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Raj Rishi Dewan Dayaram Gidumal Shahani (1857-1927)

Raj Rishi Dewan Dayaram Gidumal Shahani (1857-1927)

Founder of Sindh Sabha & D.J. Science College in Karachi

Dayaram Gidumal-1

Born in Hyderabad Sindh, Dayaram Gidumal was among Sindh’s first graduates. He did his B.A and his Law degree at Bombay University and joined government service in 1887. He was nominated as Judicial Commissioner of Sindh but he refused to become a high court Judge and resigned in 1911. During his service, he started several social reforms and founded educational institutes. He is known as a founder of public and political activities in Sindh. He had great leadership skills to bring the men of different thinkings together and make them work for a common purpose.

 

In those days, political activity was mild and did not carry conflict with interest of government’s servants. Dayaram Gidumal founded a political association, The Sindh Sabha, which raised the voice for all communities in Sindh.

 

He also took initiative of launching a newspaper The Sindh Times under the Sindh Sabha but never took any office charge of said newspaper. He wrote articles raising the voice of common man and pointing the social issues present in Sindh in the Sindh Times. He also setup Seva Saran (Women’s house of service) in Bombay, and the N.H. Academy in Hyderabad. Most important from all this, he came up with an idea to setup a college in Sindh for Sindh’s students who had to travel all the way to Bombay to complete their education as there was no college in whole Sindh under the colonial Raj till that time. As he was educated in Bombay, so he knew the hardships of travelling and finding guardians out there.

 

In 1885, he wrote an article about the benefits of higher education and pointed that there are only ten graduates in Sindh until that date as compared to the Bombay where the presidency was. There were many graduates finding their ways to different government services that includes Law, Army, commerce and other ways of life. He not only lobbied with the Government for the Sindh Arts College and gave much thought to its curriculum, but travelled throughout the province to raise funds. He collected a sum of Eighty Thousand (80,000) Rupees, which was then matched with the Government.

 

The College became D.J. Science College and still stands today. It was named after Dayaram Jethmal, at the insistence of his family, who gave a large sum of amount for the construction of college after his death.

 

Dayaram Gidumal spent last years of his life in Bombay, where he served literature and used his linguistic skills. He promoted Sindhi literature by translating religious books such as “the Essence of Bhagwat Geeta” (1893) which was known as classic Sindhi prose. He was well versed in Sufism too and wrote about Sufi Saints, including famous Sufi Saint of Sindh Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai in his book “something about Sindh” (1882).

 

Dayaram Gidumal’s contribution to the society of Sindh is notable and his services will always be remembered.

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