The Gurkha Welfare Trust is the leading Gurkha welfare charity. It was established in 1969 when it was realised that a great many elderly Gurkha soldiers and their dependants or widows were living in destitution in Nepal. Many had served in the Second World War; however, they had not served the 15 years needed to qualify for an army pension. Recognising our debt of honour to these great men, The Gurkha Welfare Trust was established to ‘relieve poverty and distress among Gurkha veterans of the Crown and their dependants’.
Today, the GWT supports over 4500 Gurkhas and their widows in Nepal through the payment of a monthly Welfare Pension, given to those who do not qualify for an army pension and who do not have any other form of income. It is calculated annually using a ‘shopping basket’ of basic goods and provides enough to buy food for the month and the occasional luxury. Currently it is set at NPR 10,500, approximately £80.
The Trust cares for the health of its Welfare Pensioners through its free Medical Programme. It also provides one-off Hardship Grants to help when disaster strikes and, for those pensioners no longer able to live at home, the Trust provides round-the-clock care at its Residential Homes in Pokhara and Dharan. The Trust has always supported the hill communities in which the Gurkha veterans live.
Its Rural Water & Sanitation Programme brings safe drinking water and improved hygiene to villages throughout Nepal, while its School Programme undertakes builds, repairs and refurbishes schools as part of its commitment to develop rural educational facilities. With Gurkhas increasingly retiring to the UK, the Trust now has a role supporting the welfare needs of those Gurkhas who have chosen to live here.
It provides advice and information from its Welfare Centres based in Salisbury and Aldershot. Click here for more information about the Trust’s work in the UK. As a registered charity, The Gurkha Welfare Trust relies on the generosity of the British people to fund its work. Without this support, the Trust’s care for our gallant Gurkha veterans in Nepal would cease and they would be left to live in destitution in their declining years.
If you would like information on sponsoring a Welfare Pensioner or would like to support the Trust, please contact them on 01722 323 955 or follow this link.