THE FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE
DEPRESSED CLASSES MISSION SOCIETY OF INDIA
(for the two years ending on 31st December 1910)
The Committee of the D.C.M. again offer their profound thanks to the Almighty Father the All-powerful Love that guided them in their humble task and further pray for strength, hope and humility.
The last Annual gatherings — In the month of March 1909, the Mission celebrated its 2nd anniversary by holding a series of lectures, divine services, Bhajans and Kirtans (musical services) in a spacious pendal raised for the purpose in the open space before the Society's School at Elphinstone Rd., which was largely attended by the depressed classes of the city. They were the very first celebrations organised on a large scale mainly for the intellectual as well as spiritual edification of the masses hitherto so neglected and even despised. The social part of the gatherings was no less successful. A hearty Priti-Bhojan (love- feast) was partaken of by about sixty selected representatives of the Mahar and Chamar communities and the sympathisers and supporters of the Mission from the higher classes. A conference of the friends and workers of the Mission that had been invited from the different centres met and deliberated on various subjects under the presidency of Prof. N. G. Welinkar, M.A., LL.B. But a strange stroke of fate suddenly arrested the course of the gatherings and made one of their very essential features, the Annual Prize Distribution, impossible. His Excellency Sir George Clarke had kindly consented to preside, but his daughter, Miss Violet Clarke, the kindliest friend of the Mission departed this world on the very day on which she was to give away the prizes to the pupils of the Mission. Thus the gatherings had to be closed with a most melancholy meeting of the women of the depressed classes gathered to send a message of sympathy and condolence to the sorrowing father.
The Prize Distribution — The postponed Prize Distribution was held on the 18th of October 1909, the foundation day of the Mission, in the Town Hall, which was crowded to its utmost capacity. His Highness Shri Sayajirao, Maharaja of Baroda, presided on the occasion, and the Hon’ble Sir N. G. Chandavarkar, the Hon’ble Prof. G. K. Gokhale, Mr. Vimadalal and Pandit Atmaram made speeches, explaining the various attempts made under different auspices but towards the common goal viz. the elevation of the Depressed Classes. The Maharaja closed his learned speech on the problem by declaring his hearty sympathy (or and appreciation of the work of the Mission and generously gave Rs. 2,000 for the foundation of scholarships to the deserving students in the name of his ancestor, Damaji Gaikwar.
The constitution — The rules of constitution passed at the General Meeting of the Society on the 10th of December 1908 and published in the 2nd Annual Report were reconsidered and changed in a General Meeting held on the 2nd July 1910. They were again revised by a Subcommittee specially appointed for the purpose and now appear in the appendix as finally passed.
Registration — The Trust Deed of the Society was registered duly on the 9th July 1910; and the Society itself was registered in November 1910 under Act XXI of 1860 as a charitable body. All the Society’s schools in Bombay and Poona are registered according to the Grant- in-Aid Code of the Government.
The Missionary Body — A band of volunteers, who had from the beginning devoted themselves solely to the work of the Mission, were given a mere subsistence allowance by the Nirashrit Sadan which was started with the sole help of an anonymous philanthropist in May 1907. He regularly paid Rs. 100 every month till July 1910. Since he stopped this generous grant, the Mission work has received a severe blow; for even this meagre pittance granted to some of the Missionaries had to be stopped and although they are yet working as before it is feared that unless some friend comes forward with a liberal grant the Society will have soon to forego the valuable services of some men and women who have been so long working silently and faithfully under most uninviting conditions.
Ladies’ Committee — The best thanks of the Committee are due 'o the energetic Secretaries of the Ladies’ Committee Mrs. Laxmibai Ranaday and Mrs. P. Captain, who have done much to draw the attention of the ladies in the higher circles to the work of the Mission and to secure pecuniary help. It is hoped the place of the Presidentship of the Committee left vacant by Lady Muir Mackenzie who so worthily occupied for the last two years will soon be filled up by an equally worthy lady.
Incorporated Branches — The branch at Poona is the only one that is incorporated with the Head Quarters at Bombay and is under the general control from Bombay. Under the enthusiastic and devoted Secretary, Mr. A. K. Mudliar and the worthy President, Dr. Harold H. Mann, the Local Committee has till now successfully conducted the branch without much pecuniary support from Bombay and bids fair to continue this healthy independence in future.
Affiliated Centres — Four new centres, viz., Amraoti, Mahableshvvar, Thana and Satara, were affiliated to the Society during the two years under report. Of the old ones those of Indore and Manmad are being conducted under circumstances most discouraging and that of Igatpuri had to be closed for want of support. As the two local Secretaries Mr. Mohansing Motising, B.A. and Dr. W. A. Warty, had to leave their respective centres, Manmad and Dapoli, at both these places, devoted men are badly needed to keep the good work going. As the scope of the Society is so vast as to need centre almost in every village, it is neither possible nor desirable to maintain these centres from the Head Quarters; these, therefore, as a rule, are managed by local workers, with local means, according to local needs, and are helped by the Parent Society by correspondence, occasional sundry grants and propagandistic work done by its missionaries. Mr. K. Rangrao, Secretary, Brahma Samaj, Mangalore, who began the noble work of the uplift about 12 years before even the starting of this Society, single handed and under distressful conditions, has now splendidly organized his centre of the D.C.M. at Mangalore. Mr. V. M. Mahajani of Akola, Mr. M. V. Joshi of Amraoti, Mr. Abdul Rahman Kadri of Dapoli, Mr. R. R. Kale of Satara and Mrs. C. E. Jameson of Mahablehwar are to be congratulated among others for having helped towards the success of their respective centres.
Educational Work — The problem of the uplift of the Depressed Classes is evidently too vast — the evil of the national neglect too longstanding and the consequent depression too wide spread — to be adequately tackled by any one agency or group of agencies, all at once. The Society, has therefore, by means of word and work to direct its principal attempts patiently towards educating the Public opinion of the higher classes as well as to work up the depressed classes themselves to a sence of their own duties in this respect. Whether there should be separate shools for these people or whether they will be in the long run more benefitted by slow and persistent efforts being made by them and for them for the admission of their children in the ordinary schools, whether Missions like this should start schools of their own or rather relegate that duty to the Government and the Municipalities, reserving their limited resources for work on indirect lines — these and similar questions of vital importance are often discussed privately and in the press, by those who are actively engaged in the work of the Society. But time is not yet come for this Society, nor is it idely waiting for that time, when it should devote itself exclusively to either one or the other of these controverted courses of action.
The 5 Schools, 4 in Bombay and one in Poona, which are under the direct control of the Society and which are all prospering, not to speak of others at the various affiliated centers, are therefore as much necessary for the Society to gain the confidence of the people for whom it is working as to equip its Missionaries and workers with first hand experience of the difficulties of the problem and the practical needs of the people. Still the Society cannot indefinitely aspire to start many more such institutions for direct educational work. A glance at the reports of the various affiliated centres will show that most of the local committees, e.g. at Dapoli and Satara, are directing their main efforts to make the most of the local facilities given by the Government and the Municipalities. As will be seen from the extract quoted in the report from Amraoti, the Government authorities too are not blind to the good work done by these local committees.
