Your exclusive update from Nepal.

From bedridden to independent

Kalu Gurung is the son of late Rifleman Padam Bahadur Gurung of 4/2 Gurkha Rifles. He lives in the small village of Bansar in Lamjung. Kalu’s father was recruited into the British Army in 1940 and discharged five years later without a pension. He received a monthly pension from The Gurkha Welfare Trust, which enabled him to support his wife and seven children.

In April 2021, 71-year-old Kalu was admitted to our Residential Home in Kaski for rehabilitation.

During his stay at the home we provided continuous care and support, focusing on nutrition, hygiene, exercise and therapy. It was a long journey, but after 11 months of rehabilitation, Kalu was fit enough to return home. His family members and the whole village were stunned by the improvement in his health.

While Kalu was in care we commenced construction of a new earthquake-resilient home for him. The design was adapted to take into account his disability, with railings around the house and in the rooms so that he can easily walk around. When the house was ready, the GWT’s Chairman, Lieutenant General Richard Wardlaw OBE, handed over Kalu’s new home.

Watch this exclusive video of Kalu’s brother expressing thanks to the donors who made Kalu’s rehabilitation and new home possible.

Meet the team: Sergeant (Retired) Debendra Maden, Area Welfare Officer

Debendra joined the Gurkhas in January 1986. He served for 22 years with the Queen’s Gurkha Signals Regiment.  During his service, he worked in over 15 countries worldwide including three operational tours in former Yugoslavia. He was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct (LSGC) medal and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant.

When asked why he joined the GWT, Debendra said:

“By force or choice, Gurkha soldiers were made redundant and sent back to Nepal in big numbers. Most of them lived in destitution and in dismal conditions. Being a veteran myself, I was well aware of the services the GWT provides to Gurkha veterans and their families. I  joined the GWT to pay back the debt owed to Gurkha veterans for their sacrifices.”

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How long have you worked for The Gurkha Welfare Trust?

Just over three years.

What are the road conditions like when you travel to pensioners in the hills?

Most of the roads are in dreadful condition. The way we travel depends on the season. During the monsoon we mostly travel by foot, and when weather permits, we use 4×4 vehicles.

How long does it take to reach Gurkha veterans and widows?

By vehicle, it takes five or six hours to reach our pensioners. If travelling by foot, it could take up to three days.

What happens after you arrive at the pensioners’ home?

We deliver the pension, as well as medicines and a medical check-up. We also speak to the pensioners’ family members and ask about any issues the pensioners are experiencing related to their health. The most important thing is making sure the pensioner is living a dignified life.

The sacrifices that ex-servicemen have made to the British Government are second to none, simply incomparable to anything.

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Health checks and pensions

The GWT team in Bagmati recently visited Gurkha veterans and widows in a nearby village to deliver pensions, medicines, medical check-ups, and flu vaccines. Pensioners were happy to see the team and so grateful for this essential care.