(The information of various voluntary social service institutions given in this Chapter does not cover all the voluntary social service institutions in Greater Bombay District. The accounts are based on information as furnished by the various institutions.)
THE FOUNDATIONS OF BOMBAY'S GREATNESS WERE FIRMLY LAID DOWNby Gerald Aungier late in the seventeenth century. It was during the succeeding century that the edifice which is now seen as Bombay slowly started taking shape. By the end of the nineteenth century the foundations of the development of Bombay were strengthened, while the present century has witnessed the glorious growth of this metropolis into one of the best cities in the world. This was a fascinating transition from scattered hamlets into a huge modern metropolis. With the transition of growth the strong corporate life of the eighteenth century underwent far-reaching changes. During the early days of European settlement life in Bombay centred around official and military circles. A chasm opened between the Europeans and the educated Indians. Life for the English devolved around assemblies, and dinner parties within an exclusive 'white' society.
Among the rulers the elite like Mountstuart Elphinstone, Sir Bartle Frere and a galaxy of reformists contributed towards enrichment of the public life. They encouraged and virtually gave birth to a number of educational institutions, social service organisations, clubs and libraries which had a deep impact on the educated Indians. The establishment of the Elphinstone College, the Wilson College, the University of Bombay, the St. Xavier's College, the Grant Medical College, the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and many other institutions paved the way for the education and enlightenment of the Bombay people. The city also have had the advantage of renowned newspapers, the old among which were the Bombay Herald, Bombay Courier, Bombay Gazette, Times of India, Bombay Samachar, Rast Goftar, Jam-e-Jamshed, Kaiser-i-Hind, Indu Prakash, Darpan and many others.
Western education generated an elite class of public luminaries like Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozeshah Mehta, Dinshaw Petit, Dinshaw Wacha, Jamshetji Tata, Dorabji Tata, Jagannath Shankarshet, Balshastri Jambhe-kar, K. T. Telang, Chandavarkar, Bhau Daji, V. N. Mandlik, Jamshetji Jejeebhoy and a galaxy of illustrious men who were the leaders of public opinion for a considerable period of time. They shaped the public life and guided public opinion by virtue of the force of their individual personality. Their greatest contribution however lies in the formation of a number of institutions and philanthropic organisations in the field of education, social reforms, public enlightenment, sports and medical relief.
The present chapter deals with the development of public life and the institutional framework of social service organisations in Bombay. The chapter gives a narrative of public life in the city during the last about 170 years as well as an account of the prominent voluntary social service organisations which have enriched the cultural, social and educational life of the people in this city. The social service organisations have been arranged as per their functions, such as educational institutions, social service organisations, medical relief societies, sports and recreation, welfare of physically handicapped including the blind unfortunates, child welfare, philanthropic institutions, libraries, foreign cultural associations, religious organisations, etc. The Chapter also gives an account of journalism and newspapers and the theatre in Bombay.
(The write-up on Public Life is contributed by Shri T. V. Parvate, a well-known journalist and author. The views expressed in this write-up are those of the contributor.)
The rise of the present City of Bombay from an obscure fishing hamlet or a group of hamlets on the west coast of India as one of the greatest metropolitan centres of the world is a tremendous marvel in the modern history of India. This amazing development is spread over about 300 years, but the most significant period is covered by less than two hundred years. That is to say that this period began since the fall of the Maratha power in Pune and appointment of Mountstuart Elphinstone as the Governor of Bombay Presidency in 1819.
Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of this new era was the spread of western learning and education with all its concomitants and aftereffects. There was altogether a new orientation in the thinking modes of the people, and one of the glaring expressions of it was the new consciousness of public life. Apparently, public life would seem to be something different from private life. The same idea might be better put by saying that public life is quite different from personal life. Public life may otherwise be described as collective or community life. The complaints, grievances, demands, needs and even aspirations and ambitions of such life began to be formulated and expressed on behalf of the community, the people, and the masses by those who came under the influence of the new education under British rule.
The educated men, there was no question of any such women so soon, considered themselves as the natural leaders and spokesmen of the people, and claimed that they were their representatives in the moral and material sense, though of course not elected by them by the usual democratic method of voting. That stage would come in due course, they thought and argued, under the very influence and impact they had received. That influence of western education was bound to grow with its wider and wider dissemination and it was quite well known as much to the rulers as to the ruled. To Elphinstone goes the credit of having set in motion the process of westernising the thought world of the people in Western India. The teaching of English history and literature and western sciences constituted a liberalising influence, and it breathed of freedom in every branch of human activity. In any case, that was the idea of those who represented the better mind of England, viz., Burke, Macaulay, Bradlaughy Wilberforce, Morley and Montague, with many more belonging to this line of progressive thinking.
Elphinstone was appointed Commissioner of the Deccan from December 1817 to October 1819, and from November 1819 to November 1827 he was the Governor of Bombay. He estimated that the people over whom he was called upon to rule were tired of misrule, oppression and unrest and a new deal in the form of a stable government dispensing law equally to all and establishing peace was what they wanted. He decided to provide both as an enlightened despot, and yet he was anxious not to make them feel that a foreign government had replaced their own. Elphinstone's policy on two important matters made him a popular ruler. He gave a push to an educational movement in which the teaching of western learning and the ancient learning of India were accommodated. He also initiated the policy of associating suitable Indians with the civil administration, including chiefly the judicial administration as it indicated trust in the people.
Until 1813, the Directors of the East India Company had never thought of providing any kind of education for the people in its territory. But in that year, the question of renewing the charter of the East India Company was raised in Parliament and Wilberforce succeeded in imposing the condition that the Company must set apart one lakh of rupees to provide for education on eastern and western lines. Elphinstone insisted on enforcing this condition in Bombay and Pune and what is known as English education was formally introduced in 1823. But before that Christian missionaries were already here and they had started schools chiefly for teaching the Christian Scriptures and the English language. In 1815, what was known as the Bombay Education Society was started. The schools of this society admitted the Anglo-Indian progeny of British soldiers to these schools, and so the Indian residents of Bombay did not like to send their children to these schools. For their convenience, the Christian missionaries started different and separate schools. Elphinstone tried to use these schools, to begin with, to implement his plans.
