Berkshire

Retired Gurkha joined by daughter in Reading

The 25-year-old daughter of a Gurkha who retired to Reading last year has been given a visa to join him.

Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 with at least four years' service won the right to settle in the UK in 2009.

However, only their children aged under 18 are also automatically given the right to live in the country.

But Prem Bahadur Sunwar's daughter Pushpar Sunwar has now been given a UK visa after a campaign by Reading-based charity The Forgotten British Gurkha.

It campaigned to allow her to come to the UK to look after her father and paid for her flight.

Mr Sunwar, 75, has been struggling to cope with his new life in the UK.

The former Gurkha, whose name means "brave man", lost his hearing in the 1960s Borneo campaign.

In Britain he receives a better pension than he would in Nepal.

However, as a deaf pensioner with limited English he has found life in Reading difficult.

'People cheated him'

Ms Sunwar told South Today: "My father is a really old man, and he cannot do anything."

Retired Gurkha Gyanraj Rai, a driver for Reading Buses, has been helping Mr Sunwar since he came to the UK.

He said: "Her father was unable to cross the road.

"When he wanted to do shopping people cheated him because he couldn't hear anything."

Image caption Pushpar Sunwar will now join her father to help him cope with life in Reading

The Forgotten British Gurkha founder Peter Beckinsale said: "Prem came to the UK for medical help and to improve his pension.

"Having got here he found he was almost helpless as he was deaf, spoke only five or 10 words of English and communicated in Nepalese sign language.

"Pushpar will be his ears and eyes and his voice."

The chairman of The Forgotten British Gurkha, Peter Beard, said more work needed to be done so that Gurkhas were given equal rights.

"We need to persuade the Ministry of Defence that the Gurkhas have fought for this country, so they should have equal pension rights.

"At the moment they get about a third of the pension that a British soldier would get on retirement."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites