City Landmarks – Water trough near Soldier Bazaar

In 1878 a group of revered noble citizen of Karachi such as Sir William Lee Warner, Khan Bahadur Hassanally, Beg Effendi. Messrs lagget Price, Sayed Hassan Mediru, Tance Denso and Mr. Framroze founded Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) at Frere Hall Garden. The society played a pivotal role in creating awareness and enforcing laws for the protection of animal rights in the city. There were inspectors who patrolled the city and issued tickets to the owners who were found guilty of animal abuse. They also setup and maintained a network of water troughs at key routes to ensure constant supply of drinkable water for animals. Most of these water troughs were donated by philanthropists but there is one near Soldier Bazaar which was established by SPCA itself. It is dedicated to Mr. Framroze E. Punthakey who served as Honorary General Secretary of SPCA for a period of 42 years from 1878 to 1921. What a glorious period that must have been for Karachi and its denizens!

The water trough near Soldier Bazaar is perhaps the most beautiful of the lot which has survived. Due to encroachments you might not be able to get a clear view from the road but walk to the structure and you will find a compact but elegant structure with troughs on both sides. I meet Haji Sahab, who claims that his family has been taking care of water trough for past seventy years. He tells me that water has been disconnected for past six to seven years because of lack of funds. He tells me that his Parsi Sahab has not been visiting. I leave him finishing his lunch to get a closer view of the trough. There are some hawkers selling juices and tea on one end and there is a pathan boy selling fodder for animals on other. The side from Soldier Bazaar is blocked by vehicles and fancy horse carriages used for weddings. There is an old tree above the water trough, both relics of a past which looks way too distant in present day Karachi.

Categories: City Landmarks

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