Gorkha Military Inter College, Dehradun

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A fight for survival

Mohammad Anab, January 16, 2021: The Times of India

The GMIC football team being introduced to PM Shastri at a Subroto Cup match in 1965
From: Mohammad Anab, January 16, 2021: The Times of India

Gorkha Military Inter College (GMIC), a Dehradun-based school that has produced many international footballers like Shyam Thapa and Amar Bahadur Gurung, Olympians like Padam Bahadur Mall ( who won the first-ever Asian Games boxing gold for India) and Army officers like Shaheed Major Durga Mall, the first Gorkha soldier in Indian National Army (INA) to lay down his life for the independence movement — is fighting for survival after getting notice to evict land on which the institution has been operating for almost a century.

Started in 1925 by the British Indian Army for children of Gorkha officers and men, the school was given land on a 90-year-long lease by the defence estate department. The lease expired in 2017 and now, in order to extend it, the school is being demanded a hefty monthly fee of almost Rs 8 lakh which they say is impossible to pay since it has just 180-odd students and charges a nominal Rs 45 per month from them (the fees is only for boys; girls are taught free). “GMIC is a heritage institution with a glorious past that needs to be cherished and conserved. It has for long been regarded as a cradle of footballers and remains the only school from Uttarakhand to win Subroto Cup twice — in 1964 and 1965,” said Bom Prasad Thapa, an ex-student and a retired Armyman.

Currently, the school has a private management body. “The staff salary is paid by the state but rest of the expenses, including expenditure on students’ food, uniforms, infrastructure and other running expenses has to be managed by the school on its own,” said GMIC principal Jyoti Prakash Jaguri, adding that they are somehow managing through donations from ex-students and well-wishers. “We have requested that the amount we are paying — Rs 180 per month — may be doubled as per Public Property Act.

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