Chaudhary Raghvendra Singh, popularly known as Chaudhary Saheb, was born on 19th September 1910. His father, Chaudhary Lal Chand was a great patriot and his services to the former states of Bharatpur and Punjab are well known. Born to an illustrious family, Chaudhary Raghvendra Singh inherited his father’s compassion for the country and was a true patriot at heart.
After graduating from St. Stephen’s college, Delhi, Chaudhary Saheb qualified for law at the age of 22 and joined Punjab Civil Service in 1935. At the outbreak of the war in 1940, he voluntarily joined the Indian Army and played a prominent role in recruiting Indian Officers into the Services. He also, visited the war front and inspired many officers with his passion for the country. His services during the long retreat from Rangoon were especially significant. In view of his outstanding contributions to the war efforts, he was promoted to the rank of Major and awarded MBE (Member of British Empire).
Post independence Chaudhary Raghvendra Singh took up the challenge of providing homes for the teeming vast population displaced by the partition, and formed DLF, to set up 21 colonies in South Delhi. His vision is still carried on by DLF and has translated into the mission of Building India.
A pioneer in welfare for ex-servicemen, Chaudhary Raghvendra Singh was a member of the Executive Council of World Veteran Federation and British Common Wealth League for more than two decades. He attended a number of international conferences in UK, Canada, Austrailia, France, Holland and Japan and brought in the experience to help introduce welfare measure for Indian Jawans. He formed Indian Ex-Serviceman Association to give a unified platform for interaction with Government for their welfare. He was appointed as a member of the Punjab post war reconstruction Fund Committee after the second World War. He also worked as a member of Punjab State Soldires, Sailors and Airmen Board. On the outbreak of the Chinese aggression in 1962, Chaudhary Saheb was nominated by Punjab government on National Defence Committee. The President of India honoured him by conferring the rank of Hony Lt Col. in the Jat regiment and presented a special citation.
Chaudhary Raghvendra Singh is also considered the father of co-operative movement in Delhi. He was the President of Delhi State Co-operative Bank for over 20 years, during which it emerged as the best State Co-operative banks in India. He later on, got elected to Delhi Assembly on the formation of the state. Throughout his life, Chaudhary Saheb has been actively associated with the Boards of management of various charitable trusts, educational institutions and other philanthropic activities.
Chaudhay Saheb’s sad demise in the early hours of 13th June, 2000, marked the end of an era that began at the dawn of our country’s freedom.