A museum dedicated to the late Ganju Lama, a war hero and Victoria Cross awardee, has been set up in Sikkim. His family members have established this museum in his native Sangmu village located in South Sikkim.
Lama is known as the ‘Tank Killer’ for destroying two Japanese tanks with an anti-tank weapon in World War II. His statue has also been installed in the museum.
The museum was inaugurated by Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang. Medals, uniforms, artifacts, mementos and soldier’s memorabilia are on display.
Tamang congratulated the Lama’s family members for their achievement and termed the establishment of the museum and statue as a “historic event”.
He announced that the stories of Lamas and other brave men and women would be included in the school curriculum so that students would know about them.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government would include the museum in the tourism map and provide guides for the visitors.
Lama joined the British Indian Army at the age of 17. His real name was Gyamtso Shangdarpa. He was awarded the prestigious Yudh Medal in 1944.
After independence, he served in the 11th Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army until his retirement in 1968. After retirement he was appointed Honorary ADC to the President of India.
Later he established a school in his village and engaged in social work. He died on 30 June 2000 in his village.
His son Pema Ledya said that many people may have forgotten about Ganju Lama but the museum would help spread his stories to the world.