TWO KARACHI LADIES AND A MAN WITH A MISSION: Earlier this year I was driving down Mission Road. I saw the name of old Civil Hospital Karachi had changed to DR. RUTH K.M. PFAU CIVIL HOSPITAL KARACHI. A short distance down the same road on the opposite site I saw the gates of the LADY DUFFERIN HOSPITAL. These were two great ladies with a mission and both the hospitals honored with their names were on MISSION ROAD.
Lady Dufferin Hospital is the largest women’s hospital in Pakistan.The hospital, which was completed in 1898, was named after the British peeress Lady Dufferin. Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, gave birth to a son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as well as her other children in the hospital in 1988.
Lady Dufferin was Hariot Georgina Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, Marchioness of Dufferin (died 25 October 1936) was a British peeress, known for her success in the role of “diplomatic wife,” and for leading an initiative to improve medical care for women in British India.
Lady Dufferin went with her husband to India in 1884 when she was appointed as the country’s viceroy, and set up the National Association for supplying Female Medical Aid to the Women of India (known as the Countess of Dufferin Fund) a year later. This association recruited and trained women doctors, midwives and nurses to improve the situation for Indian women in illness and in child-bearing. As well as the numerous ‘Lady Dufferin’ hospitals and clinics which were established, some of which still exist under that name, there are medical colleges and midwifery schools named after her. She received the Crown of India in 1884 and the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert in 1895.
The foundation laying ceremony was performed on 12 November 1894 by Lady Elgin. In 1915, Dr. Elizabeth Stephens Imprey was appointed the new head of the hospital, but she never made it to Karachi from England. She boarded the P & O liner SS Persia as a first class passenger in Tilbury, London. The ship was sunk off Crete’s coast by a German submarine on December 30, 1915. More than 340 passengers drowned, including Dr. Imprey.
Dufferin Hospitals were located in Karachi, Quetta, Shikarpur & Hyderabad in Pakistan and Delhi, Nagpor and Calcutta in India.
DR. PFAU: Dr Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau (Died 10 August 2017) was a German-born Pakistani physician and nun of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She moved from Germany to Pakistan and devoted more than 50 years of her life fighting leprosy in Pakistan.
Known as “Pakistan’s Mother Teresa”, Pfau contributed in establishing 157 leprosy clinics across Pakistan, that treated over 56,780 people
Now MISSION ROAD is still remembered as such but its post independence name is BABA-E-URDU ROAD. Named after none other than Maulvi Abdul Haq (20 April 1870 – 16 August 1961); He was a scholar and a linguist, Father of Urdu Abdul Haq was a champion of the Urdu language and the demand for it to be made the national language of Pakistan.
Also wrote the Standard English Urdu Dictionary
What a coincidence that all three great personalities on Mission Road had their own noble missions all duly accomplished with honors and will be so for a long time. What a storied Road it is! We had the honor and privilege of walking on this road for 7 years while studying at the Dow Medical College, another institution with a mission of its own. (Source Wikipedia and others. Amin H. Karim June 20 2018)