Print Edition - 2015-05-08  |  Earthquake Relief

Nepalis in the Indian army help in relief

- Devendra Bhattarai, DELHI
Nepalis in the Indian army help in relief

May 7, 2015-

Nepali origin Indian soldiers of 5 Gorkha Rifle, who guard the Line of Control (LoC), now-a-days are seen in the premises of the Nepali embassy located in Barakhamba Road.

These soldiers have been entrusted with the responsibility of delivering relief materials to Nepali earthquake victims. “Our commander wanted us to deliver relief materials in time of disaster,” says 5 Gorkha Rifle warrant officer, Nawal Shahi.

Four days after the earthquake, Nawak Shahi, a warrant officer of 5 Gorkha Rifle, had arrived at the embassy with a truckload of rice, lentils, noodles, ghee and water worth Rs500,000.

“We found that there was lack of manpower to take care of and dispatched goods collected here,” he says. “So, we called more helping hands. There are 10 of us deployed here, now.”

Known as Frontier Force in the battlefield, 5 Gorkha Rifle battalion stationed in LoC in the disputed Jammu-Kashmir area, has over 600 soldiers of Nepali origin. “We are all Gurkhalis,” says Major Nanda Bahadur Gurung, who hails from Parbat. “We are more saddened by the havoc created by the disaster in Nepal than the war.”

Gurung and Indian Colonel Sudheer Chammoli had given a month-long leave to the soldiers whose families were affected by the quake right after the disaster struck. According to Gurung, over 100 Nepali Gorkha soldiers left for home from LoC. They were mostly from Dhading, Nuwakot, Gorkha, Tanahu, Syanjha, Gulmi and Palpa.

Subedar Shahi, who hails from Dehradun, is a part of the group that has been helping out with relief works. He says the soldiers share the same feeling of happiness and sadness with the Nepali people. “We will stay here for five more days and then move back to the Gorkha regiment headquarters in Jaipur, Rajasthan, or our duty station in Jambu, Kashmir, (LoC),” he says.

Published: 08-05-2015 09:23

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