BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BHARAT SCOUTS & GUIDES
The Scouting Movement was conceptualized as far back as 1890 by Lord Baden Powell and the first Scout Camp was organized in 1907. Initially, Scouting was a movement intended for the benefit of British boys. In or around the year 1911, a corresponding movement was started for girls and came to be known as the Guide Movement. In India, the Scouts Movement started in 1909 and the Guide Movement in 1911. The Scouts and Guides movement in India has an illustrious history. The movement initially started under different names and different provinces in India such as the Sewa Samiti Scouts Association, The All India Boys Scouts etc. several stalwarts of various fields of public life in India have been associated with the Scouts and Guides movements in India in different points of time. Some of the public figures actively associated with the movement including Mr. Vivian Bose, Dr. Annie Besant, Dr. G.S. Arundale, Shri V.K.Krishna Menon, Shri S.V. Kamat, Sri K.B. Godrej, Mr. Rustomji, Dr. Mohan Singh Mehta, Shri Janaki Saran Verma, Pandit H.N. Kunzru, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, Mr. Justice M. Hidayatullah, etc.
That at the time of independence, there are mainly 2(two) boys Scouts Associations, namely, “Boys Scouts Association” and “Hindustan Scouts Association”, and one All India Girl Guide Association. Efforts were made by Lord Baden Powell, the Founder of the Movement, at the instance of Lord Chelmsford, the then Viceroy of India, in 1920-21 and again in 1937-38 to unify different Associations. Efforts could not be succeed because the Indian Associations could not owe allegiance to the Crown as desired by the then regime. After the independence of the country incessant efforts were made by the National Leaders of the time like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India. On 29th May 1948, an informal meeting was conducted and presided over by the then Education Minister, Mr. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. It was stressed that Scout/Guide organization be free of any taint of political or communal partisanship and there would be unification of the movement. Ultimately, after a long discussion, representatives of the two pioneer associations, existing at that time, decided to set up a committee with Dr. Tarachand, Secretary, Ministry of Education as Chairman and Commander G.H. Nicholla, Deputy Private Secretary to the Governor General as a Member to work out the details of the amalgamations.
3. That the name of the organization was evolved and agreed upon after many deliberations. The Constitution of India has accepted the name “Bharat” as an alternative name of India. It was, therefore, agreed that the merged organization would be registered under the name “Bharat Scouts & Guides” to form a singly National Scouts and Guides Movement. The merger had the blessings of the late Chief Guides Lady Baden Powell. The merged organization’s new name came to be registered and incorporated under the name and style of Bharat Scouts and Guides on 6th November, 1950 under the Societies Registration Act (Act XXI of 1860). The merger of two organizations came into effect on 7th November, 1950. The amalgamation was pursuant to a meeting convened under Societies Registration Act dated 24th October, 1950. (A Photocopy of the certificate of Registration is enclosed herewith as Annexure-1). The All India Girl Guide Association merged with the Bharat Scouts and Guides later in August, 1951.
4. The Bharat Scouts & Guides is the largest voluntary, non-political, uniformed Youth Organization and educational Movement in the Country working in the field of character building of the young boys and girls, without any distinction of caste, creed and religion. While, there were several Scout Organizations and a separate Girl Guide Association functioning in India during the pre-independence era. The Bharat Scouts & Guides came into existence on November 7, 1950 as a single joint Organization of Scouts as well as Guides. This could happen as a consequence of merger of Boy Scouts Association of India, Hindustan Scouts Association and the Girl Guides Association under the guidance of the then the leaders of the country like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr. H.N.Kunzru, Justice Hidyatullah, Sir Vivian Bose and many other stalwarts. The Bharat Scouts & Guides is recognized by the World Organisation of Scout Movement (WOSM) and World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
5. The Bharat Scouts & Guides was internationally recognized in December 1950 pursuant to Circular to Circular No. 40 of 1950 of the Boys Scouts International Bureau and in April, 1954 when the Bharat Scouts and Guides became a member of the World Association o Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Prior to this affiliation, the All India Girl Guides Association was a member of the world body. It is pertinent to mention that more than 160 Counties are members of the International Scouts body i.e. World Organization of Scout Movement (WOSM) and approximately 140 Countries are members of the International Guide body i.e. World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). (A Photocopy of the Circular No. 40 of 1950 is enclosed herewith as Annexure-II).
6. At the international level, there is only one body for Scouts namely “World Organisation of Scouts Movement” with its headquarters at Geneva (Switzerland) and one body for Girl Guides, namely, “World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts” with its headquarters at London in Great Britain. As per the rules of the said two apex bodies, only one national body from affiliated countries is recognized and admitted as a member. Thus, the Bharat Scouts & Guides is the only recognized body by the said two international bodies in India.
7. The Movement of Scouting and Guiding is internationally recognized. The movement has the universal Motto “ Do your Best” for Cubs & Bulbuls ranging from the age group 05-09 years, “Be Prepared” for Scouts & Guides ranging from the age group 10-16 Years and “Service” for Rovers & Rangers ranging at the age group 16-25 years. In India, almost 46 State Associations including Union Territories, 9 Indian Railway Zones, Scout/Guides Associations of the Kendriya Vidhyalaya Sangathan and those of the Navodaya Vidhalaya Samiti are all affiliated and members of the Bharat Scouts & Guides. The Bharat Scouts & Guides has district units in different countries where Indian Schools are functioning including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Sultanate of Oman. The Central Tibetan Administration Schools are also having Scout/Guide Unit which are affiliated to the Bharat Scouts & Guides.