As Dadoba Pandurang has stated in his autobiography, Elphinstone established on August 21, 1822 the Native School Book and School Society with the co-operation of eminent Indians like Jagannath Shankar-shet, Jamshetji Jejeebhoy, Framji Cowasji, Dhakji Dadaji, Mohamed Ibrahim Maqba and others. The secretaries of the society were Captain George Jervis and Sadashiv Kashinath alias Bapu Chhatre. This society published chiefly school texts in Marathi, Gujarati and Hindustani till 1835. On March 7, 1835 English was declared as the medium of education and administration of the whole of India. This society changed its name three times. In 1827, it called itself the Bombay Native Education Society, in 1837, the Elphi.nstone Native Education Society in memory of Elphinstone, and in 1840 the Board of Education. Elphinstone and his successors like Malcolm provided funds for the pursuit of its objectives in a generous measure.
During the career of this society a number of Englishmen and citizens of Bombay distinguished themselves by their literary contributions. The most conspicuous among them were Bapu Chhatre, Balshastri Jambhekar, Dadoba Pandurang and Hari Keshavji. The services of Captain Jervis were the most distinguished and they were recognised by his colleagues and disciples when they voted him a farewell address on February 22, 1839 for he was leaving for England after retirement.
This new influence created a new spirit among the people, Balshastri Jambhekar who lived for only 34 years was the most brilliant product of this new influence. A study of his career shows that had he lived for some more years, he would have left an impress on his times, as would have been comparable to that of Ranade. This foremost celebrity of the early years of British rule in Western India was a pioneer of many activities and movements which have entitled him to the everlasting gratitude of the generations that followed him. Unfortunately he is more or less a forgotten figure now. Jagannath Shankarshet and Dadoba Pandurang were Balshastri's contemporaries but outlived him for a number of years and were older than him by some years. As a pioneer public man and educationist Balshastri formed a remarkable link between Indian and European western thought and had the opportunity and privilege of laying in Bombay the foundations of almost all the activities that constituted public life in those days. Education, literature, science, antiquarian research, journalism, social reform and political progress claimed his attention simultaneously. During the very brief life of only 34 years (1812-1846) Balshastri accomplished a versatile effort of extraordinary dimensions. He knew well about a dozen European and Indian languages and his wide acquaintance with the progressive thought of India and England enabled him to take a prominent part in the activities of such learned bodies as the Bombay Geographical Society and the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. His English contributions to the Anglo-Marathi Darpan, a weekly periodical in Marathi, and the various books he wrote covered a wide range of subjects, from widow marriage to the evolution of Marathi script and deciphering of ancient inscriptions, from measures of reform in His Majesty's Privy Council to the necessity of Indians studying the European medicine, from the intricacies of the new Marathi grammar to the importance of geography and to the advantages of pure and applied mathematics and from the microscope and steam engine to astronomy and " inquiries regarding intellectual powers and the investigation of truth." All this was done within about 15 years of a life of active Government service. No wonder that Balshastri Jambhekar was acclaimed by his contemporaries as " far in advance of his countrymen ", " a conspicuous ornament of society " and " the most learned native who has yet appeared in Western India. "
Balshastri's spirit of liberation in social and religious matters was clearly evinced in the case of the re-admission of a Brahman lad called Shripat Shastri Paralikar to the Hindu fold after he had almost become a Christian. This is the first shuddhi or re-admission from a Christian fold to the Hindu and this episode caused great commotion in the days in the dovecots of the Christian missions and typifies the new public awakening among the Hindus of Bombay.
Balshastri was a pioneer in the field of journalism also. The press is a necessary and very important contributory force that makes public life possible, healthy and powerful. In 1832, Balshastri first initiated an effort in high-class journalism in Western India by conducting an Anglo-Marathi weekly called the Bombay Darpan, i.e., the Bombay Mirror. Eight years later, he started a monthly periodical in Marathi called the Digdarshan. These two periodicals enabled him to build up and influence public opinion and give it a progressive turn in matters social, political and educational. He thus shaped the public life of Bombay, and was in the forefront of the reform movement. This was a many-sided movement and Balshastri dealt with a number of subjects in the Bombay Darpan during its eight years' career, both in English and Marathi. One of the important subjects that was tackled by Balshastri was " influence of a free and impartial public press " published in the Darpan of October 12, 1832. It constitutes an important pronouncement on how the public affairs of any country should be conducted and how the public press can contribute to this desideratum.
Bhau Daji, Dadabhai Naoroji and Dadoba Pandurang were the men who carried on Balshastri's work of awakening the people in the new era and building public life in Bombay with Nana Shankarshet's kind eye on and active support to them. They in their turn appreciated his vigilance and guidance. Bhau Daji was one of the first eight medical graduates to pass from the Grant Medical College. Soon he set up his medical practice and became known as a proficient physician and surgeon.
By its charter of 1833, the East India Company had secured a twenty years lease of life. The renewal of the charter, to mend or end its rule, was the burning question of the day throughout the year 1852. It supplied the necessary impetus to young Bombay to plunge into politics. After 1833, the East India Company had ceased to be a trading corporation and had become a ruling body. The machinery set up for the traders who had become soldiers of necessity and administrators by accident was cumbrous indeed, with the result that the education of the people was neglected and improvements for the internal development of the country ignored. The defects of such a system of Government could no longer pass unchallenged.
With the spread of western education, the Indian people began to feel that they had a right to demand that the country should no longer be governed in the spirit of a commercial concern. Even at that early date, the greatest grievance of the people was the exclusion of Indians from the service of the State. Such awakening among the people was expected by Englishmen themselves. And as Mountstuart Elphinstone opined " it is a vain endeavour to rule them (Indians) on principles only suited to a slavish and ignorant population ".
