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HISTORY

The Gaya Muslim Orphanage (GMO) owes its existence to the munificence of Enayeth Khan, a great wiseacre and native of village Kolowna (1 km from Cherki). The GMO was established in October 1917 at Cherki, 20 kms from Gaya town on Gaya-Sherghati road. Initially, the orphanage was put up in a rented thatched hutment for which the founder Enayeth Khan paid 50 paise (eight annas) as monthly rental from his own pocket. Enayeth Khan, who was working then as a clerk with the Calcutta Fire Brigade on a monthly salary of Rs. 50, invested a modest sum of Rs. 30 from his purse for the establishment purposes. Before getting an employment with the Calcutta Fire Brigade, the founder also worked as a hotel boy (washing utensil etc) at the Grad Hotel in Calcutta.

The establishment of GMO is in itself a story of travails and tribulations, innumerable sacrifices, sincerity, devotion and labouring by midnight. Firstly, the very birth of the founder is a miracle in itself. As such, having been born in the year 1885, Enayeth Khan was assumed to have been born dead since the newly-born child was not showing any signs of life at all. His father Yaseen Khan, a labourer at the Calcutta Shipping Yard, who was already distressed on receiving the sad news, since he had previously lost two sons in their teens, however gathered courage and sought leave to go home and advice from his British employer, who advised him to pour little warm water on the child's navel and if he would be alive he would certainly cry. The same thing happened after doing as was directed. The child at once began to cry and there was rejoicing all around. Earlier assuming the child to be dead, the family members kept the body into an earthen pot for the whole night for burial the next day. By the night itself the ants feasted on a small portion of his scalp, the sign of which remained for the lifetime.

The establishment of GMO had to face stiff resistance from the Muslim landlords of the area since they did not want the poor or orphans to study and progress in life, and instead do menial jobs and always remain at their beck and call. On the other hand, displaying a remarkable sense of philanthropy and humanism, a Rajput Hindu lady Nainchali Devi of Rampur, Pargana – Manohra, donated her share of two bighas of land by registered deed in 1941.
At the time of its establishment, the institution was named as "Mohammedan Orphanage", which was later changed to "Gaya Muslim Orphanage" since "Mohammedan" was a distorted name for "Muslim", coined by the British rulers. The GMO is now being run entirely on public donations and charities from Muslims and others from across India as well as abroad.

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History – The Gaya Muslim Orphanage