Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sir Ganga Ram:He won like a hero and gave like a Saint

Sir Malcolm Hailey, the Governor of Punjab, British India said "he won like a hero and gave like a Saint" and rightly so. He was a great engineer and a great philanthropist and a great human being. He devoted his life to serve the Human beings! Sir Ganga Ram is also known as “Father of Modern Lahore”, but unfortunately like many others we have forgotten this great man, the son of our soil. He was truly a legend, but now forgotten.

Ganga Ram was born in Mangtanwala (now in Sheikhupura district) in 1851. He studied at Government College, Lahore and did his engineering from Thomsan Engineering College in Roorki (India) in 1871. He later studied engineering at Bradford in United Kingdom.

He started his career as an assistant engineer in 1873, building government offices at Faisalabad, Sargodha and Sheikhupura. He designed the Faisalabad district courts complex. 

Sir Ganga Ram, a civil engineer by profession, supervised the construction of many classic buildings including the Lahore High Court and the Cathedral Church on The Mall. 

He also designed and constructed General Post Office, Lahore Museum, Aitchison College, Mayo School of Arts (now the NCA), Ganga Ram Hospital, Lady Mclagan Girls High School, the chemistry department of the Government College University, the Albert Victor wing of Mayo Hospital, the Hailey College of Commerce, Ravi Road House for the Disabled, the Ganga Ram Trust Building on The Mall and Lady Maynard Industrial School. He also designed and constructed Model Town, once the most posh locality of Lahore, the powerhouse at Renala Khurd and the railway track between Pathankot and Amritsar.

He was also a banker and built Ganga Ram Hospital, Lady Mclagan School and Renala Khurd Power House with his own money. Thanks to Pakistani Govt. that they didn’t triy to change the name of Sir Ganga Ram hospital.

He was a promising agriculturist, too. He purchased thousands acres of barren land in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) on lease and by using engineering skills and modern irrigation methods, turned the arid lands into fertile fields.

A statue of Sir Ganga Ram once stood on Mall Road in Lahore. Saadat Hasan Manto, the famous Urdu writer, in one of his stories on the frenzy of religious riots of 1947 writes that an inflamed mob in Lahore, after attacking a residential area, ‘turned to attacking the statue of Sir Ganga Ram, the Hindu philanthropist. They first pelted the statue with stones; then smothered its face with coal tar. Then a man made a garland of old shoes climbed up to put it round the neck of the statue. The police arrived and opened fire. Among the injured were the fellow with the garland of old shoes. As he fell, the mob shouted: “Let us rush him to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.”

He retired in 1903. He died in London on July 10, 1927. His body was cremated and his ashes were brought back to India. A portion of the ashes were consigned to Ganga River and the rest buried in Lahore on the bank of the Ravi. His Samadhi was built after his death in 1927; the tomb is now in need 
of repair.
We salute you Sir Ganga Ram!! 

Sir Ganga Ram


 GPO Building, Lahore


Lahore Museum


Aitchison College, Lahore


National College of Arts, Lahore


Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lahore


Ganga Ram hospital, Lahore


Samadhi of Ganga Ram Lahore, Ravi Road, Lahore


13 comments:

  1. The original piece of this article in Urdu is one of the best you have produced I believe!
    And of course we would not forget 'multi-dimensional personalities' such as 'Sir Ganga Ram' as long as you keep telling us their stories!
    So keep doing it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. In view of what is writter above, regardless of any religion, it looks he was a good human being.

    ReplyDelete
  3. exceptional.......

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the author has mixed the architectural work of Bhai Ram Singh Ji with engineering prowess of Sir Ganga Ram.

    ReplyDelete
  5. No dear!! Ganga Ram was also a agriculturalist . everyone knows about his Renala khurd and layalpur projects

    ReplyDelete
  6. Truly an inspiring personality, worthy of being emulated. Hats off to him.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good going brother... kepp the articles to open human dirty minds

    ReplyDelete
  8. He is a great man and a good model.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I did my engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee which was previously Thomason College of Civil Engineering. It was so great to read about one of our oldest and eminent Alumni. Institute has a hostel named after Sir Ganga Ram.
    Also, loved that picture of board saying "Sir Ganga Ram Hospital" with Delhi-Lahore at top and "aur udhar bhi.." at the bottom :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I did my engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee which was previously Thomason College of Civil Engineering. It was so great to read about one of our oldest and eminent Alumni. Institute has a hostel named after Sir Ganga Ram.
    Also, loved that picture of board saying "Sir Ganga Ram Hospital" with Delhi-Lahore at top and "aur udhar bhi.." at the bottom :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I did my engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee which was previously Thomason College of Civil Engineering. It was so good get some more details about one of our oldest and eminent Alumni. The institute has a hostel named after him.

    Also, loved that picture of board saying "Sir Ganga Ram Hospital" with Delhi-Lahore at top and "aur udhar bhi.." at the bottom :)

    Thanks for putting this together. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  12. He was indeed a great human being and man of many talents. His good work will keep his name and memory alive.

    ReplyDelete