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Memories of MA : Bilquis Begum & The Hyderabad Boarding House

In October 2020, I attended the "DOBARA Ek Shaam Maa Ke Naam" Online Poetry reading event and really enjoyed the programme. The poetry reading was really good and it inspired me to share a bit about my mother, Bilquis Begum.

I am not sure if you know about “Hyderabad Boarding House” near Public gardens where my father retired as Deputy Director of Horticulture.

Hyderabad Boarding House for Children, Established 1956

When my Mother started this boarding school in 1956 , ( having worked in a Vocational training institute teaching cooking, needlework etc) it was one of its kind and something which never existed before.

It was my Mothers idea to help parents living in the surrounding districts to educate their children in the best schools in Hyderabad.

My mother, Bilquis Moosavi affectionately known as Bilquis Begum, was conversant in Urdu, Hindi and English and she prepared the children for admission in schools and then supervised and helped them with their school work.

Most of her students were those whom the parents had given up on -- ...but My Mother tutored them and imbibed a love of learning in them. She didn’t just help educate them on academics, but also helped teach crucial life skills like Discipline, Truth and Hard work - this was her Motto .

There was a specific CHARTER of RULES and this was followed implicitly. Discipline was the by word--no harsh words --discipline was with love, understanding and the spirit to serve.

Many of the children from the Hyderabad Boarding House (HBH) went on to become doctors, engineers, bank managers and military officers.

Sadly, my mother died at the age of 52 in 1976 and the children she taught and mentored came back to pay their respects and wept as if they have lost their own mother.

Some of them later visited with their own children to show the place which helped make them and their careers.

HBH was a unique institution and to my knowledge, no other institution like it exists today in Hyderabad.

My sisters tried running it for 2 more years...but the essence was was closed down in 1978.

Recently, my husband ( Riaz) and I have donated 2 benches to The Public Gardens in the memory of both my parents and you can find them in the Rose garden with their names inscribed : Mujtaba and Bilquis Moosavi.

Dr.Rukhsana has shared these loving memories of her Mother with us, in the hopes of inspiring others to step forward and share interesting stories and admirable achievements of their elders too. By reading about our everyday, unsung heroes we too can be inspired to create and motivate. It is also a beautiful way to pay tribute to the ones we look up to.

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