THE FIFTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE
DEPRESSED CLASSES MISSION SOCIETY OF INDIA
(for the year ending on 31st December 1911)
Before presenting this report the Executive Committee of the D.C.M. solemnly offers their thanks to the Almighty God and prays for further strength and opportunities for serving humanity in His name.
An account of the celebrations of the fourth anniversary of the D.C.M. and the Prize Distribution at which His Excellency Sir George Sydenham Clarke presided and Her Excellency Lady Clarke distributed prizes to the students of the Society's schools in Bombay was published in an appendix to the last annual report.
Head quarters — All the four schools and other institutions in and near the island of Bombay have throughout the year held their own and some have made distinct progress. The office of the Society which was removed from the Ram Mohan Ashram to the Society’s School at Parel for some time, is now located on the ground floor of the bungalow ol Shet Bhagwandas Madhavdas by his kind courtesy.
Centres in the Mofussil — The incorporated branch, in Poona which is the only one under general control from Bombay is successfully conducted by the energetic Secretary, Mr. A. K. Mudliar, B. A., under many difficulties with the help of a local committee presided over by Dr. Harold H. Mann who spares no pain in his zeal for this work. Of the ten affiliated centres those at Manmad and Indore had to be closed during the year for want of workers, and encouragement, while three more viz. at Bhavnagar, Hubli and Malwan were newly affiliated.
Educational work — The Society has now 5 day schools under its incorporated branches and 4 day schools and 10 night schools in 7 of the centres affiliated to it. While in the remaining 4 affiliated centres the local committees help the Depressed Classes children in their respective neighbourhood to attend the local Municipal Schools and encourage them in their studies by giving them clothes, books and other necessary articles. Besides these, there are three hostels at Parel, Mangalore and Akola where the inmates are provided free board and lodging. Although at the year end there is a slight decrease in the number of boarders at Parel, which is only temporary, there has been a marked progress in the discipline and steadiness of attendance of the boarders which does credit to the Superintendent Mr. A.M. Sayed who spares no pains in looking after the studies, habits, health and recreation of the inmates in his charge. The Boarding House at Akola is conducted solely at the cost of Mrs. Bendrabai, widow of the late Mr. Janoji a generous Mahar gentleman who has provided for the maintenance of this institution. The local committee helps Mrs. Bendrabai by regular visits, advice and general supervision.
Industrial Education — Bookbinding has now been made compulsory in the advanced classes at the Parel School, and about half a dozen boys are now trained in the rudiments of that art and are set to teach other boys daily. The Executive Committee marks the special pertinence of the remarks of Mr. Sohoni, the local Secretary, (See page 5) as to the urgent necessity of developing a technical branch and a workshop in connection with this school and hopes some charitable person or trust will enable it to supply this immediate need. Good progress is reported from Mahableshwar and Mangalore of the industrial education at these centres. There is a very hopeful future for the Eri silk culture so zealously taken up by Mr. K. Rangrao at Mangalore. The practical suggestions made by the Secretary of the newly affiliated centre at Malwan in his report, are also worth consideration.
Literary Education — From the details given in the statistical table on pages 567-568 it will be seen that there are now in all 1,084 pupils receiving literary instruction in the 19 schools at the eight different centres of the Society. Except at the Parel Middle School where English is taught up to the 4th standard, in all other schools elementary education is imparted in four different vernaculars viz. Marathi, Gujarathi, Kanerese and Tamil. The classification according to the castes shows that the extent to which advantages is taken by the people of the several depressed communities of the educational facilities so freely and sympathetically afforded to them by this Society is not at all commensurate with their populations. The Mahars of Maharashtra who correspond to the Dheds of Gujarath and the Holiyas of Karnatic, the Mangs who are called Madigs in Karnatic, the Chambhars and Dhors who are shoemakers and tanners by trade respectively, and the Bhangis who are the scavengers or the carriers of the night-soil are the five principle communities who are considered to be untouchable in these provinces. Of the total 1,084 pupils in the schools, 596 are Mahars, 134 Chambhars, 30 Mangs, 30 Dhors and only 5 Bhangis. The Bhangis who have to do the most filthy work are naturally the most dispised people. Although the Gujarathi School at Mazagaon in Bombay is specially conducted by the Society for the benefit of these people, of the 50 pupils attending his school 46 belong to the Dheds from Gujarath who do the work of Bhangis in Bombay while the remaining 4 only are Bhangis proper by caste. The proportionately small number of Chambhars and Dhors is due to the fact that they have to train their boys to their own trade of shoe-making and tanning respectively while the still smaller numbers of the Mangs and Bhangis show that they are really the most backward and depressed people having hardly any sense of their own degraded condition in life. Of the 148 pupils belonging to higher “touchable” classes who attend the schools of the Society, 93 are in Bombay, 22 in Poona and 31 in the Berars — the districts where restrictions about the intertouch are not very strict. The classification according to age will reveal the fact that very few pupils are prepared to receive the benefits of education after they attain the age of 14. Of the total 159 above 14 years, 111 belong to the Night Schools of the Society which are really meant for grown up working people. Thus the remaining 48 only, who are above 14 years, attend the Day Schools. The proportion of the Grant-in-aid received either from the Government or the Municipalities to the actual amount spent by the Society on purely educational purposes, viz. Rs. 1,690 to Rs. 11,435 shows that the Society deserves aid from these bodies on a much more liberal scale than the present, even according to their own codes.
