College pins hope on alumnus Mufti
SRINAGAR: The heritage Sri Pratab College which lost its assets worth crores in September flood is again inundated due to incessant rains with water causing much inconvenience to the staff and students.
On entering the college gate, water can be seen everywhere surrounding the college campus. To reach the heritage building where office of principal is placed, students have to pass over bridge of eight large wooden boxes which are placed over accumulated water.
Flood had conked out all the fences of the college which now have been completed nearly 90 percent, for which the credit goes to college authorities who resumed the college soon after flood water receded.
But the deluge obliterated the treasure of 62, 000 books out of total 80, 000 books in college library. Out of which 52, 000 were completely destroyed, so were buried in the ground leaving 10, 000 books which were only dampened in the flood water and so have been retained by the college library. The so much damage to the library was caused because the floor of the library was sunk with the heavy weight of 19 feet water.
Principal of SP college, Dr Yaseen Ahmad Shah told this reporter that they have already sent new proposal of purchasing books for library. “We have sent a proposal of buying books worth Rs three lakhs and will be available soon for reading to students.”
Learning the lesson from losing of the library books, college authorities have given the proposal of digitization and automation of library books to Jammu and Kashmir Bank. Last time upto flood, only around 2000 Books up to 1952 edition were digitized.
The position of heritage building is still far from being normal. When entering auditorium of this building, we see grubby mats still spread on muddy iron chairs. But as per college principal, the heritage building is safe and only needs renovation and repairs for which one proposal of 1.83 crores has been forwarded to state government and presently being pondered by the central government.
Meanwhile a team from Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has visited the heritage building to take notice of the things. One of the important works of INTACH is to Protect and preserve India’s living, built, and natural heritage by undertaking necessary actions and measures. This visit was followed by a visit by World Bank team to assess the loss and how to develop it back.
“We have already submitted a financial proposal of Rs 1.83 crore to Government. We are hopeful of handsome financial package so that we can purchase new Books for library and other equipment’s for laboratories,” Principal said, adding College also had submitted a financial proposal of rupees 60 lakh to Jammu and Kashmir Bank under ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ for assistance to help college restore to its position.
Only few lakhs were given by state govermwent as an immediate relief to resume college functions. “Government provided rupees 10 lakh as immediate relief and we were able to restore the functioning of classes by making cleansing and other necessary repairs. Besides 1 lakh from College fund was spending on equipments,” Principal, SP College, Muhammad Yaseen Shah told Rising Kashmir
Presently only two bachelors, BSc and BSc IT including 14 subjects and two post graduate courses in Chemistry and environmental science are being taught in the college and soon PG Geography course may get start. The Academic blocks in these departments on ground floor was submerged for more than twenty days, causing damage to equipment’s and other assets include Chemistry, Zoology, Geography, Geology, Biotechnology, Environment and Water Management, P.G Environment Science and Hydrobiology Lab.
After the college hostel getting damaged, authorities will soon come up with new hostel and library building. The college authorities said there was also major loss to computer, chemistry, electronic labs and related infrastructure which will be renovated soon. “We received five pieces of new all in one computer, one new fax machine and one new Xerox machine,” said college principal.
The famous playground of the college which is used by all the players from the valley to play cricket and other games is in shambles and need high time from sports authorities to renovate. “The responsibility of Lawn Tennis Court has been taken by SMC who had built it and they will start repair work on that from 15th march,” said college principal in an interview with Rising Kashmir.
This Srinagar’s premier education college has a rich history, tradition of innovation and academic excellence. English-medium education was first introduced then in this once a princely state of JK in 1905 by M U Moore who was first principal of college followed by William Collie. This College was the sole institution of higher education in Kashmir in mid-20th century. This pioneer institution with monumental importance and historical significance in the Kashmir, Sri Pratap College has contribution to the socio-economic progress of the state through its thousands of alumni over the past century. Notable among leaders of J&K is first Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, his son and former three-term chief minister of JK, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, former CM and many more.
But with Mufti Muhammad Sayeed becoming Chief Minister of the state who has once been a student of SP College, authorities seem optimistic with alumnus getting this position and hope he will turn his attention to help build college on modern way retaining heritage status.
“I have only one message for the new chief minister that he should walk an extra mile being an alumnus,” Principal, SP College, Mohammad Yaseen Shah told Rising Kashmir.