Gurkha widow Manisara Thapa: How we’ve helped
Twenty years ago, 92 year-old Manisara Thapa’s life was far from easy. Her husband, Rifleman Balsing passed away in 1988, leaving her to look after her children alone with very little money.
“After my husband’s death, you can imagine, it was very hard for me to raise the children. We had to stay hungry at times.”
When Manisara found out she was eligible to receive a Welfare Pension from The Gurkha Welfare Trust, her life improved dramatically. The Welfare Pension is central to our work. It’s awarded to impoverished Gurkha veterans or widows who aren’t eligible for the standard Army pension.
“I have been able to overcome my problems with the pension. I am truly thankful.”
Our staff visit Manisara regularly to check up and provide medicine.
“It’s very nice of them to visit me regularly. I am unable to go the AWC as I get severe motion sickness whenever I have to travel by vehicle. It takes more than four hours if a vehicle is available and it is 450 Nepali Rupees for a one-way fare.”
When the earth shook
When earthquakes struck in 2015, Manisara lost her home:
“I can vividly remember the day. All the family except me were in the field tending to the crops. I was alone in the house. When the earth started shaking I was very scared.”
We recently finished building a brand new quake-resistant home for Manisara. She now lives there with her son and her grandchildren. Understandably, she’s very grateful to the supporters of The Gurkha Welfare Trust:
“Thank you very much. I cannot imagine what I would have done. I could not have built the house by myself. I do not have any other sources of income.”
In 2013, we provided Sinchang village, where Manisara lives, with convenient access to clean water, funded by UK Aid.
By providing clean water we see sharp drops in water-borne diseases such as dysentery. Having a water source close by also reduces the burden on women and children, who traditionally spend hours collecting water each day.
“It was so difficult for us in the past. There was no guarantee that you would come back home with water even after standing in line for hours. Now, we have clean drinking water right at our house and can use it whenever we want.”
Find out more about how we help pensioners like Manisara here.