It had a very humble beginning with only three scout troops functioning in the city of Hyderabad on the lines of the Indian Boys Scouts Association. This was in 1918. These units were run by Mr. C.N.Mathur, Mr.Ali Moosa Raja and Mr.V.S.Varanasi. H.E.H. the Nizam’s invited Mr.Sanjeeva Kamath of Mysore to Hyderabad to organize the movement on a firm basis. The first training camp for scout masters was conducted in 1925 near the Historic Golconda fort in which more than 30 Scout Masters received training under the leadership of Mr. Kamath.
Mr.Syed Mohammad Azam was the first Commissioner of H.E.H. the Nizam’s Boy Scouts Association. In due course Mr.S.M.Hadi was sent to England and he underwent Wood Badge Training course at Gillwell Park, the International Training Headquarters. After successfully completing the training, he returned home in 1925 and was appointed organizing Commissioner of the Nizam’s Boy Scouts Association. He continued in this Office till 1950 and during this long period of 25 years. He expanded the movement in several directions.
After the merger of different Scout Associations in the country, the Hyderabad State Boy Scouts and Girl Guides Association was formed with the late Dr.R.S.Naik as President, Nawab Azam Jung Bahadur as State Chief Commissioner, Mr.S.M.Hadi as the State Commissioner, Scouts and Miss Kay Linnel as State Commissioner Guides. Later the late Mr. R.S. Naik became the State Chief Commissioner who was later succeeded by Rao Bahadur A.J.Veera Swamy. With this a new era dawned on Scouting and Guiding in the erstwhile Hyderabad State. The movement was completely reorganized under the direction of the National Association and it was during this period the late Mr.S.M.H.Naqvi, then working as Senior Deputy Director of Public Instruction, played a leading role in expanding and consolidating the movement.
For 30 years, the Scout movement in Secunderabad, first as part of the Madras Provincial area and later as Hyderabad administered Area, maintained its direct contact with the Boys Scouts Association of India. Rao Bahadur A.J. Veeraswamy along with Mr. A.Ellias and others has done a lot for the development of the Movement and is connected with it from its very inception and happily they took active interest in its promotion till they reached their heavenly abode.
The first ALL India Jamboree in the shape of an All India Scout Guide Mela was held at Secunderabad in 1953. To host the first National event was not an ordinary job. It involved stupendous effort and tremendous responsibility. But the Scout fraternity rose as one man and the Jamboree was great success. The then Prime Minister Late Shri Jawaharlal Nehru graced the occasion and very much appreciated the displays and other items presented in the Jamboree.
It was in 1917 that the first effort was made by Mrs. Binns to start Guiding in Hyderabad. At that time there were only two companies of Girl guides one at Secunderabad and the other at Lalaguda. The Association was reorganized in 1928. During 1922-27 Guiding made steady progress and the number of companies increased. In 1928, the movement was officially recognized by H.E.H. the Nizam’s Government. The students of Stanley Girls high school, Mahaboobia Girls High School and the Nampally Girls High School in Hyderabad City joined the Companies of Guides and thus became pioneers. From 1930 to 1938 there was steady growth of the movement in all directions. The year 937 was memorable year as Lady Baden Powell visited Hyderabad and a grand rally was held in her honour. About 800 Guides participated in this rally.
The Girl Guide Headquarters building at Domalguda was declared open in January, 1938.the year 1950 as a landmark as the Scout and Guides Associations were amalgamated into a single Association. Among those who made notable contribution for the promotion of Guiding in the erstwhile Hyderabad State, mention may be made of Mrs. Z.R. Ranji, Mrs. M.M. Badell, Miss Lakdawalla, Mrs. A. Wahabuddin, Mrs.Younus, Mrs. Hasan Latif, Begum Naseer Yar Jung, Mrs. D. Cottle and a host of other devoted workers. Mrs. Z.R. Ranji was elected the first State Commissioner, Guides till Mrs. S. Bullayya took over the reigns from her.
Till the formation of a separate Andhra State in 1953, the Scouting and Guiding activities in Andhra districts had no separate identity and formed part of the composite Madras State. When the Historic announcement about the formation of the first linguistic state of Andhra was made by the Government of India, Mr. D.S. Raja Rao took initiative and made efforts to carve out a separate State Association for the new state. At a meeting convened for this purpose the late Mr. Somanchi Lingaiah the then Assistant State Commissioner was authorized to take up the matter with the Madras State Headquarters. On the eve of the inauguration of the New Andhra State, an interim council was formed with Mr. C.M. Trivadi, the then Governor as president and Mr. D.S. Rajarao as Secretary.
