HYDERABAD: A memorial meeting was held near the 300-year-old tamarind tree on the premises of the Osmania Hospital here on Sunday to pay homage to all those who had lost their lives in the infamous Musi River floods that occurred in the city in 1908.
The programme was organised jointly by the Centre for Deccan Studies and Forum for a Better Hyderabad. While there were no descendants of the survivors in the gathering, a number of environmentalists paid tribute to the age-old tree which had saved the lives of 150 people 106 years ago. They observed two- minute silence for the victims. Sajjad Shahid, secretary of Centre for Deccan Studies, recited a poem titled Qayamat-e-Soghram written by Amjad Ali, a famous Urdu poet, who gave the first-hand account of the floods.
Amjad documented the entire scene of floods and his entire family being washed away which he witnessed. “This part of Hyderabad was built in an unplanned way. That is why the flood claimed so many lives,” said Sajjad Shahid. “The situation has not changed much even today and there is a lot of scope for improvement,” he added.
Speaking about the withering park in front of the hospital, Sajjad said it must be maintained.
“I heard my ancestors tell me about the glory of the park. Convalescing patients and attendants used to take a stroll in the park,” he said. Sanghamitra Malik, member of Forum for a Better Hyderabad, recited a poem titled, “I am just a tamarind tree”. Municipal commissioner Somesh Kumar, who was the chief guest, said he would do his best to restore the glory of the park. “Constructing a park here is is not difficult but we want to make something on the lines of the past. We want to bring back the old glory of the park. For that we are looking for architects and landscape artists,” he said.
On other projects, Somesh Kumar said, “We have launched a drive to clear the streets of encroachments.”