Home Animal This Historical Icon Has Seen the Vital Medical Breakthroughs

This Historical Icon Has Seen the Vital Medical Breakthroughs

This Historical Icon Has Seen the Vital Medical Breakthroughs


On July 27, the Telangana authorities submitted an affidavit earlier than the Telangana Excessive Courtroom asserting its resolution to demolish all buildings that type a part of the Osmania Normal Hospital (OGH) campus — together with the heritage block. As a substitute, the federal government plans to construct a brand new 1800-bed facility. 

However there are presently a number of public curiosity litigations (PIL) within the Excessive Courtroom that search to protect the heritage block.  As an example, one filed by social activist Lubna Sarwath calls the demolition unconstitutional which is able to “harm the town’s identification”.

“The State can’t afford the posh of forgetting that the destruction of heritage buildings will rob its individuals of the essence of their identification, and can deprive the town of its sense of uniqueness. Whereas it is very important plan for the longer term, it’s equally necessary to guard, to protect and to advertise the previous,” Sarwath informed The Indian Specific.

Consultants wish to protect the heritage constructing, and wish the brand new hospital to both be constructed round it, or at one other location. Let’s check out what makes this hospital so iconic. 

Hyderabad’s medical breakthroughs 

The Afzal Gunj hospital was ravaged by the Musi floods in 1908
The primary worldwide chloroform trials had been held on the Afzal Gunj hospital. Picture: The Deccan Archive

Within the mid-Nineteenth century, medical training was choosing up in Hyderabad with the appearance of the Hyderabad Medical Faculty. The land that homes the OGH campus right now was earlier residence to the Afzal Gunj Hospital, which was constructed in 1866 and served as a educating hospital. 

It was at these two buildings that main medical breakthroughs had been made. 

The invention of malaria was made on the Hyderabad Medical Faculty by Nobel laureate Sir Ronald Ross. Alternatively, Afzal Gunj Hospital contributed to a serious breakthrough in anesthesia. The primary worldwide chloroform trials, backed by the sixth Nizam Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, befell on this hospital from 1888 to 1891, and had been performed by his private doctor Dr Edward Lawrie.

The Chloroform Fee performed experiments to determine the effectiveness of chloroform as an anesthetic to deal with sufferers. It was a serious breakthrough that led to a number of lives being saved sooner or later. Whereas the chemical was getting used for surgical procedures, this trial helped in figuring out the way it may very well be used safely. The Fee’s report would go on to be revealed in The Lancet.

Constructed within the aftermath of floods and a plague

The tamarind tree that saved the lives of 150 people
The tamarind tree that saved the lives of 150 individuals

As medication flourished in Hyderabad, unprecedented rainfall resulted in catastrophic floods, ravaging the erstwhile princely state. In the course of the reign of the sixth Nizam, one of many casualties of the Musi River flooding was the Afzal Gunj Hospital. Greater than 15,000 individuals misplaced their lives, however a big tamarind tree close to the hospital acted as a savior for 150 individuals who climbed it. 

In 1911, Mir Osman Ali Khan, Hyderabad’s final Nizam took over. That is when the bubonic plague hit Hyderabad. This epidemic but once more took a number of lives, and delivered to the fore the necessity for a serious infrastructure revamp. 

Osman Ali Khan is claimed to have heralded a brand new fashionable infrastructure push that may be higher geared up to cope with nature’s fury. In 1912, Hyderabad received its first city growth authority, the Hyderabad Metropolis Enchancment Board (CIB). From then on, the town noticed a number of new constructions, together with buildings, roads, bridges, sewers, railways, parks, dams, courts, universities and hospitals.

After the Musi river flooded, Osman Ali Khan is believed to have initiated the development of two reservoirs — Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar — by Sir M Visvesvaraya, even earlier than he got here to energy. Many heritage constructions, together with the Osmania Normal Hospital, Hyderabad Excessive Courtroom, Authorities Metropolis Faculty, Kacheguda railway station and Osmania College had been constructed by the Final Nizam.

An unmissable a part of outdated Hyderabad

An illustration of the hospital signed by Vincent Esch, which was auctioned by Christie's
An illustration of the hospital signed by Vincent Esch, which was auctioned by Christie’s

In 1919, the Nizam commissioned British architect Vincent Esch to design a hospital geared up with fashionable amenities. 

Esch was referred to as the pioneer of the Indo-Saracenic model of structure, which mixed components from Mughal structure with the British model. The architect had earlier labored on the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta. In a report on Esch, author and lecturer GHR Tillotson calls this model, “an try by British architects in India, starting within the final third of the nineteenth century, to develop a mode which mirrored the native architectural heritage, and so to current an Indian imagery for the buildings of the Raj”.

Tillotson provides that Esch described his model utilized in Hyderabad as  ‘Perpendicular Mogul Saracenic’. “Esch regarded the model he utilized in Hyderabad as a slight departure from strict Mughal design, and used this time period which acknowledges a visually evident Gothic affect,” provides Tillotson.

