Behind Fergusson College in Pune, there is a beautiful hill with lots of walking trails. The hill is called Fergusson Hill or Hanuman Tekdi, because there is a temple of Lord Hanuman on the top. A short distance from it, along the walking trail is an old stone monument that towers over the lush green landscape. The monument commemorates the establishment of The Servants of India Society on 12 June 1905 by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a prominent leader, and social reformer.
Along with him were eminent citizens like Natesh Appaji Dravid, Gopal Krishna Deodhar, Surendra Nath Banerjee, Anant Patwardhan, and others. The purpose of starting this organization was to bring about social reforms in the country, thereby uplifting the people. The primary goal was the promotion of social and human development.
The society was founded on the belief that for the development of the country, there should be a group of dedicated, selfless, and intelligent people who will dedicate their lives to the service of the nation. The society organized events and campaigns that focused on eradicating social evils like discrimination, oppression, poverty, domestic abuse, etc. There was an emphasis on nation-building activities such as education, sanitation, health care, upliftment of the underprivileged sections, etc. The society worked to unite people of different ethnicities and religions for welfare purposes.
In recent times, on the occasion of the centenary ceremony in 2005, the monument was renovated and a tree plantation drive was carried out. The monument stands as a proud reminder of the efforts taken by the citizens toward the betterment of society.
Know Before You Go
The hill has multiple walking trail approaches from Senapati Bapat Road and Fergusson College Road, which lead to the temple at the top. The monument is a short distance east of the temple.