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Restoration work in progressOne 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.

Mrs Kimmelman with the teamThe 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.

Pieces of the building 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."

Ruined Model HouseThe 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.

Team members at workOther 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.

Planning a strategy "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.

Experiences of the team members:
Manisha ( 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.
Padmaja (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.
Damian 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.
Mariel Poole (Student): I did a brisk shopping at Lad 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.
John 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.

Read about the history of the building.
-MAR Fareed
Srinivas Setty
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