Rifleman Manbahadur Ghimire turns 100. Watch his emotional speech.
Over ten decades Rifleman Rfn Manbahadur Ghimire has lived many lives…
Born in Bhojpur in eastern Nepal Manbahadur joined the army in 1942. After his initial training he was posted to 3rd coy, 3 platoon and 3 section of 9th Gurkha Rifles.
With the world in the throes of World War Two, he sailed from India with his battalion to Italy and later Greece where he fought the Germans. For four years Manbahadur fought in battles across Europe with courage and skill.
When the War was finished and the Army downsized, Manbahadur was no longer needed.
Life in Nepal after the War
He returned to Nepal and, in a tale familiar to us here at The Gurkha Welfare trust, began a life of subsistence farming for him and his family.
Sadly, Manbahadur was widowed twice – he lost his first wife many years ago and his second in the mid-1980s.
As he grew older he was unable to farm like he used to and found it hard to harvest enough crops to get by. He moved to a very remote village in eastern-Nepal so that he could be looked after by his second son and his family.
Life in Nepal can be incredibly tough and his son’s family struggled to support Manbahadur. In 1994 began paying Manbahadur a pension, to help him afford life’s essentials like food and fuel. By the 2000’s he was finding it tough to get by even with this income.
The move to our Residential Home
In 2010 we opened a Residential Home for Gurkha veterans and widows in Kaski. Manbahadur was delighted to be one of our first residents. Three years later we opened a second Home in the east of Nepal (Dharan). We moved Manbahadur there so that he could be closer to his family.
Manbahadur is incredibly well-respected by our staff, the Home’s visitors and his fellow residents alike. Always cheerful and up for a game of cards, he is often the focal point of social functions.
He is perceived by our staff as a wise man and someone to go to for advice. A very religious man, he spends every morning conducting a ‘puja’, a Hindu prayer ritual.
Earlier this month our staff were excited to throw him a 100th birthday party.
“Nobody knows what future serves us. I will be turning 100 years at 2075 Chaitra 16 and so I want to share my happiness with all”
“Living was quite difficult. I survived many years of adversity and still am alive because I was sure God had planned something wonderful for me; better life with dignity and respect, I am living it since GWT sheltered me.”
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