Till early seventies, the MES Builders were almost individually on their own. Even the concept of constituting an organized body was not mooted. In 1972-73, as a result of increase in oil prices all over the world and inflation increasing by leaps and bounds almost all Builders were hit hard and there was no clause in the contracts providing for reimbursement of escalation in prices of material and wages of labour. Large number of works were foreclosed. Payments were stopped due to paucity of funds. An unprecedented and totally unforeseen situation arose resulting in heavy losses to Builders, some of whom faced total ruin. The Builders were in a state of quandary as to the future course of action to be taken particularly when the situation had arisen as a result of a declared Government policy. It was such compulsion of events that led to the concept of the Builders joining hands in search of collective approach for a remedy.
To start with, independent local Associations of groups of Builders were formed at station level to deal independently with the Builders problems of the station. The usefulness of the approach gained momentum resulting in formation of an All India Body under the name and style of “ MES Builders Association of India” in 1973. Memorandum & Articles of Association were drafted and approved by the founder members. The Association was registered on 3.2.1977 under the Societies Registration Act 1957. But for the able stewardship of our elder Builders and the dedicated team work of the founder members, this important step which led to the formation of the nucleus of the Association would not have been possible. The Association owes all, what it is today, to the wisdom and foresight of these handful of our Builders. Subsequently, the Ministry of Defence also recognized the Association on 24th August 1978.
Ever since then the Association has been striving to espouse the cause of the Builders with the employers i.e. with the ‘Military Engineer Services’. Constructive suggestions were made to put the relationship of the parties to the contract on an even keel. With the help understanding and accommodation shown by the Engineer-in-Chief., we broke through many barriers. Even where we agreed to differ we had meetings and discussions with the Ministry in presence of the Engineer-in-Chief and gain considerable ground. The activities and efforts of the Association were appreciated by the Builders all over the country as any change or amendment of the terms and conditions of the contract agreement affected the entire community of Builders all over the country. The reward we have today is that we have 60 Branches with over 5000 members.