Anjuman I Islam’s Saif Tyabji Girls High School and Junior College in Mumbai | Best Women College in Maharashtra, INDIA
The School was established in the year 1939.
The period beginning with the year 1939 witnessed many changes in Anjuman-I-Islam’s activities, like initialisation of girls’ education, changes in administrative set up, etc. Till then Anjuman had concentrated mainly on education of boys because of the prevailing social trends at that time. There was no public demand for girls’ education as people were not in favour of sending their daughters to high school. Purdah system was another obstacle as also people could not accept the idea of their daughters earning their family livelihood.
Even though Anjuman was contributing greatly in the social and educational field for the previous four decades, no attention was paid to girls’education. In the year 1903, one of the members of Anjuman, Haji Suleman Shah Mohammed who was a trader in Africa wrote a letter to the Hon. Secretary and brought to the notice of the Management the injustice done to girls. He even donated Rs. 10,000/- for the cause of girls’ education, but the amount was insufficient to make a beginning. Later it was decided to give a gold medal out of the earnings of the said amount to a Muslim girl securing highest marks in University Examinations.
Till then Anjuman was running two primary schools. One located at Sandhurst Road (Now S.V.P. Road) which was for boys and the second one for girls which was located at Zakaria Masjid. Anjuman had to incur an annual deficit of Rs. 7,000/- for running those schools. When Bombay Municipality started free and compulsory education, the Management on 20th May 1936 decided to use the balance amount for secondary education of girls.
FIRST SCHOOL FOR GIRLS:
Acting on its own decision, Anjuman started a secondary school for girls at Nishanpada Road, Khadak, in which three girls took admission. The school was inaugurated on August 14, 1936 by Mrs. Shafi Tayyabji. The programme was well attended by Muslim women. This proved to be a good omen for the school and the school started with two classes and two teachers. There was only one Government Girls’ Urdu School in Pune, which was started on the initiative of Maulavi Sir Rafiuddin in which there were 32 girl students in 1935. In the subsequent year Anjuman had 42 girls.
As the building located at Nishanpada Road was not suitable for the school, efforts were made to search for a better place. In the heart of the city, at Belassis Road, there was a Cutchi Memon Jamatkhana with an area of 2,500 sq meters having a bungalow and a hall and also a small mosque. This place was donated by Mohammed Haji Sabu Siddique and hence it was called Sabu Siddique Baug.
The management of Anjuman after discussion with the Trustees of Sabu Baug took the premises in possession on a monthly rent of Rs. 250/-. The Trustees of Sabu Baug agreed to paint the building and hand it over to Anjuman. For this purpose they sanctioned a sum of Rs. 10,000/-. However, due to their internal conflicts the work stopped. Ultimately, Anjuman-i-Islam completed this work by spending Rs. 14,000/-.
On April 12, 1939, with Rs. 1,00,000/- received from ‘Siddique Baug’, Anjuman purchased the said property and shifted the school to this new premises. The formal inauguration was done at the hands of Lady Lumley, the wife of the then Governor of Bombay, Sir Roger Lumley (1937-1943), on April 12, 1939. On this occasion, Sir Mohammed Rafiuddin, in spite of his poor health came all the way from Pune. While thanking the President he threw light on Muslim education. Mrs. Samson, B.B.T.T.D. (London) was appointed as the first Principal from 1st March 1939. She retired on October 20, 1966 after serving the school for a period of 27 years.
The present school became full-fledged in respect of building, students and teachers, but it was not financially sound. It was due to the efforts of Mrs. Faiz Tayyabji, that the school started getting Government grant. She was taking keen interest in the school activities. She was a member of the State Council and not only helped in getting grant of Rs. 5,000/- and Rs. 6,000/- as non-refundable help, but also promised to meet the deficit up to Rs. 2,200/- on her own. The school was getting a grant of Rs. 1,500/- from Bai Niyamatulla Bai Maskati Trust. Because of these grants, the Anjuman became self -sufficient and started progressing in leaps and bounds.
