S A G Ganatra - - Prof, Civil Engineering

By Jamila (Salahuddin) Rahman (C70)

Prof S A G Ganatra

Prof. Ganatra taught us Steel Structures in final year 1969-1970. He was born on 15th December 1920 in Karachi. He was interested in engineering before the creation of Pakistan and was an alumnus of this great institution .

He had an open door policy, we could approach him without fear anytime. He always had time to explain and assist us, never showed or lost patience even when we took time to understand. He was a kind, gentle, simple person. Looking at him you can see the intelligence radiating from his personality.

Steel Structures was a tough subject which needed a lot of a concentration on our part. If we for a moment lose our attention it was difficult to refocus on the problem.

In class he would explain several times the same thing until everyone was comfortable. I remember him repeatedly explaining the same problem, after the second time, he turned around from the black board, looked at our blank faces and without a word went through the motion again. Sometimes he would turn around from writing on the board to face us and crack a joke to ease the tension in the class.

He was a gentle, soft spoken, tall man with a ready grin on his face. He was extremely friendly and cared about his students. He followed the career of his students even after graduation.

Suleman Abdul Ghani Ganatra was the Vice Principal of NED Engineering College when he retired in 1980.

He was a very caring man, I remember going to him after I returned to Karachi in 1976, after completing higher education and working abroad. I had received several letters of appointment before returning to Karachi and I could not decide which to choose. I went to NED and asked to see him privately. He immediately dropped what he was doing quickly walked me to his office and looked at me. Silently I handed him the few job offers I had been struggling to decide on. He looked at them, asked me what I had done in five years I have been abroad, sat back, ran his hand through his hair again looked at me and picked up the phone and called an engineering company. He told them he is sending in ten minutes a very hard-working engineer, and that they should have an appointment letter waiting for her. He then gave me the address and true enough when I reached the place the Engineer in charge of design section welcome me, and I walked out of that office fifteen minutes later with a huge grin and a job offer.

This is how much he cared. He understood that the job offers I showed him were not suitable for a female engineer so he got me a place where I would be comfortable.