HYDERABAD: A German national who moved to Hyderabad in 1975 after marriage, is the secretary of Society to Save Rocks. Frauke Quader is doing everything she can to save one long-neglected part of Indian heritage. The society was registered in 1996. Through cultural programmes, interactive lectures and rock walks, the society aims at spreading awareness about the Deccan rocks.
Frauke met Fiaz Quader, an engineer and businessman from Delhi, fell in love, married and moved to Hyderabad. “I came to Hyderabad because I was getting married to a Hyderabadi. That was in 1975. We never considered settling down anywhere else but here, although I came from Germany,” she says.
The couple finally built a place of their own in Jubilee Hills. “Not only is Hyderabad an interesting place culturally, but its landscape too fascinated me from the beginning – the strangely balanced rocks seem to be a plaything of giants. The intriguing question was, how did they get to be stacked and jumbled like that?,” she questions.
She embraced the opportunity to live in a new country. “Slowly over time, with the city expanding and many rocks were being cut for building material. We realised that these fascinating sculptures of nature which we are lucky to have all over our city, were in great danger of becoming a thing of the past. That’s when the Society to Save Rocks was started, in 1996.”
The Society, which started off with 26 members, now has 300 members on board. Elaborating more on that, Frauke says,“Early work with the government brought about the notification of nine rock formations in the Heritage Conservation List of HUDA (now HMDA). Later, 16 more formations were included, all proposed by the society. The Society continues to work with the government on rock protection. Apart from this, it emphasises on awareness of Hyderabad’s citizens through monthly rock walks, talks and films on the same, cultural programmes on the rocks, media, publicity material etc.” She has made the most of her time in Hyderabad. “This work keeps me well occupied and connected to life in the city. After so many years, I do not feel like an expat at all,” she admits. The society organises exclusive walks for particular schools, on request. A group of around 35 - 40 students accompanied by five or six teachers, is an ideal group for a walk. Over the years, the group has organised several cultural programmes – music concerts, plays, rock walks and artists’ workshops. All the events are held in the rock formations so visitors can appreciate the natural beauty of the rocks and the environment. On the third Sunday of every month, people gather at pre-designated sights such as the boulder-strewn hills of the Osmania University campus, Shamirpet, Moula Ali, Pahar-e-Shareef, Gachibowli, Golconda, Asifnagar and Sitarambagh.
“The aim of the society is to serve two functions, one was to increase awareness among the citizens and the other, to coordinate with the government departments to bring about preservation,” says Frauke, who is fascinated by Golconda Fort.