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DECCAN KHALSA DIWAN, a philanthropic organization of the Sikhs, now nonexistent, was formed in Bombay on the eve of Indian Independence (August 1947), with Partap Singh as president and Hari Singh Shergill as general secretary. The DIwan`s main object was to provide help for the rehabilitation of persons uprooted from their homes in the north in the wake of inter communal rioting. It also offered its services to protect the old Sikh residents of Nanded in Hyderabad state, who were numerically a very small group and who felt apprehensive about the safety of their historic shrine in the town and of their own lives in the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, then held to ransom by the fanatical Qasim Rizvi.

The Diwan sent a Jatha, i.e. a band of volunteers, to Nanded at that critical juncture. For resettling nearly 1,000 displaced families who happened to come to Bombay leaving their hearths and homes in what became the State of Pakistan, it secured use of some military barracks in Koliwada locality, built during World War II and had them renovated. The government later constructed pucca tenements which were rented out to the refugees, homeless immigrants.

The colony is now known as Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar. Under the auspices of the Deccan Khalsa Diwan was established the Guru Nanak Vidyak Society which opened in July 1947 a high school. The Society is now running more than two dozen schools in different suburbs of Bombay.It also took up the cause of Punjabi and had an optional paper in the language introduced in high schools as well as in colleges within the jurisdiction of Bombay University. Hr.s. DE COURCY, an English adventurer who joined Maharaja Ranjit Singh`s army in 1835 as a gunner. According to the Khalsa Darbar records, his monthly salary was Rs 350.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Grey, C., European Adventurers of Northern India, 1785-1849 [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970 Gl.S. DE FACIEU, HENRI JOSEPH (d. 1893) son of Jean Alexis de Facieu, a colonel in the Sikh army, joined the Darbar`s service in 1841. He commanded the Sher Regiment of Dragoons in General Ventura`s brigade.After Maharaja Sher Singh`s death, he left Lahore for Firozpur eventually moving down to Allahabad where he set up business. The business being ruined during the 1857 uprising, he left for Burma and joined the Burma army in which he rose to be a general.

On Burma`s annexation by the British in 1888, he retired and lived in Rangoon until his death in 1893. BIBLIOGRAPHY Grey, C. European Adventurers of Northern India, (1785-1849). Patiala, 1970 Gl.S. DE FACIEU, JEAN ALEXIS (d. 1843), a Frenchman who had been a colonel in the French army.Securing his dismissal from the service, he came to India in 1840, and joined the Sikh army the following year as colonel of Cuirassiers. However, he left the service after the assassination of Maharaja Sher Singh and went to Firozpur, where he died in December 1843. He was buried by the British with full military honours.

References :

1. Grey, C., European Adventurers of Northern India, 1785-1849. Patiala, 1970


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