The Boarding House — One of the important new developments of the work in Bombay is the Boarding House which is attched to the Society’s Middle School at parel. The Superintendent, in his report given elsewhere, briefly traces the interesting history of this small institution. One of the sources from which this institution draws its support is the Miss Clarke Memorial Scholarship Fund, which, if liberally contributed to by the admirers of the late Miss Clarke and the friends of the Mission, will not only lay this institution on a sound financial basis but help the Society to develop a model central training institute preparing workers for the Mission as well as teachers who are now so much in demand in the Schools for these classes. The House is even now drawing students from different Marathi speaking Districts of this Province, and will, if the above fund be augmented, be able to accommodate the many needy and deserving students wishing to continue their secondary course of education, who now apply for admission but cannot get it for want of support.
Industrial Education — With the Present resources the Society cannot hope to do much in this direction, however much be the need for it. The Book-binding Work-shop conducted in connection with the School at Parel is — although its results are very encouraging and it has secured a prize of merit for its exhibits from the Committee of the last Industrial Exhibition at Lahore — only a class for manual instruction and cannot be developed further without more funds. Last year a proposal to start a leather shop-factory on a co-operative basis was laid before the Committee which on sufficient consideration of the matter, had to satisfy itself only by lending Rs. 2000 from its funds at the interest of 12 p.c. to Mr. S. B. Ruth who then started an independent factory at Kalbadevi Road. This amount of Rs. 2000 being insufficient to give any practical shape to Mr. Ruth's original idea of training some youths from the Society’s schools in the art of turning out high class leather work, he has now returned Rs. 1000 to the Committee and intends to return the rest by instalments with interest. Mr. K. Rangrao’s loom factory at the Mangalore Centre has been steadily progressing along with his other Schemes, viz., of the Eri Silk-worm breeding and of the Colony.
The rope-making industry at the Mahableshwar Centre is favourably reported by the energetic Secretary, Mrs. C. E. Jameson who is also to be congratulated on having secured a promise of a building for the school, from Mrs. H. A. Wadia, in memory of Lady Muir Mackenzie, the ex-President of the D. C. M. Ladies’ Committee.
Social Work — Half-a-dozen years ago, when this Society was not in existence, a public meeting in which the “Untouchables” could freely mix with the higher classes and take their seats openly and on relations of equality and mutual respect with them was not to be thought of. Now such meetings are the order of the day. The remark of the Editor of the “Indian Social Reformer” that this movement is the uppermost thought of the day only shows that there has been almost a right-about-turn in the thoughts and feelings of the educated public in this respect. In Bombay and Poona, there have been more than once open public dinners in which the so-called “untouchables” sat side by side with prominent men of the highest caste not connected with any Prarthana or Brahma Samaj. The leading members of the Depressed classes themselves are now taking active part in Temperance and Purity Movements. In Kirkee, near Poona, a woman who was originally a Moorli and who could not be married according to the orthodox notions, was openly, and inspite of a great row, married to a man by the Mahar leaders, Mr. S. G. Kamble and others who are connected with the D. C. M. branch there. The members of the Somawanshiya Mitra Samaj, under the leadership of Mr. Kondaji Ramji of Bombay, are slowly and steadily working out healthy changes in the many awkward customs and traditions in connection with births, deaths and other domestic occurrences. That thus re-novated, the communities are slowly elevating themselves to their rightful place in the Hindu Society will be seen from the fact that many members of the above Samaj are constant attendants at the monthly Inter-Club Hindu Social Gatherings organised by the Social Reform Association of Bombay.
Spiritual Work — Superstition is at the root of all degradation; and no uplift work will ever be really efficient and abiding unless it is characterised by strong spiritual efforts. To refuse to do any religious work at all, least it will prove sectarian, is only a latter-day superstition. The missionary body of the society is therefore not only keeping itself always apprised of the dangers of both these kinds of superstition, old and new, prevailing among the illiterate and the educated portions of the society at large, but is showing by its actual endeavours that it is quite possible to steer along a line of simple and yet fervent faith, clearly avoiding the excesses of sectarianism on the one hand and those of stark secularism on the other. It bases its religious work on the bedrock of Hinduism formed by the meditations of the ancient sages and the passions of the medieval saints, both of which, unburdened by any theological niceties are equally borne witness to by the most modern religious thought of the day. If such is the resolve of our Missionaries, their actual experience is no less encouraging. The unsophisticated masses and the lower strata of the Hindu Society are perhaps the better field of work than the higher ones for the evangelists of the modern creedless faith. The Theistic congregation of Mahars started four years ago at Byculla (24th March 1907) though now a little reduced in membership has been through these years tried by all those difficulties that befall those that help themselves and has since last year set on foot a movement amongst its own community, called “The Somavanshiya Nirashrit Mandir Fund", for erecting a building of its own. Of the two Mahar youths who were initiated into Brahmaism in 1909 one has started a similar congregation for simple theistic worship divested of all Mythological, ritualistic and idolatrous practices at Thugaon near Amraoti, and the other at Mohapa near Nagpur. In the Sunday Schools of the Society e.g. at Akola, Manmad, Poona and Bombay, the hymns of Tukaram and Namdev, Eknath and Ramdas in Marathi and the simple tenets from Bhagwadgita and moral epigrams of Bhartrihari in Sanskrit are taught. In the Women's Meetings newly organised last year select and deeply suggestive stories from the Mahabharat and Ramayan are explained.
Propagandistic work — The Committee is glad to note that since 1909, the Bombay Social Reform Association has taken the subject of the elevation of the Depressed Classes on its active propaganda. In co-operation with Mr. B. N. Bhajekar, the energetic Secretary of the Association, large meetings were held on the 18th of October, the Foundation Day of the Mission, in Bombay and in nearly all the district towns of this province in which prominent men of the respective localities took part. The abstract of these meetings is given below.
Propagandistic Meetings in behalf of the Depressed Classes organised at the initiative of the D.C.M. Society and the Bombay Social Reform Association -
Table (To see the tables click here)
Such meetings were also held last year, and it is hoped, will be repeated every year in future. The Mission sent its agents to the several districts of the Southern and Northern Maharashtra and the Berars to preach the cause. Mr. Kondaji Ramji, the enthusiastic President of the Somavanshiya Samaj pays occasional visits to some taluka places in the Poona District and holds meetings of his people in order to acquaint them with the work of the Mission. The following work done by one of our Volunteers Mr. Shripad Keshav Naique on his tour through the Southern Maratha Country last May Vacation all at his own cost only illustrates how the young blood in the country is bestirring itself to wipe away one of the worst blots on its fair name.
