The Tiplyang Project was born of the friendship between three brave World Way II soldiers: Major James Rutherford Lumley, Honorary Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun VC, and Captain Michael Allmand VC. They served together in the 3rd Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles of the British Indian Army and fought in the 1944 Battle of Mogung in Burma, now Myanmar. Sadly, Michael Allmand was fatally injured in the battle; dying just two months shy of his 20th birthday. The soldiers’ Victoria Crosses are currently being displayed at the Gurkha Museum in Winchester.
Tul Bahadur Pun was born in Banduk, an isolated village with no school in the rural Myagdi District of Nepal. Pun received his formal education when he was recruited into the British Indian Army. On retiring from the army, Pun devoted his time & resources to establishing a primary school in Banduk so that the local children would benefit from schooling that he had received in the army. In 1982, he founded an additional school in the nearby village of Tiplyang.
After the death of their mother, Allmand’s nieces contacted Pun in Nepal to see whether they could make a financial contribution to his village in memory of their late mother and uncle. By this time, the school in Tiplyang had fallen into disrepair and Pun expressed his deep wish to rebuild the school. And so, in 2009 the sisters established The Hands Together Tiplyang Project and began fundraising for the project.
The well-known British Actress and daughter of Rutherford Lumley, Joanna Lumley, soon heard about the project and made a generous contribution in memory of her father. The Gurkha Welfare Trust, a foundation that provides financial, medical and development aid to Gurkha veterans and their communities, kindly offered its assistance and expertise. And so, in 2012, the new school was built by the people of Tiplyang under the Gurkha Welfare Trust’s expert guidance. The excellent new school was built to the highest standards with the latest earthquake defence technology to guarantee its longevity.
Since then, The Hands Together Tiplyang Project has continued to grow and develop in response to villagers’ needs and desires. Our work has expanded across the Myagdi district and we now work collaboratively with local leaders in several villages, including Banduk, Dosalle, Kafaldanda and Ghandruk.