Thursday, May 17, 2012

वैश्य गौरव सर गंगाराम



Sir Ganga Ram KCSI (April 1851 – July 10, 1927) was an eminentcivil engineer born in Mangtanwala, a small village of Punjab Provincein British India now in Punjab, Pakistan and educated at theThomason College of Civil Engineering (now IIT Roorkee) 1873 batch. He was a leading philanthropist and agriculturist of his times, who established the Renala Hydral Power Station in Renala KhurdPunjabin 1925.

Ganga Ram was born in 1851 in Mangtanwala, about 64 km from Lahore. His father, Doulat Ram was a junior Sub inspector at a Police Station in Mangtanwala. Later, he shifted to Amritsar and became a copy-writer of the Court. Here, Ganga Ram passed his matriculation examination from the Government High School and joined theGovernment College, Lahore in 1869. In 1871, he obtained a scholarship to the Thomason Civil Engineering Collegeat Roorkee. He passed the final lower subbordinate examination with the gold medal in 1873. He was appointed Assistant Engineer and called to Delhi to help in the building of the Imperial Assemblage.

Career

Engineer

In 1873, after a brief Service in Punjab P.W.D devoted himself to practical farming. He obtained on lease from Government 50,000 acres (200 km²) of barren, unirrigated land in Montgomery District, and within three years converted that vast desert into smiling fields, irrigated by water lifted by a hydroelectric plant and running through a thousand miles of irrigation channels, all constructed at his own cost. This was the biggest private enterprise of the kind, unknown and unthought-of in the country before. Sir Ganga Ram earned millions most of which he gave to charity.
In the words of Sir Malcolm Hailey, the Governor of Punjab, "he won like a hero and gave like a Saint". He was a great engineer and a great philanthropist.
In 1900, Ganga Ram was selected by Lord Curzon to act as superintendent of works in the Imperial Durbar to be held in connection with the accession of King Edward VII. He finished the work at the Darbar managing its manifold problems and challenges but his name was not included in the New Year Honors list. Consequently, he retired prematurely from service in 1903.
He designed and built General Post Office, LahoreLahore MuseumAitchison College, Mayo School of Arts (now the National College of Arts), Ganga Ram Hospital, Lady Mclagan Girls High School, the chemistry department of the Government College University, the Albert Victor wing of Mayo Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram High School ( nowLahore College for Women), the Hailey College of CommerceNow "[(Hailey College of Banking & Finance)]", Ravi Road House for the Disabled, the Ganga Ram Trust Building on The Mall and Lady Maynard Industrial School.[1]He also constructed Model Town, once the best locality of Lahore, the powerhouse at Renala Khurd as well as the railway track between Pathankot and Amritsar.
He built Sir Ganga Ram HospitalLahore (1921), Lady Mclagan School and Renala Khurd Power House with his own money. Another hospital Sir Ganga Ram HospitalDelhi was built in 1951.

Service in Patiala State

He became Superintending Engineer in Patiala State for the capital's reconstruction project after his retirement. Amongst his works were Moti Bagh Palace, Secretariat Building, New Delhi, Victoria Girls School, the law courts and police station.


In district Faisalabad(then Lyalpur) Tehsil Jaranwala, Ganga Ram built a unique travelling facility, it was Gora Train(horse pulled train). It was a railway line from Buchiana Railway station (on Lahore Jaranwala railway line) to the his village Gangapur. It remained in use for decades even after Independence. It became useless for need of repair in 80s. It was unique of its kind. It was two simple trollies pulled on a narrow rail track with horse instead of railway engine. The same was resumed in 2010 by the Faisal Abad District Authorities giving it a status of cultural heritage.

Agriculturalist

He was a promising agriculturist, too. He purchased thousands acres of barren land in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) on lease and by using engineering skills and modern irrigation methods, turned the arid lands into fertile fields.

Death

He died in London on July 10, 1927. His body was cremated and his ashes were brought back to India. A portion of the ashes were consigned to Ganges River and the rest buried in Lahore on the bank of the Ravi.

Sir Ganga Ram in literature

A statue of Sir Ganga Ram once stood on Mall Road in Lahore. Saadat Hasan Manto, the famous Urdu writer, in one of his stories on the frenzy of religious riots of 1947 writes that an inflamed mob in Lahore, after attacking a residential area, ‘turned to attacking the statue of Sir Ganga Ram, the Hindu philanthropist. They first pelted the statue with stones; then smothered its face with coal tar. Then a man made a garland of old shoes climbed up to put it round the neck of the statue. The police arrived and opened fire. Among the injured were the fellow with the garland of old shoes. As he fell, the mob shouted: “Let us rush him to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.” .

Legacy

A student hostel, Ganga Bhawan was established at IIT Roorkee (erstwhile University of Roorkee and Thomason college of civil engineering) on Nov 26, 1957 in his honour. [3] The Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan was partially damaged in the blasts that destroyed a nearby Police Station on May 27, 2009.
Today, his great-grandson, Dr. Ashwin Ram is an Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing of the Georgia Institute of Technology, while his greatgranddaughter, Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather, is a teacher and British politician.

Tomb

His Samadhi was built after his death in 1927, the tomb is now in need of repair.

Named after Ganga Ram

Institutes

Places

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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