(Statistics of the Schools and Hostels at Education the several centers of the society for the year 1911)
Table 1 (To see the table Click here)
Spiritual work — There are three Bhajan Samajes (Theistic congregations) being conducted by Mahars in three different places Viz. (1) Byculla in the city of Bombay, (2) Thugaon near Amraoti and (3) Satara. Especially the one at Byculla had to tide over many disheartening circumstances and the fact that this small congregation has been still meeting week after week on Sunday noons in a corner of the Improvement Trust Chawl at Agripada rented by the Samaj for pure devotional purposes divested of all encumbrances of ceremony and superstition which weigh so heavily on the lower classes in this country,—this one small fact indicates that these forsaken people are still capable of being stirred in the very depths of their souls and when so stirred can stand the strain of doubt from within and ridicule from without with an unsophisticated steadiness of their own. The band of twenty young men who started the Samaj at Thugaon near Amraoti (of whom soma have lately joined the hostel at Parel) have now nearly completed a small house of worship, of their own; while the Mahar and Mang theists of Satara have to be congratulated on their having kept up the light of the old Prarthana Samaj of that place which but for them would have been discontinued. It is encouraging amidst all the doubt and even opposition that is still rampant on the question of carrying on spiritual endeavours along with social service and mass education that in some of the centres of this Mission such as Akola and Thana, liberal sympathisers though themselves not belonging to any of the Samajes are quietly helping the religious work of the Mission by conducting Bhajans, reading Puranas, and delivering discourses to the poor people on the most non-sectarian and inoffensive lines.
Propagandistic work — Speaking about the nature of the work of this society His Excellency Sir George Clarke very truly observed at the last Prize Distribution — "As I said it has a double mission to accomplish, to educate public opinion and to arouse sympathy for the wrongs of the Depressed Classes on the one hand and to promote the education of these classes on the other." The workers of this Society will never forget that the first of these two aspects of their mission so clearly pointed out by His Excellency will remain even more important than the second for some time to come. The last Annual Report contained a detailed abstract of the information about the public meetings and demonstrations in behalf of the Depressed Classes held in different places mainly in this presidency. With a view to keep up the good effects of these meetings and to work further on their basis, the General Secretary of the Society went on four extended tours throughout this presidency for nearly six months during the year under report. He was accompanied by Sister Janabai Shinde on three of these tours viz. in Berars, Kathiawar and the S. M. Country and by Sister Kalyanibai Sayad on the West Coast; and also two friends of the Mission Mr. A. V. Thakkur and Mr. G. K. Kadam accompanied him at their own cost in parts of his tours in Kathiwar and the S. M. Country respectively. The services of the sisters were of special value in organising meetings of ladies of the higher classes as well as in visiting the homes of the Depressed Classes and enquiring into their domestic condition. In nearly all these places in Maharashtra and the Karnatic the representatives of the Society were received with cheerful sympathy. While in Kathiawar, although the people were backward in sympathy, the question being quite newly introduced among them, the Princes and Administrators of the several states visited by the General Secretary most readily accorded to him every kind of hospitality for which the Kathiawar States are so well known, and facilities in his work. To Thakursaheb Lakhajiraj and Mr. S. N. Pandit of Rajkot, Mr. P. Pattani, Diwan of Bhavnagar, Mr. H. D. Rendal C. I. E., Administrator of Junagad, the Shek Saheb of Mangrol, Darbar Saheb Wajsurwala, Joint Administrator of Porbunder and Mr. E. Maconochie Agent to the Governor are due the warmest thanks of the committee tor the active and valuable help they rendered to the Mission.
The Missionaries have found that there is a great and hopeful field before the Society for extending their work and influence throughout the southern and western part of the country. The committee recorded and published their thanks in papers to all the sympathisers who helped their representatives by donations and active service on their tours.
THE DEPRESSED CLASSES MISSION SOCIETY OF INDIA
(The general secretary's tours in the Berars, Kathiawar, S.M. country and the West Coast)
Table 1 (To see the table Click here)
D. C. M. Rupee Fund
Origin : Several workers of this Mission finding that the persistent efforts made by them hitherto to raise funds did not result in adequate returns so as to meet the expenses of the Mission which are increasing from year to year, thought of applying themselves to raise money in small contributions from humbler classes instead of solely depending on the rich and well-to-do for large donations. With the approval of the Executive Committee of the Society they organised the following scheme of collection of funds, fixing judiciously a minimum sum of one rupee per year for all donors. By thus deliberately trying the efficacy of small gifts, the promoters not only hope to widen the circle of donors, but if they succeed in securing an adequate number of volunteers who will work throughout the year practically and systematically, they also hope to raise a large sum behind which there will be a large number of believers in and well-wishers of the Mission.
I. Name : A Fund shall be started called the “Depressed Classes Mission Rupee Fund."
II. Ten Captains: Ten earnest workers or friends shall form a Board of Captains to undertake to raise this Fund through Volunteers.
III. Hundred Volunteers : Each Captain shall try and secure ten Volunteers, who will each in their turn undertake to raise Rs. 100 in one year.
IV. One Rupee: These Volunteers shall be instructed to receive only one rupee from one individual, neither less nor more in one year, and to work under the strict guidance of their own Captain, who will see that they will not interfere with each other's field of collection. No Volunteer shall work except under a Captain.
