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Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
Outlook.com

Balachadians To Their Core

Nawanagar saved their lives. The Poles show they have not forgotten.

Balachadians To Their Core
Balachadians To Their Core
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Nothing of the old Balachadi camp site stands, except for two water tanks, a banyan tree and, at a distance, the summer house of the Jam Saheb. The entire campsite is now part of a 300-acre Sainik school. Whatever remained of the barracks where the Polish kids were housed came down during the earthquake that struck the area in 2002. Human memories are few too: The local villagers and doctors who knew the children have all passed away.

However, there are two plaques, one big and one small, that tell an ongoing story. The big plaque, cast in bronze, with a mother and two children, one in her arm and one at her feet, symbolises mother India, dealing with her own problems, yet not shying away from tending to a Polish child. Sculpted by a Pole, Z. Korpalski, it was unveiled in 1989 when the Polish president visited India. Behind the gesture was the Jamnagar Club, formed in the late 1970s by former Balachadians, now scattered across the globe. They met once in two years and later merged with the Indo-Polish Friendship Society. The smaller...

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