Sunday, May 12, 2013

MISS FITZE AND MISS MALLINSON:: PIONEERS OF GIRLS EDUCATION IN KASHMIR


                                                             








 THE MALLINSON GIRLS SCHOOL SHEIKH BAGH SRINAGAR
( photographs Autar Mota )

“O Jenaab idhar se Kidhar Gustaa hai . Idhar Parvez Sameul Kaul Sahib Nahin hai. Woh Baahar Gayaa Hotaa hai. Aaj school Bandh hai . ” said the gate keeper when I entered The Mallinson Girls school from Amirakadal side or from the main gate of CMS Tyandale Biscoe school . For going to Mallinson Girls School , I had surely to enter the from the Forest lane Gate .


“ O Sir where from Do you enter the school ? Pervaiz sameul Koul sahib is not here . He is out of station . The school is closed today” And now something about this school that pioneered Female Education in kashmir .



Credit for promoting female education in Kashmir should go only to Missionary ladies like Miss Violet  Fitze ( She started first Girl’s Primary school at Fateh Kadal in srinagar city in 1912 AD although the Missionaries had started educating Girls in a small two room school opened at Fateh Kadal in 1895) and Miss Mallinson who joined this school in 1922 as Principal and served till 1962. Miss Mallinson  left Kashmir  in 1966 or  1967 and went back to London.In fact she was more familiar in kashmir  as most of her Girl  students rose to key Positions in different walks of life. She was tall, Graceful and could speak fluent kashmiri .  She returned to kashmir on a private  visit  in 1973 and when she   publicly felicitated By Miss Mehmooda Ahmed Ali Shah,  her student and the then Principal Women's college Maulana Azad Road srinagar .

                                                                      

            ( Miss Mallinson.. Photo Source Mrs. Nusrat Andrabi )

Long back i was informed by an elderly Kashmiri Pandit from Fateh Kadal locality that Both Pandits and Muslims in Kashmir had opposed this Modern Female Education initially. Missionary ladies faced so many difficulties in spreading Girl education in Orthodox kashmiri society . One particular incident that he talked about is worth mentioning over here .
                                       

                              ( Old School Building ) 
When the missionaries found that rolls were not picking up in the Girls school, they decided to invite some Europeans ladies as Guests for a prize distribution function inside the two room school in Fateh kadal thinking that this shall encourage more girls to come to the school. When the guests arrived , a shopkeeper outside the school shouted in chaste kashmiri that Englishmen had come to kidnap kashmiri girls . Hearing this the people from the locality assembled outside the school building and advised the girls to run for safety by jumping from the windows .When the guests entered ,they found no student in the school .
                                           

( My  Thanks to Publishers of the  Book “Kashmir  in  sunlight and shade “ for this photograph  showing  Jhelum Ghaat near  C M S Girls school at Fateh Kadal  Srinagar  )

Miss Mallinson was always seen on her bicycle in Srinagar city . Sometimes purchasing groceries from the Bazaar , Sometimes visiting her sick students and sometimes addressing groups of women about Hygiene and cleanliness . Always Busy and thoughtful about how best she could contribute for spreading education amongst girls in kashmir.. She stayed at Sheikh Bagh where she would be seeing washing clothes , cleaning her room and cooking her own food . She is reported to have personally visited most of the localities in downtown area and addressed women against child marriage and superstitions. And she is singularly responsible for introducing swimming , dancing and mountaineering in the Mission school and taking the Girls out for camping and trekking something unsual and daring during those days . In 1938, 40 Kashmiri Girls scaled Mahadev Peak ( 1300 feet ) under her guidance only. All Credit goes to this pious lady for adding a large number of educated women to kashmiri society . Fateh kadal school finally shifted to Sheikh Bagh in 1962 and is presently known as The Mallinson Girls school. .

Miss Mallinson had told her close friends that after her death her skeletal remains should go to school laboratory . She would often say

“ My dear Girls ,May you learn more from me when I am no more .My bones are meant to teach you Physiology ”

And This pious lady died in June 1984. Can we emulate her ? Not so easy because urdu poet * Dr.Kaleem Ajiz ( Born 1920 ) from Patna writes ….

Ishq har shakhs ke buss kaa nahin Pyaaray Jaao
Yeh samandhar hai Kinaaray hi Kinaaray Jaao
Yuun To Maqtal Mein Tamaashaai Bahut Aatein hain
Aao Uss waqt ki jiss waqt Pukaaray Jaao.
Koyee Rastaa koyee Manzil ussay Dushwaar nahin
Jiss jagah Jaao Mohabbat Ke sahaaray Jaao
( Dr. Kaleem Ajiz)

*Dr. Ajiz is a retired professor of Patna University and a recipient of the much coveted Padmshree award for his contributions to Urdu literature. One of the greatest Urdu poets of all time, Rahgupati Sahay Firaq Gorakpuri was a great admirer of Dr. Kaleem Ajiz. He sent his famous tape recorded words for Dr. Ajiz's first book while he was lying on his deathbed in which he respectfully said he felt jealous of Dr. Ajiz because of the ease in which he could express his thoughts through his verses.

( Autar Mota )

11.05.2013 Time 11.30 PM …. GOOD NIGHT .

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

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