V. Monthly Delivery: Every Volunteer shall strictly hand over all his collections, at the end of every month, to his Captain, who, before the expiry of the first week of every month, shall render his account to the Head of the Board, who also, in his turn, at the end of every three months hand over the balance to the Treasurer of the Society, submitting a complete account of the Fund, duly audited by the Society’s Auditor.
VI. May spend 5 per cent: The Board shall be entitled to spend only 5 per cent of what they actually raise towards the expenses of the Fund, and, for further expenses, shall get the previous sanction of the Executive Committee.
VII. Society’s claim and liability: The Depressed Classes Mission Society shall be entitled to every rupee collected by this Board and shall not be responsible for any expenditure incurred by the Board except as stated above.
VIII. Acknowledgment: The General Secretary shall publish in leading papers the accounts of the Funds submitted by the Head of the Board every three months, and that should be sufficient acknowledgement on behalf of the Society of the donations collected, in addition to the several receipts passed to the donors by the collecting Volunteers.
IX. The Freedom of the Board: The Board shall be free to plan and work out further details of the scheme and shall be subject only to the general control of the Executive Committee.
X. Constitution un-affected: The inauguration of this Fund shall not, in any way, preclude the present workers from raising money for the Society in the way they are now doing or they may hereafter devise; and those that may be in any way connected with the raising of this Rupee Fund shall not, by that fact alone, be vested with any constitutional right of administering that or any other fund of the Society or attain to any constitutional privileges of the membership of the Society.
The following is the report submitted by Mr. L. B. Nayak, Captain- General of the Fund from July to 31st December 1911.
Board of Captains — The idea of forming the above scheme was conceived early in July 1911. A board of captains was formed in the first meeting of the certain workers and sympathisers of the Mission held in the same month. (1) Mrs. Laxmibai Ranade, (2) Mr. P. B. Gothoskar, (3) Mr. A. V. Thakkar, (4) Mr. V. R. Shinde, (5) Mr. A. M. Sayad and (6) Mr. L. B. Nayak offered to work as captains in accordance with clause 2 of the scheme. Mr. L. B. Nayak was elected as the Captain General.
Volunteers — The captains secured the disinterested services of the following volunteers.
Under Mrs. Laxmibai Ranaday — (1) Miss. Tarabai Kelkar (2) Mrs. Laxmibai Gadgil (3) Miss. Sitabai Marathe (4) Mrs. Jamnabai N. Sakkai (5) Sister Janabai Shinde (6) Mrs. Shantabai Madgaonker (7) Miss. Indirabai Kelkar (8) Mr. Madhavji Shriram (9) Mr. Keshavlal Bhikabhai (10) Mr. K. V. Modak (11) Mrs. Manjulabai Lad (12) Mr. B. A. Kolatkar (13) Dr. R. V. Fanasalkar (14) Dr. T. L. Chiplunkar and (15) Mrs. Shantabai Gothoskar.
Under Mr. P. B. Gothoskar — (1) Mr. S. W. Kamat, (2) Mr. S. B. Gothoskar, (3) Mr. A. P. Sabnis (4) J. G. Havaldar (5) Mr. G. B. Pandit (6) Mr. M. P. Sabnis (7) Mr. Shivaji Lingu (8) Mrs. Gopikabai Pandit (9) Mr. G. G. Sabnis (10) Miss. Ahilyabai Bhandarkar (11) Mrs. Laxmibai Yadneshwar Bhandarkar (12) Mr. S. K. Divekar (13) Mr. V. R. Samant (14) Mr. G. A. Dalvi (15) Mr. K. A. Padhye and (16) Mr. D. A. Telang.
Under Mr. A. V. Thakkar (Captain) — (1) Mr. N. V. Thakkar (2) Mr. C. B. Mehta (3) Mr. Devachand Bhagwanji (4) Mr. Shankerlal T. Popat (5) Mr. Ratilal T. Sodha (6) Mr. Vaidya (7) Mr. Hirala! K. Wakharia (8) Dr. K V. Thakkar (9) Mr. Harilal L. Thakkar (10) Mr. Amritlal S. Padhia and (11) Mr. Utamlal G. Trivedi.
Under Mr. V. R. Shinde — (1) Mr. S. S. Tatre, (2) Mr. G. K. Kadam (3) Mr. D. B. Trivedi (4) Mr. T. Mudraddi (5) Mr. S. A. Honavarkar (6) Mr. Mohansing Motising (7) Mr. Vasantrao Anjarlekar (8) Prof. K. R. Kanitkar (9) Mr. Raghavendra Sharma (10) Mr. Joseph Samuel and (11) Mr. G. N. Paranjpe.
Under Mr. A. M. Sayad — (1) Mr. Kokatnur (2) Mr. M. B. Gowande (3) Mrs. Kalyanibai Sayad (4) Mr. Krishnaji V. Bam (5) Mr. D. M. Maidev (6) Mr. A. R. Ranjit (7) Mr. S. S. Pitale (8) Mr. V. A. Garud (9) Mr. G. H. Keskar (10) Mr. K. Sashital (11) Mr. Hasam H. Talibi (12) Mr. V. Kale (13) Mr. Nanalal Parbhuram (14) Mr. N. R. Vakil (15) Mrs. Laxmibai Nadkarni (16) Mr. S. K. Shenvi and (17) Mr. E. R. Shinde.
