Work by Raja Sahib:
Being a man of modern outlook and forward thinking, Raja Sahib rendered
financial assistance to the then ruling British government for various public
works to improve the town. Of course his prime focus underlying such assistance
was the welfare of his people at large. But the benevolence shown by Raja Sahib
was not only routed through the British government, he extended financial
assistance to his friends in debt, students and cultivators.
Inns or Rest Houses, popularly known as Dharamshalas
were constructed at different places. His father had already built a Dharamshala
at Bhedaghat on the bank of river Narmada. In course of time, repair works was
performed under the supervision of Raja Sahib. Later on, Raja Sahib built
another near it. The Dharamshala at Mathura is known as ‘Jubbulpore Walon ki
Dharamshalas at Mathura, Ajmer and Itarsi
The significant contribution made by Raja Sahib, which with passage of
time has been forgotten is the loan rendered to Jubbulpore Municipality for the
construction of Water-works at Khandari, in the year 1883.
Since the Jubbulpore Municipality was not in position to contribute the
sum of Rs. 5,00,000 for the Water-works, it was Raja Sahib who came to rescue at
this time of crisis. He willingly accepted the terms laid down by the British
government to pay back the loan over a period of 16 years. But as the work of
the reservoir commenced, the Municipality came to realise that it would be
unable to pay back the loan within the set time period.
Water Works built with liberal loan given
As a result of this, correspondence was made with Raja Sahib with fresh
terms and condition, conveying the message of Jubbulpore Municipality in paying
back the amount. The government clarified that 16 years would be very short
period to pay off such a large loan amount and requested Raja Sahib to
re-consider their set of terms to pay back the loan in 27 years.
The terms and condition were gladly accepted with a favour that town
people be not required to pay any water rate or any additional tax on account of
the Water-works. Sir J. H. Morris, Chief Commissioner, Central Province opened
the reservoir of Jubbulpore Water-works on 26 February 1883.
Bada Fuhara built
Sir Morris while addressing the inaugural function appreciated the
assistance rendered by Raja Sahib and enlightened the audience that if it was
not for the public spirit of Raja Sahib who expressed his readiness to advance
the necessary loan, the construction of the reservoir would have been a dream.
He lastly added, ‘…….it is a source of much pride and satisfaction to me
that this magnificent system of Water-works should have begun and completed
during the period of my incumbency as Chief Commissioner…’
Victoria Town Hall:
As the city of Jubbulpore had no Town Hall therefore a great need for
suitable place for public functions was always felt. Generous Raja Sahib came
forward and contributed Rs. 30,000.
Victoria Town Hall built with
Sir A. P. Macdonald, Chief Commissioner of Central Province,
inaugurated the Town hall on 2nd September 1892. Speaking on the
occasion, Sir Macdonald said, ‘The name of Raja Sahib is well known to you in
this part of Central Province. By good business and assiduous attention to his
own affairs, Raja Sahib has amassed a noble fortune, he has established himself
as a landed proprietor in many districts and he has already been conspicuously
honoured by Government…….. if Raja Sahib has his admirers he also has his
critics, and, as in the case of all successful men his detractors. I prefer to
think of him as a life-counselor of the Dufferin Fund, as the person who has
conferred benefits on you and your fellow citizens by aiding towards your water
supply and as the donor who has now gifted you with this Town hall.'
The hall was so commodious that over and above the space occupied by
the Municipal offices, District library and the Courts of Honorary Magistrates,
there remained room for big public gatherings. The hall has after independence
renamed as the Gandhi Town Hall.
Lady Elgin Hospital:
It was Raja Gokuldas, whose attention was drawn towards the fact that
there was no separate female hospital in the city for the proper diagnosis and
treatment of problems pertaining to gynaecology during later half of the 19th
century. It was indeed a bold step taken by Raja sahib during the period when
women were considered to be an oppressed class.
Elgin Hospital built with
Accordingly he wrote to the then Chief Commissioner of Central Province intimating his willingness to make contribution for such a hospital. The Chief Commissioner welcomed the offer made by Raja Sahib. In his letter, he expressed great satisfaction at the proposed scheme for the liberality displayed by him in the expenditure of a sum of Rs. 30,000 on the construction of the Elgin Female hospital at Jubbulpore. Her Excellency the Countess of Elgin opened the female hospital on the 7th December, 1896 during the incumbency of Surgeon Lieut. Colonel H.K. Mackay, Civil Surgeon of Jubbulpore.
Assistance during the Great Famine :
In the year 1895, famine gripped the Central Province. Crops had failed due to lack of rainfall, there was shortage of food. Many starving people roamed in the streets of Jubbulpore. Kind-hearted Raja Sahib came to the rescue as he could not see the plight of his people. A poor house was opened. The then Deputy Commissioner, A. C. Duff wrote a letter to Raja Sahib for his kind heartedness. Besides this, he also subscribed Rs. 10,000 to the relief fund started by the Government during the Great Famine of the 1899-1900. In addition to the above he also spent large amounts to help the famine-stricken people in his own villages.