THE OLD BUILDING
of the important historical buildings in Hyderabad is
Kothi Residency. Well known to the city dwellers
as Kothi Women's College, the residency was constructed
in 1808 by Major James Achilles Kirkpatrick.
Built in an area of 60 acres, the sprawling residency
houses beautiful gardens and large number of rooms which
are now used as classrooms.
building which has become a major landmark in the city
was recently visited by an American delegation. Their
mission was to restore and preserve the old building which
is in a dilapidated condition. The American delegation,
which included students and teachers camped at the residency
for two weeks and tried to restore a small 'model house'
of the residency which was completely ruined due to rains.
The delegation led by Mrs Elbrum Kimmelman collected
the broken pieces of the model house which were strewn
all over the place and joined them with the original structure.
"As a first step we started our preservation work
with the 'Model house'. But our real aim is to
preserve the entire residency which costs millions of
dollars," said Elbrum Kimmelman. "When I go
back to America, I will consult various American businessmen
to raise funds for the restoration of the building."
restoration of the 'model house' led to a new debate about
the exact purpose of the 'model house'. "The model
house could be a doll house. Since Britishers used to
construct a small doll house (a replica of the residency)
for their children in the houses and this structure being
a doll house is certainly not ruled out" said Kimmelman
whose husband is Peter Kimmelman working with the
World Monuments Organisation. World Monuments Organisation
agreed to send its members in February, 2002 to chart
out a strategy in protecting the Kothi Residency.
important aim of this mission was to allow the visiting
American students and teachers to interact with the Indian
students and teachers. The American delegation comprised
of teachers Marsha Reynolds and John Reynolds
and high school students Mariel Poole, Ashton Mc
Rae and Damian Kimmelman.
"This kind of interactions bring students of both
sides closer to each other. It will also allow them to
understand the culture and the traditions of a particular
place," said Kimmelman stressing on the need
to have more such kind of programmes in future. Indian
students KK Jyothi, D Padmaja, Progya Banerjee, Manisha
Chhabra and architect V Shobha took part in
the two week restoration programme of the Kothi Women's
College along with the American delegation.
of the team members:
( B.Com, Women's College): I imagined that Americans
are self centred people. Infact they are very friendly
and cooperative. The project certainly helped me
to understand more about the people of America and
their workstyle. It was a memorable experience for
me. I will certainly carry these memories for a
long time to come. This meeting has inspired me
to go to US for further studies.
(B.Sc Computer Science): I gained a lot
by being associated with this project. Commitment
to work, the importance of being friendly and keeping
our surroundings neat and clean are some of them.
We normally do not pay attention to minor details.
But here even the minute details were taken into
account while doing the work. We have to learn such
kind of things to come up in life. I also learnt
about doing things on my own. I wish to associate
with such kind of projects even in future.
Kimmelman ( Student): Hyderabad is a
wonderful place. People here are very friendly and
ready to help. I learnt a lot about the culture
of the city and I was thrilled after knowing about
the history of this most happening city. I have
no complaints about the city except mosquitoes which
did not allow me to sleep whole night.
Poole (Student): I did a brisk shopping
Bazaar. It is a great place to buy bangles.
I have never seen such beautiful and colourful bangles
in my life. The trip also provided me an opportunity
to interact with the Indian students and understand
their way of life and approach.
Reynolds:(Maths teacher, Trinity School, New York).
I am extremely happy to work in this project. After
interacting with the students and teachers of India,
I learnt a lot about the workstyle of Indians. I
feel that the problems besetting the student community
are same everywhere. Loss of interest in the arts
subject is observed even in America. The demand
for IT, medical and engineering subjects is more
all over the world. Students study one subject and
do a job in unrelated subject.
about the history of the building.
Photographs: Srinivas Setty