We’re in the army now!


This is not just some fitness fad that has taken over the Pokhareli girls. You might probably think so seeing 200 girls exercising at the Pokhara stadium every morning. But these are British Army hopefuls.

Following the recent British Army decision to recruit Nepali girls in the British Army, the Pokhareli girls have been excitedly taking necessary trainings as preparation. For the first time in 200 years, the British Army has decided to recruit Nepali girls.

The girls who are taking part in the trainings are mostly those who have family members in the army — either the British Army or the Indian Army.

One such hopeful is Mamata Gurung from Bhandardhik, Lekhnath municipality, whose grandfather was in the British Army and father in the Indian Army.

“I have always wanted to be in the army. I have applied to be in the British Army because of family influence,” she said.

As a trial only 20 girls will be recruited in the British Army this year. The criteria to be eligible for selection are that the candidate should be at least 17-and-half years of age, and should have passed the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examination.

Mamata, who has just turned 18, is confident about being selected and so is Soni Gurung from Ram Bazaar, Pokhara.

Soni said that she would be selected if the selection process is fair.

Eager to join the British Army, Soni said, “I am undergoing training as I always wanted to join army. My father is in Indian army and brother in Singapore.”

Pokhara’s Manish Rana said she was undergoing training as she feels that it would be better to try out for the British Army now than remained unemployed later.

Ram Prasad Gurung of the Ex-Army Education Foundation Centre said that the number of girls undergoing training for the British Army tryouts has increased tremendously after the news regarding the recruitment was published. This being the first time the centre is training 72 girls free of cost.

Gurung said that the girls wouldn’t have to go to battlefield but would be placed for in official work and security purposes.

Britain will be recruiting Nepali girls from 2009 on a regular basis.