Under Mr. L. B. Nayak — (1) Mr. S. D. Joglekar (2) Mr. A. S. Nayak, (3) Mr. R. H. Trilokekar (4) Mr. Ramdatta W. Desai, (5) Mr. A. V. R. Laxamanji (6) Mr. R. P. Desai (7) Mr. M. A. Trilokeker (8) Mr. B. K. Dhurandhar (9) Mr. Vishnu A. Ajinkya and (10) Mr. Chhotalal Karsandas Mulji.
There were thus 80 volunteers who kindly offered themselves to work for the Mission, each undertaking to collect 100 rupees before the official year closed on 31st December 1911.
Collection — The total amount of collections made by the volunteers between August 12 and December 31, 1911 was rupees 1,471 only. This amount falls considerably short of Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 5,000 at least which were expected before the close of the year.
Meetings and Gatherings — There were 10 meetings of the Board of Captains held between 1st July and 31st December 1911. These meetings were held in Dr. S. G. Ranaday's dispensary at Thakurdwar. We are thankful to Dr. Ranaday for the use of his premises. One General Meeting under the presidency of Prof. N. G. Velinkar, M. A., LL. B. and two social gatherings of the Captains, Volunteers and sympathisers were held during the year in the bungalow of Sheth Tribhuwandas Mangaldas to whom our thanks are especially due. These social gatherings were helpful in as much as the volunteers were in a position to know the progress of the Fund and to compare notes as to the amount of collection which each of them was able to secure. They were largely attended and they proved a source interchange of individual experiences and good feelings.
It will be seen from the statement of accounts of the Society given below that there has been a deficit of Rs. 1,316-15-1 for the year under report. And if it be remembered that the amount of the Subscriptions and Donations Rs. 3,420-0-3 (Subs. 1,869 and Donation 1,551-0-3) is by no means a certain item of income; there is always a chance of the deficit being still larger. In order to bring this fact clearly to the notice of the sympathisers of the Mission, a Special Collections Account is separately shown in this report with a hope that the friends of the Mission, will exert themselves to relieve the workers from this constant financial strain and set them free to cope more effectively with the already innumerable difficulties in their way.
In conclusion, the Executive Committee tender their sincerest thanks to all the local secretaries at the various centres of the Mission and their co-workers, the volunteers of the Rupee Fund and all other helpers of this sacred cause of the depressed humanity in India.
V. R. SHINDE
(General Secretary, D.C.M.)
18, February 1912
Statement of Income and Expenditure of the Rupee Fund
Table1 (For the Statement Click here)
Special Collections Account of the year 1911
Table2 (For the chart Click here)
BOMBAY Opened 18th Oct. 1906.
THE FIFTH ANNUAL REPORT
Parel Middle School, No. I
1. Situation — For the first four months of 1911, the School met in a bungalow opp. the Elphinstone Rd. Station of the B.B.C.I. Rly. The accommodation was, however, found to be insufficient as anticipated in the last year’s report and the school was removed to its present habitation at the eastern end of the new Railway Bridge, Parel (G.I.P.R.) in May. This house is capable of accommodating 175 students, but this number has been considerably exceeded and we shall have to hire an additional house to prevent overcrowding of the classes at an early date.
2. Education — (a) Secular instruction — As in previous years the school continued to teach this year also four Vernacular Standards according to the course of studies of the Schools Committee. The English side of the School was developed by the addition of the Fourth Standard. In addition to the instruction in the subjects of the curriculum, the pupils of the advanced standards were taught book-binding and drawing. Both these subjects were made compulsory. The girls were taught drawing and sewing. Physical education of the pupils was carefully looked after, provision being made for drill and cricket. Atyapatya was also a favourite game with the pupils. In all these games the teachers freely mixed and played with the boys.
(b) Religious and moral instruction — The School opened daily with the singing of a hymn from the Prarthana Sangit and prayer. Religious education of the most liberal and unsectarian character based on the selection of hymns in the Prarthana Sangit was given throughout the year. Moral instruction was given with the help of the Youth's Noble Path of F. J. Gould of the Moral Instruction League of England. Sunday Classes were conducted throughout the year by Mr. V. R. Shinde, Mr. G. B. Keskar and Mr. A. M. Sayad.
Mr. Shinde pays special attention to his Class which was attended on an average by 25 boys and girls all belonging to the English portion of this school. These students form the advanced section of this school and Mr. Shinde is desirous to create in them a livelier interest in the study of Marathi literature than is possible in the week-day course, as a means to make them mix with their higher class comrades on a surer footing of equality. With this view he finished till the end of the year under report the Narasinha-Avtar by Waman Pandit and Kachopakhyan by Moropant. With a view to improve their pronunciation and diction, he taught them by heart about 30 stanzas from Bhartrihari's Niti Shatak with explanation. The alacrity with which the youngsters are receiving this literary as well as moral instruction is most encouraging and promising.
