ORIGIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SAINIK WELFARE & RESETTLEMENT

1.1 During the I World War the Indian Army fought in various theatres of war like North Africa, Italy, Burma, Indonesia and so on, far away from its home land. Most of the Indian soldiers were of rural back-ground and their wives were illiterate. Because of this the soldiers found it difficult to communicate with their families. The long absence of the soldiers from their homes and inadequate commnication system of those days created a restive situation on the home front. The necessity of looking after the families of the soldiers, to keep the moral of the troops high, was felt by the then British Indian Government. The Indian Soldiers Board was formed in 1917 to look after the welfare of the families of the serving soldiers. Later on with the expansion of the Royal Indian Navy and Royal Indian Aire Force, the Indian Soldiers Board was given the additional responsibility of looking after the families of Naval and Air Force personnel; hence the name of the Board was changed to Indian Soldeirs Sailors and Arimen`s Board.

1.2 The British adminstrators at Delhi felt that to look after the welfare of the families of serving defence personnel effectively, state level and district level Boards were a necessity. They directed all the States and Provinces to form State Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board (SSAB) at State Headquarters and District Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen`s (DSSAB) at District Headquarters. In all the provinces, which were directly under the British rule, (Class A and B States) District Boards were formed. But in big States ruled by Indian Rulers (Class C States) the Boards were not formed at District level. The Princely rulers reconciled to forming board at State Capitals only.

1.3 At the end of II World War, demobilisation of Indian Army took place. Considerable number of service personnel were released after short service in the Defence forces. For the resettlement of these demobilised defence personnel, Employment Exchanges were assisgned the responsibility in all the District Headquarters of the country. The responsibility of looking after the welfare of these ex-servicemen was given to Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Boards in addition to the welfare of serving defence personnel and their families. Certain funds were created for the welfare of ex-servicemen and these funds were placed at the disposal of the Indian Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board. Indian Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board was made responsible to lay down the policies for the welfare of the ex-servicemen. Similarly at State level the State Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s board was made responsible to lay down the policies for the welfare of ex-servicemen. It was also given the responsibility to advise the Government on matters relating to welfare of ex-servicemen. The District Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board was asked to look after the welfare of ex-servicemen at District level and to give effect to the policies laid down by Indian Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board and State Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen`s Board.

1.4 Initially when the District Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board was formed, the Secretary and the Staff of the Board were all Ex-servicemen, paid out of the funds of the Indian Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board and they were not Government servants.

1.5 Till the Chines aggression in 1962 the Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board organisation had a limited role to play. Between the II World War and the Chines aggression the defence forces increased gradually in strength. But immediately after the Chines aggression there was a sudden expansion in the strength of the defence forces. It was also felt that the Indian Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board which was looking after the welfare of the ex-servicemen, serving personnel and their families were not sufficiently geared up to look after the resettlement of ex-servicemen; hence Directorate General of Resettlement was formed under the Ministry of Defence . The Offices of the Indian Solders Sailors and Airmen`s Board was placed under the control of Director General Resettlement of administrative purposes. The Director General Resettlement was directed by the Government of India to streamline the Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board organisation and he was also given full responsibility of resettlement of exservicemen.
1.6 Before independence, Mysore State was being ruled by the Maharaja of Mysore. Most of the Mysore State Forces were located in Mysore city which was then the capital of the Mysore State. The Maharaja of Mysore started a Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board at Mysore to look after the welfare of the Mysore State Forces and the ex-servicemen of the Mysore State Forces. This board had jurisdiction over the entire Mysore. State.

1.7 The Resident, a British Administrator who was stationed at Bangalore, started a board at Bangalore for the troops under his control. In 1947 when India became independent, Mysore State was made a Part “B” state under the administration of the Maharaja of Mysore. The Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board at Mysore and Bangalore were made District Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Boards. The functions of the Mysore State Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board was taken over by a section of the Home Department in the Secretariat. In April 1953 when Andhara Pradesh was formed out of Hyderabad and some districts of Madras Province, Bellary district of Madras province was merged with Mysore State. The office of the Secretary, District Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board at Bellary was wound up at the time of amalgamation of Bellary district with Mysore State and the Scretary, District Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board at Bangalore was given the additional jurisdiction of Bellary district also.

1.8 On 01 November 1956 when the states were reorganised, four districts from Bombay province viz; Belgaum, Dharwad, Bijapur and North Kanara were merged with Mysore State. Each of these four districts had a District Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board in their district headquarters. The three districts of former Hyderabad state viz; Bidar, Gulbarga and Raichur, which also merged with Mysore State did not have any office of the District Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board. Thus, after reorganisation of States there were in all eight offices of the Secretary, District Soldier Sailors and Airmen`s Board in Mysore State. For adminstrative convenience the then niteen districts of Mysore State were reassigned to the eight existing Boards.

1.9 In 1963, Sainik Board organisation was made permanent and all the officials of the eight offices of District Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s were made government employees. In 1967, due to increased work load an independant office of the secretary, Mysore State Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board was created with a full time Secretary under the administrative control of the Home Department. The post of the Secretary, Mysore State Soldiers Sailors & Airmen`s Board was made minor Head of the Department. The Indian Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board was re-designated as Kendriya Sainik Board 1976 and the government of India requested all the States also to redesignate their Soldiers Sailors and Airmens Boards in a similar fashion. Accoridnlgy Mysore State Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board was redesignated as Karnataka Rajya Sainik Board and the District Soldiers Sailors and Airmen`s Board were redesignated as Zilla Sainik Boards. The entire set up was made into a Department known as Department of Sainik Welfare and Resettlement in 1980. The Secretary, Karnataka Rajya Sainik Board was in addition the Director, Department of Sainik Welfare & Resettlement and the Secretary, Zilla Sainik Board was in effect nominated as the Deputy Director, Department of Sainik Welfare and Resettlement.

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