Reviving the Library for the Public at Sarkhej Roza
One of the first changes made at the Roza itself was to re-organise the library and some of the artifacts lying in a decadent state at the Roza. Portions that were being used for administrative purposes were organized. Spaces were allocated for a general reading room and the books in the library were organized. A small inaugural function was held at the Roza itself. With eminent people coming to the Roza, this small but simple function created a curiosity in the people living around the area.
As part of its lake development project, AUDA decided to include the Ahmed-Sar lake into its project. AUDA invested its resources in the beautification of the Roza primarily due to the patronage of Shri Surendra Patel.
As a result of which the surrounding of the lake was developed into gardens. With landscaping, the space became usable and the community living around the area started using the space. Very soon, it turned into a picnic spot for people from other parts of the city as well. Given the fact that the walled city which houses a majority of the Muslim community in Ahmedabad has today become a congested space with very little or no open spaces, the roza provides both a spiritual and physical relief the community.
Financial sustainability for the Sarkhej Roza Committee.
Financial sustainability slowly became an issue when the infrastructure created had to be manages. With the Roza becoming popular and receiving an increasing number of visitors, an effort at maintaining cleanliness had to be stepped up. Facilities for tourists had to be planned, Better equipped staff had to be hired to handle tourists and local visitors. The inflow of local visitors from the Muslim community also increased. Providing facilities for them to fulfil their religious duties was one of the major responsibilities of the Roza committee. Groups of people needed space at the completion of a Mannat. A space needed to be provided for cooking and resting .
The Qureshjammat that has been running a ‘Langer’ every Thursday evening at the Roza, since the past 150 years. With an increase in the number of people visiting the Roza on Thursday, they needed better provision of water for cooking.
The gardens developed by AUDA saw a lot of wear and tear. These also needed resources for beautification and upkeep. Though there was manpower that was provided by AMC, it was not enough to keep the gardens in a good condition.
Whereas the cultural events were a good way to highlight the monument of the Roza, it was not good way to raise money. The Roza being in a joint ownership with the ASI, it made raising money very complicated.
As a result of which other sources needed to be found. Though the committee was raising money through tenancy, it was by no way sufficient to pay for the monthly expenses of the upkeep at the Roza.
Property surveys were undertaken to ascertain the exact number of tenants. Records were updated. Systems were finalized for making each and every transaction with tenants transparent. In the course of our work, ACF in co-ordination with the committee realised that a good team of rent collectors was required.
Women’s Rent Collector Team At Sarkhej
In 2009, a team of 4 women living in the locality were trained to collect rents and a proper system for rent collection was established with checks and balances at various points. This team is still working and the rent being received by the Sarkhej Roza committee have increased manifold. As a result of which, at least the maintenance costs of committee staff and electrical expenditure + minor repairs are now being paid for through the rent collected.