Saturday, September 23, 2017

Wazir Mansion-Quaid-e-Azam Birth Place

Wazir Mansion is the place / house where the parents of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah lived at the time of the birth of the nation’s Supreme Leader. The house, where Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah spent his sixteen years of his childhood and youth, is a precious National Monument that provides inspiration to our nation.

The two-storey building of Wazir Mansion is of colonial period standing solemnly on a street known as “Chagla Street (now Barkati Street)”, New Neham Road (now Haji Sharif Balwani Road), off M.A. Jinnah Road (Old Bunder Road) near Meriwether Tower, Kharadar, Karachi. It was built during 1860 to 1870 with stone masonry in lime and jute mortar to suit the volatile weather of Karachi.

The parents of Quaid-e-Azam, Mr.Jinnah Bhai Ponja and Sakina Bano (Mithi Bai) moved to Karachi after 1874 from their ancestral village Paneli (now in Gujrat, India) to Karachi and acquired a two room apartment in this building. It was an auspicious day of 25th December, 1976, when the founder of our homeland i.e. Pakistan and the greatest Muslim Leader of 20th Century was born. When Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah left for London in 1892 for higher studies, his parents and siblings were still residing in this house. However, after the birth of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah the house was sold to some one else by the owner and Quaid’s family shifted to another big rented house in Karachi. Mr. Gowardhan Das was also among the owners of this building from whom Mr. Wazir Ali Ponawala (by whom this house had got its name “Wazir Mansion”) bought it at some point in 19040s.

In 1953, Government of Pakistan acquired this historic building and protected it under “Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904″ (later on Antiquities Act, 1975) and Pakistan Public Works Department (P.W.D.) was assigned the work of its renovation and conservation. In order to enhance its importance Government of Pakistan declared Wazir Mansion a “National Monument” and renamed it as Quaid-e-Azam Birth Place. After completion of urgent and necessary repairs Wazir Mansion was handed over to the Department of Archeology & Museums, Government of Pakistan on 13th August, 1953 for its proper upkeep and maintenance. The Birth Place Museum was formally inaugurated by the then Governor General of Pakistan on 14th August 1953.

The Department of Archeology & Museums, Government of Pakistan established a Reading Room and a Library on its Ground Floor and a Museum on its 1st Floor, where the relics associated with Quaid-e-Azam were put on view. The 2nd Floor Gallery was opened in 1982 when some articles belonging to Quaid-e-Azam were collected from Mohtarma Shereen Jinnah (the sister of Quaid-e-Azam) by the Quaid’s Relics Commission.

In 2004, a Project of Evaluation, Strengthening, Preservation, Rehabilitation, Bringing back to its original form, Presentation and Up-gradation of Quaid-e-Azam Birth Place (Wazir Mansion) was started by the Department of Archeology & Museums, Government of Pakistan with approved cost of Rs. 25.037 Million. The Project has completed in 2010. Now the Museum is consisted of three-story building – a ground floor with a Library and a reading hall; two museum galleries on 1st & 2nd Floor and a Custodian’s office and two washrooms on 3rd Floor.

The First Gallery
It is located on 1st Floor. It has been divided into three rooms; the first room where the Quaid was born while in the second and third room the articles belonged to the Father of the Nation are displayed, which he used as the First Governor General of Pakistan 14th August, 1947-11th September, 1948) They include a cabinet chair (used by Quaid-e-Azam while presiding over the meetings of the cabinet), office chair, writing chair, dressing table, side tables, cushioned sofa set, rugs and a bed where he breathed his last.

The Second Gallery
It is situated on 2nd Floor. There are nine show cases in which the articles related to Quaid-e-Azam such as; a manuscript copy of Holy Qur’an, a large number of law books, furniture, monocle in a leather case, a pair of tortoise shell spectacles an Emerson radio, smoking pipe, welcome addresses, a silver lock & key, perfume box, a cigarette case, Chinese vase, china jug, writing pad, table clock, walking stick, Muslim League Badges, dresses and a number of other objects are put on display.

In April 2011, this monument of national importance has been handed over to Department of Culture, Government of Sindh, after the devolution of Department of Archeology & Museums, Government of Pakistan, to the provinces under 18th Amendment of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan.

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Culture Tourism and Antiquities Department
7th Floor, New Sindh Secretariat Building No.1 Karachi
+92-21-99222885
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