Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


How the Nizam’s Trust Contributed to the Bhavan’s School in Hyderabad


Dt:  1/6/21

How the  Nizam’s Trust Contributed to the Bhavan’s School in Hyderabad


Dr T.H.Chowdary*


The late Mahamana Madan Mohan Malavya ji was referred to as a prince among beggars .  The occasion was the  establishment of  Benares  Hindu University for which  Malavya ji went round the country collecting donations especially from Princes and  Nawabs.  The Nizam Nawab  Osman Ali Khan  was reputed to be the  richest person in the   world . Malavya ji approached him for a donation for the  University he was establishing . The Nizam  refused.


2. Malavya ji did not   give up . He  knew that on every Friday  the Nizam would  go to the Jumma masjid for  prayers  and  on his way back  he would be distributing money  to the  beggars who used to lineup along  both sides of the  road between King Koti and Jumma masjid.   Madan Mohan Malavya ji stood among those beggars. He was conspicuous by his  dress especially  his turban.  Nizam saw him with a beggar bowl in the beggar lines. He was surprised and moved .  He got  Malavyaji to his palace and gave  a sumptuous  contribution . It was this incident  which  earned  the  epithet ,   prince among beggars for Malavyaji.


3. I am recalling this incident to narrate  how  I collected  contributions  as the founding Chairman of the  Bhavans school  in 1979-83. I was then (1978-83) the General Manager of telecommunications in the state of AP ( undivided). We had no money to start with.  I used to  ring up prospective donors.  I requested for a  interest free deposit of  Rs 2000 which would be returned  when the  school is well established.  I approached the Jubilee Hills Co-operative  House Building Society and requested them  to give me an open site  for the location of this schools . I agreed to the condition it stipulated namely that 25% of the seats  must be given to the children sponsored by the Society. It was not an unfair condition . We put up temporary structures with thatched roof.   We told the  parents that for every child admitted a Rs. 2000 non- interest bearing deposit should be contributed to this Bhavans school  and  that it will be   returned  whenever the  child is  withdrawn. The prestige of the Bhavan was such that there were  plenty of applications and the school started with such amounts  collected.  I wanted to get donations for Bhavan  from one of the Nizam’s Trusts. I was on  the look out . A very senior and prominent person  connected with the Nizam  Trust had an  application for a telephone  waiting for so many years in  some town in Warangal district. He approached  me.  I straight away sanctioned a telephone and also  constructed a new line  and the  service was given . The  gentleman was very  happy that I   readily  acceded to his request. After a few days,  I invited him to  visit the  Bhavan’s school in  Jubilee Hills.   At first he hesitated  thinking   that it must be a Hindu school managed by Hindus. On my respectful insistence he condescended to visit the school.   I first introduced  the principal, Sabiha Shah ,  a Muslim .  The Nizam’s Trust  man was pleasantly shocked and surprised to know that what he  thought as  a purely  Hindu school  has appointed a Muslim and that too a lady as the first principal of the school.  I  then took him around  the classes .  In one  class I asked  all the  Muslim students   to raise their hands . Nearly 25% of the  students  raised their   hands. The trust man was even more   shocked that what he thought was a Hindu school is having not only a Muslim lady  as  principal and also has so many Muslim boys and girls  as students in this school.  After some time he  went to  his office  and  sent a cheque for a good amount.  It was Mahamana Malavya’s beggar role that guided me to the Nizam’s Trust.


4. The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was founded by the  late  Kulapati K M Munshi a renowned lawyer,  scholar,  writer, legislator and  a constitutional  expert. His contribution  to  the drafting of the  constitution  and how the constitution was framed  is told by him in his book,  “Pilgrimage to  Freedom” .  Munshiji  in the 1930s itself   realised  that  the  new generations of Indians will be  fascinated by English medium education  and   such people would tend to be  totally ignorant  of   Bharat’s ancient history especially our  epics Ramayana, Mahabharat and our   puranas like  Bhagavata and of course, the rich Vedic and Upanashadic literature. He founded not only the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan but also launched  the Bhavan’s Book Library. He got great people like Rajaji  to write  Mahabharata and Ramayana in simple English . He himself wrote the famous book Krishnavatara and expanded that story till his death into several volumes. Various  other noted scholars were  encouraged and invited to write on various topics on Bharat’s history and     culture.  The Bhavan has several scores of   educational institutions  spread all over India with the largest number in Kerala! The Bhavan  has  centers  in UK and US.  Bhavan’s schools  are  instilling patriotism  and love for Bharatiya  culture  and  its  great history. Every day the  school starts with a Bhavan  prayer  beginning  with “om purnamadaha” through  invocation to  Sarasvati and  Vyasa ending with:


Sahana vavatu sahanau bhunaktu

Saha veeryam karavavahaihi

Tejasvi navadheetamastu

Mavidvishava haihi

Om santhi santi santi hi!


(887 words)