Biographical Sketch of Nanak Chand Kamboj
Nanak Chand Kamboj was one of the best-known community worker in the Kamboj’s. He was one of the founder members of All India Kamboj Mahasabha and he was also instrumental in building the organization across India over the last three decades. He contributed greatly to the Kamboj community’s meteoric rise and was a strong pillar and’s greatest visionaries who has worked to unite the Kamboj community across the globe by sharing his wisdom.
He was the founder of Rising Kamboj Association, Green Chowdhary Association, and Navyuvak Kamboj Sabha.
Early Childhood and Education of Nanak Chand Kamboj
Nanak Chand was born on 8th December 1944, into a Kamboj family of Jamma Ram (father) and Jeewani Bai (mother), in Montgomery district, Punjab province of Undivided India, in what is now Pakistan.
Nanak Chand lost his father early in his life while he was only four months old. Nanak Chand was an only child.
After the Partition, he moved to Gidrawali, Tehsil Abohar, and District Fazilka with his mother and maternal family.
His mother Jeewani Bai was folk of limited means and raised Nanak Chand – with all what she had then. Despite being the son of a farmer, his mother pushed him to go to school in the nearby village – Diwan Khera for education. Nanak Chand showed great interest in formal education; he grew up to be a hardworking, intelligent and tenacious young man. Even as a teenager, Nanak Chand showed a great deal of skill in history and literature, and started helping his impoverished family. After completing his initial five years of education at the Diwan Khera, he went to Maujgarh to study further. Through an academically brilliant student, Nanak Chand also displayed exceptional leadership skills.
Nanak Chand Kamboj also founded All India Kamboj Mahasabha and remained a dominant figure in the community until his death in August, 2016. Nanak Chand’s rags-to-riches story remains one of the most retold legends of Kamboj community and is an inspiration to the youth of this community.
He was married to Saroj Kamboj on 11th May, 1973 and he has three sons – Vikram Kamboj, Deepak Kamboj and Navneet Kamboj. His wife Saroj is a housewife and fully supported his community endeavours. With the grace of Almighty God and well wishes of all near and dears all his sons are well settled in their life, he has in his family – 3 Grand Sons and 3 Grand Daughters.
Nanak Chand Kamboj’s Early Career
Nanak Chand Kamboj grew up in Gidrawali, receiving his education first at Government Primary School Gidrawali and later at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, one of India’s most prestigious colleges.
He received the Three Years Diploma in electrical engineering from the Haryana State Board of Technical Education, Roorkee, India, in 1967, and the Diploma in Rice Process Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Kharagpur, India, in 1999.
Initially, for about two years from 1964, he worked as a teacher but ultimately accepted the engineering profession as his career.
He also started contributing articles on Hindi literature to various periodicals and won a lot of awards and recognition.
Starting his engineer career at Delhi, In 1969 he joined the Food Corporation of India, as an Engineer-In-Charge, became an Assistant Manager (Electrical) in 1975, became a Deputy Manager (Electrical) in 1984 and finally, he retired from Food Corporation of India on 31st December 2004.
Working for Kamboj Community
Nanak Chand Kamboj is renowned for his social work done for the Kamboj Community. He is working for the Kamboj community from his childhood at the age of 10. When he was young, he had formed the Rising Kamboj Association, Green Chowdhary Association and Navyuvak Kamboj Sabha.
All India Kamboj Maha Sabha
The All India Kamboj Maha Sabha was initially formed in the year of 1969 under the convenorship of Nanak Chand Kamboj on the occasion of Tomba Mela at Kudsia Ghat, Yamuna river near Tibetan Temple, Delhi and later on, the election of the Maha Sabha was conducted at Kapal Mochan Mela, Bilaspur, Haryana on November 28, 1974 and registered with the Registrar of Firms & Societies Delhi on February 10, 1994 vide Registration no. S/25479 of 1974. As Nanak Chand was a central government employee, he decided not to take the president post of All India Kamboj Mahasabha.
Ch. Karta Ram Kamboj of Delhi, was the first President and Nanak Chand Kamboj, was the first General Secretary of All India Kamboj Maha Sabha and both worked continuously on the same posts up to August 2005. Unfortunately, Ch. Karta Ram Kamboj, President of Maha Sabha expired on August 25, 2005. Sardar Joginder Singh Thind, Senior Vice President expired on September 9, 2005. Shri Hardyal Singh Kamal, Vice President of Maha Sabha expired on August 18, 2006. The death of these office bearers of All India Kamboj Maha Sabha created a big vacuum in the Maha Sabha.
After the death of Ch. Karta Ram Kamboj, Nanak Chand Kamboj was nominated by the National Executive Committee as Acting President of All India Kamboj Maha Sabha and subsequently was authorised to arrange the election of the National Executive Committee.
The election of All India Kamboj Maha Sabha was conducted on July 22, 2007, at Amar Ashram Patiala. In the election, Nanak Chand Kamboj was unanimously re-elected as National President of All India Kamboj Maha Sabha and Gian Singh Kamboj as General Secretary. He was National President of All India Kamboj Maha Sabha till his last breath.
