The Proof that Even Older Gurkhas Do Want to Learn English to Help them Integrate Better in UK
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These pictures were taken by our photographer Mr. Milan Tamu at Nepalese restaurant Nirmaya Rodhi Ghar in the heart of Aldershot, Hampshire about two weeks ago and shows older Gurkha veterans and their spouses being taught English by a kind volunteer, in the restaurant's main dining area during its non-busy hours.
Even without recourse to a proper learning centre, designated English language tutor or learning materials, these Gurkha Nepalese residents in Aldershot -some of them in their twilight years- show that they do want to learn English to help them integrate better in UK.
Yet while it is heart-warming to notice that a local restaurateur could be so kind enough to continue allowing good use of his premises for the benefit of our venerable veterans group (although we would wish that his generosity be duly recognised), it is quite disheartening to learn that it is continuing in the same situation i.e. without proper learning facility, as highlighted by Gurkhas.com over a year ago.
If the veterans are happy with the arrangements (as the restaurant is so centrally-located), then so be it but if they have no other choice of environment in which to learn, then it would seem reasonable to request the Council to consider arrangement of a small shared contribution (between the learners and the Council) towards hall hire and English tutorial costs for these keen learners within the local area.
In recent times, gurkhas.com has been contacted by a number of local English volunteers from around Rushmoor who would also like to help the Gurkha Nepalese residents learn English; we have duly signposted them either to Naya Yuva group or the Maddat Samuha who are both doing great work to aid the integration of Gurkha Nepalese in Hampshire, including running English lessons.
When we had contacted the local council officer some time ago, she had kindly informed that around four different church groups within Rushmoor were also running English lessons for local Nepalese residents voluntarily, but that those were in smaller numbers.
So while we salute the determination of our venerable older people to learn a new language no matter what their age and enormous adversities, we do hope that their efforts are equalled by the council's consideration in aiding the process.