"I slept and dreamt that life was beauty
I woke and found that life was duty"
These words of wisdom were quoted by The Pioneer, Architect and Founder of our College, Vidyasagar “The late Principal K.M.Kundnani’ in his message in the year 1984 – 85 and such messages give us an insight into the intrinsic values he stood for - hard work, honesty, sincerity, character and discipline.
Born on 24th August 1904 in Hyderabad, Sind (Pakistan) Principal K.M.Kundnani was the first Sindhi from Hyderabad, Sind to obtain a Master of Science Degree in Physics. He began his career as a Professor of D.G.National College and had already risen to the post of ‘Principal’ at the time of Partition.
Partition brought along with it pangs of separation and suffering, agony riddled with insecurity. Here was a man who had lost everything, including a College. Lesser mortals in such a dismal and bleak situation would have cracked up, fragmented ending up with scars and wounds of pain and frustration. Principal Kundnani demonstrated exemplary courage and a steely resolve to draw on his inner reserves of pragmatism, composure and stoical calm to deal with the challenges / obstacles that came his way. With a fiery determination, unflinching faith and a burning desire to succeed he decided to take the bull by its horns. In the mayhem that followed Partition where people were accumulating and protecting their wealth and other valuables and running for their lives, this great visionary brought with him his most prized belongings - His Chair, few trunks of books and 20 Carl-Zeiss microscopes. His trusted lieutenant one Mr.Bhatia ensured that these belongings reached the shores of Bombay safely.
A seemingly impossible mission at a personal risk was thus born – A leadership quality of transforming adversity into an opportunity. A vision to start a College for the deprived 'Sindhi Refugee Community'.
And thus rose the 'Phoenix' from the smoke and ashes of Partition, to be resurrected and to rise in youthful freshness with the power of Sun God, often considered as an emblem of immortality. Doesn’t is seem more than a coincidence that Principal K.M.Kundnani POLYTECHNIC of Pharmacy, the only College of the Board to be named after him, during its Silver Jubilee function in 1996 selected 'Phoenix' as its mascot ! A befitting tribute to the great educationist indeed !
Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board was founded in 1949, a result of the combined efforts of two visionaries – Committed Philanthropist Principal Kundnani and Legal luminary Barrister Hotchand G.Advani who strongly believed that education was pivotal to the overall progress of a community. The Board today has in its grand sweep 22 institutions imparting highest quality education but few are aware of the hardships and obstacles that had to be overcome to reach this pinnacle of glory. A barren marshy piece of land in Bandra was selected to build R.D.National College with no facilities like roads and electricity. B.G.Kher, Minister for Khar lands at that point of time was reluctant to grant permission for the College building. However, Principal Kundnani’s perseverance and commitment for the said purpose enabled him to procure the permission and raise funds in part by mortgaging his wife’s ornaments for Rs.10,000/- and through donations by wealthy Sindhi businessmen.
A touching anecdote is narrated by our ex-Principal, Dr.J.K.Lalla, highlighting Principal Kundnani's humility and modesty apart from single-minded determination in starting R.D.National College. Principal Kundnani was running 105°C fever when the Local Inquiry Committee visited the College for inspection. The team was shocked to find an exhausted Principal Kundnani sitting on the steps waiting for them. When one member of the LIC asked why he took the trouble to come with such high fever, Principal Kundnani replied with all humbleness, "How can I not come Sir, when you are all coming for inspection?"
The member of the LIC assured Principal Kundnani that he would take care of all the enquiries and sent him home immediately. That was the respect and awe Principal Kundnani commanded. The seeds he laid, the work he did and the force of will power he demonstrated in fulfilling his dreams ensured that they would find glorious expression.
Principal K.M.Kundnani POLYTECHNIC of Pharmacy, the first technical institution of the Board was born in the year 1971. Principal Kundnani's role in it’s genesis and growth is elaborated separately.
The Founder Principal of R.D. National College and Kishinchand Chellaram College, Founder Secretary and finally President of H(S)NCB, Principal Kundnani was gifted with a photographic memory and an almost sponge like ability to absorb everything around and finally translate it into reality. He had an eagle eye for minute details and love for perfection. Under his able supervision without any contractors K.C.College building was completed within five months. It is difficult to give estimated amount of money he must have saved for the Board through his foresight and vigilance.
A strict disciplinarian himself, the values he upheld and propagated strongly were integrity, austerity, good character and discipline. In his own words 'Without discipline man is like a log of wood, being buffeted by waves'.
In 1932 he became the Founder Member of the First Himalayan Expedition Club and retained his interest in hiking, trekking and mountaineering to a ripe old age. The nationalist spirit in him believed unwaveringly that the fruits of his relentless pursuits in the field of education would enrich generations of students he cared deeply about. With foresightedness he was instrumental in procuring plots of land at Bandra, Worli, Churchgate, Cuffe Parade and Ulhasnagar, all of which have become strategic points today. A true philanthropist, he waived fees and provided financial assistance to several deserving economically backward students.
Deeply religious, Principal Kundnani’s birthday every year used to be celebrated with the holy recitations of 'Guru Granth Sahib Paath' followed by kirtans and bhog.
Every dream will always have gaps and possibility of things going awry. His was a journey full of trials and tribulations, difficulties and disappointments and ultimate success. Obstacles did not deter him, Bureaucratic delays did not dampen his spirit. Probably there remained only one unfulfilled dream project amongst a long list of countless achievements i.e. to start a Medical College 'JOTEJOY Hospital and Medical Research Centre'. [The name was fondly coined by him amalgamating his wife’s name ‘JOTU’ and his name Joy (Khushi)]. Certain MCI requirements and his failing health prevented that dream project to see the light of the day.
Principal Kundnani received many awards for his long meritorious service in the field of education, the one which gave him maximum satisfaction was probably the 'Honor Summuns Gold Medal' given by 'Watumull Foundation of Honolulu' in recognition of his tireless efforts and success in founding, building and guiding the Colleges of H(S)NCB.
This great educationist and patriot was truly an ocean of knowledge and compassion who epitomized a way of life without thought for reward or riches. His mind was constantly seeking knowledge, daring to push the frontiers of achievements right upto his sad demise on 7th November 1992.
WE THE STAFF AND STUDENTS OF PRINCIPAL K.M.KUNDNANI POLYTECHNIC OF PHARMACY FEEL HIGHLY HONOURED TO HAVE HAD THE LEADERSHIP OF SUCH A TOWERING PERSONALITY WHO HAS LEFT HIS FOOTPRINTS ON THE SANDS OF TIME !
THE KMK FAMILY SALUTES VIDYASAGAR THE LATE PRINCIPAL K.M.KUNDNANI AND PAYS OUR HOMAGE BY PLEDGING TO FOLLOW HIS FOOTPRINTS AND TO STRIVE HARD TO ACCOMPLISH HIS IDEALS THAT WOULD STAND THE TEST OF TIME !!!