Shaheed Udham Singh Samarak Dharamshala, Delhi
With the sincere efforts of Nanak Chand Kamboj, a separate body “Shaheed Udham Singh Kamboj Samarak Trust (Regd) Delhi” was formed in the year 1970 at the occasion of Tomba Mela for the construction of Shaheed Udham Singh Samarak Dharamshala in 984 square meters plot allotted by Delhi Administration at Shalimar Bagh Delhi. The foundation stone of the same was laid on 26th Dec 1981 by Shri N. R. Lashkar Hon’ble Health Minister Govt. of India in the presence of Ch. Des Raj, Education Minister Haryana and the construction was completed within 4-5 years. Free kitchen / free langar & other living facilities have since been provided for travelers / visitors.
Dr. Kamboj – Social work by helping patients
In mid-eighties, Sawai Man Singh Hospital was famous for Laparoscopic removal of stone in the ureter or kidney and people of our community from Punjab and Haryana used to come here for the treatment. Nanak Chand was posted here at Jaipur. He along with his wife Saroj Kamboj visiting these patients in Sawai Man Singh Hospital and helping them with food and accommodation. Most of the doctors, nurses and ward boys were familiar with Nanak Chand and his wife. He was famously known as Dr. Kamboj.
Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Bhawan Society, Chandigarh
He was also instrumental in the construction of Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Bhawan Society at Chandigarh.
Brought ashes of Shaheed Udham Singh from London
With the vigorous efforts of All India Kamboj Maha Sabha, the remains and ashes of Shaheed Udham Singh from London to his native place Sunam were brought through Government of Punjab and Govt. of India to Delhi on 19th July 1974 and thereafter these ashes were taken to Sunam on 31st July 1974 as per his last wishes for cremation as per his last wishes and befitting receptions in a glorious way in very huge processions at various places in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab & Uttar Pradesh were accorded. The rites of cremation were performed at Sunam on 31st July, 1974 and later on, the ashes were emerged in the waters of river Sutlej at Kiratpur Sahib in Punjab on 2nd August 1974 and were emerged on 3rd August 1974 in the waters of River Ganga at Har-Ki-Pauri Haridwar in UP and were buried at Roza Sharif Sirhind in Punjab on 21st August 1974. The reception of remains/ ashes was arranged at Kapurthala House, New Delhi by All India Kamboj Maha Sabha after a joint meeting with a cabinet of Punjab Govt. & two cars & one bus of office bearers of All India Kamboj Maha Sabha (Regd) Delhi remained along with the processions from Delhi to Sunam and thereafter form Sunam to Haridwar during the processions, thousands handbook & pamphlets on the life of National Hero Udham Singh were also distributed.
Indo-Cambodia Friendship and Cultural Association
He became the Convener of Indo-Cambodia Friendship and Cultural Association under the chairmanship of Swami V. Dharamveera, Ashoka Mission, Mehrauli, New Delhi.
All India Kamboj Mahasabha and The Royal Cambodian Family: The All India Kamboj Mahasabha meeting held in 1952 was specially attended by Swami Dharam-Wong, the Acharya and Royal Guru of young Cambodian Prince, Norodom Sihanouk. Again, Rajguru Swami Dharama Wong especially visited Punjab to attend the Memorial Fair in honour of Shaheed Udham Singh at Sunam on March 27, 1955.
Nanak Chand Kamboj addressing Prince Norodom Sihanouk and All India Kamboj Maha Sabha, New Delhi
Kamboja descendent Princes had been ruling Cambodia (Kambojdesha) until recently, and Prince Norodom Sihanouk was the last in the royal chain of Cambodian Kings. This Kambuja (Cambodia) King Norodom Sihanouk visited India in 1955. He was well greeted by the Indian Government of the then Prime Minister, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. Speaking at the luncheon meeting hosted by All India Kamboja Maha Sabha in his honour, the prince prided himself on being from Kamboja blood. He was emotionally choked during his address to his Indian Kamboja brotherhood and had stated that he was extremely proud of his ancient Kamboja blood. He was further proud to be amongst his Indian Kamboja brotherhood after a separation of many centuries (Ref: Luncheon Meet address by Prince Norotham Sihanouk, New Delhi, March 1955).
Prince Norodom Sihanouk and All India Kamboj Maha Sabha, New Delhi
The Prince Norodom Sihanouk extended a special invitation to a Delegation of Indian Kambojas on behalf of the Cambodian government in 1959. Nanak Chand Kamboj has again decided not to be part of the delegation for visiting Cambodia as he was a central government employee. The Kamboj delegate consisted of several prominent Kamboj personages of the day, including Col Lal Singh Thind, a famous landlord of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Himat Singh Thind, Advocate (Saharanpur), S. Hazara Singh Jossan, President, All India Kamboj Mahasabha (Delhi) and Dr Ganga Singh Soni (Khemkaran, Panjab), President, Indo-Cambodian Friendship and Cultural Association etc. The Delegation of Indian Kambojs was headed by Dr Ganga Singh Soni. This Kamboja Delegation was given a rousing and royal treatment in Cambodia by Cambodian Imperial family as well as by the Kambuja (Cambodian) people. (Vishal Kamboj, Uttar Pardesh, p 11; These Kamboj People, 1980, p 160, K. S. Dardi; for further ref: Kamboj History, 1972, by H. S. Thind).
Nanak Chand Kamboj was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure since a long time. In March 2016, he had diabetic attacks and was admitted at Max Hospital, Mohali. He struggled with his life for 5 months – in and out of the hospital. He died on 5th August 2016 after a long illness in Chandigarh. His death has created a very big vacuum in the Kamboj community in the country. He will be always remembered for his kind heart, generous nature, simpleness, down-to-earth personality, work done for the welfare of Kamboj community and social work for a long time.