Mumbai: The descendents of
Adamjee Peerbhoy, the visionary due to whose efforts the hill
station of Matheran is popular today, now want to start a public
movement so that their ancestor is credited with his due.
that late Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy was the brain, inspiration and major
resource provider behind the Matheran Railway and development of
almost the entire hill station, Ali Akbar Adam Peerbhoy, late
Adamjee's great grandson, now wants a public movement in this
regard. Let alone doing due honours, official silence has been so
defeating that now most people who visit Matheran and perhaps have
been doing so for years, still think that the entire area and even
the railway were developed by the British, which is actually not the
case, Ali said.
Ali Akbar says he
has the copy of a letter from R J Kent, joint secretary in the then
Government of Bombay, appreciating the fact that the promoters of
what the railway was then called, Matheran Tramway, had taken a
great risk with their money to promote a people's cause, raising the
indeed colossal sum for those times of Rs 15 lakh.
Ali Akbar says
that all his efforts in these past several years to erect some sort
of memorial to late Sir Adamjee have often taken frustrating turns.
development of Matheran as well as its iconic mini-train has been
the handiwork of Sir Adamjee and his son Abdul Hussein Adamjee
Peerbhoy. Yet, Ali Akbar is aghast that despite his long list of
pioneering and even philanthropic achievements, Abdul Hussein does
not have a single memorial in his name. The Peerbhoy family has
brought the name of Raigad district and Matheran on the world map.
So, feels Ali Akbar and the main Neral-Matheran road should most
aptly be named after Abdul Hussein.
Ali Akbar has old
records of almost all important projects undertaken by the Peerbhoy
family, including the conferring of knighthood on Sir Adamjee and
the nomination of Abdul Hussein as the first Indian Corporator of
rubbed shoulders with the whos who of great Indians like Tilak,
Annie Besant and Hormusji Vachha.
belonging to the Bohra community, are also the prime movers behind
the Saifee Hospital at Charni Road, which they had erected in 1886
as the Adamjee Peerbhoy Sanatorium.
among the old legends who stayed there once, was Mahatma Gandhi.