The substantial help and support extended to this new Association by Trivedis was responsible for the progress of the State Chief Commissioner Sri M.P Pai, the Government of Andhra sanctioned a substantial amount as grant-in-aid to the State Association. Many training camps were conducted and the strength rose to 25,000. Mr. D.S. Reddy the then Director of Public Instruction extended all assistance to the Association.
During its 4 years of existence as a separate unit of the National Association, the Andhra State Association organized two big rallies one at Kurnool and the other at Guntur. Besides, a number of service camp, training camps and youth camps were also conducted. All this was made possible by the combined efforts of devoted members like Mr. C.N. Mathur, Mrs. N. Bhagwandas, Mr.Avasarala Rama Rao, Mr. V.K.R.Iyyengar, Mr.M. Seshachalam, Mr. N.Ramakrishnarao, Mr. P. Venkatesan, Mr. V.V. Chetty, Mr. J.B. Williams, Mr. K.K.S. Rajarao, Mr. Ch. K. Renuka Prasad, Mr. C. L. Narayana, Mr. M.G. Sambaiah, Mr.V.K.Vajravelu, Mr.M.M.Sabir and a number of others. Contribution of all the State Commissioners Scouts and Guides also cannot be forgotten.
Within three months after the formation of Andhra Pradesh on first November, 1956, the Bharat Scouts and Guides Associations of the erstwhile Andhra and Hyderabad Associations into a single Association was in no small measure due to the initiative and energy of Mr.S.M.H. Naqvi who was elected successively for the expansion of the movement. The Andhra Pradesh Bharat Scouts and Guides is today one of the most active and live Associations in the country according to outside observers. With many camping centre to train Scouters and Guiders owned by the District Associations spread over the entire state and over a lakh of membership, the Association is marching ahead from year to year. It is gratifying to note that after the emergence of the new State Association of Andhra Pradesh, great strides have been made and there is both qualitative improvement and quantitative expansion, thanks to the guidance and support from leaders like Mr. M.P.Pai, Mr.N.Bhagwandas, Mr.V.Ramachandran, Mr.Bullayya, Mrs.Bullayya, Mr.C.N.Mathur and many others.
Scouting in Andhra Pradesh has taken the firm roots and has got many firsts to its credits. In its efforts to bring the boys of weaker and hitherto uncovered sections of the Society under the umbrella of scouting, a very ambitious and pragmatic scheme of Tribal Scouting was formulated and implemented due to the initiative and interest of Mr.N. Bhagwandas, when he was first member Board of Revenue and Commissioner of Tribal Welfare. Andhra Pradesh was the first state in India to have implemented a scheme under which tribal boys and girls were enrolled in the movement.
It was 68 years ago in 1907 Lord Baden Powell, the illustrious founder of Scouting conducted the first Camp at Brown sea Island in the United Kingdom. From that humble beginning of a small camp of 20 boys chosen from different walks of life, grew the worldwide movement of Scouting. Today it has spread o almost all the countries of the world and is a recognized Youth Movement devoted to the development of qualities of help, discipline, service, patriotism and dignity of labour in the young boys and girls at their formative age. It was at this first Camp that the well known patrol system came into vogue. Baden Powell divided the boys into patrols of five and the leader was given complete charge of the patrol. The boys were attracted by the Camp-fires and the wonderful training imparted by Baden Powell. Scouting soon captured the imagination of the boys throughout England. In January, 1908, appeared his Magnum Opus, Scouting for boys. A headquarters was established in 1909 with a Secretary and other staff. An equipment department formed part of this Headquarters.
Scouting became a passion with him and he had to choose between the Army and Scouting. He resigned from Army in 1910 and from then till his death in 1941he devoted his time and energy to Scouting. In the beginning some people criticized Scouting as a Military movement as its founder was an acknowledged Military leader. In his own words this was not so. He said, “Whenever anything new is started there are bound to be people who get up on their hind legs to find fault with it, often before they know what it is all about. In this case, they said that the Scout movement was designed to teach boys how to be soldiers and they quoted in proof that the crest of the movement as they described. It a spearhead, the emblem of battle and bloodshed. The crest is the Flourde-Lys – a lily the emblem of peace and purity.