3. Admissions, & c — The number of pupils on roll on 1st January, 1911 was 141. During the year 197 admissions were made. Of the total of 338 thus made up 111 pupils left the school, leaving 227 pupils on roll on 31st December. Of these 143 belong to the Depressed Classes and 84 to the higher castes. The number of girls on roll on 31st December was 20. The average attendance for the whole year was 129. The pupils on roll at the end of the year were divided as under according to the standards:—
Std. IV 2 III 13
Std. III 8 II 26
Std. II 17 I 26
Std. I 17 Infant and Beginners 118
4. The Transference Examination — The annual examination for the transference of boys was held in October, prior to the Divali holidays. It was conducted by Mr. Sahasrabudhe, B.A., Mr. Vaze (Servants of India Society), Mr. V. Y. Kashalkar, M.A., LL. B. and Mr. M. P. Khare. Of the 132 pupils present for the Examination 102 passed under all heads and were transferred to the higher standards. A boy and a girl who passed the English Fourth Standard are now studying in the Aryan Education Society’s High School and the Alexandra High School respectively. We are very thankful to the authorities of these Schools for giving free admission to both these pupils. The school sent 15 pupils for the Vernacular Fourth Standard Examination of whom 7 passed. Of the successful students two were girls. Our school was one of the centres for holding this Examination. In the first Grade Drawing Examination for which 11 pupils appeared, only one was declared successful. The result of the 2nd Grade was however better — four passing out of the six sent up.
The annual Inspection for grant-in-aid was held by Mr. M. K. Joshi, Asstt. Dy. Ed. Inspector, Marathi Schools, Bombay. The school was awarded Rs. 500 as grant for the year 1911-12. The following extracts are taken from his report:—
“The School teaches Jt. Schools Committee’s Standards. Last year the School sent up for the IV Standard General Examination 17 pupils out of which twelve came out successful. This speaks very strongly in favour of the school. The school was found in fairly efficient condition of progress.... The school maintains its own and may be given the same grant as last year viz. Rs. 500."
5. Visitors to the School — Among those who visited the School during the year under report and thus showed their sympathy with the work of the school in a practical manner special mention must be made of the names of Dr. D. G. Sabnis, (Retd. Asstt. Surgeon); Mr. St. George Lane Fox-Pitt of the Indian Moral Education League; Prof. D. N. Choudhari, M. A., Principal, “Hindu College", Delhi; Prof D. K. Karwe of the Hindu Widows’ Home, Poona; Mr. B. G. Godbole; The Hon’ble Mr. D. V. Belvi, an additional Member of the Bombay Legislative Council and Mr. R. B. Karandikar, Educational Inspector, S. D. The following extracts are made from the remarks made by them in the Visit Book.
Mr. M. K. Joshi, Inspector of Schools paid a surprise visit on 25- 7-11. In his remarks he says: — “...On the whole the progress appeared pretty good. Discipline and conduct of the pupils good.”
“It was a great pleasure to me to visit this School today... I was exceedingly pleased to see the progress the boys and girls have made. I earnestly wish that well-to-do people will pay more attention to this noble work.”
(Sd.) D. K. KARWE
(Secretary, Hindu Widows’ Home, Poona)
29th, August 1911
“Visited the Depressed Classes Mission School at Parel this afternoon. Out of 200 pupils on the roll 141 are present to-day. Examined the pupils in Std. I in reading. The pupils read well. I was very much pleased with the way in which the School is conducted. I am happy to make to the Mission a small donation of Rs. 200 (two hundred) by way of encouragement.”
(Sd.) D. V. BELVI
24th November 1911
“I was very pleased with my visit to the School which is the first of the kind that I have seen managed by a band of zealous and enthusiastic Indians. I watched the work in the classes from A. V. Std. III down to the Infant Class…..The accommodation is good, but insufficient. These are matters of fund and the money has to be secured from Government, from the Municipality and from other sources. I have no doubt that the call for funds in this noble cause will meet with a generous response.
“The children looked bright and happy and mixed with one another freely without the least idea of untouchableness, and as remarked by Sir Ramkrishna Bhandarkar, reasonableness seemed to have broken down superstition and prejudice.
“....The education given is not entirely literary but is also industrial as book-binding, needle work and drawing. There is a hostel attached to the School and the number of boarders is about 20. They are well looked after by Mr. and Mrs. Sayad. Who can help wishing the Mission every success!
(Sd.) R. B. KARANDIKAR
(Edl. Inspector, S. D.)
6. Gifts to the School — The children of the School received various gifts of sweetmeat, clothes, books &c. during the year. R. B. Anandrao Talcherkar sent, as annually, sweetmeat at the time of the Divali holidays. R. B. N. T. Vaidya distributed sweetmeat at the time of the King’s Coronation in England in June last. R.S.G.V. Panandiker, Dy. Inspector of Schools sent clothes. Mr. V. B. Velankar was kind enough to send some school-books. Messrs. Wagle and Co. presented cricket kit for the use of the school. To all these and other ladies and gentlemen who thus remembered the school children, the Committee of the Mission is deeply thankful.
7. General Remarks — The school is now in existence for the last five years. During this period no fewer than a thousand pupils have learnt in it at least the rudiments of knowledge so useful to them in their life as they grow up. Some of those who have taken advantage of the full course of studies taught here have got employments in the workshops in the neighbourhood. The utility of the school is now beyond question as the number of boys on roll clearly shows. The experience of all these years has made, however, one fact clear to us and it is that all boys and girls as they come to us, ought not to have to go through the course of studies as it at present obtains. Some of them have no aptitude for the literary education they get. Such students must be taught some trade or craft to which they can easily take and the absolutely necessary literary education should be given to them in the few hours of a night school only. It is thus necessary to open a carpentry class and to turn the present book-binding class which is held for an hour or so daily into a book-binding shop in which some of the grown up boys could work for the larger portion of the day. Both these branche of the work of the school will have to be located in a separate building. Unless some such arrangement is made, it will be found very difficult to profitably utilise the time of some of the boys who at present are under the regular course of studies but who are not meant for it.
