On 19 April, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Jam Saheb Shatrusalyasinhji on Tuesday and enjoyed remembering old times. The Prime Minister said in a tweet today, “The goodwill of Jam Saheb’s family is spread all over the world, especially in Europe. In Jamnagar, I had the opportunity to meet Jam Saheb Shri Shatrusalyasinhji, who has always been extremely affectionate towards me as an elder. We had a great time recollecting old memories.”

Little Poland in India

During the years preceding World War 2, a huge number of people were taken away to work at the Soviet-run labor camps by the Red Army in remote parts of NE USSR & Siberia. A year later, some Polish refugees were allowed to leave the Soviet Union. When the British Governor refused to let them enter, Maharaja Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja of Nawanagar, who had heard of the plight of the refugees, sought to help them and pressured the British government to allow the refugees to disembark. The Maharaja ordered the ship to dock at Rozi port in his province. Thus began the story of Little Poland in India.

After arriving in Gujarat in 1941, Maharaja arranged for their stay at camps in Balachadi, a village in Jamnagar, where apart from food and shelter, a concerted effort was made to further their education and keep their Polish culture and traditions alive. However, reports suggest the refugees stayed in Jamnagar for nine years, till WW2 lasted and were well-taken care of by Jam Saheb who personally visited the camps.

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