Table (To see the table click here)
Deputation to H. E. the Governor — A Deputation of the D. C. M. Society, consisting of Mrs. R. P. Paranjpye, Dr. Harold H. Mann, Mr. H. A. Wadia, Mr. D. K. Godbole, Prof. D. K. Karve and Mr. V. R. Shinde, waited upon H. E. Sir George Clarke, the Governor of Bombay, at Ganeshkhind, in the afternoon of the 25th of August 1910. After Mrs. Paranjpye, Dr. Mann, Mr. Wadia and Mr. Shinde had made their Preliminary observations, an address was presented to His Excellency by Mrs. Praranjpye, setting forth the work and needs of the Mission and inviting H. E. the Governor to become a Patron of the Mission and asking for special Government aid in various directions. Although His Excellency could not become a Patron for reasons which he explained, he treated the members of the Deputation very kindly and courteously and promised to help the Society in many other ways. The address to, and the reply of H.E. the Governor appear in detail as an appendix to this report. Government have now issued a resolution directing that copies of these shall be forwarded to all Collectors with a request that the attention of Municipalities in their respective charges may be drawn to the request of the Mission, that additional facilities for the education of the Depressed Classes may be provided.
In a speech which His Excellency the Governor made, soon after this, at the Ferguson College, Sir George Clarke so kindly recommended the work of this mission to the young audience before him in the following words.
"It is our object and our duty to lead the mixed races of India onwards towards the time when a nation will have been built up capable of sell Government. It seems to me that there are signs that the process is already going on. I note the movements, such as the Indian Mission to the Depressed Classes which must tend to inculcate the sense of brotherhood... Many of the Colleges in England furnish missionary bodies which are working to raise the poorest classes. Can you not help by giving some of your time to educating the Depressed Classes in Poona or at least by using your influence in admitting them on equal terms to the schools from which they are excluded by your own un-written laws.”
Permanent Funds :
(1) Miss Clarke Memorial Scholarships Fund — The Committee has set aside an amount of five thousand Rupees, called the Miss Clarke Memorial Scholarships Fund, by permission of His Excellency Sir George Clarke. The amount is invested in the Port Trust Bonds @ 4 p.c. and the interest is to be paid in scholarships to the boarders at the D.C.M. Boarding House at Parel. The fund consists of the following amounts :-
Table (To see the table click here)
(2) The Damaji Gaikwar Scholarships Funds — H. H. Shri Sayajirao Gaikwar gave Rs. 2000 to fund in the name of his ancestor H. H. Damaji Gaikwar, scholarships to be awarded to the deserving students of the Depressed Classes in the Society's Schools. This amount has been invested in Port Trust Bonds yielding an annual interest of Rs. 80.
(3) Mr. Damodardas G. Sukhadwala, the Vice-President became a patron of this Society by paying a donation of Rs. 5000, in November 1909. This sum has been set aside by the Committee as the Capital Fund of the Society. Mr. Sukhadwala had before this given an initial donation of Rs. 1000 to start the Society and a Debenture of the Oriental Club of Rs. 500.
All these funds have been assigned to the Trustees of the Society according to the Rule of the Society.
The Committee in conclusion offers its hearty thanks to all the local Secretaries and their co-workers and to all other helpers of this cause of our depressed breathren of Hindustan.
V. R. SHINDE
(General Secretary, D.C.M.)
RAM MOHAN ASHRAM,
GIRGAUM, Bombay, 11th March 1911
The Depressed Classes Mission Society of India
Table (To see the table click here)
The Depressed Classes Mission Society of India
1 BOMBAY Opened 18th Oct.1906
FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE
1. Parel Middle School No. 1
1. Situation - The Depressed Classes Mission Society’s School No. 1, now called the Parel Middle School was originally opened at Parel (G.I.P. Rly.) in the Morarji Walji’s bungalow, on 18th October 1906, in the interest of the children of the Depressed Classes. It was thence transferred first to a chawl near the Globe Mill and afterwards for larger accommodation, to its present habitation opposite the Elphinstone Road Station of the B. B. & C. I. RIy. in November 1907.
2. Range of Education given -
(a) Secular Education - This school teaches four Vernacular and four English standards. The Vernacular course adopted is that of the Joint Schools Committee and the English course as followed in Government Schools. In addition to the instruction imparted in the ordinary subjects of the curriculum, instruction is given in drawing, bookbinding and sewing. The first and the last subjects are taught compulsorily to boys of the upper standards and girls respectively. Bookbinding is taught to grown up boys of all the standards. The school sent some binding specimens to the Industrial Exhibition held at Lahore in 1909 and was awarded a certificate of merit and a prize of twenty- five rupees for the same by the Exhibition Committee. Physical education of the pupils was carefully looked after last year as in the previous year, provision being made for cricket. The boys also played the Indian game of atyapatya under the direct supervision of one of their masters. Reference to the results of the St. IV Examination and Drawing Examination is made in para 4 of this report.
(b) Religious and Moral Instruction - The school opens daily with prayer followed by systematic instruction in religion and morality, for fifteen minutes. Religious education, which is of the most liberal and unsectarian character is given with the help of the writings of modern Hindu saints and poets like Tukaram and Ramdas, and moral instruction lessons for the upper standards are adapted from “The Teacher's Handbook of Moral Lessons" by A. G. Waldegrave, published with the sanction of the “Moral Instruction League of England.” It has been the chief aim of the school authorities to impart religious instruction in a manner calculated to shake the belief of the children in superstition which has helped to degrade the condition of the depressed classes, more than anything else. In connection with this school, there were held Sunday Classes regularly throughout the school terms. A prize distribution of the Sunday Classes was held in last August, when Sir John Muir Mackenzie presided and Lady Muir Mackenzie distributed books and clothes to the successful children.
3. Less Admissions & c. - The total number of pupils on roll on 1st January 1910 was 143. Of these 18 were girls and 125 boys. In the course of the year 276 fresh admissions were made. Of the total of 419 thus made 278 pupils left the school, leaving thus 141 pupils on roll on 31st December 1910. Of this number 92 belong to the Depressed Classes and 49 to the higher castes. The number of girls on roll on 31st December was 17. The average attendance for the whole year was 115. The pupils on roll on December 31st were divided as under according to Standards.
English St. IV 3 Marthi St. III 17
English St. IV 2 Marthi St. III 15
English St. IV 7 Marthi St. III 28
English St. IV 15 Marthi St. III 54
Total 27 Total 114
4. The Annual Transference Examination - The Annual Transference Examination of the school was held before the Divali Holidays in last October. It was conducted by the General Secretary Mr. Shinde with the help of the teachers belonging to the other schools the Mission. Of the 150 pupils who appeared for the Examination, 106 passed under all heads. Of these 106, 65 belonged to the Depressed Classes and 41 to the higher ones. The school sent up 17 Pupils for the Fourth Standard Examination. Of these, 12 were successful, one of them being a girl. Of the seven pupils who appeared for the 1st Grade Drawing Examination five were successful, one of them also being the girl who passed the St. IV Examination.
5. The Annual Inspection - The Annual Inspection for Grant-in-Aid was conducted by Mr. M. K. Joshi, Marathi Asstt. Dy. Inspector, on 31st August. The following extract is taken from his report :-
“The school teaches Joint Schools Committee’s standards. For the Fourth Standard General Examination this year, the school sent up seventeen pupils and out of them 12 passed. The school which is largely attended by Depressed Class boys was found in a fairly efficient condition of progress, ...Hand-writing, reading & c. are pretty good. Drawing has been lately introduced which is creditable. The staff is adequate and fairly well qualified. Discipline and conduct of students — satisfactory. The school is trying hard and promises to show good results and improve the condition of the children of the Depressed Classes and deserves every encouragement. A grant of five hundred rupees, as recommended last year may be awarded though the School Committee, as we hear, gave only Rs. 300."