Initially, the school had started with standards 5th to 7th, with Urdu as its medium. After 2 years, for the benefit of the Gujrati speaking Khoja, Bohra and Memon communities, Gujarati was also included as the medium of instruction. Later, when the 8th standard was introduced, its medium of instruction was English and it was considered the 1st standard of English, standard 9 was the 2nd, standard 10th the third and matric, the fourth standard of the English medium. This system continued till the year 1953, after which the medium of instruction was changed to Urdu.
In the year 1955-56, the primary section had 382 girl students. Around this time it was decided to build a new building to accommodate the fast increasing number of students, and soon funds were raised for the same. The open space opposite the original school building, which was till then used for games and P.T. was used for the construction of the new building.
First Building – A wing – constructed in 1955-56
With the passage of time and the increasing demand for admissions, even this accommodation was insufficient. Since the school had to work in shifts, in the year 1973 another building was visualized. Since the parent body of Anjuman had the responsibility of other institutions as well, they were not in a position to help Anjuman Saboo Baugh school financially. Therefore the staff, teachers, the parents of students and some social workers joined hands to raise sufficient funds for a six storey building. The old structures were pulled down and a new building was constructed in its place. By 1975, Anjuman-i-Islam had 3014 girl students and its annual outlay in 1975-75 was Rs. 6,12,567/-.
Foundation of second wing (B) of school bldg. on 22-1-1973
Second Building – B Wing – constructed in 1973-74
In course of time, under the able guidance of the Management and the Principal, Mrs. R. Sayyed, the school gained remarkable achievements in academic as well as extra-curricular activities. Both, the staff and the students extended their valuable contribution in all fields.
In the year 1974, when the new pattern of education viz. the 10+2+3 was introduced, the institution established a Junior College which, like the high school made excellent progress.
On 31 May 1982, the institution was renamed,
“Anjuman-I-islam Saif Tyabji Girls’ High School and Junior College”, in honour of its ex-president Mr. Saif Tyabji – a practicing Solicitor and grandson of Sir Badruddin Tyabji. Mr. Saif Tyabji was actively associated with the Anjuman not only as its Hon. Secretary since 1935, but had also held the post of President of the parent body and had contributed greatly to the progress and advancement of the institution.
In the year 2001, Anjuman Saif Tyabji, took one more step towards progress. With a host of transformational changes in the history of Anjuman Saif Tyabji in terms of infrastructure, the institution now wears a new look with an additional wing for the English medium school. The funds for the building were the sole contribution of Mr Haji Abdul Razzak Kalsekar and so the new wing was inaugurated at the hands of his wife Begum Sharifa Kalsekar. The school, named Anjuman-I-Islam’s Begum Sharifa Kalsekar Girls’ English School started functioning from June 2002
Foundation for third wing C – 10th Nov. 2000
Third Building – C Wing – constructed in 2001-02
The primary section got recognition from the Mumbai Municipal Corporation in the year 2003 and the Secondary Section is recognized by the Government of Maharashtra, Education Department. By the year 2010, the English Section has reached up to standard IX and has more than 1,200 girls on its roll. Having a very dedicated, motivated and young staff, the school has progressed in leaps and bounds. With the way the English section is progressing, and with growing demand for admissions here, it can be expected to reach the same towering heights as the Urdu section of this campus.Premier show of ‘Dastaan’ with Mr. Dilip Kumar to raise funds for second wing of the school Bldg. From Left: Dilip Kumar, Mrs. Raeesa Sayed(Principal), Mrs. Zulekha Merchant and Ms. Kamila Tyabji
Premiere Show of the film Khamoshi to raise the funds for the construction of the B-wing of the School Building in 1970-71.
Best Girls College Location is Anjuman I Islam’s Saif Tyabji Girls High School and Junior College, BEST Depot, Saboo Baug, 260,Jahangir Boman Behram, Marg, Bellasis Rd, Near, Mumbai Central, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400008
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