Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Historical Alfred High School, Rajkot where Gandhiji studied!!

The Alfred High School, Rajkot  Times of India

 The Alfred High School (also known as Mohandas Gandhi High School) in Rajkot is one of the oldest educational institutions in India today and was the first English school in the  Saurashtra region. 

The Alfred High School, Rajkot en.wikipedia.org/ Rajkot

Earlier called Rajkot English School, it was founded on October 17, 1853 during the East India Company's rule. It was built by the political agent Kernel Singh. Subsequently  it became a full-fledged high school. Till 1907 From (1868), it was called Rajkot English School  and later the name was changed to Alfred High School in 1907.  The Nawab of Junagadh, Nawab Sir Muhammad Rasul Khanji Babi, built the present buildings for the Alfred High School for the benefits of the people of Kathiawar region. It was christened  after Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, as a memorial. This School was opened in January, 1875 by Sir Philip Wodehouse, Governor of Bombay.

The school has gained  historical importance, for once it had  a distinguished alumnus who changed the spectrum of Indian history. He is none other than Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of our nation, who shook the very basic foundation of the mighty British Empire through his powerful political weapon - Satyagraha - public disobedience and non-cooperation. Mahatma Gandhi graduated from Rajkot High School in 1887 at age 18. Though there are many versions about his  school performances, etc, two facts seem to be quite clear. Gandhiji did not take interest in sports or extracurricular activities, besides his academic performance was just average. The other fact being he was one among a few (in a class of 38 pupils) in his  year to matriculate. Gandhiji commented on  his schooling, "I had not any high regard for my ability. I was to be astonished whenever I won prizes and scholarships". After high school  Gandhiji joined  the Samaldas College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat where he stayed for one term before travelling to London to to be trained as a lawyer at Lincoln's inn. After India's independence in 1947, the school was  aptly renamed the "Mohandas Gandhi High School" in honour of Gandhi.

The Alfred High School, Rajkot YouTube

 For some reasons, the historical 164 year old school was closed for good and a Museum will be coming up in the school building soon. A sum of Rs. 10.00 to Rs. 15.00 crores has been allocated by the government. This museum would showcase life and times of Gandhiji, Sardar Patel and many other prominent personalities," said Pani, Municipal  Corporation Commissioner of Rajkot.
The Alfred High School, Rajkot  Asian News Service

The school  is on Jawahar Road, a prime locality of  Rajkot, Gujarat and was designed by Sir Robert Bell Booth. The building, despite its age and vagaries of weather, still retains the old charam, grandeur and beauty. Gandhiji studied here from 1880 to 1887.