It will be seen from the above extract from the Inspector’s report that the school which was registered under Chapt. II of the Grant-in- Aid Code in 1908 as a Primary School had been recommended for a grant of rupees 500 for that year. This amount was nearly one-fifth of the total expenditure incurred on account of the school. The Schools Committee, however, for reasons best known to them; did not see their way to give the recommended grant and reduced the amount to rupees 300 only. It is hoped that this year at least, the Committee will have no hesitation in accepting the Inspector’s repeated recommendation for a grant of 500 rupees.
6. Visitors to the School - Among those who visited the school during the year under report, were Sir Jamshedji Jijibhoy Bart, Mr. H. A. Wadia, Bar-at-Law, Mr. Surendra Nath Tagore, Mr. P. K. Mehta, Mr. T. D. Warma, Mr. and Mrs. F. Anderson and Mr. and Mrs. Saint Nihal Singh. The Inspector of Marathi Schools and his Asstt. paid a surprise visit each. The following are some of the remarks made by the visitors.
Visited the school and found it in proper working order.
(Sd.) GOPAL V. PANANDIKAR
(Ag. Dy. Ed. Inspector, Bombay)
Visited the school this morning and found it in working order. The boys and girls could read and recite pretty satisfactorily. The infants too appeared to take interest in their lessons. Discipline was good. Attendance 114/196. There is a book-binding class where the boys work in the morning for the first hour. The boarding arrangement is pretty satisfactory. There are in all 12 boarders. The institution is doing on the whole good work.
(Sd.) M. K. JOSHJ
(Marathi Asstt. Dy. Ed. Inspector)
Visited the D. C. M. School this afternoon and was pleased to see the school masters and pupils all doing their duties and interested in their various engagements. The Head Master in charge is very active and appears to have taken much care towards the uplift of the Depressed Classes... The pupils look neat, bright and cheerful.
3rd October 1910.
(Sd.) T. D. VARMA
...The value of the splendid work being done is so self-evident that words of commendation are superfluous. I was much pleased with the house, the arrangements and the neat appearance of the little cholars, — the book-binding and other work turned out seemed to be very well executed. The authorities and staff are to be congratulated on the successful fight they have made against enormous odds.
(Sd.) SURENDRA NATH TAGORE
7. Gifts to the School Children - The children of the school continue to receive various gifts of sweetmeat, clothes, books & c. from their well-wishers. Among those who sent sweetmeat, special mention must be made of the name of Raobahadur Anandrao R. Talcherkar whose annual gift of the same was gratefully enjoyed by the children. Sheth Damodardas Goverdhandas our Vice-President whose interest in the Mission and the school children is well-known, sent ten rupees for sweetmeat of the foundation day of the Mission. Mr. M. R. Jayakar’s gift of beddings and books to the boarders was most opportune as the boys were badly in need of them. Mrs. Laxmibai Ranaday also remembered the pupils on various occasions in the course of the year and was kind enough to procure gifts for them from her friends. To all those who remembered the children in this way, last year, we beg to tender our heart-felt thanks.
8. General Remarks - The children who attend our school, come, as is well-known, from the dirtiest quarters of the city. They are therefore supplied with soap and water to bathe and wash their clothes on the school premises. This has proved to be a good way of impressing upon them the necessity of living cleanly and it has helped in no small measure to spread ideas of cleanliness in their homes. During the last four years, the school has developed into a Middle School from an indigenous one teaching the first Marathi Standard. Its utility seems to be well recognised, as boys from up country and even the far-off Berars, have come here to join it. It is fast out-growing its accommodation and must be removed to a place capable of holding at least 200 pupils. Its adjunct the students' hostel has rendered material help in steadying the attendance of the pupils in the English side of the School and has brought the young boys under the influence and direct control and care of the workers. The school staff without exception worked very hard during the year under report as in preceding years, to maintain the quality of the instruction imparted and the discipline and tone of the school on a high level. I therefore beg to conclude my report by expressing my heart-felt thanks to my assistants without whose earnest and wholehearted co-operation, the school would not have been in the position in which it at present, is.
V. S. SOHONI
(Head Master, Parel Middle School)
2. Deonar Kachrapatty Day School, No. 2
The Deonar Kachrapatty Day School which is situated close to the chawls for the depressed classes labourers working in connection with the removal of refuse of the city of Bombay to the Kachrapatty, Chembur continued to do its work steadily, throughout the year. The school has now been registered as an indigenous one for grant. It was examined by Mr. R. S. Dixit, B.A., Ag. 1st Deputy Educational Inspector, Thana, on 22nd November 1910. The following extract is taken from his remarks, made in the visit book of the school. “Examined the school with the following results.
|Std.||No. on roll||No. on Present||No.|
|infants||33||25||Of these six did well and were only beginners|
The master should pay greater attention to personal cleanliness of the boys and should try to teach them method in doing every thing."
During the year under report 48 new pupils were admitted into the school. Of these 35 were boys and 13 girls. As in the previous year, these were drawn from the children of the labourers residing in the chawls mentioned above. The number of pupils on roll on 31st December 1910 was 37 of which 30 were boys and 7 girls. The average daily attendance for the year was 32.
The following extract is taken from the remarks of Mr. Shaikh A. K. Ahemad, 3rd Asstt. Deputy Ed. Inspector, Thana S. D., made by him on the occasion of his surprise visit to the school on 21st April 1910.
“Visited the Kachrapatty Low Caste Free School opened by the D.C.M., on 24th April 1910. Heard Balbodha and Modi reading of boys in Standard II as also the Mental Arithmetic of the boys in the same standards. The boys acquitted themselves fairly well... On the whole I was pleased to see that the D.C.M. was doing a signal service by spreading knowledge amongst the members of the depressed classes.
The master in charge of this school is a Mahar - the first that the Mission has been able to secure from the depressed classes. Mr. A. V. Thakar, L.C.E. who was chiefly instrumental in the starting of this school, although now transferred from Chembur to Bombay still evinces great interest in the conduct of the school. The Mission Committee is thankful to him as also to Mr. Oke, who is in charge of the Kachrapatty line of the Railway and to Mr. Madan, the overseer, for the great interest they take in the work of the school and the very efficient supervision they exercise over it.
V. S. SOHONI
(Inspector of D.C.M. Society's Schools)
3. Madanpura Day School, No. 3
Situation - This school was opened on the 1st of June 1908, in the Dagdi Chawl, near the Byculla Club, Agripada. It was thence removed to the Improvement Trust Chawl C in a few months since its starting in June, on account of a rapid increase in the number of pupils. The number having gone over a hundred, it had to be removed from this place also to a chawl with better accommodation, close to the Improvement Trust Chawls.
