Mar 1, 2024, 09:41 PM IST

This Indian king saved thousands of Polish lives during World War II

Shivam Verma

Maharaja Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji, the ruler of Nawanagar in Gujarat, played a pivotal role in sheltering over 1,000 Polish children during World War II when many countries turned them away.

Despite living far from Poland, Maharaja Jam Saheb earned the respect and gratitude of the Polish people, leading to the naming of roads and schools in Warsaw after him.

When Polish refugees were refused entry by various countries, he intervened, pressuring the British govt to allow them to disembark in his province.

The refugees found sanctuary in Balachadi, a village in Jamnagar, Gujarat, where he ensured their well-being, and preservation of Polish culture.

His gesture towards Polish refugees earned him the title of "our Bapu" (father) by the children, highlighting his paternal care for them.

In recognition of his work, he was awarded Poland's highest honour, the President's medal, showcasing the deep gratitude of the Polish people.

A square in Warsaw was named "Good Maharaja Square" and a documentary titled "Little Poland in India" was made to honour his efforts.