8. The Bharat Scouts & Guides is engaged in the task of developing the personality of the youth and canalizing their energies into the task of National resurgence. The Scouts and Guides are seen working with dedication and commitment to serve the community. The membership of the Bharat Scouts & Guides today touches all time record of over 50 lakhs Scouts & Guides. We are the third largest in the world in the number of Scouts and second largest in the number of Guides.
9. The representatives of the Bharat Scouts and Guides have represented and have attended various World events and Conferences and earned laurels for the Country. The Bharat Scouts and Guides has been honoured with “PEACE MESSENGER AWARD” by the UNO in 1987, “HABITAT AWARD” in 1990 and “INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL INTEGRATION AWARD” in 1987. The stalwarts like late Mrs. Lakshmi Mazumdar the then National Commissioner and Sardar Lakshman Singh have been the recipients of “PADMA SHREE” and “PADMA VIVHUSHAN” respectively.
The Bharat Scouts & Guides Movement provides youth programme, Adult Leader Training, Adventure activities and International level programmes etc. to our young people.
The Movement is providing different level activities in different sections like Cub/Bulbul, Scout/Guide and Rover/Ranger. We organize many National Level Programmes in a year where about one lakh young people are getting training in different aspects. Besides these, the young people are trained at unit level, group level, district level and State level.
We provide training for Adults, Unit Leaders, Leaders of Adults (Commissioners, Secretaries, Organizers etc at National Level in our well established Training Centres. Our National Training Centre is situated at Pachmarhi (M.P), National Youth Complex at Gadpuri, Dist-Palwal, Haryana and National Training Cum Camping Complex at New Ashok Nagar, Delhi. About 15,000 Adult Leaders are trained in a year in these training centres. Besides these, Adult Leaders are trained in different States in their established training centers by the States also.
We have a well-established National Adventure Instiute at Pachmarhi (M.P) where good infrastructure is available for adventure programmes. We conduct 10 days and 07 days adventure programmes to all categories of young people. In addition to this, we conduct one International Adventure Programme every year. More than 5000 young people are undergoing our Adventure Programme every year from all parts of the Country.
We conduct National Jamborees once in every 04 (Four) years. About 25000 Scouts and Guides with their leaders are attending the Jamboree. Till date 16th National Jamboree, 01 SAARC Jamboree ad 03 Special National Jamborees were conducted. The last 16th National Jamboree was conducted at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh in the year 2011 and the next 17th National Jamboree is scheduled to be conducted in the year 2015.
NATIONAL INTEGRATION CAMPS:
We organize National Integration Camp all over the country regularly to bring Scouts and Guides of different States and Regions to be closer at each other and know each other’s culture and tradition and inculcate a feeling of one ness and promote a feeling of National Integration among the young people. The Special National Integration Camp under the theme “Messenger of Peace” was conducted at our National Youth Complex, Gadpuri during 2011 where a large contingent of Scouts & Guides from Pakistan Boy Scout Association participated with the contingent from Bharat Scouts & Guides from all over the Country and similarly, in 2012 a Contingent from Bharat Scouts & Guides participated in the Integration Camp under the same theme at Islamabad, Pakistan.
We depute many Scouts, Guides, Rovers, Rangers and Adult Leaders to various International Events, Conferences, Workshops, Seminar etc. We organized the prestigious 20th ASIA PACIFIC REGIONAL SCOUT CONFERENCE in Delhi 2001, which was a grand success. We have conducted SAF CAMP at our National Youth Complex during 2010 in which participants from all the SAARC Countries participated. We also conducted the ASIA PACIFIC LEADER TRAINERS COURSE at our National Training Centre, Pachmarhi in M.P. Besides these, we have been conducting APR MANAGEMENT COURSES in India. Recently, we have conducted ASIA PACIFIC REGIONAL COMMUNITY BASED SCOUTING at New Delhi in September 2012.
AWARD AND RECOGNITION:
The Rashtrapati Scout/Guide/Rover/Ranger which is the highest National Award being awarded to the outstanding Scouts, Guides, Rover and Rangers and presented by His Excellency the President of India every year in Rashtrapati Scout/Guide/Rover/Ranger Rally held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan since 1961. This has been continuously done till 2011. President of India has been the Chief Patron of the Bharat Scouts & Guides from 1950 from the period of the then first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasadji. We have awards for our Adult Leaders also to recognize their valuable and selfless services.
We have Community-oriented competitions like Prime Ministers’ Shield and Upa-Rashtrapati Award Competitions for Scouts/Guides/Rovers/Rangers respectively. These competitions help us to encourage our young people to do the community service projects, which bring the Scout & Guide Movement closer to the community, and fulfill the Scout/Guide promise of helping others.
RECOGNITION TO BHARAT SCOUTS AND GUIDES:
Bharat Scouts and Guides is well known and recognized at the National Level and International Level for promoting peace, harmony, Sadbhavana and National Integration. As the third largest organization in Scouting and second largest in Guiding in the World, the Bharat Scouts and Guides was the proud recipients of “UNITED NATIONS PEACE MESSENGER AWARD” in the year 1987 and “INDIRA GANDHI AWARD FOR PEACE AND NATIONAL INTEGRATION” in the year 1998.