Attendance & c. - The number of pupils on roll on the 1st of January 1910 was 122, of whom 97 were boys and 25 girls. In all 120 fresh admissions (91 boys, 29 girls) were made in the course of the year, bringing the total number on roll to 242. Of this number 139 pupils (108 boys and 31 girls) left the school, thus leaving 115 pupils on roll on 31st December 1910. This is made up of 96 boys and 19 girls. The average daily attendance for the year was 58.
Transference Examination and Annual Inspection - The Annual Transference Examination of the school was conducted by me with the assistance of Mr. A. M. Sayyad for three days beginning with Oct. 24. Of the 80 pupils presented for the Examination 57 passed under all heads. The result of the examination was very encouraging. The Annual Inspection for the award of Grant-in-aid was conducted by Mr. Joshi, Asstt. Dy. Educational Inspector, Bombay, at the end of August. As the result of the Inspection the school has been awarded a grant of Rs. 158 against Rs. 138 of the previous year. The School is still treated as an indigenous one, but an application will shortly be made to the Joint Schools Committee for its registration under Chap. II of the Grant-in-aid Code as a primary school.
The following extract is taken from the Inspector’s report - "The students in the 4 standard were examined in the school and the progress of the class appeared fair enough and the class may be sent up from the next year to the General IV Standard Examination. The work of the school, on the whole, appeared to be very fair handwriting and reading were very fair. The school is attended for the most part by the Depressed Classes and from this point of view the work of the school was found good. Drawing is lately introduced. Discipline and conduct of students both satisfactory. The staff is adequate and well qualified.”
The Sunday Class - This class was held regularly during the school terms. The pupils of this class were examined and prizes given to the successful ones in last November. The class was conducted by Sister Janabai Shinde and myself. The average attendance of this class was 29.
General Remarks - This school too, like the first of the Society's schools, at Parel, is serving the object of imparting instruction to the children of the Depressed Classes. It is situated close to the Improvement Trust Chawls, four of which are set apart for the Depressed Classes. Thus the school supplies a much felt want of these people. It has now more than a hundred pupils on its roll and this number, if the present signs may be trusted, is likely to increase considerably. It is therefore becoming necessary, in the case of this school also, to find out better accommodation, a place capable of holding at least 150 pupils.
V S. Sohoni
(Inspector of D. C. M. Society's Schools)
4. Kamathipura Day School for Bhangis, No. 4
Origin - This school which was opened in 1909 owes its origin to the generosity of a gentleman who prefers to be anonymous. He bore the entire cost of it for the first and second year of its existence. Great difficulty was experienced in securing decent rooms for this school and in inducing high class Gujarati teachers to teach the Bhangi children. The Bhangis do the work of removing night soil and they are therefore looked upon as the lowest in the social grade and very few high class men are found to be willing to touch them, not to speak of teaching them by remaining in their midst for a number of hours every day. The difficulty of securing a teacher was so great in last June that the school came almost on the verge of being closed altogether. We were however fortunate to come across a Dhed gentleman who is a trained teacher from Baroda, and succeeded in inducing him to take up the work of the teacher of our school. Since then the school is in his charge and is making steady progress under him. It is situated at Kamathipura 13th Lane.
Attendance & c. - The number of pupils on roll on 1st January was 23. In the the course of the year 53 new admissions were made. Of the total of 76 thus made 47 left, there being thus 29 pupils on roll on the 31st December 1910. Of these 23 are boys and 6 girls. The average daily attendance for the year was 22. The school teaches up to 4th Standard, according to the Standards of the Joint Schools Committee.
Annual Transference Examination - The School was examined for transferring the pupils on the 2nd December 1910 by Mr. D. B. Trivedi, with the following result.
|Standard||No. of Piplis Examin||No. Passed|
The Infant class did satisfactorily.
The school has been registered by the Joint Schools Committee under Chapt. III of the Grant-in-aid Code and will be awarded grant from next year.
V. S. Sohoni
(Inspector ol D.C.M. Society's Schools)
5. D. C. M. Boarding House
History - From the beginning arrangements were occasionally made in the D. C. M. Nirashrit Sadan for the lodging and boarding of the deserving students of the Depressed Classes who came from the moffusil or were found shelterless in Bombay. Later on it was found highly desirable to induce a select number of pupils from the Parel Middle School, to reside in the school house under the direct care of the resident missionary of the Mission and go to their homes only twice a day for their meals for about half an hour. Thus a hostel was started with 11 students on the 4th of February 1909. The result was so encouraging that applications were received from several students from the moffusil for admission. From the month of Sept. 1909 regular arrangements were made for their board in this hostel. Till the 31st of December 1910 the total admissions registered were 36. The number of boarders on the roll on that day was 21, including 3 girls. Of these 21, two are paying, four are half-free and the rest are maintained partly by contributions from the Miss Clarke Memorial Scholarships Fund and partly otherwise.
The classification of boarders (on the roll on the 31st December 1910) according to their
Districts from which they come :-
Table (To see the chart click here)
The Daily Programme :
5.00 Rise regularly
5.30 Bhajan & morning prayer
7.30 School Lessons
9.00 Bath & breackfast.
10.00 Book binding
AM - PM
11 to 5.00 Day School
5.00 Washing & Exercise
7.30 Lessons or Night School
Sunday — In the morning the boarders attend the Sunday Class and in the afternoon they hold their own Debating Club. The evening divine services which have been discontinued for some months, will be soon reorganised.
Excursions — The boarders were twice taken to Borivili and the Canaree Caves for excursion. Both the times Mr. B. R. Madgaonker gave his bungalow at Borivili tor use.
Gifts to the boarders — The following gifts were received during the two years under report.
(1) 24 Dhotees from Mr. B. R. Madgaonkar.
(2) 17 sets of plates and cups from Dr. S. G. Ranaday and Mr. N. G. Ranaday.
(3) 17 Beddings from Mr. M. R. Jayakar, Bar-at-law.
(4) 36 Vests from the Deccan Stores.
(5) Boxes of soap from the Lotus and the Diamond Soap Companies.
(6) Bottles of Jwarbindu (medicine) from Dr. Gowande.
(7) Many useful old clothes from friends.
We are very much thankful to the above mentioned gentlemen for the gifts and to Dr. V. K. Kamat for the trouble he has taken in visiting the boarders and treating the patients free of any charges.
Management - Mrs. Kamalabai, who is Chambhar by caste, cooks for the boarders. There is no servant employed in the hostel and boarders themselves have to do all sorts of domestic work in the Hostel. They live and dine together, without observing any caste distinction. The diet is strictly vegetarian and yet the boarders feel no discomfort whatsoever. Keen attention is paid to their habits of cleanliness and behaviour.
The present school building is found most inadequate for the purposes of the Boarding House and it is earnestly hoped that some large hearted friend of the Depressed Classes will enable the Society to provide suitable quarters to the house, somewhere in the suburbs of Bombay.
A. M. SAYAD
6. Nirashrit Sadan (1909-1911)
The Nirashrit Sadan was started in the year 1907 with the help of a generous philanthropist who paid till the end of June 1910 Nirashrit every month for the maintenance of the members of the Rs. 100 Stadan.