As early as in 1841, Bhaskar Pandurang, younger brother of Dadoba Pandurang contributed a series of articles to the Bombay Gazette in which he made the point that the British domination over India was in essence economic exploitation, though they might have established a rule of law and peace. In his writings over the pseudonym Hindu he made it clear that British rule made for ever increasing impoverishment of India. Men like Bhau Daji, Dadabhai Naoroji and Jagannath Shankarshet were conscious of this feature of British rule but they believed that the better mind of England would put everything right and what was necessary was a movement of self-assertion and protest. This feeling found expression in the founding of the first political organisation in Bombay called the Bombay Association on August 26, 1852. Sir Jamshetji Jejeebhoy was elected president of the association, Jagannath Shankarshet, its working chairman and Dr. Bhau Daji and Vinayak Jagannath, its secretaries.(For history and activities of the Bombay Association see Chapter 2—'History. Modern Period , Vol. I)
The Association immediately set to work by sending round the various districts a questionnaire to leading citizens in order that the information they might give might be useful for preparing the petition that the Association wanted to submit to the British Parliament for securing improvements in the administration. All these questions pertained to the daily requirements of the people and touched their well-being at several points. Bhau Daji who was entrusted with the task of collating and co-ordinating the information thus collected prepared a petition, asking for an enlightened system of government for the millions of British Indian subjects. The question that loomed large in the petition was that of admission of Indians into the civil services. As a means to that end, the establishment in each Presidency of a University for training public servants was recommended. It was also suggested that the Councils of Local Government should be opened for educated Indians. The Government grant of Rs. 12,500 only for the education of millions was altogether inadequate, and so the petition asked for substantial increase and urged that a larger share in the land revenue might he spent on public works in the districts from which it was levied.
This petition was adopted at a meeting held at the rooms of the Elphinstone Institution on October 28, 1852, Jagannath Shankarshet presiding. The petition was signed by about 3,000 people from Bombay, Thane and Pune. Another petition also drafted by Bhau Daji was sent to England in May 1853 in which a number of defects and short-comings in the East India Company's administration were exposed. These petitions created a stir in England. Several friends of India including Sir Edward Ryon, Sir Erskine Perry, Lord Monteagle, John Bright and Joseph Hume raised their powerful voices in favour of the petitioners, while Cobden, cynically enough, could see no advantage either to the Indians or to their foreign masters in the vast possession called India. His countrymen however, were in favour of retaining India.
A typical comment in one of the newspapers in England would reveal how it was received by the British press. The Globe (11th January 1853) said, " It proves that some portion of the Natives at least have fitted themselves for the gradual admission of English privileges. Twenty years ago such a petition would have been impossible. Let it teach us how much the next twenty years may do in the way of further progress; especially if that progress were encouraged rather than thwarted by the spirit of our rule. Unquestionably, it will be a safer and cheaper plan to administer the Government of India henceforth with the concurrence of the Natives rather than in spite of them."
On March 13, 1883, a meeting of the Friends of India was held in Charles Street, St. James Square, London and it constituted itself into an India Reform Society with Danby Seymour M.P. as president and John Dickinson as secretary. Its activities, however, coulcj not materially influence the decision of the House of Commons. A salutary change was, however, introduced in the Court of Directors. The number of members was reduced to eighteen of which six were to be nominated by His Majesty's Government from among those persons who should have resided in India for at least ten years. Similarly all the civil and medical appointments to the Company service in India were thrown open to public competition. Such competition was however to be conducted in England so that Indians were practically debarred from entering the service. This resulted in all-round protests but the result was not very gratifying to the Indian public. It established one point all the same, namely, that the concerted agitation and action had wrung from the British Ministers more than was considered possible.
Bhau Daji resigned the secretaryship of the Bombay Association because of professional pressure and Nowroji Furdunji was elected in his place. But its voice was not as powerful as before owing to internal dissensions. An attempt was made to put fresh life in it in 1867 after the death of Jagannath Shankarshet (1865) in whose place Mangaldas Nathubhai was elected chairman and Nowroji Furdunji secretary, but it failed to command its former influence and respect.
All the same under the firm but cautious and discreet leadership of Jagannath Shankarshet, the Association kept on tackling matters of public interest with Bhau Daji and Nowroji Furdunji in the forefront for conscientious work. Among such matters could be mentioned request to publish the gazette in provincial languages which the Government accepted, representation to reduce stamp duty which the Government rejected, consideration of the request by the Government to join Khandesh and Berar which were cotton producing to Bombay by railway, request to appoint Indian judges, which was rejected, representation before the English Parliament about the attitude of the English people towards Indians, agitation for the revival of gold coinage, etc.
Bhau Daji was a man of versatile achievements, besides being an eminent medical man. He was a politician, educationist, social reformer and took interest in the industrial and commercial development of his country. He took particular interest in championing the cause of women's education, was ah antiquarian research worker and in the words of Justice James Gibbs " not only a good citizen of the world, but more than that helper and defender of the poor and the sick and the distressed. " Bhau Daji went to the Supreme Court to see that justice was done to one Vithoba Malhar, a tailor who was duped by one Mr. M. L. Meason.
The efforts made by Bhau Daji to vindicate Indian honour and dignity was duly applauded by the Indian and English press in Bombay, the Gazette and the Times upheld the decision of the Supreme Court, the Telegraph and the Courier went on attributing motives to the Bombay Association and alleging that it was a conspiracy on its part to slander
English officials; of course the Bombay Association had nothing to do with this case, though the Telegraph and the Courier went on saying loudly and vehemently that it was behind it. Reference to this event in Bhau Daji's life was made in the condolence meeting held to mourn the death of Bhau Daji by Chief Justice Westrop. He said " I ought not to pass over an instance of his public spirit. Believing one of his poorest and most humble fellow countryman to have been wronged by the local authorities he warmly espoused his cause and never deserted him until he obtained compensation for his wrongs in the Chief Tribunal of this island at the time."
One speech made by Bhau Daji delivered at a meeting in the Town Hall on October 10, 1859 is most remarkable because while speaking on a subject like the licence bill introduced by the Government of India to impose a levy on trade and professions, he has shown himself as a gifted politician who foresaw self-government for India with the blessings of England.
This meeting prepared a petition for submitting to the Legislative Council of India on October 17, 1859 which was published in the Bombay Gazette for October 20. But even before this another petition against this Licence Bill, signed by 5000 people was adopted on October 11, 1859 at a mass meeting of traders and citizens of Bombay, held at the house of Dhakji Dadaji. A full Marathi version of the same appeared in the Dnyanaprakash of Pune on October 24, 1859. This was the handiwork of Bhau Daji. He is the first signatory to the petition and next signatory is Bhavani Vishwanath Kanvinde. The original English version was forwarded to the British Parliament.
