Please support by climbing efforts in support of the Gurkha Welfare Trust by clicking www.justgiving.com/Barry-Dalal-Clayton
The Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT) works to relieve poverty and distress amongst Gurkha ex-servicemen and their dependents through a range of financial, medical and community aid.
GWT helps retired Gurkhas in the UK and pays a welfare pension to around 10,000 needy Gurkha ex-servicemen and their widows living in Nepal, who did not complete 15 year's military service to receive a military pension and face destitution. Medical treatment is also provided for them and their dependants. In addition, hardship grants are awarded to alleviate destitution following disasters. An exciting scheme to provide residential homes facilities for the most lonely and vulnerable is currently underway.
GWT works within Gurkha communities in Nepal’s Himalayan foothills to provide water and sanitation facilities, new schools, educational grants for children of the Regiment and infrastructure projects. The Trust also provides vocational training to children of the Brigade and ex servicemen.
For more information about GWT, visit: www.gwt.org.uk
Why the Gurkha Welfare Trust?
When Barry was a boy, he was inspired by his father’s tales of his exploits in the Khyber Pass during the Second World War, where he worked alongside Gurkha comrades who he deeply admired.
The Gurkhas have won great respect and affection in Britain as evidenced by public support for the right of ex servicemen to live in the UK. Yet many former Gurkhas soldiers and their families in Nepal remain poor and live in difficult conditions. The GWT helps them. And with your support, more can be done.
It is fitting to climb to raise support for GWT and its work in Nepal – the land of Everest and the Gurkhas. They are small but tough people, yet they stand tall – like Everest itself.
Life for the Gurkhas
Nestling in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Gurkha's rural Nepalese homeland is as treacherous as it is beautiful. Views stretch across spectacular mountains and valleys. Most people farm the land, growing rice, potatoes and vegetables. A buffalo will be a beast of burden and a source of milk, and they may have a few chickens, running outside their simple mudbrick houses.
Nepal is developing quickly but in Gurkha villages, modern comforts remain a rarity. In most villages, there is no electricity, and there may be a steep day or two day's walk to the nearest road. If so, apart from what is produced in the village, everything must come up or down the mountainside on a person's back. People are not well off -- Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries -- but life has a simple dignity.
However, life's simplicity is all too frequently interrupted by natural disasters. Nepal is especially prone to calamities such as earthquakes. Each year, the monsoon rages angrily, and as rivers burst their banks, and floods are an ever present danger.
State welfare provision is almost non-existent, and healthcare facilities are thin on the ground, especially in the remote Gurkha villages. In many areas, there is 1 doctor per 5,000 of the population, but in some areas, the ratio may be as low as 1 in 100,000. In old age, if poverty or ill-health strikes, there may be nothing to rely on but the already stretched resources of friends and neighbours. That is why the work of The Gurkha Welfare Trust, and its 20 Welfare Centres, are so important.