Dharamsala, January 21
Charan Singh Gurang is among the two surviving freedom fighters in Kangra. Gurang (98) was part of Azad Hind Army of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. He is now living in Khaniara area of Dharamsala city.
Despite his ailing health Gurang remembers his days in Azad Hind Army of Netaji and is proud of the fact that he was part of the movement that fought for the freedom of the country against the British. He presented a broad smile and gestured proudly when asked about his days in Azad Hind Army.
Unlike many others, Gurang and his family is satisfied with the facilities given to them by the government and proud of the fact that he was part of Indian freedom movement.
Charan Singh Gurang was part of British army. After the Netaji Subhash Chander Bose announced the formation of Azad Hind Army to fight the British in 1942, Gurang deserted the British army and joined Azad Hind Army of Subhash Chandra Bose and fought against the British army. After the World War II was over, Gurang was caught by British army. He was kept in jail for eight months. Thereafter, he was dismissed from the British army and sent back home. After coming home Gurang continued to take part in freedom movements in the area.
After India got freedom, Gurang joined the Army. He retired as Subedar head clerk in 1975. Gurang then came to Khaniara village and took to farming on his ancestral land.
Ravi Gurang, son of Charan Singh Gurang, who is now taking care of his ailing father, while talking to The Tribune at their residence in Khaniara, said his father got pension from army. Apart from this, he got two pensions as freedom fighter from the government of India and the state government. Till a few years ago he was also involved in social activities and was vice president of Gorkha association of Dharamsala.
“His health has deteriorated for the past two years and we are taking care of him. The army is providing all medical help we need for my father under the ECHS scheme”, he said.
When asked if they want anything to be done on part of the government for the contribution his father made for the freedom movement of the country, Ravi Gurang said, “We have never asked for anything. Recently, the Dharamsala MC officials came to our house to honour my father on the occasion of Azadi Ka Mahotsav being celebrated by government of India on eve of 75 years of independence. They offered to lay pucca street to our house. It has not been done yet but we would never complain. I hope it would be done soon”, he said.
Gurang has one son and three daughters. He is living in his ancestral village with his son and two daughters who are taking care of him.
Happy with facilities
Our family or my father has never demanded anything from the government just because he was a freedom fighter. We are satisfied with whatever facilities have been given to my father. I was offered a job under freedom fighter quota but I did not take it as I had to take care of him. — Ravi Gurang, son of Charan Singh Gurang