Life in the birthplace of the Gurkhas
Amrit Bahadur Thapa lives with his only son in the Gorkha district of Nepal, birthplace of the Gurkhas. The World War Two veteran’s life offers a glimpse of the typical existence for many of the elderly Gurkha pensioners we support.
A total of eight family members live in the mud-and-stone house built by Amrit’s son, Dilbahadur, located deep in the Himalayan foothills. His one daughter lives with her husband in a nearby village.
Amrit’s family survive as subsistence farmers, just as they always have since he returned from his service. As Amrit puts it,
“every day here is much as the next!”
How you’ve helped Amrit
Like much of Nepal, their water and electricity supplies are often disrupted, but they make do. In addition to their two bulls, five goats and three chickens, they own a small plot of land that provides them with enough food for around four to five months each year, depending on the harvest. After that, the family is entirely dependent on the Welfare Pension we provide to Amrit as their main source of income.
They use the pension to buy food and clothes, while our Winter Fuel Allowance is used to buy extra clothes and blankets when possible. Amrit is also frequently visited by our medical staff to check how he is. His daughter-in-law also collects his blood pressure medication from our local welfare centre regularly.
During the Nepal earthquakes in 2015, their house suffered minor damage. Thanks to your support we provided the family with a £1,200 grant to carry out the necessary repairs.
A brave Gurkha veteran
At 94 years old, Amrit is almost blind and deaf. His memory is hazed by age but he can still remember the peal of gunfire when his camp was attacked during the War. He tells us how he fired his rifle until the bullets ran out, and how not all of his friends returned with him to Nepal.
Now, his days are peaceful but difficult. Amrit can do little else but spend his time resting while his family cares for his needs.
“Life would be very difficult for my family and I without the help of The Gurkha Welfare Trust.”
As we leave the house, Dilbahadur asks us to thank everyone who supports his father and their family. For this old veteran, life in Nepal is typically hard, but restful. Our support will allow him to enjoy his remaining days alongside his family with the dignity he deserves.