Hyderabad: On August 16, when word of Begum Anees Khan’s demise spread, thousands flocked to her residence, Khushnuma, in Khairtabad locality, to pay their condolences. After her death, Hyderabad became poorer in the field of education.
Begum Anees Khan, 85, was the founder of Nasr School and chairman of the Nasr Education Society. The Nasr School started its journey with just four teachers and 12 pupils in 1965. She was inspired by the need to start an English-medium school exclusively for girls, with a curriculum that would help them stand out and challenge social norms.
In this endeavour, her husband and in-laws fully backed Begum Anees Khan. She was the epitome of a woman who, in an era when there were few institutions led by women and the idea of an all-girls school was foreign to many, broke down all societal and patriarchal boundaries while simultaneously being fiercely committed to her morals and personal ideals.
Paying rich tribute to her, Gawah Weekly editor Dr Syed Fazil Hussain Parvez said along with the late KM Arifuddin, Begum Anees Khan will invariably be mentioned whenever Muslim education in Hyderabad is discussed or history is written.
At a time when Christian missionaries controlled the educational landscape, the late Arifuddin popularized high-quality education. If KM Arifuddin founded the first Muslim public school run by Muslims, which paved the way for the establishment of several Muslim schools, Begum Anees Khan Sahiba started Nasr Preschool much earlier, he added.
After a number of years of marriage, Begum Anees Khan picked up her studies again and graduated with full honours. She received a gold medal for winning the Osmania University BA examination. She finished her M.A. after that. When her daughter Aaliya was old enough to attend school in 1965, Begum Anees Khan established Nasr School on June 12th, 1965, with three instructors and twelve pupils.
She found inspiration in her father, Syed Jalaluddin Hussain, and in Mrs. Donna Hussain, a friend from the United States. Begum Khan completed her M.Ed. in America at the invitation and prodding of Mrs. Donna Hussain. She joined Nasr School with a plethora of expertise and a Master’s degree from the United States. As a result, she was well-versed in every area of the school, including every department.
Over the period of 58 years, Nasr School advanced gradually from pre-school to primary school and subsequently to high school. The school administration, led by Begum Khan, made an incredible effort. In “elegant” structures, Nasr Girls School, Nasr Boys School, and Nasr Pre-Primary Schools are famous throughout India for their high academic standards, “discipline,” and outstanding accomplishments in academics, cultural programmes and committees, and sports. Students are proud of their school.
Every student’s badge will bear the school’s slogan, “Nasr Minul allah Fathun Qareeb,” in large letters. Regardless of their religion, all female students are required to wear this badge.