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S. Balbir Singh Kanwal (Birdi)


     " Ramgarhiakom is delighted to publish the achievements of  S. Balbir Singh Kanwal (Birdi) M.A. B.T. He has made Ramgarhiakom proud by getting UNESCO award in 1965 for his book on wrestling. His research on wrestler from 1635 to 1965 helps him to achieve this prestigious award. "
      During my recent visit I find every room of house in Albert Road, Ilford, UK, is full of books, paintings, photographs, trophies and exclusive collection of rare documents that indicates his love for wrestling. Now he is keen to turn his collection into a fully fledged Iinternational Punjabi heritage museum. His research on music is also remarkable.

        S. Balbir Singh Kanwal born to Smt Gian Kaur Mann (Ramgarhia) on 8th March 1934 at village Jaura, Distt. Hoshiarpur. His father S. Sunder Singh Birdi was a religious person and a skilled carpenter. He was expert in bullock cart making. For some time he had worked in Nairobi with Dogra (Ramgarhia) family and setup a Saw Mill in Nairobi. Due to circumstances he shifted back to India in 1960 and continued his old work.The parents of S. Balbir Singh were strangulated to death by their servant in 1970 . In this incident Kanwal lost his parents, cash  and valuables.

     Kanwal did his matriculation from Sai Dass Public School, Hoshiarpur in 1951, Graduation from Lyalpur Khalsa College in 1955 and Masters in English in 1958. He also did one yr diploma of B.T. from Ramgarhia College, Phagwara. Then he joined as teacher at Doaba Khalsa High School, Jalandhar. His passion for the sport started at the age of 18 when he met the India’s first champion wrestler, the great GAMA, renowned for his victory in 1910. Balbir’s Great Grand father S. Kanhya Singh Birdi was a famous wrestler of 19th century. Balbir himself took up a form of wrestling called Kabadi and fought at university level.

       In 1964 he migrated to UK on Teacher Boucher, but he was unlucky not  to find a teaching job. So he joined post office for few months then he did some labour job and other odd jobs for livelihood. He got the teachers job in 1975 and joined at Newham, UK. His deep passion  for wrestler could not satisfy him. He got an early retirement in 1992 and pursue his carrier as free lance writer. He is an author of many books and over 50 analytical articles that have been published in various newspapers and magazines.

     He is a regular representative contributor from the Indian sub continent for a 'World Wrestling' magazine.  In 1965, he was considered as one of the worlds authorities on Hindustani wrestling. He had worked as an assistant editor for Des Pardes Punjabi weekly. His few contributions to literatures are as under:
Bharat De Pehelwan (Got UNESCO Award),  Punjabi Kabadi Da Itihas,  Almi Kabadi Da Itihas, Punjab De Sehar, Geet Mere Saaz Tere (poetry) ,Etc. His book "International Punjabi Sahit" is recommended for M.Phil thesis.

     The journey of writing is still continuing. S. Balbir Singh Birdi is honoued by many association and organizations. He is honoured with "Shiromani Award"  by language department Punjab in 1985. The wrestling association of Punjab and Punjabi Kabbadi association also recognized his services toward wrestling. He also got Mohan Singh Vaid award in 1988 and also honoured by the Kala Sangam (Art society) in 1988. He is popular as  wrestler authority of India. wrestling authority of Pakistan  given him  a “Guraj”.  He  was also given  "Glory of India" award.at London on 12th August 2006. He is decorated with  "Hind Rattan Award" on 25th January 2004. He is named as “Greatest Sports Authority in Wrestling”.
      Balbir Singh Kanwal is very annoyed with the ramgarhias, because he is never recognized by any Ramgarhia association in India and abroad. He was thankful to the  ramgarhiakom.com, for taking initiative to highlight his achievements among  our brethren throughout world.

     He married to Smt. Ajit Kaur Seehara in 1959. The couple is blessed with 2 sons and 2 daughters.

M  E  S  S  A  G  E  .  .  .
" Rmagrhais have to make there carrier in Sports ,
with higher academic qualification. "

Address : 2-Alebert Road, Ilford, UK

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