It was not all smooth sailing for the Bombay Association though with Jagannath Shankarshet as its helmsman it never adopted an extremist attitude. Its memorials, representations and petitions were always dignified and their language restrained and moderate, always leaning towards understatement than overstatement. Yet among a section of Englishmen, it was considered a rebellious body and some even from among the membership of the Bombay Association were found to play second fiddle to these Englishmen and express ultra-loyalty on their own. Manekji Cursetji was one such. In his view the Bombay Association was going too fast under the instigation of its secretary Bhau Daji. With the avowed intention of supporting everything that was done under the East India Company's rule, he published a pamphlet entitled "A few passing ideas for the benefit of India and Indians " and disseminated its copies in hundreds in India and England. This booklet contained some libellous statements about Bhau Daji and so he was compelled to file a suit for defamation against him. It was heard in the Supreme Court, but it did not find the defendent guilty. Bhau Daji's action is reminiscent of Lokamanya Tilak's action for libel against Sir Valentine Chirol.
The Association was now seven years old and had come out of the 1857 imbroglio with its reputation for loyalty and moderation untarnished and yet there was a die-hard prejudice against it. Jagannath Shankarshet with the co-operation of Dr. George Birdwood, Dadabhai Naoroji and Bhau Daji was endeavouring to establish a museum and a park in Bombay as a memorial to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. A committee was formed with the object of implementing this project. There was one high military officer Col. Pope by name, who considered the Bombay Association as a political body that was opposed to the British rule. He refused to join the committee and criticised Nowroji Furdunji, whereupon Nowroji requested an explanation. In reply Col. Pope said a number of good things about Nowroji Furdunji individually but observed, " I have always thought that your connection with the Bombay Association, considering the attitude assumed towards Government on its being first established, was wholly inconsistent with your position as a public servant and an officer of the Supreme Court. I therefore did not wish to sit with you on the committee in question, viewing the duty as a public one."
Nowroji sent a strong rejoinder. Yet Col. Pope was adamant in his attitude.
Jagannath Shankarshet retained the presidentship of the Bombay Association for 12 years. During this time Danby Seymoor, M.P. and president of the Indian Reform Society in London visited Bombay with the object of verifying what the Bombay Association was stating from time to time in its petitions. On 13th February 1854, a deputation of the Bombay Association waited upon him and a meeting of the citizens of Bombay was convened at Nana Shankarshet's house to receive Danby Seymoor and hear him. He complimented the Bombay Association on its efforts to educate the British public on the Indian situation from time to time and asserted that people in England were increasingly eager to get correct and authentic information. His message to the people of Bombay and India was that they should exert to be self-reliant and have faith in their ability to get what they wanted.
After the rising of 1857 was quelled, some British statesmen visited this country. One of them was A. H. Layard, M.P. He was received in Bombay at Nana Shankarshet's house and ably briefed on the Indian situation by Bhau Daji, Nowroji Furdunji, Bomanji Hormusji, Framji, Nusserwanji and others, by going deep into the causes of Indian discontent and impressed upon him that the Bombay Association was salutary link between the Government and the people. Mr. Layard recognised the importance of an institution like the Bombay Association which reflected the mind of the people. The Association went on working according to its limited capacity on lines indicated by Seymoor and Layard but in Indian Government circles, there was subdued if not an atmosphere of suspicion about the loyalty of the Indian people to the British Crown. After the death of Nana Shankarshet, the Association became a moribund body, more or less, but an effort was made to put life into it again by Rao Saheb Vishwanath Narayan Mandlik and N. M. Parmanand who conducted the Native Opinion from 1864. It was a weekly journal in English. On its initiative, a meeting was held on December 14, 1867 at the house of Sheth Mangaldas Nathubhai and it was decided to start work vigorously again with a fresh committee of the Association. The new executive was composed of Sir Jamshetji Jejeebhoy as honorary president, Mangaldas Nathubhai as working president, Framji Nusserwanji, Vinayak Jagannath, Cowasji Readymony and Byramji Jeejeebhai as vice-presidents and Nowroji Furdunji as secretary. Among other members of the Committee were Bhau Daji, V. N. Mandlik, V. G. Shastri, Bal Mangesh Wagle and others. Rao Saheb Mandlik distinguished himself in the Bombay Municipality and the Bombay Legislative Council and also on the platform as spokesman and representative of Bombay Hindus. He was elected Mayor of Bombay in 1879 when in a congratulatory letter written to him by Ranade he said that he and his friends felt very proud of him for the honour done to him and looked upon him as the fitting successor of Jagannath Shankarshet and Bhau Daji.
For stability of trade and development of commerce quick means of transport and communication were required and ever since Mount-stuart Elphinstone took charge of the Governorship of Bombay, he was drawing the attention of the Company Government for taking immediate steps in that direction but nothing happened. Now Jagannath Shankarshet and Jamshetji Jejeebhoy made a move, aimed at quicker communication between India and England. On April 17, 1830 a meeting was held in which Captain Wilson of High Lindsay explained how very advantageous the running of cargo and passenger ships would be and a committee was appointed to take further steps. The committee recommended that ships between Bombay and Port Said and Alexandria and Malta would be of great benefit to all concerned. Jagannath Shankarshet, Jamshetji Jejeebhoy and other Parsee houses were already in business with middle east countries. They decided to purchase one steamship for Rs. 1,65,000 and a scheme was prepared. Subscriptions began to be collected. The Sheriff of Bombay convened a meeting at the Town Hall, Bombay, on May 14, 1833. However a regular service after an agreement with the P. and O. became current only in 1855.
The shipping trade played a great part in the coastal communications in India as well as communications with other countries. But Indian shipping worked under a number of restrictions from which English and other European ships were free. In order to have such discrimination removed, ship-owners in Bombay sent in 1841 a petition to the British Government in England. A copy of this petition was also forwarded to the then Governor of Bombay, Sir James Carnac. Similarly, in order to increase trade with Sind and Gujarat, Jagannath Shankarshet and Framji Cowasji and others started the Bombay Steam Navigation Company, and immediately a ship of the Company began to ply between Bombay and Karachi three times a month. Nana Shankarshet took keen interest in the working of this company and watched its progress.
Railway till 1853, was an unknown thing in Bombay and Western India. Discussion in this behalf was began in Bombay since 1843, when a company called Great Eastern Railway was started in Bombay. Nana and Jamshetji had taken the lead as usual. On July 13, 1844, a petition was sent to Government in this behalf. The promoters decided to found the Inland Railway Association in place of all previous efforts in this respect and a committee was appointed to assume all responsibility. At that time Jagannath Shankarshet pointed out that a project like the Railways all over the country could not remain for long a private company affair; it would soon assume a national character and it was absolutely necessary to enlist the support of the Government and induce it to take early steps to help materialise it.
