The 2500 million year-old-rocks that dot Hyderabad are a natural heritage that ought to be preserved. That’s what Frauke Qauder is trying to do.
The boulders, perched precariously on top of each other, ARE a marvel that no other city can take pride in.
It was a lazy Hyderabad afternoon as I set out to meet Frauke Quader and I couldn’t help wonder how a ‘rock-talk’ could get me out of this gloomy mood. Little did I realise I was in for a very interesting chat that would not only stir my senses but would instil a feeling of social responsibility within me.
Frauke is a German who has been in Hyderabad since 1975. Married to a Hyderabadi, she seems to be quite in awe of the nawabi sheher. “Hyderabad — though enormous in terms of population — offers you a unique and wonderful feel of Mother Nature. The Deccan’s 2500 million-year-old boulders, perched precariously on top of each other, is a marvel that no other city can take pride in. Over the years, as I settled down here, I realised something must be done to save these sculptures of Nature. In fact, in the West, landscape protection is a government policy and this is sadly lacking in India. So I decided to do something. To start with I joined a group of rock enthusiasts comprising mainly artists and environmentalists and we started awareness programmes through the media, painting and photo exhibitions and cultural programmes against the backdrop of rocks,” reveals Frauke.
“This created a stir but we realised that something more was required and so we founded the Society to Save Rocks in 1996. Since then, members from all walks of life have joined to help spread the message through various awareness initiatives as well as work with the government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad Urban Development Authority and other local bodies,” she adds.
One with Nature
“From early childhood, Nature always touched me. I loved strolling, looking around and admiring Nature’s beauty. Here, in Hyderabad too, when it is time to relax, I stroll around the city admiring the rocks,” she smiles.
Initially it was quite a task trying to convince people and get their support, feels Frauke, but the Government Order this month has doubled her faith and confidence. Fifteen rocks have been listed as Heritage precincts including Fakhruddingutta (Sheikpet), Skull Rock (opposite TCS, Hi-tech city), Pathar-Dil (Gachibowli), the rocks around Shamirpet, the ridge between Malkam Cheruvu (Gachibowli) and the rocks around Peeran Shah Dargah (near A.P police academy). “The Salvage Baby at Durgam Cheruvu is a beauty,” feels Frauke and those who have seen it would definitely agree.
“The Society to Save the Rocks initially started with four members and then multiplied to 26. Today there are 280 members actively participating to save the rocks and give them the attention they deserve,” she adds.
Frauke loves to read and is especially fond of Salman Rushdie. Of late she has started reading Indian authors and is enjoying them. Being in Hyderabad for quite a while now, she has become almost a Hyderabadi and loves the food here. “I love Hyderabad. I have a special fondness for Indian delicacies. Initially I used to find the food hot here but now my palate too seems to have become Hyderabadi,” she giggles.
“The climate is amazing and so is its rocky landscape. The history too is highly interesting and one can never get bored here as there is so much to explore. The blend of old Hyderabad and the new contemporary style is a joy to behold. The city has progressed yet it retains its old charm. That’s the beauty!” adds Frauke.
She is also a member of the Forum for Street Children but of late hasn’t been able to participate actively as the Society to Save the Rocks takes most of her time.