The need for an organisation to bring together the GSB community in the UK was felt by many, but the meager number and their sparse distribution made it a daunting proposition. But in 1985 a group of doctors led by Dr. K.P.Sudhakar Rao embarked upon an idea of forming a forum for the practicing GSB doctors. After a couple of meetings they decided that a more practical proposition would be to form an organisation to include all GSB’s irrespective of their profession. Accordingly a new ad-hoc committee was formed and a list of names and addresses of GSB’s in UK was prepared.
The inaugural meeting was held on 24th May 1986 at Kingsbury, London. Well over hundred families attended the meeting from all over UK. The camaraderie and enthusiasm was evident. Subsequent to formation, a written constitution was drafted and approved by the AGM, and an application to get the Charity status for the Sabha was made to the Charity Commission, UK. In 1989 the Sabha was recognised as a charitable organisation. The main objectives were to promote the history and culture of the Gowda Saraswath community, by conducting and promoting religious festivals, and to work towards the general welfare of the community in the UK and elsewhere.
Towards these objectives the Sabha has organised music and dance programmes and celebrated Hindu festivals like Diwali and Krishnashthami. Diwali celebration is now an annual feature together with Saraswat Samaj UK. The AGM is held annually, mainly in London but at other venues as well like Birmingham, Birkenhead and Leeds. Cultural or youth activities are organized after the AGM to promote closer ties between the members. This is essential as the membership is spread out throughout the UK. Every year the members meet at pre-arranged scenic surroundings like Peak District, North Wales and other such venues and stay in youth hostels for three days. A packed programme of music, games, quizzes, and sporting activities and discussions are arranged during the period which has proved to be a grand success.
The Sabha contributes for the education of needy GSB students through established organisations in India in various states. Sabha has also responded with contributions to India during the two earthquake disasters. Donations are also given to worthy UK Charities like Children in Need and to deserving special schools which cater to youngsters with disability.
We have two types of memberships, life and annual membership. We have well over 100 families as members, more than 50% of which are life members. To join us please download the Membership form. To view the current Committee Members click on the Committee Members Page. We have a very vibrant youth wing, the Konkani Youth Association (KYA) which is involved in organising various activities. They are sure to become the driving force of the second generation of Konkanis in the UK.