|Harka Bahadur Chetry receiving Pillar of Society 2021-22 international award in New Delhi|
In his award address Harka Bahadur Chetry thanked the organization for nominating him for the recognition and expressed gratitude to jury members for deeming him fit for the prestigious award. ‘I dedicate this award to the first martyr of Gorkha Autonomous Council Shaheed Birbol Limbu of Golaghat along with the martyrs of Gorkha Ekta Sabha. I feel this award is not my personal achievement but recognition our struggle for indigenous community status in Assam and the Gorkha Autonomous Council (GAC) movement that was conceived in 1997 when I was the All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union (AAGSU) president. The name of our organization GACDC is self explanatory and as its chairman I am glad, honoured and gracefully accept ‘Pillar of Society’ international award’, added Chetry.
In 2016 while National Register of Citizens (NRC) was being updated and Gorkhas names were being stricken off from NRC assuming them to be from neighbouring nation Nepal instead of being an Original Inhabitant (OI) of Assam, Harka Bahadur Chetry undertook 650 kms Marathon March ( Long foot march from Murkungselek Jonai in Dhemaji to Dispur in Guwahati ) in seeking Assamese identity for the Gorkhas stating that Assam Accord cut off year is not applicable on Gorkhas since the community is indigenous of India and not from the specified territory i.e Bangladesh as stated in the accord. This resulted in one on one meeting with the then Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and various departments of Government of Assam where the then CM proposed bipartite Home & Political Affairs Commissioner & Secretary level talks between GACDC and Government of Assam on granting indigenous status to Gorkhas of Assam vide Gazette Notification which is still on. It was under his leadership dreamt of an autonomous council for Gorkhas when he became president of AAGSU in 1996 and resolved at its annual conference at Boginadi Higher Secondary School in North Lakhimpur in 1997 for self determination and indigenous identity of Gorkhas in Assam’. His AAGSU, GACDC colleagues in different associations and unions and counterparts in other community organizations too congratulated Harka Bahadur Chetry for the international award in social justice instituted and given by a reputed INGO.