Brief History of Nepalese Association of Wiltshire (NAW)
The 2006 - 2008 Period
The founding Executive Committee of the Nepalese Association of Wiltshire (NAW) was presided by Capt (Rtd) Santa Pun MBE, with the support of Secretary Mr Shyam Pun and Treasurer Mr Bigyan Sharma. During this period, the constitution of NAW was written to set fundamental principles of NAW and the organisation was registered with the Swindon Borough Council. On 9th February 2007, Mayor of Swindon, Councillor Mike Bawden hosted a reception for the representatives of NAW where the founding President Santa Pun presented a khukuri (Gurkha knife) to the Mayor on behalf of NAW. The khukuri is still on display at the Swindon Mayor’s office.
Founder President NAW
Maj Retd Santa Pun MBE
The 2008 - 2011 Period
The NAW Executive Committee of 2008-2010 was presided by Late Capt Khem Thapa, with support of Secretary Mr Dhan Bahadur Budhathoki and Treasurer Mr Maita Limbu. During the period, senior citizens forum was institutionalised to help organise and bring together older generations in Swindon. Swindon Cup was founded in 2008 and almost 28 football teams participated at the first Swindon Cup. Participation of Nepalese community in Swindon Mela was also initiated as a first step towards local involvement. Nepalese culture and diversity were showcased at the Mela
Late Capt Khem Thapa
The 2011 - 2012 Interim Period
As NAW mourned the death of President Khem Thapa, Mr Arjun Gurung was installed as an interim President, supported by Secretary Mr Dhan Bahadur Budhathoki and Treasurer Mr Maita Limbu. This short period saw the initiation of the democratic process of elections of NAW Executive Committee members.
Mr Arjun Gurung
The 2012 - 2014 Period
The NAW Executive Committee of 2012-2014 was presided by Mr Dhan Bahadur Budhathoki, with support of Secretary Mr Bhola Bikram Rai and Treasurer Mr Shyam Pun. During this period, Gurkha Integration Fund was secured from the Swindon Borough Council to continue institutionalising Senior Citizens forum by paying for the hall bookings for the entire period. The fund was also used to train professional CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) teachers with an aim of conducting English classes for Nepalese in Swindon. The NAW Housing Project was also commenced during this period.
Mr Dhan Bahadur Budhathoki
The 2014 - 2016 Period
The NAW Executive Committee of 2014-2016 was presided by Mr Rajankumar Chhetri, with support of Secretary Mr Khagendra Gauchan and Treasurer Mrs Kalpana Rai. During this period, weekly English language classes for adults and Nepali language classes for children were initiated. Page 4 of 4 ICT, computer and mathematics classes were also ran at regular intervals. Machine Readable Passport (MRP) for Nepalese in Swindon were arranged. The period also saw the commencement of International Women’s Day celebrations.
Mr Rjankumar Chhetri
The 2016 - 2018 Period
The NAW Executive Committee of 2016-2018 was presided by Mr Maita Kumar Limbu, with support of Secretary Mr Khagendra Gauchan and Treasurer Miss Manju Bura. During this period, the NAW newsletter series was initiated with a view of connecting the Nepalese community more widely. Membership cards for senior citizens were distributed during this period and English language classes were continued regularly.