Object - The object of the Sadan was to train young men and women for the work among the Depressed Classes and to afford shelter to the helpless children of these classes.
Work - There were 6 members of the N. Sadan in the years under report. They were all working in Bombay. Two of the lady members worked in the Poona Branch of the D. C. M. for sometime in 1909. 21 Meetings of the D. Class women were arranged in which lectures on useful subjects were given, Purans were read and Kirtans were performed. Divine services were arranged at Parel every Sunday till the month of March 1910.
Visits - The lady members visited the houses of the poor where they advised the people to send their children to school and drew their attention to the general un-cleanliness of their homes, bodies and clothes. They paid 273 such visits in different parts of the city of Bombay.
Medical Help - During their visits to the homes of the poor people they found many poor patients lying in bed. In cases of serious illness they got the doctor from the Sewa Sadan Dispensary to visit the patients free of charge. Other patients were advised or helped to go to some charitable dispensaries. The sisters of the Sadan also nursed poor patients and dying old women in their homes. One of them attended 13 cases of delivery as midwife, one of which being very serious was taken to the Cama Hospital. In all cases the delivery was safe.
Home Classes - Classes were opened for grown up women in chawls where reading, writing and sewing were taught. Such women also attended the sewing classes in the D. C. M. Schools at Parel and Byculla.
D. C. Women's Meetings — A regular association of the women of the Depressed Classes started in 1909 has been meeting every alternate Saturday at the Madanpura Day School to listen to the Hindu religious scriptures such as Bharat, Ramayan & c. read out to them. At present there are about 20 members, each paying a subscription of one anna a month. Most of them are wives of the members of the Somawanshiya Nirashrit Mitra Samaj. During the Chaturmas (the four sacred Hindu months) in 1910, Haladi Kunku i. e., socio-religious gatherings were held by these members at their places by turns, with great enthusiasm. The sister in charge at times invited them all to At-homes in the school.
Rescue Work — The Commissioner of Police sent three waifs, two Chamars and one Mahar to the Sadan and one castaway infant aged 6 months. The Chamar girls were sent to the Sewa Sadan Ashram at Malad and the infant to the Foundling Asylum at Pandharpur. A Mahar girl aged 15 years received from the Society for the Protection of Children of Poona is now a happy inmate of the Boarding House at Parel.
A. M. SAYAD
Elphinstone RD., Feb. 1911.
7. D. C. M. Ladies' Committee
Mrs. Stanley Reed — Chairman
Mrs. Dilshad Begum
Miss S. Kabraji — Treasurer
Mrs. P. Captain — Secretary
Mrs. Laxmibai Ranaday — Secretary
Objects — This Committee was organized in the year 1908 with the threefold object of (1) Creating among the ladies of the upper classes interest in the work of the Mission especially in that which is done by the sisters of the Nirashrit Sadan among the women and children of the Depressed Classes; (2) Raising funds and helping the Mission by such other practical means; (3) Organizing social functions such as gatherings, meetings, concerts, buzzars &c., for the benefit of the Mission.
Lady Muir Mackenzie who was the president of this Committee from its beginning, took active interest in its work till her departure from Bombay. She helped largely in opening a centre of the Mission at Mahableshwar in May 1909 and attended the Annual Prize Distribution of the Poona Branch in Sept. 1909 when she exhorted the noblemen and gentlemen then present to support the Mission. Some times she convened the meetings of the Committee at her residence on the Malabar Hill. In order to publicly recognize her services to the Mission, at her departure from Bombay, the Ladies' Committee gave a social gathering, at their own cost, in the Prarthana Samaj Hall, Girgaum on the 10th of August 1910 which was largely attended by prominent ladies and gentlemen of the city. Mrs. Stanley Reed, the Chairman, in welcoming Sir John and Lady Muir Mackenzie rightly observed :— "...Sir John and Lady Muir Mackenzie were the first prominent English people to give the Mission their countenance and practical assistance. They visited the mission Schools, they identified themselves conspicuously with our work. Not only so but Lady Muir Mackenzie constituted herself the Missioner for the Society among the Princes and Chiefs of the Presidency. Sir John who presided over the 1st Annual Meeting of the Mission stood its constant friend with the Government and no doubt targely through his kindly offices, we have received all help from those in authority" ...Sir John then made a sympathetic speech and Lady Muir Mackenzie gave away prizes to the Sunday School pupils of the Society.
Another and a still larger public meeting of the women of all the depressed communities of Bombay viz., Mahars, Chambhars, Mangs and Bhangis was held under the auspices of this Committee in the open space before the Improvement Trust Chawl at Agripada on the 5th of November 1910, under the presidency of Mrs. Yashodabai Thakur of the Sewa Sadan in which the following resolution was passed amidst cheers and a copy of it was forwarded from the spot to H.E. Sir George Clarke, Governor of Bombay and Lady Clarke.
“That this assembly representing the women of the various Depressed Classes residing in the city of Bombay and their sympathisers record their exceedingly warm feelings of sincere gratification and delight on account of the marriage solemnized yesterday of H.E. Sir George Clarke our most popular Governor with Mrs. Reynolds, and beg to express their humble congratulations and blessings to their Excellencies Sir George and Lady Clarke, and also pray to the Gracious Almighty to grant them both a long and prosperous life of personal happiness and continued public utility.”
Mrs. Stanley Reed distributed prizes to the pupils of the Sunday Schools and sweets to all the pupils of the Society in a large public gathering held in 1909 of which she bore all the cost herself. Other members of the Committee paid several visits to the schools of the Society in company of their friends.
Bombay, Feb. 1911
8. The Somawanshiya Mitra Samaj, Byculla
Under the auspices of the D. C. M. this Samaj was started on the 24th of March 1907. It first used to meet in the Dagdi Chawl, Morland Rd., Byculla, and now holds its weekly divine services and other meetings in a room hired by it in Improvement Trust Chawl No. 3 Block C.
Objects — (1) To promote social and religious reforms and (2) to promote the spread of education among the Depressed Classes.
Members — On the 31st of Dec. 1910, there were 40 regular members on the roll who paid a monthly subscription of four annas.
Theistic Services were regularly held every Sunday noon which were conducted by the leading members by turns. Messrs. V. R. Shinde, S. Y. Javere, G. K. Kadam, and some other members of the Prarthana Samaj also helped to conduct them.
Public Meetings — During 1910-11 public meetings were held al the various places inhabited by the Depressed Classes of Bombay and lectures were delivered on Education, Temperance, Social Reform and other useful subjects.
The Somawanshiya Nirashrit Mandir Fund — The most encouraging feature of the work of this Samaj during the last year was the active promotion of the fund named as above towards the erection of a Mandir i.e., a building for the Samaj, which was started in November 1909 - Enthusiastic meetings were held, of the Mahar community in Bombay, throughout the year in which subscriptions were collected. The amount now realised is Rs. 650 which is deposited in the Bank of Bombay in the name of the following five members of the Samaj, Messrs. Kondaji Ramji, Limbaji Vazarkar, Bapuji Narayan Gaokar, Kondaji Mankooji Wadgaokar, Maruti Sabaji Nimgaokar. The fund is to be administered by these five members on behalf of the Samaj strictly on monotheistic lines.
