Your exclusive update from Nepal.

Winter in Nepal can be bitterly cold.

Our Pensioner Support Teams have been delivering thermal flasks to Gurkha veterans and widows across Nepal as part of the Winter Allowance they receive on top of their Welfare Pensions.

In the past, we have distributed blankets, warm jackets and hats. This year, thermal flasks were requested by many. A hot drink (that stays hot) during the winter months is a luxury that many of them haven’t had since their Army days. The flasks hold 1.8 litres of liquid and are made of double wall stainless steel. They’re insulated, durable and will keep their drinks warm for hours.

So far, we have delivered over

3,000 flasks to Gurkha veterans and widows. They are delighted with their new gifts, although it took some explaining – some had never seen a flask before! One widow needed us to demonstrate how to use the flask and describe the benefits. We managed to convince her in the end.

The elderly pensioners can now keep their water, milk and tea warmer for longer. They no longer need to light firewood every time they need to heat a drink, saving them from using up firewood and fuel.

The oldest veteran so far to receive one of our flasks is 101 year-old Manbahadur Gurung from Bheri (pictured right).

Meet the team: Bishwaraj Gurung

Bishwaraj Gurung served with the Brigade of Gurkhas for over 15 years in Hong Kong, Brunei, UK, Nepal and Belize.

Bishwaraj is one of our Cluster Support Managers. He coordinates the logistics for pension and medicine delivery across the central districts of Nepal, as well as helping our Pensioner Support Teams out on their journeys. He also trains staff on how to respond in the event of a disaster.

“The best part of my job is that staff members share the same mission and vision to support pensioners and communities. The underprivileged communities inspire me to work hard to support them. “

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“I am an ambitious and driven individual. I constantly set goals myself to deliver support to pensioners.

“When I was working at the Area welfare Centre in Butwal in 2016, I was appointed construction manager to build earthquake-resilient homes for pensioners. I was able to complete 29 houses within 100 days.

“After my posting at our Area Welfare Centre in Kaski in 2018, I was appointed to take responsibility of Myagdi area. I was able to award Welfare Pensions and Disability Support Grants to seven individuals and rebuilt/ refurbished nine houses for Gurkha veterans and widows within 11 months.

“In recognition of my service and dedication, I was awarded certificate of commendation by the Chairman of The Gurkha Welfare Trust in 2017.”

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IN PICTURES: Photos of the flasks and their recipients from the last few weeks