In a Government Resolution dated 07 Sep 1919, The Government of India suspended the
functioning of the Central Recruiting Board and at its place a new Board was established
called the INDIAN SOLDIERS' BOARD to advise on matters affecting the interest of serving, discharged and deceased Indian Soldiers and non combatants and their dependents.
Due to steady expansion of the Navy and Air Force during the Second World War, the need for a single organization to perform the same functions in relation to all the three services was felt and the Board was consequently reconstituted in 1944.
In March 1951, it was renamed as the INDIAN SOLDIERS', SAILORS' and AIRMEN BOARD. The designation of the was changed to the KENDRIYA SAINIK BOARD at the Centre and RAJYA SAINIK BOARD and ZILLA SAINIK BOARD at State and district level in 1975.
The Board now functions under Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare in the Ministry of Defence vide Government of India Notification No, 1m No, 10(02)/I/D (Res.)/2007 dated 29 Jan, 2009
Though welfare of the Ex-Servicemen and their dependents is the joint responsibility of the Centre and the States/UTs, majority
of the problems have to be resolved only by the States/UTs. To assist the State Governments in this regard, there are 32 Rajya Sainik Boards and 385 Zila Sainik Boards in the country. The expenditure on establishment of RSBs & ZSBs
is shared between the Centre and the States/UTs on 75:25 basis for the special category States (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland
, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh) and 60:40 basis for rest of the States. Like the Kendriya Sainik Board at the Centre, the Rajya/Zila Sainik Boards
are rsponsible for policy formulation and implementation of resettlement and welfare schems for Ex-Servicemen, widows and their dependents residing in their respective States/UTs.
HISTORY OF RAJYA SAINIK BOARD, SIKKIM
During the World War II there was a call for all Sikkimese to join Indian Army to fight against the disruptive forces of goodwill and peace. Many
responded to the call and joined the active service. Several years of devoted service and sacrifices of thousands of men fighting in the East from Burma, Singapore and in Japan itself,
to the west towards Africa, Italy and whole of Europe finally brought the most brutal fighting ever seen by manking to the end with victory to the Allied forces.
Colonel RW Crampin, C.L.O, on a visit to Sikkim after the War, spoke regarding the object of his visit and expressed his satisfaction regarding contribution
of Sikkim in its war effort in the last Global War in which he said that the Heir Apparent of Sikkim Royal family, Prince Palzor Namgyal was the first Prince of the
Princely order to volunterr in the Air Force and to sacrifice his life for the cause of the Allies.
"Post war Reconstruction Scheme"
It may be recalled that after the end of WW-II, many Gorkha Soldiers were released and sent home while they were still young without pension and many came back home
with battle honours, Gallantry awards and war medals after completing thier terms of engagement as pensioners.
While at the same time, there were young widows and their children left out without any bread earners to fend them. It was in fact, a critical phase in the
history of our Armed forces during and after British rule that such a magnitude of resettlement problem of our retired/released soldiers including the widows was ever
experienced. Similar was the case in Sikkim also. We will never know as to how many og them could really sustain the brutal aftermath of that war. Even today, we find old
soldiers of 1942-45 vintage with war torn wrinkled faces reminding us og the famous inscriptions at War memorial - Kohima;
"When you go home, tell them of us. For your
tomorrow, we gave our today"
The "Post war - Reconstruction scheme" was promulgated by the Government of India with the aim of Proper resettlement and to look after these gallant sons of soil. That
was the time when the Government of India started considering formation of Soliders' Board.
Re-Organization of Gurkha Battalions immediately after World War II
It should be known to all of us that several Gurkha Battalions were raised and trained for a very short time at various places like Varanasi, MHOW, Pune, Nagpur, Dehradun Abotabad, Sialkot, Rahimyar-Khan
etc and were mobilized to Eastern sector to strengthen the war effort against Japan and to the far western sector to Africam Italy and Britain to fight against Germay. Once the war ended, there was a large
surplus personnel on the roll for which the Government had to do something. The Government of British India decided on the following actions:-
Some of the Battalions were told to move to faraway places outside India to be placed under Britain for which volunteers were asked to raise their hands. Many of them
did not opt to go. The main reason was that, in those days, it was believed that crossing over ocean was considered inauspicious.
Once the selected Batallions move under British control, their pay & salaries will be the same as were paid at that time in India. So, while volunteering, they were to give the undertakings accordingly. The implications were not
easily inferred by the simple soldiers that time. Therefore, many opted and raised their hands.
Those who did not opt, were released by giving a lump-sum amount without the provision of pension. These personnel were called "Reservist".
The implication of the terms and conditions laid down as above were understood much later and these were:-
The Soldiers who opted to go with the Batallion under Britain started getting lesser pay compared to the British units because of the Pound - Rupee exchange value.
British Government got away easily by paying cash in lump-sum to those "Reservist" leaving no further burden of paying life time
pension from British coffers.
Those who came home as Reservist on release order, were generally having on an average, 4 to 6 years of service but they had been under tremendous war activities of the magnitude that we, the
soldiers of today have never experienced. So, with the lesser service length, lesser lump-sum amount was given which got exhausted quickly after release. Therefore, we can now understand the
plight of retired/released life these war heroes had to undergo. The condition of widows amd children of course, is not worth imagining/explaining at this juncture.
Formation of "Sikkim Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmens' Board (SSS & A Board)"
The concept of formation of a Soldiers' Board was visualized immediately after WW-II. Under the chairmanship of Mr. A J Hopkins Esqr, CIE, ICS the then Political Officer in Sikkim,
"Soldiers', Sailors', and Airmen's Board" was formed on 25 September 1946 at Gangtok.
The Board continued to function by this Designation till 1974. It also had a small Hostel for the wards of ESM to study in various schools in Gangtok.
The Board is popularly known amongst the public as "Soldiers Board".
The S.S.S & A Board was re-designated as Rajya Sainik Board in the year 1974.
25 September is the Raising Day of Rajya Sainik Board.