The Dargah Hazrath Syed Shah Raju Hussaini Qibla, forgotten by the State Department of Archaeology, is being restored by the traditional mutawali or protector of the dargah.
It was a fight won after apathy for over half a century. The plaster of its walls crumbled, no compound wall protected it and neither water nor electricity was available on its premises. Hidden between rich pages of the Qutub Shahi history and tucked away behind winding roads of the old and epic part of the city, the Dargah Hazrath Syed Shah Raju Hussaini Qibla was buried alive in the minds of the State Department of Archaeology.
After being notified a protected monument, the dargah speaking 400 years of the city's history only saw inaction towards any maintenance. Caught in the stranglehold of ‘protection', the Mutawalli or protector of the dargah, S.S.R Hussaini, succeeded in getting the monument de-notified after having proved that not a rupee had been spent by the department towards any protection.
“Even as nothing was done under State protection, restrictions in the law don't allow anyone or any other department to take care of the monument. Mr. Hussaini fought and got it removed from the list of protected monuments and now the dargah's maintenance is being taken care of very well,” said Sajjad Shahed, a core committee member of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
Renovation works and several other facilities such as electricity, water, washrooms and a public kitchen are now available in the dargah. “I have spent over a lakh rupees from my pocket on most of the renovation. The MCH and Quli Qutub Shah Urban Development Authority help with some funds for the work,” said Hussaini.
Interestingly, the dargah receives Rs. 284 annually as grant towards its maintenance, while audit reports show that nearly Rs. 1 lakh is spent towards activities there. The amount has not been reconsidered despite a letter being submitted by the State Wakf Board to the Minorities Welfare Department.
The outer parts of the tomb of the dargah, a rare remnant of Kakatiya and Qutub are getting chipped due to the passage of time but Mr. Hussaini said that nothing is being done despite several reminders to the government. Chairman of the state chapter, INTACH, Anuradha Reddy said that, “This is only one of the several monuments crumbling into insignificance under neglect. The question is, is the government is even serious about the city's heritage?”