HISTORY OF SCOUTING IN INDIA
History of Scouting
Genesis of scouting in the world:
The Boy Scout Movement took a start in the United Kingdom when Lord Baden Powell (Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden Powell) organised a Scout Camp at Brown sea Island on 1907 and the ‘Scouting for Boys’ was published in 1908. The movement spread quickly in United Kingdom and other countries of the world.
Scouting / Guiding in India before 1950:
The first Scout Troop in India, consisting of Indian Boys, was formed by a Scottish Missionary, in the Central Provinces (present Madhya Pradesh) in 1908. However, the troop was disbanded in 1910. The common confirmed date, however, for the start of Scouting in India is 1909, when three troops for British boys were started at Bangalore, Kirkee and Jabalpur.
This list of three Scout Troops increased to nine different Boy Scout Organisations in early 1911 in Shimla, Calcutta (present Kolkata), Jabalpur, Allahabad, Bangalore, Poona, Kirkee, Saidpur and Madras (present Chennai).
Efforts were made to merge all the Boy Scouts Organisations with the help and assistance of Lord Baden Powell in 1921. These efforts were partly successful. An endeavor was again made in 1937.
The Girl Guide movement got a start in India at Jabalpur (M.P.) In 1911. It expanded enormously. There were about 50 girl guide companies with a membership of over 1200 by 1915. There companies were directly registered with imperial scout headquarters, London, like other Scout organisation. But an All India Girl Guides Association was formed in 1916. Girl Guiding was restricted to British Girls till 1916.
Unification of Scouting and Guiding
There were scattered organisations during the pre-independence era. However, serious efforts made by leaders like Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the then Education Minister, Govt. of India, Mr. Mangal Das Pakwasa, the then Governor of C.P. and Scout Leaders like Dr. H. N. Kunzru, Pt. Sri Ram Bajpai, Justice Vivian Bose. Final merger took place on 7th November 1950 under the name of the Bharat Scouts & Guides. The Girl Guides Association joined the Bharat Scouts & Guides a year later in 15th August 1951.
The Bharat Scouts & Guides was housed in small rooms in Regal Building, Connaught Place, New Delhi. It shifted to its new building at 16, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, New Delhi in the year 1963 – 64.
The Bharat Scouts & Guides has extended since 1950 enormously in quantitative and qualitative terms.