Hyderabad: Post-Independence India seems to have an unannounced policy to get rid of signs of the Muslim era – they are left to die their natural death by not preserving them, unless it is a money minting machine like Taj Mahal or Red Fort. The Government Nizamia Tibbia College of Hyderabad comes in the unfortunate category of the Muslim era signs. The 200-year-old Unani college and hospital is dying a slow and silent death. Not only the marvelous structure is falling in pieces, the institution therein is also lying on death-bed thanks to governmental apathy and monumental neglect.
Nizamia Tibbia College has a history dating back to 1810 when it was started by an Afghan scholar, Sajida Begum Majid. Then it was renovated and developed into a splendid structure in 1938 by 7th Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, and it was then transformed into a medical college and hospital. Very soon, the college became a world class medical institution. Till the recent past it was known all over India for perfect and quality teaching in Unani medicine. The college provides all its education in Urdu medium. Located next to the historic Charminar in the heart of Hyderabad, the college has produced a number of Unani doctors and researchers to the community and to the nation.
Present worse than past
But after 74 years of formal existence, everything today seems not well for this historic medical college. Problems are glaring from every corner. The college building is in serious dilapidated condition. The internal politics of the management has brought the college down. There is hardly any good infrastructure facility available in the college. And adding to the long list of miseries, Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) — a statutory body under Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970 – last year cancelled the P.G. course which college was offering since 1978.
There are only two Unani medical colleges in the whole of Andhra Pradesh. One is Dr. Abdul Haq Unani Medical College in Kurnool – which is government aided – and the other is this Nizamia Tibbia College in Hyderabad, which is fully owned and run by the state government. Affiliated to Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada, only Nizamia Tibbia College was providing M.D. course in Unani medicine till 2010-2011 besides the UG course. Since the mid-70s the college started losing its shine due to the lack of interest by the government in maintaining the college with changing phase of time.
The college building is a heritage structure, but like its counterparts in the old city of Hyderabad its preservation is being grossly neglected by the authorities. Nearly every wall of the historic structure is damaged and cracks can be seen everywhere. Plants have grown on the walls and domes seriously causing damage to the historic structure.
There had been no development in the infrastructure facilities in the college since its formation. In fact, it got exhausted more in the recent past. There are no drinking water facilities for the students while there is only one washroom that is only for female students.
TCN spoke to some of the students in the medical college to know the situation. Asad Mohinuddin is a final year student, he is presently doing his internship in the college hospital. He said, “The existing college building is not being sufficient for both the Unani College and hospital. The patients’ beds are being put in college corridors, due to lack of space. The reason he said is the Ayurvedic hospital which has been shifted in the Unani hospital building by the government, and two floors and three wards have been taken away by the Ayurvedic hospital. According to him, 1,500-2000 patients visit the hospital daily but due to the congested nature of the Unani hospital and college it is creating lots of disturbance for the students. When the students went on strike for nearly 80 days risking their studies demanding eviction of the Ayurveda hospital, the state Govt. promised a number of times to shift the Ayurvedic hospital. Even a new building has been constructed for them, but the promise has not yet been fulfilled. It is causing anxiety among the staff and students of Nizamia Tibbia College.”
Another final year student Syed Sajid Basha said, he wanted to pursue M.D. course, because nowadays there is little demand for only Bachelor of Unani Medicine Science degree holder. But now as the CCIM has cancelled the M.D. course in the Nizamia college which was the only college in the state to provide this course he will have to go for other states.
Mohd Adil, another final year student said, that without M.D. degree in Unani he won’t be able to find a decent job in any hospital, so he has to open his own clinic and try his luck.
Then Asad added: This college is still good in Unani medicine studies, staff and teachers are also well experienced and good but the internal politics of the management is to be blamed for all the loss students are facing. He said there is no unity among the college management due to internal conflicts, so they can’t represent to the government their grievances effectively.
The library of the college contains valuable books on Unani medicine in Persian and Urdu languages. But there is no one to take care of them permanently. The post of the librarian is vacant for nearly 10 years. The college management provides some temporary arrangements in the due time. This is creating lots of problems for the students who want to utilize the ancient knowledge of Unani which has been enclosed in those historic books.