Service welfare hinges on investigating the need for compassionate leave in the absence of an effective civilian infrastructure. The welfare process also incorporates any need to address such issues as marital harmony and land disputes. This is overseen by the Brigade and Unit Welfare Officer (BUWO) and his staff who are based in BGN, Man Bhawan, Jawalakhel, Kathmandu. (Telephone: +97714235 Ext 229).
In general terms, all requests for Compassionate leave by a serviceman's family should be reported to their nearest Area Welfare Centre, except for those in Kathmandu Valley who should report occurences to the BUWO. The authority for compassionate travel is Joint Casualty and compassionate Cell in accordance with procedures contained in JSP 751.
For non-Gurkha personnel and their dependants based abroad, the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) should be contacted on 44 (0) 1452 519951. This number is continually manned 24 hours a day, including weekends and Bank Holidays. Please pass this number to your relatives and friends in the UK and advise them the following procedures.
Welfare support for ex-servicemen is provided by the Gurkha Welfare Scheme (GWS) which is the field arm of the UK based charity, the Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT).
The GWT aims to alleviate hardship and poverty amongst ex-servicemen and their widows, many whom due to relatively short war service or redundancy in the 60s do not have a Service Pension.
The Trust is supported by the Ministry of Defence who meet the staff and administrative costs of the GWS.
The GWS is the field arm of the Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT), a UK based charity. The GWS is based in Pokhara and is run on a day-to-day basis by the Field Director GWS and his staff.
The Field Director is a serving Brigade of Gurkhas Lt Col. He is supported by a Captain and several retired officers. Commander BGN is the Director of the GWS and answers to the GWT Trustees in the UK. The GWS is represented in the hills by 21 Area Welfare Centres (AWCs) spread across the traditional recruiting areas, as well as on Centre in Darjeeling, India. They are purpose-built and are staffed by an Area Welfare Officer, one or more assistants depending on the size of the parish, a medical assistant and one or more peons who act as cooks and runners. This extensive network is supported by 12 patrol bases reaching far into the Himalayan foothills.
It is this staff that investigate all claims for aid from ex-servicemen and frequently the circumstances of serving soldiers’ families. Aid dispersed by the GWS is directed to support ex-servicemen and their widows either individually with welfare pension, hardship grants, medical grants and education grants or communally through projects such as water points, schools and suspension bridges.