Deonar Kachrapatty Day School No. 2
The work of this School which meets a long felt want of the Deonar Kachrapatty labourers was carried on steadily throughout the year. The number on roll on 1st January 1911 was 38. During the year, 19 fresh admissions were made and eleven students left the School, thus leaving 46 students on roll at the end of the year. The average daily attendance for the whole year was 30.
For the official year ending 31st March 1911 the school was awarded a grant-in-aid of Rs. 42. For grant-in-aid for this year which is not yet awarded it was examined by Mr. R. S. Joshi, 2nd Asstt. Dy. Ed. Inspector, Thana, on 18th November last. Of the 32 students examined by him, one was in Std. III, two in Std. II, three in Std. I and the remaining in the Infant and the Beginners’ classes.
In connection with the Royal Visit and the Coronation at Delhi, of their Majesties the King Emperor and the Queen Empress, a large gathering of the children of the school and their parents was held on the 12th of Dec. 11. Mr. Oke, Inspector of the Kachrapatty Ry. Line, Mr. A. V. Thacker, Mr. M. K. Joshi, Dy. Inspector of Marathi Schools, Bombay and Mr. Madan were present. Mr. Joshi distributed medals and sweetmeat to the gathering.
The success of the school is due chiefly to the care and supervision of Messrs. Oke, Thacker and Madan who never lose an opportunity to encourage the labourers to send their children to School and also to instruct and assist the master in charge in the discharge of his duties. The committee of the Mission is thankful to these gentlemen for the great interest they take in the conduct and management of this school.
Madanpura Day School No. 3
1. The school held its classes as in the last year in the Abdul Hoosein Kikabhai’s Chawl near the Improvement Trust Chawls at Madanpura.
2. The admission and withdrawals during the year were almost equal viz. 120 and 116 respectively. The School opened in January 1911 with 102 boys on roll and closed with 106 on Dec. 31st. Of these 13 are girls. The average daily attendance for the year was 63.
3. The annual Transference Examination was held in October and was conducted by the teachers of the Parel School. Of the 84 pupils who were examined 54 passed under all heads. Five boys appeared for the Vernacular Fourth Std. Exn. of whom only one passed. The inspection of the School for the award of grant-in-aid was held in Aug. by Mr. M. K. Joshi, Asstt. Dy. Educational Inspector. The School has been awarded a grant of Rs. 167.
4. The Sunday Class was held regularly during the School terms. It was conducted by Sister Janabai and myself. The average attendance of this class was 21.
5. General remarks — On account of some elementary schools having been opened in the immediate vicinity of this School the attendance has somewhat suffered during the year under report. The School however has still a large attendance and its present accommodation is insufficient. It is necessary to introduce in this School also the imparting of systematic religious and moral instruction. Such an introduction however means an increase in the workers of the Mission which however is seriously handicapped in this respect. Drawing ought also to be taught. It is hoped it will be found possible to remedy both these wants during the year that has just commenced.
Mazagaon Low Caste Gujarati School No. 4
This School which held its classes in a room in the 3rd Kamathipura Lane was removed thence in March last to the Prince’s Buildings, near the J. J. Hospital. The present locality of the School brings it within the easy reach of the large number of Bhangis living at Walpakhadi, Mazagaon. Owing to the removal of the School there, there was a regular influx of Dhed boys in it and the services of an additional master had to be engaged. The school meets from 10-30 a. m. to 1 p. m. and from 2-30 p. m. to 5 p. m.
Admissions — On the first of January last the number on roll was 29. During the year under report there were 52 fresh admissions and withdrawals. The number on roll on 31st Dec. was therefore 66. The average daily attendance for the year was 32. The highest number on roll was 92 in March and the lowest 29 in January.
The school is registered under chapter III of the Grant-in-aid Code. It was inspected by Mr. K. A. Bala, Asstt. Dy. Ed. Inspector of Gujarati Schools, Bombay, on 4th January. The annual transference Examination was held prior to the Christmas holidays. It was conducted by Mr. N. V. Thakker, B. A. with the assistance of his friends Messrs. K. P. Thakkar and N. T. Sodha. The number of pupils examined was 31 of whom 27 passed under all heads and were transferred to the higher standards.
The master in charge of the School gave the children several outings on different holidays during the year, taking them to the Victoria Gardens and Chaupaty for amusement and instruction.
Mr. N. V. Thakkar whose name has been mentioned above took great interest in the work of the school. He often visited the School, supervised its work and made valuable suggestions conducive to its efficient management. He was also kind enough to get some of his friends to visit the school and interest them also in its work. One of his friends was so good as to give moral instruction to the pupils and to teach them drawing for a few months. For the present he is unable to attend the School regularly on account of illness.
The master of our School has often complained of an undesirable practice of the teachers of some neighbouring schools of inducing our boys away by offering them some trifling presents in the shape of eatables! To those who are really anxious to educate the lower strata of the Hindu Society, there is, we believe, plenty of material to work upon than the boys and girls already attending our School. The offering of petty bribes to little children has a very demoralising effect on them and only helps to make the attendance unsteady. We hope these undesirable methods will erelong cease.
In conclusion we thank heartily Mr. N. V. Thakkar and the other Gujarati gentlemen who visited the School and encouraged the children to learn. We need hardly say that the example they have set of touching the children, talking with them and teaching them has had a very desirable effect on the scholars as well as their parents, who as is well- known are supposed to belong to the most degraded caste in India and who therefore are looked upon as being entirely beyond the pale of education and civilization.
