British military charities being swamped by penniless Gurkhas seeking residence

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London, Jan 6(ANI): British military charities are being swamped by Gurkhas and their families arriving in the country to take up the offer of residence made by the Government after a campaign led by actress Joanna Lumley.

About half a dozen Gurkhas and their families have been arriving every day to settle in Britain and up to 12,000 are expected to apply for settlement over the next three years, but the military charities warned that they were arriving with little money and nowhere to stay.

"Many of them have come down from the hills in Nepal after the end of the festivals and have then gone to their landowners to borrow money for flights and visas to London," The Times quoted Annabelle Fuller, official of the Army Benevolent Fund, as saying.

"They are arriving with no money and huge debts and no idea about the circumstances here in the UK, and they are coming to us for help. The Ministry of Defence warned that this would happen, but when the campaign was running all the media focus was on the rights of the Gurkhas to settle in Britain," he added.

Fuller further said that the Gurkhas were not going to Kathmandu, the capital, where the Ministry of Defence has set up a resettlement office to provide information about life in Britain, including the difficulty of finding jobs and the cost of renting accommodation.

"Instead they're getting into huge debt by borrowing money using their pensions as collateral, and arrive at Heathrow with nothing," Fuller said. (ANI)

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