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The Making of a Gurkha Soldier

Photographer: Narendra Shrestha

 

Thousands of Nepalese youths from across the country, aged between 17-21 years old, take part in an eight month-long private training programme in the Kaski district, preparing them for the demands of the British Gurkha soldier recruitment selection in Nepal.

 

The British Gurkha soldier recruitment selection process started on 23 November, and ran until the end of December 2012 at the British Gurkha camp situated in Pokhara City, Nepal. Around 125 youths will be selected from more than three thousands participants. Those selected will join the British Army, a selection which carries much prestige and admiration throughout Nepalese society.

 

Since 1947, the British government has been appointing Nepalese youths to British Army. There are 3,800 Gurkha soldiers currently serving with the British Armed forces. Britain has already granted residency rights in Britain for Gurkhas and their families during or after military service, whereas in Nepal, the parliamentary report committee prepared a policy bill to stop the enrolment of Gurkhas, as the recruitment of poor young Nepalese men to fight other country’s armed forces hurts Nepal’s national image. However, due to the current national political turmoil and parliament's dissolution last June, the report is still pending approval.