When this was going on some capitalists in London perceived that railways in India would be a most profitable proposition and so Lord Vorncliff and others established in London a company called the Great Indian Peninsula Railway in June 1845. Mr. Chapman was sent to India to study the overall situation. Mr. Chapman was surprised to find that people in Bombay had made a good deal of progress in this behalf and he came to the conclusion that co-operation between the London and Bombay enterprises would be the best thing under the circumstances. The Company was given permission to construct a railway route between Bombay and Kalyan. The expenditure was to be covered by the issue of shares. Jagannath Shankarshet was a big shareholder and a director of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. The first train between Victoria Terminus and Thane left V.T. at 3-30 in the afternoon on April 16, 1853. Among the distinguished travellers were the then Governor of Bombay and Jagannath Shankarshet.
There was nothing like a proper banking organisation in Bombay until 1837. In 1840 the Bank of Bombay was established. Sir Charles Malcolm was its first President and Dadabhai Pestonji Wadia of the firm of shipbuilders in Bombay was its native director. The Bank of Western India was established in 1842. It was the first bank to establish relations with European countries. Jagannath Shankarshet and Jejeebhoy Dadabhai were among its Indian directors, the rest being Europeans. Its name was changed into Oriental Bank in 1845. Jagannath Shankarshet and his son Vinayakji were directors of the Commercial Bank of India which was started in 1845. It may be noted that exhibitions play a great part in promoting trade, industries, artisanship and artistic works. One such was held in London in 1851 and a variety of Indian industrial products were exhibited there. In Bombay a committee of 20 persons was constituted with five Indians who were Jagannath Shankarshet, Jamshetji Jejeebhai, Framji Cowasji, Bomanji Hormusji and Vinayak Gangadhar Shastri. In 1845 another such exhibition was held in Paris and its promotors sought the help of the Government of India to achieve its success. In the central committee among the Indian members were Jagannath Shankarshet, Cursetji Jamshetji, Bhau Daji, Bomanji Hormusji and Vinayak Gangadhar Shastri. On March 3, 1865, a body called International Exhibition Company was formed with the object of holding an international exhibition in Bombay. It was decided to form influential committees in England and America to enlist the co-operation of those countries. Everything was planned on a grand scale but the American crisis frustrated all high hopes to hold such an exhibition. Nana Shankarshet breathed his last on July 31, 1865.
To Nana Shankarshet, Bhau Daji and George Birdwood chiefly goes the credit for the Albert Museum and Victoria Gardens. It was originally a very ambitious project, holding art as " a great engine of education," " a college of inquiry ". However these dreams were not realised because though originally intended to illustrate the economic products and natural history of Western India and containing many good specimens under both heads, little had been done of late years to add to the collection.
Bhau Daji's interest lay in rearing up a garden for botanical and medical research. Numerous efforts were made in this direction and the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India was founded. In 1835, the Government of Bombay gifted land to this society at Sewri to rear up a botanical garden. Albert Museum is also not the first museum in Bombay. In 1855 September, Lord Elphinstone, Governor of Bombay, had established a Central Museum whose object was "illustration of general economic processes and the development of the commercial and industrial resources of Western India ". It would appear that Bhau Daji had something to do with this museum because the Lancet for January 13, 1855 said about Dr. Bhau Daji, " to his exertions Bombay will owe the Economic Museum and Zoological Gardens and the various galleries of science and art now in process of organisation".
Sir George Birdwood, Jagannath Shankarshet, Bhau Daji and Dr. George Buist, Secretary and Curator of the Central Museum and Editor of the Bombay Times decided that the Albert Museum and Victoria Gardens should be on the same site. On December 15, 1858, a meeting of the citizens of Bombay was held, Nana Shankarshet presided and Bomanji Hormusji proposed " that a building be erected for the Central Museum and that Natural History and Pleasure Gardens be established in connection to be styled, with Her Majesty's gracious permission " the " Victoria Museum and Gardens as a mark of the loyal devotion of the inhabitants of Bombay towards Her Most Gracious Majesty". The second resolution of the meeting was moved by Mangaldas Nathubhai and seconded by Dadabhai Naoroji whereby the Esplanade or some other equally eligible locality was asked for the museum and the gardens. Lord Elphinstone agreed to make over the Esplanade on April 4, 1859. This decision was changed by the Governor who succeeded him and offered instead the Mount Estate at Mazagaon (It now forms part of Byculla.),i.e., the site on which the museum and the gardens stand today.
The corner stone of the museum was laid by Sir Bartle Frere, Governor. The garden became known as the Agri-Horticultural Society's Garden. The Society worked enthusiastically for the fulfilment of its objects for the first four years but this enthusiasm soon ebbed out due to financial crisis. In 1874 Bhau Daji breathed his last.
What might be justly described as an effort which testifies to Nana Shankarshet's patriotism, broad mindedness and a spirit of service to his countrymen is to be met with in the founding of the Western India Canal Irrigation Company in 1854 with the purpose of starting irrigation work. He had talks with various officers of the Revenue Department and the response from the Government of Bombay was encouraging. However the Governor-General at Calcutta considered it undesirable to entrust the work of canals and irrigation to a private concern. A petition was sent to the Government in England but the response was totally negative. In^this way a very laudable and public-spirited effort of great public utility was frustrated.
A public enterprise of this gigantic proportions and fired with the ambition and earnestness to serve the peasantry and farmers of the country was nipped in the bud. Nana Shankarshet and Bhau Daji had met with two discomfitures in this way. One was in respect of the museum and garden and the other this irrigation project.
There was nothing like a well-conducted proper school when Nana Shankarshet was a child. He had naturally realised the need for his fellow-men for education and co-operated with Mountstuart Elphinstone and his successors like Malcolm and others in laying the foundations of education in Arts, Science, Law, Medicine and Engineering and lived long enough to see the University of Bombay established. In watching and nursing the growth of education he had such able collaborators as Bal Shastri Jambhekar, Dadoba Pandurang, Dadabhai Naoroji, Bhau Daji, Nana Moroji and others as well as a number of high minded and liberal Englishmen and a number of his public-spirited Parsee friends like Framji Cowasji, Jamshetji Jejeebhoy and others.