The D. C. M. Students’ Hostel
1. The D.C.M. Students’ Hostel was opened in February 1909. At the beginning of the year under report there were 21 students in the hostel. During the year there were 4 fresh admissions and 8 withdrawals. Thus the number of students left in the hostel on 31st Dec. was 17 of whom two were girls and 15 boys.
2. The following is the classification of the boarders according to their (a) castes (b) the districts they come from and (c) their progress in studies.
(a) Classification according to castes:—
Chambhars Mahars Total
Boys 2 13 15
Girls 0 2 2
2 15 17
In the Fourth Standard General Examination four boarders, were declared successful and in the 1st and 2nd Grade Drawing Examination their number was 1 and 2 respectively.
3. Gifts to the boarders — We are greatly pleased to report that the boarders were very specially remembered by the kind-hearted people of Bombay on various occasions throughout the year.
They were treated to sumptuous feasts, were given sweetmeat, fruit, clothes, pots, books and medicine free of charge as will be seen from the names of the kind hearted donors given below.
(a) Clothes were received from:-
Messrs B. R. Madgaonkar, G. S. Mankar, Lalsingh Mansingh, V. P- Patel, K. N. Dewal, R. S. G. R. Panandikar, Purshottam Kanayya|al- Dr. Govande, and Sabnis and Dr. (Miss) Nowrange.
(b) Sweets were received from H. E. Lady Clarke, Mrs. Laxmibai Ranade, Mrs. Laxmibai Gadgil, R.B.A.R. Talcherkar, J.P., Mrs. Tarabai Tarkhad and Mrs. Laxmibai Chiplunkar.
(c) Pots were received from Bai Putlabai Rane, wife of Mr. Tribhovandas Karsandas Sodha, Mr. J. G. Gadre, and a Bhatia gentleman.
(d) Books were received from Mr. Govande, S. H. & Co. and Miss Kelkar.
(e) Feasts were given by Bai Putlabai, Dr. B. S. Manker, Dr. Govande, a friend through Mr. B. R. Madgaonkar and the Dhuru camp at Dadar.
(f) Medicines free of charge were given by Dr. S. G. Ranaday, Dr. Fondekar and Dr. D. R. Desai.
4. The hostel was visited by a number of persons from the various districts of the Bombay Presidency and even from the far off Mysore.
5. The Rice Fund — The collection of rice for boarders was carried on throughout the year. The number of families who keep rice bags in their homes and put a handful of grain in it every day for the boarders has greatly increased. The total collection of rice thus made was 28 1/2 faras last year.
6. General — The hostel has proved to be a very useful adjunct of the Parel Day School. The D. C. students who live and board in the hostel have shown by their success in the school and other examinations that freed from the depressing influences of their surroundings at home, they are able to hold their ground with the children of other communities, in study. We have also found out that for the D. C. children to do their very best in education they must be isolated from their debasing environments and must be cared for and guided on their way in institutions of this character only. The hostel has in this way succeeded in a large measure though the Superintendent has had to combat very often with the home sickness of the boarders.
The Somawanshiya Mitra Samaj, Byculla
With a view to promote self-help in bringing about religious and social reform among the Depressed Classes, this association consisting of themselves was first started on the 24th of March 1907. There are now 25 members, all Mahars, in Byculla.
An Unforeseen Trouble — In 1910 the Sanitary Department of the Bombay Municipality tried to introduce a new custom of burning the dead among these people which roused the religious prejudices of the ig-norant mass of their community and they naturally suspected this Samaj to be at the bottom of this new reform and subjected it to great opposition. Hence the membership of this Samaj was reduced from 60 to 25. Still they met during the year every Sunday in a room rented by the Samaj at the Agripada Improvement Trust Chawl No. 3 (c) for Theistic worship. Besides these weekly meetings the Samaj organized 15 public meetings in different parts of this city and arranged for lectures on Education, Temperance and Social Reform.
Temperance — One of the most useful features of their work is that of temperance among the Members. A time honoured custom among the Mahars in this part is that on the 5th day of the birth of every child the caste fellows meet, drink liquor very hard and kick up an indecent tom-tom all through the night. This Samaj has set itself dead against this foolish custom and made a point to attend the 5th day of every new born child not only in the Samaj but wherever their influence can reach, and celebrate the night in singing religious hymns and reading ‘पुराण’ or religious books. During the year under report 35 such nights were celebrated.
The Mandir Fund — Which was reported last year to have amounted to Rs. 650 is now made a subject of great dispute on account of the above mentioned difficulties arising from the reformatory tendencies of the Samaj.
Finances — Every member has to pay a monthly subscription of 4 annas.
Receipts. Rs. a. P. Rs. a. P-
Opening Balance 8 10 0 Room rent 39 0 0
Subscription 50 0 0 Miscellaneous 15 0 0
Balance 4 8 0
58 10 0 58 10 0
Nesbit Road, Mazgaon,
Bombay, Feb. 1911.
(President, S. M. S.)
The Nirashrit Sadan.
Object — The object of this institution is (1) to train young men and specially women for work among the Depressed Classes by actually putting them to such work and (2) to afford shelter to helpless children of these classes.
