
“I returned and survived on subsistence farming. It was difficult until I started receiving the Welfare Pension.”
Support from The Gurkha Welfare Trust
Due to Baljit’s illness, his son Bibadhan is a full-time carer for him. Bibadhan receives a Home Carer’s Allowance, a grant that family members of Pensioners receive when they are unable to work.
Baljit receives our Welfare Pension, which his son collects for him from our Welfare Centre. Our staff visit their home regularly and have recently provided them with a new mattress and a commode chair.
To find out more about the Financial Aid we provide to Gurkha veterans and their families in Nepal, please click here.