As Sainikpuri celebrates its Founders Day we trace the history behind this locality
The lush green trees, the fragrance of rain, the sound of chirping birds, the sight of nestling sparrows and squirrels are not part of the cities landscape, except in a few colonies which continue to boast of such heaven sent pleasures. The Armed Forces Officers Co-operative Housing Society (AFOCHS) at Sainikpuri is one such haven which has all this and more! It was the visionary Founder Late Brig M.K.Rao who conceived the idea of a colony where retired officers would be able to live together. The foundation stone was laid in 1964 by Gen J.N. Chaudhuri , the then Colonel Commandant of the Corps of EME with the intention of keeping the colony open to all three Defence Service Officers.
Behind the broad avenues, well planned parks, good sanitation and regular water supply, is the tireless effort and efficient management by retired Defence personnel and trained staff. The first plots were allotted to the Postal, Electric and Telephone Departments to set up their offices keeping in mind the convenience of Sainkpuri residents as well as neighbouring colonies. A shopping complex, auditorium housing a gym, sports and library facilities; an MI room (medical inspection) and a temple, are all within walking distance. It’s hard to believe that these 150 acres of completely barren Kancha land was magically transformed into the a green belt which was awarded the “Order of the Green Excellence” by the Tree Care Club of Hyderabad. Here Rain Water Harvesting, Vermi culture, Garbage segregation, construction rules and forbidding of tree felling are strictly implemented. “Now Sainikpuri comes under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and ours is a 100% environment friendly colony. We have an excellent liaison with the Police and the colony is made safe with regular police beats. Though majority of us are retired we are not a spent force but a vibrant community,” says Maj. Gen (Retd) A.V.Rao, Present President, AFOCHS.
“Over the years there have been changes, for instance there is an increase in traffic and noise levels. But the cosmopolitan culture remains and we help each other in times of need. I have certainly enjoyed my three decades here,” says Brig (Retd) A. Apte, an octogenarian who has actively contributed to the development of the colony and continues to do so. Sainikpuri celebrated its Founder’s Day on 19th August with an intergenerational variety programme by the residents which concluded with a hilarious satire staged by amateur actors only 55 and above!
Until a decade ago Sainikpuri was considered way out of anybody’s reach in terms of distance, but today way out of most people’s budget describes it better! And not without ample justification, owning a bungalow or plot in this colony is surely a matter of “owner’s pride, other’s envy!”PADMINI B PATELL