In the early stage a body called the Board of Education functioned. It established Marathi, Gujarati and English schools all over the City of Bombay and the Presidency wherever practicable. In those days, the East India Company Government was not very eager to spread education among the Natives of India though its individual servants often were. One such was the Governor, Mountstuart Elphinstone whose memory stands in the name of the Elphinstone Institution as it was originally called and which developed into the Elphinstone High School and the Elphinstone College. The Scottish Church Mission also did a great deal for education and established the Wilson High School and Wilson College, among others.
Though the City of Bombay was a pioneer in the matter of women's education also it was considered almost sacrilegious that a female should learn to read and write. The American missionaries with great effort succeeded in establishing schools for girls which numbered 25 in Bombay by about 1863. Balshastri Jambhekar in his Darpan had warmly supported women's education. Bhau Daji also was an ardent supporter and active worker in the field of women's education along with Nana and later K. T. Telang took similar keen interest. Dadabhai Naoroji helped a great deal in popularising education among Parsees with the support of Jamshetji Jejeebhoy.
The importance of the practitioners of law and medicine in the public life of a city could never be overemphasised. But in Bombay, there was no provision whatever for prosecuting medical studies till 1845 and legal studies till 1855 when a proper medical college named after Sir Robert Grant was started. The move as usual was initiated by Nana Shankarshet with the help and co-operation of Jamshetji Jejeebhoy, Dr. John Wilson and others. When the University of Bombay was constituted, the Grant Medical College became a fullfledged degree conferring college. Bhau Daji was a member of the faculties of Arts and Medicine from the beginning till his death. He was also the first Indian member of the syndicate.
Though the European medical practitioners did not oppose the establishment of a medical college the English barristers feared a competition in the field from the Indians and hence the establishment of an institution to provide for legal education did not receive Government sympathy till 1855 when E. J. Howard became the Director of Public Instruction. He favoured the proposal for providing for legal education. In 1852, Sir Erskine Perry was about to retire and leave for England. He was for ten years in Bombay and during this period he had identified himself with the citizens of Bombay. They naturally wanted to commemorate his services. At a meeting held under the presidentship of Nana Shankarshet it was decided to found the Perry Professorship of Jurisprudence. Still there was no response from Government which wanted to postpone consideration of the whole question till the University of Bombay was inaugurated. But Nana Shankarshet was anxious not to put the proposal off for such long. On March 6, 1854, he again requested Government not to delay the Erskine Memorial and Government decided at last on 17th March 1855 that the proposed class should be started. On July 3, 1855 the class began. As a member of the Bombay Legislative Council which for the first time had five nominated Indian members on it, and Nana was one of them, he fought for properly reinstating the new practitioners of law in spite of strong European opposition.
In 1852, when Bhau Daji was secretary of the Bombay Association, the demand for a University in Bombay was made in the petition presented to the British Parliament. The University came into being in 1857 according to the Act 22 of the Indian Legislative Council. In those days while Jagannath Shankarshet represented the spirit of progress, Dhakji Dadaji was a representative of orthodoxy and reaction as was seen in the Shripat Sheshadri Affair and was also opposed to extending the benefits of education to the backward Hindus and the depressed classes. But there were not many who followed his way of thinking whether among the Hindus or Parsees. The spirit of progress among Parsees was typified by Dadabhai Naoroji.
Nana Shankarshet's educational activity was varied. Government's policy of giving grant-in-aid to private educational effort was announced in 1856. Nana decided to take advantage of it and started in Girgaum area an English-Marathi school. It was ultimately merged in the Elphinstone Middle School.
Jamshetji Jejeebhoy took the lead in founding the J. J. School of Art. The Gazette and the Times warmly supported the proposal. Lord Elphinstone was then Governor of Bombay who recommended the proposal for approval of the Board of Directors and the necessary sanction was received. The school of Art was started in 1857.
The Royal Asiatic Society, Bombay Branch was a purely European-member society for many years since it was started in 1830. Nana Shankarshet became a member of this society on November 24, 1845. He was a great patron of writers, authors, painters, artists, indeed experts in every human activity.
A clear-headed and practical man that Nana Shankarshet was, he held firm and clear views on some problems like the medium of instruction, etc. Sir Erskine who was President of the Board of Education emphatically placed his view that English alone was the proper medium for studying of all modern knowledge, in the annual report for 1845, but Nana expressed his dissent in no uncertain terms, expressing the view that all education should be through the mother tongue. In a statement issued on March 16, 1846 Capt. Jervis ably contradicted Sir Erskine's view, Nana Shankarshet issued a comprehensive statement on May 1, 1847 on the question of medium of instruction in which he said he was not at all opposed to the study of the English language and the wealth of knowledge it contained, but it had to be brought in the Indian languages.
Ultimately, a compromise was reached whereby it was agreed that the education meant generally for the masses should be imparted through the vernacular languages and higher education should be imparted through the English language. One very important point that Nana stressed in this statement and which testified to his foresight and vision is that he suggested that Hindustani should be recognised as the common language of all India, and its literature should be developed.
In the early consolidation of the British power in India, the activities of the Christian missionaries formed an important factor of public life in Bombay because of their proselytising work. Two missionaries Rev. Hall and Rev. Knot arrived in Bombay in 1813 but as they were suspected of being secret informants, they were arrested for being shipped to England. They were released subsequently as the company's charter allowed missionary work and their activities to secure converts to Christianity began. In 1822, the Scottish missionaries began to arrive. In 1829 came the famous Rev. Dr. John Wilson. There came also others. These men were as much educationists as evangelists. They started a number of schools in Bombay and its precincts and during the frequent famines procured adherents to Christianity. Individual English officers secretly supported the proselytising activity of the missionaries but Government officially set its face against it. In 1838, there was great commotion among the Parsee, Hindu and Muslim inhabitants of Bombay when two Parsee young men in their teens embraced Christianity. They were kept by Dr. Wilson in his custody. In spite of temptations offered they refused to be reconverts. The court verdict went in favour of Dr. Wilson. But the Parsees of Bombay were greatly agitated and in a meeting of Parsee Panchayat attended by Nana Shankarshet decided that Parsee parents and guardians should withdraw all their wards from the General Assembly Schools. It was also decided to send a petition to Parliament praying for a ban on Christian missionaries starting fresh schools and their coming to India for spreading the Gospel. The Parsee Panchayat enlisted the support of the Hindus and Musalmans. Sir James Carnac, the Governor of Bombay, gave a patient hearing to the deputation and pacified them with an assurance that no Christian religious propaganda would be allowed in educational institutions conducted by Government. Again in 1856 when four Parsee youths volunteered to convert to Christianity, the Parsees of Bombay were convulsed and attributed this development to the influence of the books they studied. The Parsee leaders once again sought Jagannath Shankarshet's help to have the books taught in schools properly edited with the omission of lessons on Christ, the Bible and cognate subjects. On April 15, 1857, a representation was made to the Government of Bombay which was signed by Nana Shankarshet, Bomanji Hormusji, Cursetji Jamshetji and more than a thousand other citizens.
