City Landmarks – NJV School

The commitment, vision and generosity of Karachi’s founders made it possible for Karachi to sustain millions of souls for times to come. Walk around Bunder road and you will witness many examples of selfless generosity. Whether its educational institutes, hospitals, maternity homes, libraries or water troughs, they reflected values and aesthetics of Karachi’s founding fathers. These institutions defined a young booming Karachi. The genius of Karachi’s founding fathers needs to be celebrated and let’s not stop there and also cherish people who are taking that spirit forward and keep those institutions alive.

NJV School is one such institute. It was the first public school in Karachi, inaugurated in 1855 at a different location. The school was relocated to current location in 1876. The NJV School is named after Maharaj Jagan Nath Vidya, an educationist who worked for building education infrastructure in the province. Sadly not many students of NJV School would know what NJV stands for these days. The building also hosted Sindh Assembly sessions after the partition for few years. There is a mention that the school was shifted to Kotwal Building opposite Dow Medical College for few years that could perhaps have happened due to temporary setup of govt. offices in the building at the time of partition.

While the first batch of students was 68 (in 1855), the number grew to 477 by March 1916. Of 477 students 350 were Hindus, 32 Brahmins, 10 Jains, 12 Muslims, 66 Parsis and seven Indian Jews. Notable alumni at that time included Jamshed Nusarwanjee. The number also highlights dismal enrollment of Muslims at even initial levels. That 12 students in 1916 must have made a lot of difference though. The school never had a Muslim Head Master before 40’s but had only Muslim Head Masters since then.

The school has been adopted by Akhuwat Foundation in 2015 which aims to bring it to its former glory.

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Categories: City Landmarks

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