POONA Opened 22nd June 1908
Second Annual Report of the Poona Branch
July 1909 — June 1910
Dr. Harold H. Mann, D.Sc. — President.
Principal R. P. Paranjpye, B.Sc., M. A. — Vice President.
Mr. B. S. Kamat, B. A.
Mr. M. H. Ghorparay.
Mr. S. Y. Javeri.
Captain H. C. Stein.
Dewan Bahadur V. M. Samarth.
Mr. M. D. Lotlikar — Treasurer.
Mr. A. K. Mudliar — Secretary.
At the commencement of the year under report we had three educational institutions under our management, viz. :—
(1) The Ganj Peth Night School
(2) The Mangalwar Peth Night School
(3) The Free Day Primary School in Camp
The following are very brief extracts from the reports of the Inspecting Officers.
Ganj Peth Night School
“........ On the whole the progress shown was fair enough for a school intended for the Depressed Classes. A Chambhar girl in the Infant Section gave very intelligent answers.....”
3rd August 1909.
(Sd.) S. BAKAR All
(4th Asstt. Deputy Edl. Inspector)
Mangalwar Peth Night School
“ It has on the whole shown fair results."
27th July 1909.
( Sd. ) A. G. WANGIKAR
(2nd Asstt. Deputy Edl. Inspector)
Camp Day School
“....The school is held in a rented building, well lighted and well ventilated, with an area of 2065 Sq. feet. The building is divided into five convenient rooms and has also got a verandah which can be used at times for holding classes. The school has been supplied with all the necessary articles such as benches, tables, chairs, books, maps, & c., and it may be stated here that the articles are all new which proves that due care is taken from the beginning to make the school attractive and to give intelligent instruction.........................................
“The staff consists of four teachers excluding the Drill Master, and it does not seem to be adequate when the present number on the roll is taken into consideration. But looking to the average number which is 110.3, four teachers seem to be an adequate staff......... One thing which struck me in this school is that some of the little children are in charge of a Brahman lady-teacher who seems to take great interest in her work and freely mixes with the low caste children. The remaining three teachers, of whom two are Brahmans, are equally zealous, and seem to take great interest in their work......
"Instruction is given free, and the fact that the school has been attended by 149 children including boys and girls clearly shows that the locality wants a school of the kind and the demand has been well supplied by this school. So large a school for the Depressed Classes is the first attempt in this part of the District and therefore it deserves as much help as can be given under Article 13, of Chapter I of the Grant-in-aid Code."
26th July 1909.
(Sd.) A. G. WANGIKAR
(2nd Asstt. Deputy Edl. Inspector)
Of the three schools mentioned above, the Ganj Peth Night School was closed on 1st March 1910 owing to the absence of those circumstances which made a Night School in that locality an urgent necessity a few years ago.
The following are the statistics pertaining to the Mangalwar Peth Night School and the Camp Day School :—
Mangalwar Peth Night School
Table (To see the statistics click here)
Camp Day School
Table 2 (To see the statistics click here)
The Camp Day School is the chief centre of our work. Here we do all that we can to improve not only the intellectual, but also the physical and moral condition of the pupils. They are, we venture to state, taught by the best staff procurable for them. Zeal, self-sacrifice and affection characterise the instruction imparted. Drawing for boys and girls, and Sewing for girls are attractions added this year. As for physical culture, the boys are taught drill, Indian and English gymnastics; and they play cricket and foot-ball. Day after day the idea of cleanliness is being impressed upon them; but poverty, surroundings, habits and indifference of parents are great obstacles to the success of our ideals. Our satisfaction is that we do all that we can to discourage uncleanliness and uncleanly habits. Boys are punished for neglecting daily bath; and during summer days, those who fail to bathe at home, are compelled to bath under the pipe in the school-compound under the supervision of a teacher. With regard to moral and religious education, we have the moral class in the morning and the Bhajan service in the evening every Sunday. The moral class is in charge of Mr. L. K. Aidale, the Asstt. Resident Master, and the Bhajan service in charge of Mr. D. N. Patwardhan, the Head Master, to both of which gentlemen the Committee desire to express their obligation for cheerfully undertaking these voluntary duties.
In this connection we may also mention the attempts made by the Head Master, supported by his Assistants, to minimise the baneful and immoral effects of the Holi festival : The school was kept open during all the Shimga days, although, of course, the attendance was very poor. On that particular day when people greet one another with mud, dirt and ashes, and indulge in obscenities, counter attractions were provided in the school in the form of English and Indian music, refreshments and out-door games. The result was very satisfactory. The consistency, throughout, with which some of the boys in the higher standards refrained from any participation whatever in the so-called tamashas of the festival, was due to an address delivered by Mr. G. K. Deodhar, M.A., of the Servants of India Society, to the school children on “How to behave during Shimga days." During the Holi season a Mela of boys was also organised. They were provided with songs specially composed for the purpose by the Head Master and they were taught to sing them with effect. They visited different low caste localities where they sung to large and appreciative audiences. One of the effects of the Mela was to Popularise our school.
Before proceeding to narrate some of the events of the year under report, we may here mention that we continue to maintain a Free Reading Room and Library for men of the Depressed Classes, to which the following newspapers are sent gratis :— Dnyanaprakash, Jagat Vritta, Sayaji Vijaya, Soma Vamshiya Mitra, Kamgar Samachar, Subodh Patrika, Karamanuk, Dinabandhu. To the proprietors of all these newspapers the Committee express their warm gratitude.
First Annual Prize Distribution
The First Annual Prize Distribution in connection with the schools under the management of the Poona Branch of the Depressed Classes Mission was held at the Islamia Camp School on Sunday afternoon, 26th September 1909, H. H. the Gaikwar presiding. The Islamia School hall was crowded to overflowing with distinguished Indians, not excluding their ladies, and with others of all grades. On the dais were seated with His Highness, H. H. General Sir Pertab Singh of Idar, Lady Muir- Mackenzie, Baba Saheb of Bhor, Hon’ble Mr. Gokhale, Dr. Bhandarkar, C.I.E., Sardar Nowrojee Pudumji and Dr. Mann, President of the Mission. Boundless enthusiasm, both inside and outside the Hall, was evidenced. His Highness the Gaikwar, on arrival, was received at the entrance by the Committee of the Mission, and shortly after a photograph was taken of His Highness, the Committee, and some representatives of the Depressed Classes, His Highness was conducted to the dais, a choir of school children singing a song of welcome. The President, Dr. Mann, then in welcoming His Highness, said :—
....... Based on a broad but deep conception of human brotherhood, the D. C. M. is a Society which, starting from the people, aims at raising the education, the morals, the general tone of what has hitherto been a despised and outcaste community. It has the support of some enlightened ruling chiefs, and gentlemen of all ranks have united in wishing it success. But all this would be of no avail if it were not responded to by an energetic forward movement among the Depressed Community itself.
