Rotary Club Of Warwick

Apr3 - Learning about Nepal and the Gurkhas

Warwick Rotarians were joined by colleagues from clubs in Southam and Shipston last week for their annual International Understanding Evening at the Hilton Hotel, and heard an illustrated presentation on Nepal and the Gurkha regiments.

Speaker Om Gurung MBE, a former serving Gurkha soldier now living in Nuneaton, comes from Lama Gaun, in the remote mountainous Tanahun region of Nepal. Mr Gurung explained the long history of Gurkha service in the British Army dating back to 1815. Over 50,000 have died in service to this country over the both World Wars and in Malaya and Afghanistan. Gurkhas are known for their bravery, tenacity and discipline and have won 13 Victoria Crosses and many other gallantry medals.

Nepal lies between China and India and is home to a population of 28 million, made up from 101 ethnic groups, which is reflected in the make-up of the various regiments. The economy is essentially a simple rural one, with tourism the main business. Badly affected by the earthquake in 2015, the country is slowly recovering.

Om Gurung is Chairman of the British Gurkha Veterans, whose numbers have risen since 2009 when former soldiers and their families were given permission to settle in UK. Help is given to help people travel and settle in UK and their numbers have risen to over 5,000 with a community around Nuneaton where Om now runs a restaurant. A Nepal Welfare Trust also provides assistance to families remaining in Nepal. The association was instrumental in getting a memorial to the Gurkhas at the National Memorial Arboretum, as well as one in Nuneaton town centre.

President John Taylor thanked Om for his fascinating talk and presented him with a cheque to further the work of the Nepal Welfare Trust.

Om Gurung with Rotary President John Taylor.

Om Gurung with Rotary President John Taylor.




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