On 25 March 1919, BOMBAY SOLDIERS’ BOARD was established vide Government of Bombay, War Related Department Order No 1061, with the aim to look after the welfare of Ex-servicemen. The functions of this board were as follows: -

  • Formulations and maintenance of district records of war services.
  • To make publicity of Cental & State Govt Schemes and distribute the grant to soldiers.
  • To resettle the Ex-servicemen on priority for employment in Govt./Non Govt Services.
  • To resettle the Ex-servicemen through self employment.
  • Complete rehabilitation of War Widows and other widows.
  • Rehabilitation of wounded, incapacitated soldiers.
  • Safeguarding the general interest of soldiers while on active service.
  • To remain in constant liaison with the Military authorities to resolve the socio economic problems of ex-servicemen arising due to reduction in strength.
  • To collect the Flag Day Fund through population for benevolent schemes to soldiers
  • The Secretary of War Related Department, Government of Bombay was appointed as the Chairman of the Board, and the Secretary Resettlement Committee was appointed as Secretary of the board. Some civilians were also appointed as members of the Board. Initially, 16 personnel were sanctioned for the board.

    In a Government Resolution dated 07 Sep 1919, the then Government of India suspended the functioning of the Central Recruiting Board and in its place a new Board was established called the Indian Soldiers’ Board. The board was to advise on matters concerning the interest of serving, discharged and deceased Indian Soldiers and Non-Combatants and their dependents.

    Due to the steady expansion of the Navy and the Air Force during the Second World War, the need for a single organization to perform the same functions in relations to those services as well as Army was felt and the Board was consequently reconstituted in April 1944.

    On 24 July 1950, the Govt. of Bombay, vide Resolution No SD II/329 dated 24 Jul 1950 appointed a full time Secretary to the Board.

    Consequent to re-organization of Indian States on the linguistic basis, the Bombay State was re-named as Maharashtra State, and accordingly this department was later re-named as Maharashtra State Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen’s Board, which was later re-designated as Department of Sainik Welfare, Maharashtra State, with its Secretary as Director.

    Brief chronologies of change of titles, pertaining to Centre, State and district Sainik boards are given as follows: -

      Date of Change Centre State District
      March 1951 Indian Soldiers,Sailors’ and Airmen’s Board State Soldiers,Sailors’ and Airmen’s Board District Soldiers Sailors’ and Airmen’s Board
      November 1975 Kendriya Sainik Board Rajya Sainik Board Zilla Sainik Board
      November 1983 Kendriya Sainik Board Department of Sainik Welfare Zilla Sainik Welfare Office
      2003 Ministry of ESM Welfare(Separate Secretary) Department of Sainik Welfare (Minister & State Minister) Zilla Sainik Welfare Office

    On 08 March 1966 the State Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Board and 18 District Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Board were declared as State Government Offices and the staff employed in these offices as State Government Servants. Thereafter 12 new Zilla Sainik Welfare Offices in 14 districts (2 combined offices for Parbhani-Nanded and Bhandara-Gondia districts) and 3 Zilla Sainik Welfare Cell for Hingoli, Gadchiroli & Nandurbar district were formed. The salaries and allowances were borne by the Central Government (MOD) and State Government on 60:40 % basis.

    The welfare of the ex-servicemen and their dependents is the joint responsibility of the Centre and State, however majority of the problems will have to be resolved only by the States. To assist the Government in this regard, there are 32 Rajya Sainik Boards/Department of Sainik Welfare Offices in the country. Like the Kendriya Sainik Board at the Centre, the Rajya/Zilla Sainik Boards are advisory bodies in respect of the policy formulation with regard to resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen residing in States/Districts. However, the implementation of various resettlement and welfare schemes is carried out through Department of Sainik Welfare in States and Zilla Sainik Welfare Offices at Districts.

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