Zakir Hussain Museum
The Zakir Hussain Museum lies within the premises of the campus of Zamia Milia Islamia University in Okhla in New Delhi and easily accessible by local auto rickshaws, taxis and from Pragati Maidan or Central Secretariat Metro Station. This museum was established in 1972 as a mausoleum in memory and honour of late Dr. Zakir Hussain, the third President of India and in order to preserve all the memorabilia of this great leader.
Dr. Zakir Hussain was born on 8th February 1897 in Hyderabad to an upper middle class Pathan Family. The former President's father, Mr. Fida Hussain Khan was an able lawyer who settled in a small district of Farrukhabad named Qaunganj in Uttar Pradesh and after a fulfilling career passed away when Zakir Hussain was only 10 years old. The untimely demise of Hussain's father did not deter this young boy from fulfilling his desire to gain more education and in order to live his dreams, he completed his education from Aligarh Muslim University where he was known by all for his excellent academic inclination, his wit and his unconditional and proactive support towards his fellow students. At the age of 23 years, when Zakir was doing his Masters program, a small group of students along with Zakir and their teachers conceptualised the idea to establish a new National Muslim University and named it as Jamia Milia Islamia University.
After establishing the Jamia Milia Islamia University, Hussain went to Germany in 1920 for further studies and after three years earned a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Berlin. Upon his return to India, he worked extensively to uplift the declining state of Jamia Milia Islamia University which grew exponentially under his administration and leadership. In 1948, he was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University and became a member of the Indian Universities Commission. He still continued to be a Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Grants Commission member up till 1957. In the interim, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Indian National Committee by the World University Service and later was appointed as the President of this organisation in 1954. He was also elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha and nominated to represent India as a member of the UNESCO Executive Board between 1956 and 1958.
Dr. Zakir Hussain's work in the field of education and knowledge gained him numerous accolades and awards including the Padma Vibhushan Award in 1954 and the prestigious Bharat Ratna Award in 1963. He was also the recipient of the prestigious 'D. Litt.' Honorary Degree Award presented by the Aligarh, Allahabad, Delhi, Cairo and Kolkata Universities. In 1962, he was appointed as the Vice-President of India and after serving an honourable 5 years Term, he was elected as the third President of India on 13th May 1967 where he remained in office up till his demise on 3rd May 1969.
The Zakir Hussain Museum was in fact built to showcase the great desire of this soulful leader of India who continuously strived to quench his thirst for further Knowledge and because of his belief contributed immensely in the field of education and propagated the importance of education in India. The Museum displays all items and objects used by Dr. Hussain throughout his lifetime including his photographs, mementos and memorabilia. All the prestigious Awards received by Dr. Hussain are also displayed with pride in this museum. Besides his personal belongings, the museum also homes a collection of very intriguing and interesting geographical specimens. This museum is opened to all with no entry fee from Saturdays to Thursdays as it remains closed on all Fridays due to religious reasons and visitors can enjoy viewing this museum between 1000 hours and 1700 hours and take photographs with no extra charge.