The Fourth Annual Report-Poona Branch

Poona Branch
(Opened on the 22nd of June 1908)

Management — This centre of the D.C.M. is a Branch of the D.C.M. Society of India incorporated under rule 13 of the registered constitution of the Society. From the beginning till July 1912 Mr. A. K. Mudliar, B.A., volunteered his services as Hon. Secretary and conducted the affairs of this Branch with a very commendable zeal and exemplary energy and skill under the guidance of a local Committee, appointed by the Executive Committee of the General Society, consisting of Dr. Harold H. Mann (President), Principal R. P. Paranjpye (Vice President), Hon'ble Mr. B. S. Kamat, Mr. S. Y. Javeri, and Mr. M. H. Ghorparay to all of whom the Society’s best thanks are due for their self-imposed and praiseworthy efforts in the cause. In July last however Mr. Mudliar lost his wife, who used to help him very much in his charitable work. The blow was too much for Mr. Mudliar who had already been labouring under many domestic difficulties and had consequently to give up the work of this Branch altogether. At the requisition of the local Committee, I was desired by the Executive Committee to myself take charge of the Branch until better arrangement could be made, which I did in the beginning of August 1912. The Annual Report of this Branch had been even then due as usual, but I had, under the circumstance to postpone it that it may be presented and published along with the General Report of the Society. The present report is therefore for the eighteen months ending on the 31st of December from the date of the last (3rd) annual report of this Branch published in 1911.

Educational Work — of this Branch is now practically confined to (1) The Free Primary Day School located in No. 2008 near the Connought Market, Cantonment, Poona, and (2) The Carpentry and (3) Tailoring Classes attached to this school. The Branch in the beginning conducted for two years two night schools in different parts of the City but their failure only proves the fact that the working classes here have not yet developed any taste for any sort of systematic instruction that is likely to entail upon them mental strain in addition to their hard day's labour.

The work of the Primary School and its accessaries might be best reported in the words of Her Excellency Lady Sydenham and Lady Barrett who were kind enough to visit this institution and of the several Government Educational authorities.

"I visited this school to-day and was much struck with the bright intelligent faces of the children. I noticed that there were very few girls and I hope the parents will be encouraged to send their daughters also to be educated, as apart from the knowledge they acquire, cleanliness and orderly discipline are quite as necessary and beneficial for girls as for boys. I was impressed by the way the boys responded to the masters' questions which seemed to show that happy relations existed between them. The recitations and action songs were well performed. I was much interested in the class for grown women. The carpentering class lately started is a useful addition and though the boys have been learning for a short time the work shown to me seemed very well done. This and the drawing and painting taught at this school will help to impart accuracy which is a quality essential to success in life. Great credit is due to the Head-master and his colleagues for the way the school is conducted and I heartily wish it every success in extension of what it has already accomplished."
25th July 1911.    (Sd.) LADY SYDENHAM CLARKE

“I was much interested this morning in seeing the children and some of the results of the good work which is being done in this school. The little ones look so happy and the older ones so busy with their carpentering, cutting out, sewing &c. and it is a great pity there is not more accommodation for the many who attend daily. I hope it will get all the support it deserves."
16th July 1912.    (Sd.) LADY BARRETT

"The school is much improved in quantity as it enrolled 185 this year against 119 of last year. The figures of average number on roll and average daily attendance are also encouraging.

This commendable institution continues to do its work in a fairly satisfactory manner. Local Indian music which made a tolerably good progress had to be abandoned by the manager for want of a suitable music-teacher. However, the last year's institution in music has left a distinct mark on the recitation of poems which was good and deserves special mention. Drawing is taught with a fair amount of success.

The progress of the only boy in Standard V was poor in almost all subjects. Instruction in other standards however, seemed to have been generally very carefully imparted and the progress shown in them was fairly satisfactory in spite of the disturbance of Plague during the year. Extreme care is taken to bring up these proverbially dirty boys in the habit of cleanliness and tidiness and one is confessedly surprised to see the low caste children in such a good demeanour, dress, cleanliness &c. and the managers have certainly to be congratulated upon their pious endeavours of elavating a class of persons so long totally neglected.”
July 12th 1912.    (Sd.) V. N. Ghate
(Asstt. Oy. Educational Inspector,Poona)

"Paid a second visit of Inspection to the manual training class attached to the Primary School of the Mission. During the last 14 months of the existence of this class much useful work has been done. There are at present 17 boys learning Carpentry and Carpentry-drawing of whom 11 have been completely under instruction for 11 months. These have made good progress. The Institution is expected to show to the poor children who attend it, an honourable way to maintenance. The Mission is fortunate in securing the services of Mr. K. B. Padhye, who is very well qualified to conduct the class : he is doing his work energetically."
9th September 1912.    (Sd.) V. N. Ghate
(Asstt. Dy. Educational Inspector)

"Visited the school to inspect the Tailoring-class. Out of 26 on roll 24 pupils were present. The progress appeared to be good. Cutting is attempted on the scientific basis, which may inspire originality in the pupils and make them nice cutters. Pupils are taught embroidery also."
9th September 1912.    (Sd.) M. N. SABNIS
(Asstt. Dy. Educational Inspector)

The following persons also visited the school :—

Countess Aurelia Bethlen, Capt. and Mrs. A. E. Powell; Mrs. Yeshodabai Vishnoo, Superintendent, Shravikashram, Bombay; Mrs. Lilabai Bhate and Venubai Ajrekar; Mrs. Turnbull, and Sardar and Mrs. Nowrojee Pudumjee.