And that response is not lacking. We are to hear this afternoon members of that community who have been among those who have exerted themselves in various ways for the advancement of their own people. I am proud to number them among my personal friends and I am proud to take a part in a meeting in which for the first time in Poona they take the part they are taking to-day.
Mr. A. K. Mudliar then read the report.
Prizes to the school children came next. These were presented by His Highness, and as a return of the compliment Radha, a tiny school girl, garlanded His Highness.
Mr. Shivram Janba Kamble next read an address in Marathi to His Highness, on behalf of the Depressed Classes of the Deccan, and presented it to His Highness in a beautiful silver casket.
Subhedar Bahadur Bhatankar of Panwel and Mr. Dangle of Ahmednagar, members of the Depressed Classes also addressed the gathering briefly in Marathi.
Lady Muir Mackenzie then said :— As the president of the Ladies’ Committee of the Depressed Classes Mission, I have been asked to say a few words to-day. Speaking at such short notice my words must only take the form of wishing every good luck and success to this Mission which bids fair to be one of the most significant movements of the present day in India. For the first time in history we see members of all castes drawn together in the bond of brotherly kindness. It is a great encouragement and pleasure to see gentlemen like the Maharajah Sir Partab Singh, the Hon’ble Mr. Gokhale and Dr. Bhandarkar supporting this excellent and important movement. I still hope other influential noblemen and gentlemen will follow their good example and will support the Mission, not only with moral support but with money, which the Mission, still in its infancy, is greatly in need of, if the work is to spread. I am sure this meeting will bear good fruit in this respect. I will no longer stand in the way of His Highness who is going to address you. He will no doubt give a more interesting speech especially as it is to be in Marathi.
His Highness the Gaikwar, in rising to reply spoke at some length in Marathi. At the same time he emphasised the fact that he took a deep and personal interest in the good work the Mission was doing and it would always have his sympathy. He wished the mission continued success and prosperity.
In connection with the above Prize Distribution it must be mentioned with gratitude that H. H. the Maharajah, to mark his abiding interest in the object of the Mission, donated Rs. 1,000 so that the interest accruing from it might be paid as a scholarship to any student of the Depressed Classes who is eager to prosecute his studies in the higher English standards. The money is in the hands of three Truste.es (approved by H. H.) who pay out of the interest Rs. 3 a month to the Mission who pay it as a scholarship to J. D. Mehter, in the English HI Standard in the Poona High School.
A graceful act on the part of H. H. was his gift of six Baroda gold Mohars to the Mahar and Chambhar girls who welcomed him and garlanded him on the occasion of the Prize Distribution.
D. C. M. Day
The next important event in connection with our institution occurred in October 1909. It was the celebration of the Depressed Classes Mission Day, viz., 18th October — the date of the foundation in Bombay of the Depressed Classes Mission Society of India. On that day we were able to organize a bumper meeting in the Kirloskar Theatre under the Presidency of Principal R. P. Paranjpye. The theatre was packed to its utmost capacity. For the first time in the history of mass meetings in Poona, men of all castes were promiscuously mixed up within one building, for the audience was composed not only of Brahmans and Mahrattas, but also of Mahars, Mangs and Chambhars. On the stage in company with the leading Brahman gentlemen of the city, were some of the boys and girls of the Depressed Classes Mission School. Speeches were delivered by Messrs. S. R. Thorat, Bhopatkar, Ismael Bahadur, Harkare, N. G. Kelkar, and Prof. Kosambi. Principal Paranjpye made a very thoughtful speech. Mr. D. K. Karve of the Hindu Widows' Home, in proposing a vote of thanks to the chair, announced his donation of Rs. 100 to our work. His speech on the occasion was a vigorous and telling one. Another notable speaker on the occasion was Mr. Harkare, the representative of His Holiness Shri Shankaracharya of Hampi whose donation of Rs.100 was also announced to the meeting. It is hardly necessary to point out the immense moral value of this open countenance of the work on behalf of the untouchables, by such a spiritual authority as the Shri Shankaracharya of Hampi.
There came off an open air public meeting at Kirkee on 11th December 1909. This was organized on our behalf by Mr. L. M Satoor, an indefatigable helper and sympathiser. Mr. B. S. Kamat, one of the members of the Committee, presided. His remarks were widely noticed at the time with appreciation by the Vernacular press.
On 27th March 1910 Mr. M. H. Ghorparay of our Committee proceeded to Dehu on the occasion of the Anniversary of Saint Tukaram and taking advantage of the multitudes that gather there at the annual fair, addressed a low caste audience of 200 people on temperance. Speeches were also delivered by two friends of Mr. Ghorparay.
On 25th April 1910, the Secretary, three Assistant Masters and some boys visited the Jejuri Fair with a view to appeal to the crowds of Mahars that gather there year after year not altogether for holy purposes. They were supported by Mr. Satoor of Kirkee, Mr. B. S. Tarkunde of Saswad, and Mr. S. K. Naik of Bombay. We expected to speak to the people about the Murali question, but the drunken brawls of the Mahars themselves over the question did not allow us to get a hearing. So we opened a hostile camp with the choir of our School boy singers and drew away to our surprise a large, appreciative audience to ourselves, to whom short speeches were delivered after the singing of songs by the school-boys. A collection was taken with which the expenses of the trip were partly defrayed.
24th May 1910 was observed by the staff and pupils of the Camp Day School as the Second Annual Gathering Day. At the social hour in the evening of that day many Hindu and Brahman ladies shared refreshments with the women of the Depressed Classes. The social hour was followed by an open air public meeting in the school-compound, Dr. H. H. Mann presiding and Mr. Ganpatrao Kotkar making the speech of the day. The occasion was taken advantage of by the Poona Branch of the Theosophical Society, by the leading members of the Depressed Classes, and by some private ladies and gentlemen, to offer gifts to the school. The members of the Theosophical Society, in addition to sharing the expenses of the refreshments to the school children with Captain H. Stein, and Mr. L. M. Satoor also presented Kindergarten materials and Object Lesson pictures of the total value of Rs. 40 to the school. Some Mahar gentlemen, to mark their sense of gratitude for what we are doing for their children, presented cloth enough to make suits for 50 boys. These and other gifts are elsewhere acknowledged.
Our income from all sources during the year was Rs. 3,581-9-7. Our expenditure during the same period was Rs. 2,424-12-3.
Owing to the development of the Camp Day School our expenses have been mounting up steadily. We have been mainly dependent upon chance donations — a very unreliable source. By regular subscriptions we hardly get a third of the expenses we need; and permanent funds we have none. We have frequently and in different ways appealed for funds, but with very little result. Still the undeserved apathy in the past of the Indian part of the population of this town to all our touching appeals does not and cannot prevent us from appealing to everyone again. To all ladies and gentlemen of any race or creed, we appeal with all the earnestness at our command for pecuniary help and we will be delighted to have responses at once or in the near future.
Statement of Receipts July 1909 - June 1910/Statement of Expenses July 1909 - June 1910
Table (To see the statement click here)