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Guildford Ex-Gurkha On March In London For Welfare Rights

Published on: 21 Jan, 2014
Updated on: 21 Jan, 2014

A former Gurkha, who lives in Guildford, will be joining around 200 fellow ex-soldiers when they present a written submission to an all-party parliamentary committee on Gurkha welfare in London tomorrow (Wednesday, January 22).

Nanda-Lem Guring (right) is one of the former Gurkhas taking their welfare concerns to politicians in London. Left is the chairman of the Guidford Nepalese Community, Shamsher Gurung.

Nanda-Lem Gurung (right) is one of a large number of former Gurkhas taking their welfare concerns to politicians in London. Pictured left is the chairman of the Guidford Nepalese Community, Shamsher Gurung.

Born in Napal, Nanda-Lem Gurung served with the Gurkhas in the British Army for 14 years, and was based in the UK, Hong Kong and Canada. He has lived in Guildford since 2006.

He will be representing the Guildford Nepalese Community for the presentation of the weighty document. He is pleased that a parliamentary committee will at last be looking at the grievances of Gurkha veterans over compensation claims, pension rights, adult dependants, equal treatment for Gurkha widows and free medical treatment for veterans in Nepal in line with those available for senior citizens in the UK.

GurkhaDeputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg backs the investigation which comes after continued protests by Gurkhas over issues that remained after the Government in 2009 ruled that all Gurkhas who retired before 1997, with at least four years’ service, could settle in the UK.

Mr Gurung said that within the Guildford Nepalese community there are 17 ex-Gurkhas, with the local Nepalese association having 133 adult members. He said there are estimated to be about a further 25 Nepalese adults living in Guildford.

“It is not just the ex-Gukhas who are suffering with pensions much lower than fellow Briton who served, our widows and children are affected as well,” said Mr Gurung, adding: “Some of us have sons now serving in the British Army.”

His own son, Jiwan, is an instructor to the officer cadets at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, and is the first Gurkha ever to do so. He is also among a small number of Gurkhas who have served with the SAS in recent years.

Mr Gurung, who works at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, has two brothers who also served and who all now live in the UK. He said: “We have actually been campaigning over these issues for the last 23 years. The Government has not always listened, although there have been some pension increases. Now we are hopeful of a good outcome.”

He expects there to be a large turn out in London, that will include the actress Joanna Lumley, a long-time campaigner of Gurkha causes. Also present will be a retired British colonel who was attached to the Gurkhas. Mr Gurung said: “He knows everything about the Gurkhas and will present evidence to help our cause.”

Mr Gurung, along with fellow former Gurkha and the president of the Guildford Nepalese Community, Shamsher Gurung, are active in the Guildford community and supporters of the Park Barn & Westborough Community Association. They and members of their community regularly attend and take part in local events.

“Unfortunately, Shamsher cannot attend our event in London,” added Mr Gurung,  “but he also hopes for a successful outcome.”

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test 5 Responses to Guildford Ex-Gurkha On March In London For Welfare Rights

  1. Wayne and Julia McShane Reply

    January 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    We would both like to wish the Gurkhas every success in their campaign and offer them our support.

    We are honoured to know both Nanda and Shamsher and greatly value their contribution to the community through their membership of the Park Barn & Westborough Community Association.

    Their willingness and enthusiasm for being active in the community both as individuals and together with the wider Nepalese community in Guildford is greatly appreciated by ourselves and the groups with which they have been involved.

  2. David Rose Reply

    January 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    I agree with Wayne and Julia.

    Nanda, Shamsher and their family and friends have been great supporters of Joining In! – the project that supports community involvement in the Westborough ward of Guildford, of which I am the co-ordinator.

  3. jim Allen Reply

    January 21, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Best wishes in your endeavours – you should not have to ask for what you have rightly earned in the service to my country – you of all peoples have earned that right to be part of our culture and future population.

  4. William O'Brien Reply

    January 22, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    My father fought in Burma during WW2 – he always said that “the fearless little men with their kukris saved my bacon on a number of occasions”. Dad lived in Guildford for 40 plus years and would have wanted to stand by them.

  5. Mary Bedforth Reply

    January 23, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I just wanted to say that I came across Nanda-Lem Gurung when I was in a surgical ward at the RSCH a couple of years back. He was really kind and the fact that he cared shone through. A lovely smile too. He made a big difference to my recovery.

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