Community raises over £1,280 to make local hero a British citizen

A COMMUNITY crowdfunding campaign has raised over £1,280 to fund a British citizenship application for Rajendra Chhetri, a 73-year old Knaphill resident for almost 50 years, who is renown for his civic work.

The online campaign had exceeded its funding target in less than a month, enabling Chhetri’s to start his application for British citizenship, following an outpouring of local sympathy for a man who has voluntarily contributed to the community in Woking and the wider Surrey area for almost 50 years.

Destined to be here: Community hero Rajendra Chhetri

Initiated by David Faulkner, minister of Knaphill Methodist Church, the fundraising saw an immediate response to Chhetri’s plight. His Nepalese passport renewal application was rejected by his native Nepal due to a change in policy, which had the potential to render him stateless, as he has been living in the UK on an indefinite leave to remain as a non-British passport holder.

Rajendra came to the UK in 1969 and went on to work as a mental health nurse for the NHS for 44 years. He says this also involved safeguarding the interests of patients and their carers even after they were discharged from the hospital, which made him more involved in the community. 

Meanwhile, he became heavily involved in work for the community and was the organiser, chairperson and host for Woking One World from 2000-2011, which involved participation by residents from a variety of different countries in the form of dances, stalls and art exhibition. The event was the forunner to Woking’s Party in the Park.

Even today, there’s no stopping Chhetri as he continues to volunteer for at least six organisations including Action for Carers and Farnborough Alzheimer Café.

For the full story get the 17 June edition of the News & Mail

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