The representation pointed out that the Government has agreed to remain neutral in regard to religious matters, that in the schools under Government's guidance no religious books would be taught, that Government would not interfere with the religious susceptibilities of the natives. It was further pointed out that several lessons in a number of text books taught clearly wounded the feelings of the Hindus, Muslims and Parsees and extolled the merits of Christianity. This was highly dangerous.
On July 6, 1857, the Government replied that the books were not
prescribed by Government or the Department of Public Instruction, but
by the Board of Education of which Nana Shankarshet and Bomanji
Hormusji and others were members. The Director of Public Instruction
had already noted the defects and shortcomings pointed out by the signatories to the representation and he was alive to the necessity of removing
them as soon as possible. A new series of books was to be introduced.
The lessons considered objectionable would not be taught under orders
of the Director of Public Instruction. Even the new series of text books
would be scrutinized from this point of view. The reply reiterated that no
interference with religious matters of the natives of this country would
take place. The Government attempt to pacify the public opinion was
perhaps due to unrest all over the country in connection with rebellion
of 1857. Nana Shankarshet was subjected to much hostile criticism from
Government quarters and an attempt was made to implicate him with
complicity with the rebels.
The British were in possession of Bombay for over 150 years. During this period only the European quarters developed and municipal and other civil functions were entrusted to Justices of Peace who were all Europeans till 1834. Jagannath Shankarshet found this situation very galling and intolerable. There was nothing like public life or public men. Jamshetji Jejeebhoy, Framji Cowasji and Nana Shankarshet were the pioneers in this field who tried to assert Indian self-respect.
Similarly the Grand Jury constituted for any trial did not have a single native of Bombay on it. Nana Shankarshet tried to secure membership of the Grand Jury for Indians and prepared a petition which was presented to Parliament by W. Wynn who also introduced a Bill in that behalf. The move succeeded and ultimately natives of Bombay secured this privilege.
In the years that followed a number of Justices of Peace were appointed from Bombay some of whom were Mohamed Ibrahim Maqba, Jagannath Shankarshet, Dhakji Dadaji, Mohamed Ali Roghay, Bomanji Hormusji, Cursetji, Ardeshir Dadi Cursetji, Rustomji Dadabhai, Pestonji Wadia, Framji Cowasji, Hormusji Bhikaji Chinoy, Jamshetji Jejeebhoy, Naoroji Jamshetji and Cursetji Cowasji.
The Justices of Peace were entrusted with a number of functions and a Bench of Justices supervised and controlled the civic administration. There was also the Municipal Conservancy Board.
In 1858, the Board was abolished and three Commissioners were appointed to look after various municipal functions. They had full powers to make the city pure and clean and free it from cholera. Drainage was a prime necessity in Bombay, and the J. P. Association took up the issue.
Water scarcity in the city was an equally important problem. The Conservancy Board before its abolition arranged for the construction of cast-iron pipes to bring water to the city from Vihar lake in 1863 and made lighting arrangements on Bombay's roads and streets by 1865.
That part of southern Bombay which is called Fort was once protected by fortifications and an embankment. It was pulled down as unnecessary and more space made available for buildings. One Dr. Leith in his report on civic health in 1853 recommended cutting down of palms as they obstructed the sea breeze. In the committee appointed to take decision in the matter N. D. Velkar and Nana Shankarshet opposed this move and the palms were saved. It may be noted that since 1862 Indians were nominated to Legislative Council. Nana Shankarshet was one of them. He contributed much to the Municipal Reforms Bill in 1864-65. The city and corporation owe much to the official and non-official statesmen who constituted the council.
The first measure for medical relief for the native population of Bombay in an organised manner was taken by Jamshetji Jejeebhoy by whose efforts the Bombay Native Dispensary came into being. Nana Shankarshet was a member of its managing committee. Out of this arose the famous J. J. Hospital for the construction of which Jamshetji offered a donation of Rs. 1,64,000 with the Government making a matching contribution.
The first maternity hospital was also opened near the J. J. Hospital for which land was donated by Jamshetji Jejeebhoy.
During the troubled times of 1857 the atmosphere in Bombay was full of suspicion against Indians and even Jagannath Shankarshet was not exempt from it.' Nana Shankarshet himself challenged Government to take action against him in a court of law but it was proved that he was not, even in the most distant way, connected with the rebels.
In 1858, the famous Queen-Empress Victoria's proclamation assuring equality to all natives of India alongwith the other subjects in Great Britain and the Empire was made and what may be called the first instalment of political reforms was conferred on India whereby some Indians were nominated on the Central and Provincial Legislative Councils. Initially five Indians were nominated on the Bombay Council, viz., the Nawab of Savnoor, Rustomji Jamshetji, Madhavrao Vinchurkar, Jagannath Shankarshet and Seth Premabhai Hemchand of whom only two knew English. The council obviously was so constituted that the native view point should be suppressed.
This became evident when an amendment relating to prisoners was sent to a select committee purporting to discriminate between Indians and Europeans. The amendment was passed so that an Englishman could not be handcuffed but Indians could be.
Jagannath Shankarshet was a member of the Bombay Legislative Council for about three years and during this period he handled a number of questions of social importance. He commanded the respect of all communities including the Muslims and the Parsees. An eloquent tribute to him after his death was a petition made to Sir Bartle Frere by Haji Habib Yusuf and a thousand other Muslim signatories for nomination of a Bombay Muslim on the Council in which it was said that so long as Nana Shankarshet was there they did not feel the need of a representative of their own, because he was confidently looked upon as their representative.