Mr. D. N. Patwardhan, the Head Master reports :-

"For the benefit of the students of our school we conduct (1) a Debating Club, (2) Boys and Teachers' Library and (3) Boys' Cricket Club. And for the benefit of the grown-up members of the Depressed Classes, (4) a free Reading Room and Library and (5) a Bhajan Samaj is also conducted by us.

"The library was temporarily closed for a few days but has now been revived from the month of September and receives the following newspapers and magazines gratis (1) The Daily Dnyan Prakash, (2) Subodha Patrika, (3) Maratha Mitra, (4) Shetkee and Shetkaree.

"To the proprietors of these we are very much thankful for their enabling me to do some work in this direction."

“There are now ten teachers for the Primary School and two for the Industrial Classes and the staff now seems to be adequate to the wants."

"The special feature of the institution is that instruction is as far possible imparted on modern approved lines and special care is taken to induce cleanliness of dress and correctness and general decency of behaviour. Much of our progress however, is continuously hampered by the irregular attendance of students. To remove this habitual irregularity myself and my staff take every opportunity of calling and advising the parents and guardians on this subject. The result of this seems to be much hopeful for the number of daily average attendance for the year 1911-12 is 130. This shows an increase of 28 over the number of the last year which was 102.”

Statistical Inform

Total No. of Admissions                       150                
Average No. of pupils on the rolls         190
Average daily attendance                    130    
On roll on 31st December 1912           175

Classification of pupils according to Standards - (To see the table No. 1)

Table No. 1

Classification of pupils according to Castes -


(A) Mahars           116

(B) Chambhars     16

(C) Mehetars        2

Touchables          41

                Total 175

Social Work — As usual a special campaign was vigorously conducted by the volunteers and staff of the school against the indecencies of the Shimaga holidays. Songs specially composed by the Head-master and Miss Dongre were printed and widely distributed. There were three meetings held, one in our own school, another in the Camp Eudcational Society's School and the third at Bhamburda. The Hon'ble Mr. B. S. Kamat presided at the 2nd and 3rd and Mr. Deshmukh of Gulburga at the 1st. Although a week's holiday is prescribed by the Educational Department our school was kept open throughout the festival, with a purpose to keep the children away from the undesirable influences in the streets. Besides there were drawn up attractive programmes of games, races and social gatherings in the evenings.

Spiritual Work — The Bhajan Samaj and the Reading-room which were discontinued for some time were revived for the benefit of grown people on the 27th August 1912. Devine Service is since being conducted every Saturday at 5.30 p.m. in the School-hall. Among those who preached were, Sir Dr. R. G. Bhandarkar, Rao Bahadur K. B. Marathe, Messrs. S. V. Javere, G. R. Anjerlekar, H. R. Dhowle, and V. R. Shinde. In connection with the anniversary of the local Prarthana Samaj, Babu A. C. Muzumdar of Lahore delivered a lecture in Hindi on the "Message of Universal Love" which was largely attended. Special public services were held in connection with the Maharashtra Conference, one in the school, another in the local Prarthana Samaj Mandir both being attended by large numbers including the guests of the Conference.

The Maharashtra Conference — The most important event of a very unique interest was the holding of the first Provincial Conference under the auspices of the D.C.M. Society of India in the amphitheatre of the Fergusson College on the 5th and 6th of October 1912 under the presidentship of Sir R. G. Bhandarkar. More than 300 guests belonging to the various "untouchable" castes came to attend this Conference at their own cost from distant villages and towns of the Maharashtra, and not only lodged and boarded in the school without the least distinction of castes being observed by them, but took a lively and active interests in the deliberations affecting their welfare. The crowning feature was the principal memorable dinner on the 6th October in which about 400 guests most cheerfully partook, among whom not less than 50 were from the higher educated castes from the City of Poona. Dr. Mann who, as president of the Branch received and cheered the guests and himself joined the dinner, declared enthusiastically and no less truly that it was a historical event in the orthodox capital of the Marathas. A still more commendable feature however was the women's meeting on the 7th instant presided by Mrs. Ramabai Ranaday and attended by about 200 women of the Depressed Classes among whom not less than a hundred ladies of the higher classes from the City mixed freely and made sympathetic speeches. A complete, report of the proceedings is separately published in Marathi in a book-form and can be had for only two annas at the school.

*Proposed Boarding House
One of the most important topics discussed in the Conference was the desirability of opening a Boarding House in Poona to which most promising but poor boys might be admitted free. The guests of the Conference readily contributed their mites for this purpose. An appeal is sent out for Rs. 2000 as the minimum expenses for two years of maintaining at least 15 boarders.* Friends are requested to support this new idea.

A Handsome Gift — In response to an appeal made on behalf of the D.C.M. Society for, among other items of the Society a home of the Mission in Poona, His Highness Sawai Tukojirao Maharaja Holkar of Indore was gracious enough to donate twenty thousand rupees for a building in Poona to be called after His Highness's illustrious ancestor Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar. Negotiations for a plot of ground in the gift of Poona City Municipality are going on with that body.

On behalf of the Society I have to express my deep sense of regret at the loss caused to the Society by the death of Mrs. Sitabai Mudliar referred to above and that of Mrs. Sarojinibai Sahasrabuddhe and of thankful appreciation of the work they did in connection with this Branch. Before concluding I must record the warmest gratitude of the Society to the President Dr. H. H. Mann and his colleagues on this local Committee but for whose exertions the Society would not have been able to keep this Branch going, and also to the several volunteers, and lastly to all the donors and subscribers of this Branch.
(General Secretary, D.C.M.)
No. 2008


* This house is now opened (on the 1st of February 1913) and has on its list 14 tree boarders.

D. C. Mission - Poona Branch


Receipts and Expenses (Poona Branch 1st July 1911 to 31st December 1912) (To see the statement in Table  no. 1)
Table No. 1