“They made us the poorest of the poor” say UK Gurkhas

March 22nd, 2010 - 3:03 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 22(ANI): Veterans of the Gurkha community in the UK have said that the men who once served the Queen and country proudly are now the “poorest of the poor” in Nepal.

Gyanraj Rai, member of the United British Gurkhas Ex-Servicemen’s Association (UBGEA), said that the community has been shattered into angry divisions, punctuated by accusations and counter-accusations.

Gurkhas, who retired before 1997 when the regiments relocated to the UK from Hong Kong, were granted the right to settle in the UK last summer, but their pension remains around 20 percent of other British soldiers.

“They made us the bravest of the brave, then they made us the poorest of the poor. They sent us home almost barefoot. Thousands of veterans have died of malnutrition and lack of medication,” The Independent quoted Rai, as saying.

“They would rather stay in Nepal, but they are penniless so they are borrowing money, selling their cows and buffaloes to come here,” he added.

Former Sgt Gajindra Rai, who came to Britain three weeks ago, said that the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen’s Association (GAESO) in Nepal had charged him 900 pounds, including the visa fee, for advice.

“They talked about lots of benefits and housing, but I have found nothing. I am very angry. I feel very betrayed to have been given the wrong information,” he added. (ANI)

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