Flanking the left financial institution of the Musi River, Osmania Normal Hospital was constructed on 26.5 acres of land. What catches your eye whenever you see the majestic construction are the massive bulbous domes, that are an unmissable a part of Previous Metropolis’s skyline. The hospital reportedly value Rs 20 lakh to construct and the development was accomplished in 1925.

The primary constructing, which is the one activists wish to save, was constructed utilizing granite, limestone and lime plaster. The three-storied constructing has a jack arch roof that’s supported by iron girders, and is claimed to be one of many early examples of smaller bolstered cement concrete slabs. 

Whereas the plan and building could be British, the grand dome, cupolas, historic motifs, and chajjas give the Mughal contact. There was additionally a park, nurses’ quarters (in case of quarantine), and a block for laundry, which had been later demolished to make means for in-patient remedies. 

Right now, the 1,168-bed hospital campus additionally features a nursing and dental school. It’s also one of many solely tertiary hospitals within the outdated metropolis that the poor from close by districts even have entry to. 

A combat to retain an icon

The hospital is spread across 26.5 acres
The hospital is unfold throughout 26.5 acres. Picture: The Deccan Archive

In July 2020, the heritage block on the OGH was flooded and subsequently vacated. Steady rains left the wards within the heritage constructing stuffed with ankle-deep water. It was sealed and vacated after that.

College students and docs have been demanding pressing repairs for a very long time now.

“Within the final 10 years, all OMC (Osmania Medical Faculty) college students have confronted issues whereas finding out at OGH. Nearly each nook or room has patches of roof which have collapsed over time. They make short-term repairs, however within the wet season, these points worsen. There may be at all times a heavy inflow of sufferers and if we have to present higher companies, then we want higher upkeep of the constructing as nicely,” mentioned Dr Kadali Vishni, who handed out from OMC in 2014 to The Information Minute.

This led to a renewed push by politicians to demolish the construction and construct a brand new hospital.

What everybody unanimously agrees upon, is the truth that the constructing is in pressing want of restore and restoration. Whereas Telangana Chief Minister Ok Chandrashekar Rao desires all the construction to be demolished, conservation architects need it to be restored.

Conservation architects and historians, nevertheless, have been arguing for saving the heritage constructing — which is constructed on 1 acre — and constructing a brand new hospital round it. The construction is graded a II-B Heritage Constructing in Hyderabad Metropolitan Growth Affiliation (HMDA) Itemizing and is protected beneath the Heritage Rules of HMDA. A change.org petition was began in July 2020 to ‘Save Osmania Normal Hospital-Defend Heritage and Well being’, which obtained greater than 14,000 signatures. 

“This isn’t only a constructing however it’s the skyline of the town. The complete Musi and the banks of it inform the story of the town and the way it took form,” mentioned conservation architect GSV Suryanarayana Murthy to The Print.

In August 2015 and 2019, INTACH (Indian Nationwide Belief for Artwork and Cultural Heritage) revealed a report stating that the constructing was in a “excellent and structurally steady situation and didn’t pose a menace to its occupants”. In November 2019, Telangana’s Division of Archaeology and Museums and the Aga Khan Belief for Tradition revealed a report that acknowledged that the heritage constructing needn’t be demolished. Each stories state that the constructing ought to be restored based mostly on heritage conservation rules.

“Taking all the pieces into consideration, we noticed that the heritage constructing is secure for one more century, nevertheless it requires some repairs. The best way the constructing was constructed exhibits how nicely it was deliberate — there was quite a lot of air flow, massive corridors, and correct shops for the water. The harm prompted to it’s purely as a result of ‘unscientific intervention’. There was additionally a park reverse to the hospital for individuals to chill out, which has been destroyed,” mentioned Anuradha Reddy of INTACH to The Print.  

“You must have a primary sense of historical past, tradition, heritage, and an concept of its significance. These are markers of identification, these are icons of the previous — if you happen to don’t retain that, Hyderabad is now not a 400-year-old metropolis,” mentioned Sajjad Shahid, a historian and conservation activist, to Caravan

‘Demolition of Osmania Hospital might be an enormous blow to Hyderabad’s historical past’ by Yunus Y Lasania for The Information Minute, Revealed on 08 August 2023 
‘Osmania Hospital: An Icon In Want Of Intensive Care’ by Aveek Bhowmik for Dwell Historical past India, Revealed on 01 August 2020
‘KCR’s deliberate demolition of Osmania Hospital undermines COVID efforts, metropolis’s heritage’ by Sarah Khan for The Caravan, Revealed on 16 August 2020
‘Osmania hospital, the Nizam period Hyderabad hospital caught in a heritage vs well being debate’ by Rishika Sadam for The Print, Revealed on 04 August 2021
‘Hyderabad heritage activists say resolution to raze Osmania Normal Hospital buildings unconstitutional, remind Govt of Irrum Manzil judgment’ by Rahul V Pisharody for The Indian Specific, Revealed on 31 July 2023



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