The grant of Rs. 100 per month which was regularly received specially for this institution till June 1910, being discontinued, regular work could not be done during the year. The 2nd object is now served by the students Boarding House attached to the school at Parel. Sister Janabai Shinde and Mrs. Kalyanibai Sayad did honorary service, throughout the year visiting the Depressed Classes women and children at their homes, attending the sick, organizing social and religious meetings and giving the women private lessons in reading, writing and sewing. Sister Janabai accompanied Mr. Shinde on three of his tours viz., in Berars, Kathiawar and S. M. country and Mrs. Kalyanibai on the 4th in the West Coast; both of them worked in connection with the Rupee Fund of the Mission. Sister Janabai conducted a Sunday Class in the Madanpura school and The Womens' Meeting of the Somawanshiya Samaj at Byculla while Mrs. Kalyanibai looked after the boarders at Parel. That some large hearted friends may enable these sisters to increase the efficiency of their work which they are already doing but which now suffers merely through lack of funds, is the constant prayer of this Sadan.
7. In conclusion we beg to heartily thank all those whose names are given above for their kind and valuable aid to the hostel as also those who have given rice to it from week to week. Such help, we need hardly say, helps to make the life of the boarding students, bright and happy by making them feel that they are not after all neglected and uncared for by the members of the higher castes.
V. S. SOHONI
2. POONA Opened 22nd June 1902
The committee of Management during the year was composed of
Dr. Harold H. Mann, D. Sc., M. Sc., F.I.C. Principal, Agricultural College, (President)
Mr. R. P. Paranjpe, B. Sc., M. A., Principal, Fergusson College, (Vice-President)
Mr. B. S. Kamat, B. A.
Dewan Bah. V. M. Samarth.
Capt. H. Steen.
Mr. S. Y. Javere.
Mr. M. H. Ghorparay.
Mr. A. K. Mudliar, B.A. (Secretary and Treasurer)
The work of this Branch is at present chiefly educational. Hence when public or open air meetings are held we make it our chief object to advise the depressed classes to send their children to school.
Meetings of this nature were held during the year under report at Jejuri, Bhamburda, Ganj Petha, Ghorpuri and KamatipuraH. H. the Gaikawar’s scholarship of Rs. 3 per month is being awarded to a Mahar boy who is in the English IV standard of the New English School.
During the year under report we were sheltering and assisting a Mahar young man who was studying in the P. E. class of the Fergusson College. He fell ill at the end of the year and was not able to appear for the University Examination.
We had a free library for the Mahars in the Camp. Gradually it ceased to be attended and now it is practically closed.
The Mangalwar Petha Night School in the city was closed on 1st October 1910, a fact which is not mentioned in the Report of this Branch included in the General Report for 1910 since the former report was only up to the end of June 1910.
With the object of helping the women of the depressed classes, Mrs. Mudliar visited two or three Mahar houses where she arranged for a social gathering of women. The effect of these meetings was that at first, eight or nine ladies used to meet two or three times a week in our day school for about two hours every time to learn sewing, reading and writing. But at present this number is reduced to one.
With regard to the working of the Camp Free Day Primary School, I am glad to quote below the concluding portion of the report of the Educational officer who with his Assistants inspected the School on 13th July 1911. The Inspection amounted to a thorough and detailed examination with a view to re-assessment of Grant; and it is satisfactory to note that although the Grant of Rs. 587 was fixed in 1910, still, owing to the increase in our expenses, the department was pleased to proportionately increase the grant in 1911 to
Rs. 995, exclusive of the small grant on account of furniture.
“In conclusion it is a great satisfaction to note that the Secretary Mr. A. K. Mudliar spares no pains to elevate the intellectual status of the Depressed Classes which is the sole object of the Mission. This attempt deserves all possible encouragement and munificent aid from the Department. The total expenditure for the last official year amounts to
Rs. 2985 and I therefore have the honour to recommend that the grant of Rs. 995 which is the one-third of the total expenditure incurred may be awarded.”
M. N. SUBNIS (4th Asstt. Depty. Edl. Inspector, Poona)
These remarks were written in June 1911. It is therefore neccessary to note some of the changes that have taken place since then:-
The school is now located in a very suitable bungalow for which we have to pay a slightly higher rent. This bungalow has more space and a larger compound and is much better lighted and ventilated than the former buildings. It has also got the very great advantage of being situated very near the locality from which most of our pupils come.
There are nearly 180 boys on the rolls and the number of teachers is 9. Two more teachers will have to be employed soon.
The teacher at present employed to teach Carpentry and Drawing is one who has passed the Third Grade Drawing Examination of the Bombay J. J. School of Arts, and possesses certificates for proficiency in Carpentry, Architecture &c. from the Ratnagiri Industrial School. He has plenty of experience as teacher of Manual Training Classes. He was in independent charge of Industrial Schools in more than one place before joining our School.
In addition to the above remarks of the Educational Inspecting officer the following statistics will be of interest
Total No. of admissions ... 156
Average No. of pupils on the Rolls ... 141
Average daily attendance ... ... 102
On rolls on 31st December 1911 175
Classification of Pupils according to Standards :—
Table (See the Table Click here)
Classification of pupils according to Castes:-
Table (See the Table Click here)
Among the visitors to our school may be mentioned Mr. P. Wren Asstt. Director of Public Instruction, Dr. A. K. Komarswami, Lady Clarke, Countess Aurelia, Captain and Mrs. Powell and Mr. H. A. Wadya.
A. K. MUDLIAR
16 January 1912.
Table (See the Statement Receipts Click here)