In 2015, Nepal suffered devastating earthquakes, which destroyed many hundreds of village homes in the mountains and hills. Many belong-ed to Gurkha veterans and their widows, all surviving on meagre pensions they receive for their service in the defence of the UK and its Commonwealth for over 150 years. Many tried to rebuild their homes, resulting in makeshift shelters providing little protection against bitter winter cold and subsequent unusually severe monsoons, which washed away homes and the crops grown to provide food and to sell for fuel.
The Gurkha Welfare Trust relies on donations to fund its work supporting these veterans. Because many live in remote regions of Nepal, the Trust provides motor cycles, Land Rovers, voluntary staff to drive them, medical facilities, supplies and pensions, all to reach people who would ordinarily have to walk for hours to access these services.
These gallant and brave veterans are owed a debt of gratitude for their contribution to our military efforts throughout the world. With this in mind, COFEPOW member, Dave Hutson of Plymouth, is spearheading a local ‘Home for a Gurkha Pensioner’ initiative to raise funds to help former Gurkhas in Nepal rebuild their homes. Several, of course, saw active duty in Burma and the Far-East during the war, and many were killed, wounded or imprisoned and held in horrific conditions. This makes this appeal especially poignant.
Dave’s objective is to raise £6,000 (the cost of one house) in the shortest time possible. At time of going to press, over £2200 has already been donated.
The fund will be monitored by Dave, with any donations forwarded by COFEPOW members made by cheque to: ‘Federation of Plymouth & District ex-Services Associations No. 3’ and sent c/o Dave Hutson, 51, Canefields Avenue, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 1XH. Tel: 01752 339307. Thank you.