Developments in Kholvad

Mr. Ahmed Chothia (Chacha) and Hajee Ismail Patel who settled in Reunion were the first to take a lead in the field of education in Kholvad by building a school. In 1890, Mr. I. Patel donated his house for the establishment of the first Madressa for boys and girls in Kholvad. The Governor of the Gujerati Province officially opened the Madressa in Kholvad which was built under the supervision of Mr. A. A. Mogalia from South Africa, who had also donated the land on which the Madressa was built. The construction costs were sponsored by Mr. S. E. Dadabhay who also donated land for the building of the Servajanick Hospital in the Surat district.

In 1906, Mr. M. A. Tilly was responsible for the installation of a large ornate clock that was installed on the Minaret of the Tower Masjid in Kholvad. He also built a lodging for travellers (Musafar-Khana) as well as a prayer facility in the cemetery (Qabrastaan) in Kholvad. These generous acts resulted in him been awarded the honorary title of “Dhadi Seth” (As there were many Tilly’s at the time, due to his beard, he was called by this name).

In 1917, three years after its existence, MAIK made significant inroads in advancing its objectives. Under the leadership of Mr. M. S Dangor, (also known as M. S.) the Madressa entered into a period of consolidation and improvement that came to be known as the “Dangorian Era”. It was during Dangor’s leadership from 1917, until his death in 1932, that MAIK expanded its investment and income strategy to include real estate. The effects of this strategy, and M. S. Dangor’s foresight, leadership, and dynamism resulted in a self-sustaining and financially healthy organisation. This laid the foundation for MAIK to serve its community in South Africa and India through its activities in welfare and education.

In 1922, Mr.E.S.Dangor, Hajee S.A.Cajee and Hajee. A. C.Tilly (Vilayati was a nickname) developed a water works project that supplied water at no costs to all the inhabitants of the village in Kholvad, irrespective of caste or creed. Funds for this public utility came from donations made by shop owners and assistants.

In 1934, S.M.Desai, M.H.Khota and G.H.I.Pahad were elected to operate the Madressa in Kholvad and they established a rule that no child was to be caned either at school or in Madressa and also established that benches were to be provided in the Madressa. They also established a secular school.

An interesting anecdote on the water of Kholvad is that in 1935: The Maharaja of Baroda was passing through Surat; he had no intention of stopping in Kholvad but, Mr. S.M.Desai and Mr. G.H.I Pahad (visiting from South Africa as indicated above) convinced the Maharaja to stop at Kholvad to inspect the water works. Once in Kholvad, the Maharaja refused to drink the water offered to him from the water works until it was tested and a laboratory report issued. This was duly done. He drank the water and thereafter requested his secretary that he be supplied with the water from Kholvad during the remainder of his tour. A reception was held to honour the Maharaja and he in turn invited Mr. S.M. Desai, Mr. G.H.I Pahad and the MAIK committee to visit Baroda as a token of his appreciation.

Teacher’s Assembly rooms. The high school had classes up to Grade 12 (equivalent to Senior Secondary Status). In order to advance the education of its students, the school built science laboratories under the auspices of Principal Mr. Mohammed Amien Moola. The science laboratory was funded by substantial donations from Mr. Bhabha (Standerton, South Africa) and Mr E. Bhabha of Karachi, Pakistan.

The Patel family from Bloemhof generously donated their land in Kholvad, which was also known as Patel’s Bungalow, for the construction of a new primary and high school. The primary school was later replaced with another new school. This was due to the donation of a former student and community member of the school. It is interesting to note that this student was a Non-Muslim. Highlighting the point that the activities are not only Muslim aligned. Hindus and Muslims live and cooperate with each other.

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Madressa Anjuman Islamia of Kholvad South Africa

Madressa Anjuman Islamia of Kholvad South Africa