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Gorkha Sabha, Bakloh ( Estd in 1933) : One of the Oldest Gorkha Community Organization in India


The Gorkha Sabha, Bakloh is the Second Oldest Gorkha Community Organization of Himachal Pradesh was established in 1933. The Sabha for want of office space and patronage, after a year or so of existence, became dormant. In 1953 under the presidency of Honorary Lieutenant Babar Singh, SB, OBI, it was revived. In 2008, the Sabha celebrated its Platinum Jubilee. The oldest associations of Gorkhas in Dharamshala is the Himachal Punjab Gorkha Association, established in 1916.

Majority of the Gorkha pensioners in Bakloh are from the 4th Gorkha Rifles. The Gorkha Sabha, Bakloh, is a representative body of all Gorkhas in Bakloh, including Gorkha Ex-servicemen(ESM) and their dependents. The Gorkha Sabha, is a 'sister' organization of the Himachal Pradesh (HP) Gorkha Ex-Serviceman's Welfare Association, Bakloh. The Gorkha Sabha, Bakloh, has close relations with the Gorkha Sabha, Dharamshala, and the Himachal and Punjab Gorkha Association, Dharamshala, the only other Gorkha ESM welfare association in HP. The HP Gorkha Ex-Serviceman's Welfare Association, Bakloh, is registered with and part of the All India Ex-Serviceman's Welfare Association ( AIGEWA), Dehradun.

The first president was of the Gorkha Sabha Bakloh was Captain Ranu Thapa. The Gorkha Sabha since its inception in 1933 has had 19 Presidents. Subedar Major and Honorary Captain Gagan Singh, Gurung, was elected as President of the Sabha on 31 December 2011. He was succeeded in 2012 by Hony Lieutenant Vijay Kumar Gurung, 8 GR.

In 2013 the Gorka Sabha had 483 members. They belonged to 14 regiments and Corps of the Indian army as follows: 1 GR 30, 3 GR 5, 4 GR 374, 8 GR 10, 9 GR 4, 11 GR 5, Garhwal Rifles 2, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles 20, EME 4, Parachute regiment 5, Signal Regiment 3, Corps of Military police 2, and Intelligence Corps 5.


- The President of the Gorkha Sabha, Bakloh, as representative and voice of all gorkha pensioners and their dependents in Bakloh, interfaces with the regiment, 14 Gorkha Training Centre, the five battalions of the 4GR, and the 4 Gorkha Rifles Officers Association, UK.

- The President of the Gorkha Sabha, as head of all ex-servicemen in Bakloh, is responsible for taking up the causes and interests of the Bakloh pensioners and their dependents with the AIGEWA, and other civic and government bodies. The President of the Gorkha Sabha, attends the Annual General Body meeting of the AIGEWA, and participates in the election of its President.

- The Gorkha Sabha is also expected to represent the Regiment in Bakloh, and take care of its properties and interests. The Gorkha Sabha, Bakloh, receives assistance and grants from the 4 Gorkha Rifles, for the up keep of regimental properties in Bakloh

- The President of the Gorkha Sabha writes an annual report, titled News From Bakloh, which is published in the 4 Gorkha Rifles Officers Association News letter. The News from Bakloh usually carries a brief account of the work of the Gorkha Sabha, the activities of its members, and its concerns. In the News from Bakloh, for 2012, the President of the Sabha, noted that ‘ Bakloh has been forgotten’ by the regiment, and that "Bakloh is developing well day by day".

The Gorkha Sabha leadership has often been faulted for lack of leadership, particularly in motivating pensioners to participate in self-help community projects; mobilizing funds for its activities; and tardiness in the upkeep and securing of regimental properties. A former Commanding Officer of 2/4 Gorkha Rifles, in 2011, wrote, that his attempts in the 1980s to "improve the ‘conditions of ex servicemen'" did not make headway and that pensioners were "reluctant to tread fresh ground and were unwilling to undertake any projects." Another senior officer of the Regiment, in 2011, observed that the Gorkha Sabha is a divided house with "various stake holders (from different regiments pulling in different directions)", and that the "present avatar of Gorkha Sabha is mostly on a 'begging bowl mode'."


The Gorkha Sabha receives financial assistance from the Government of India for welfare activities which includes providing Stipends and scholarship to deserving dependents of ex servicemen; and conducting coaching classes and vocational training, in various fields. In addition it interfaces with respective record offices to resolve pension problems, secure financial assistance from the AIGEWA, and the Zila Sainik board in Chamba, and arrange to issue of canteen and ECHS smart cards.

Gorkha History of Himachal Pradesh
The settlement of the Gorkhas in Himanchal Pradesh has a history of nearly 250 years. Between 1803 and 1814, the Gorkha Empire included the swathe from Kangra to Srinagar. After nearly 12 years of rule here, under the treaty of Sugauli in 1815, Nepal had to cede Simla, Kumaun, Garhwal and all the low lands lying between the Chenab and the Sunkosh, north of the river Ganga. The majority of the Gorkhas settled in the district of Kangra, Dharamshala and Bakloh, near Dalhousie in Chamba district. These people cannot be categorized as migrants in any way since they merged into India with the lands they lived on. The 1st Gorkha Rifles was raised at Sabathu near Simla in 1815 and it was given a permanent location at Dharamshala.

The first regular settlement of the Gorkhas in Dharmashala is known to have taken place some time between 1879 and 1882. Gorkha army pensioners lived in Chilghari.At present, they have settled in many villages, such as Ramnagar, Shyamnagar, Dan, Sidh Ban, Sadar Ghaniyara, Yol, Dal, Tota Rani, Chandmani and Chani. About the earliest settlement of Gorkhas in Kangra district, it is said that some families settled in the village of Sahaura near Kangra during the seizure of the Kangra fort from 1805 to 1809. Many Gorkha families settled down in villages around Malaun fort after its fall, and one of the prominent families was that of the forefathers of Arjun Singh Bista, a former legislator from Nalagarh.

Himachal Punjab Gorkha Association, established in 1916. The main objective of the association was to render financial help to widows, orphans and destitutes, stipend to poor students, preservation of the Gorkha’s language and culture and seeking government assistance to benefit and create employment for the Gorkha pensioners.

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