14th April 2018

Today is Nepali New Year – here are our 2075 resolutions

Like many other Asian countries, Nepal uses a different calendar. The Nepali calendar is based on the Bikram Sambat, a widely used ancient calendar of the Hindu tradition. The calendar is approximately 56 years and 8 months ahead of the Common Era which means that today they celebrate entering the year 2075!

As the country enters the New Year, we’ve put together a list of New Years Resolutions for The Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Here’s our 2075 resolutions:

To bring money to people’s doors when they can’t travel

We now send our staff into the hills to deliver pensions by hand. As the year progresses we will do this more, as part of our new support model – the Pensioner Support Teams.

We provide a pension to Gurkha veterans and widows who are not eligible for the standard British Army one. We have done this for almost fifty years. Traditionally, a pension payment day would be announced and people would travel from far and wide to attend one of our local offices and collect their cash.

As the years have progressed, the people we pay a pension to have got older and thus their needs have changed. Many of them are no longer as mobile as they once were and their days of two-day hikes in bare feet are long behind them!

For many, they simply wouldn’t be able to survive without the payment which currently equates to around £80 per month.

To provide the best possible healthcare in Nepal

By the end of the year we want our medical scheme to be in the best health care available in Nepal.

Our medical care in Nepal is the biggest operation of its kind. Every Gurkha veteran or widow in Nepal is entitled to our free medical care.

Not only that, the medical camps we run across the country each year are open to local communities. During these camps, we fix problems like dental complains, cataracts and broken bones. Last year we saw over 100,000 separate medical cases in total.

This year, we pledge to improve the standard of care we offer. As medical care continues to modernise at pace, we don’t want to be left behind – our veterans deserve the best of the best. Over the last few months we’ve refurbished and re-equipped our Medical Clinics in Dharan, Bagmati, Damak and Butwal, and work on the others is well underway.

To work with local communities to improve their water and sanitation

We pledge to build 80 new water projects this year so that thousands more people can benefit.

Despite an abundance of rivers, the majority of rural communities in Nepal still don’t have access to clean and safe water. Collecting water from sources is back-breaking work, made even harder in extremely hilly terrain. So, in partnership with DfID, our Rural Water and Sanitation Projects install individual tap stands for all households as well as water facilities for schools and health posts.

To give children in Nepal the best possible start

This year we pledge to offer a more holistic approach to our school builds.

Our schools projects have been enormously successful, particularly the rebuilding and repairing of many schools damaged in the 2015 earthquakes. That said, there’s still a lot to do – and our work continues apace.

We’re trialling a new way of providing support for schools in addition to the buildings we construct, taking into account things like tables and chairs, gender-separate toilets, libraries, fencing and more.

To celebrate 50 years of The Gurkha Welfare Trust

In 2019 our charity will turn 50 years old. It’s a huge achievement and a time to reflect and celebrate the impact we’ve had on the lives of Gurkha veterans, and on Nepal as a whole. We hope to put together many stories and figures related to our work and to share these with our dedicated supporters in the UK.

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