During the tenure of Jagannath Shankarshet's membership of the Bombay Legislative Council, the Act II of 1865 was passed, which did away with the system of administration by three Commissioners and vested the sole executive power in the hands of a single official responsible to the Board of the Justices of Peace. In giving shape to this Act, Nana Shankarshet had taken a prominent part as member of the select committee on the Bill and as member of the Council. A vast programme of improvements was undertaken by the Commissioner, Mr. Arthur Crawford, supported by his energetic assistant Dr. Howlett, the Health Officer. The years that followed witnessed enormous activity in every direction. From being " one cesspool and sewers discharging on the sand ", the city was made clean and healthy. Broad roads and foot-paths and adequate lighting arrangements were provided. The old ramparts that surrounded the Fort had already been pulled down and a large area on the western foreshore was reclaimed. Commissioner Crawford's ways, however, were autocratic and he brushed aside all constitutional checks. This soon led the municipal administration on the verge of bankruptcy and a vehement cry was raised for doing away with the obnoxious Commissioner. A Ratepayers' Association came into existence in November 1870 and it sent a monster petition to the Justices of Peace detailing the grievances of the public and asking for redress. A special meeting of the Justices of Peace was called on June 30, 1871 at the Town Hall to demand alteration in the constitution of the Municipality to secure effective control over the executive and greater efficiency and economy in administration. Pherozeshah Mehta emphasised the need for a responsible Branch of Justices elected by ratepayers themselves.
The Act of 1872, emerged as a fairly liberal measure with half the members elected. The Commissioner was to be nominated by the Government under the new constitution, the administration did make some progress but in the light of Lord Ripon's memorable resolution,the people's representatives quested for more, and made representation to Government from time to time requesting for a larger share in the administration of the city. The Government of Bombay was however totally opposed to any such concessions.
On the late Mr. K. T. Telang's proposal, a committee was formed " to consider and report what departments of administration the Municipality should ask Government to hand over to it for management and how the various outstanding claims of the Municipality against Government should be settled." The Committee comprised of Messrs. Naoroji Furdunji, R. N. Khote, T. Blaney, P. Peterson, R. M. Sayani, V. N. Mandlik, K. T, Telang, J. U. Yajnik, Badruddin Tyabji, P. M. Mehta, G. Geary and J. H. Grant. The principal of this committee's recommendations was that the number of the members of the Corporation should be increased from 64 to 72 to be elected and appointed, 36 by ratepayers' election, 24 by Justices of Peace election, 2 by the University, 2 by chamber of commerce and 8 by Government. After this and various other alternative schemes had been discussed and rejected, Government introduced the longlooked for Bill in the Legislative Council on July 16, 1887. It was the result of the joint labours of Mr. Naylor, the Legal Remembrancer and Mr. Charles Ollivant, the Municipal Commissioner. In the Council, the only Indian of outstanding merit before the Bill was introduced was K. T. Telang, and to strengthen the popular element in that body Lord Reay had the wisdom to appoint Sir Pherozeshah Mehta as an additional member. This was hailed by the Bombay Gazette, the Indian Spectator and the Native Opinion.
The bill as it was introduced was in many respects a retrograde measure entrusting the Commissioner with additional powers of giving the Government the right of interference in the municipal administration. Telang pronounced it as such. The bill underwent radical transformation in the select committee due to efforts of Pherozeshah Mehta so that the Corporation was charged with carrying out the provisions of the Act.
Even then all aspects of the Bill were not necessarily commendable and the Corporation made a fresh representation, demanding full powers. In the second reading of the bill, the recommendations of the select committee were thrown out with the Bill giving the Commissioner wide powers in emergency. In consequence there was the Act of 1888 what Telang called " a strong executive responsible to the Corporation and an enlightened Corporation watchful over its executive".
Lord Reay, the Governor, wound up the proceedings with a lucid exposition of the fundamental principles underlying the Bill.
To Pherozeshah Mehta and K. T. Telang he paid appreciative compliments. About the Bill itself Lord Reay's concluding remarks were, " the revised machinery created by this Bill will be found adapted to the enlarged functions which it has to perform. A systematic measure of amendment and consolidation was the need of the hour. In maintaining a high standard of primary education, of sanitation, in improving the system of communications and of lighting, in preserving open spaces, in the care of the sick, in giving increasing facilities to trade by the reduction of town duties, the Corporation will find a noble field for its initiative and energies."
The City of Bombay Municipal Act of 1888 was amended several times till today but its outline and framework has remained substantially the same during all these years, even with the expansion of the city limits during this period.
In the first decade of the current century, the Bombay Electric Supply and Tramways Company took on itself to supply electric power for domestic and industrial utilisation and run the tramways from Colaba to Sion and Matunga which served the people for decades and then replaced by the city-wide bus service now called the BEST supervised by the Bombay Municipal Corporation. Pherozeshah Mehta dominated the Corporation for a long time and laid down the policies of the city's development in almost every respect. He started the Bombay Chronicle and established the Central Bank of India. He was the universally acknowledged and undisputed doyen of Bombay's public life.
In this school of rendering public service were trained a number of his juniors including Chimanlal Setalvad, Gokuldas Parekh, Bhalchandra Krishna, Jehangir Petit, Homi Mody, Pheroze Sethna, M. A. Jinnah, Ibrahim Rahimatullah, Joseph Baptista, Nadirshah Sukhia, Narayan Chandavarkar, N. V. Gokhale, Daji Abaji Khare, D. G. Dalvi and so many others, most of whom learnt their early lessons in the Corporation and some distinguished themselves in the University of Bombay, and other similar public bodies.
After the end of the first world war and in the wake of the Montague Chelmsford Reforms, a larger field for public service was opened up for these disciples of Pherozeshah. When the Swaraj Party came into being other public workers like Jamnadas Mehta, S. K. Patil, M. R. Jayakar, K. F. Nariman, Bhulabhai Desai, M. B. Velkar, D. D. Sathye and others came to the forefront. Some of them became Mayors of the city of Bombay, some members of the Legislative Council and some like Kher and Morarji Desai rose to the Chief Ministership of the then Bombay Province. Purshottamdas Thakurdas, Jamnadas Mehta, M. R. Jayakar and M. A, Jinnah will be remembered as Bombay's representatives in the Central Legislative Assembly during the pre-Independence days for their distinguished and varied services to the country. So will be remembered N. M. Joshi, S. A. Dange, R. R. Bakhale, M. V. Donde, S. V. Parulekar as spokesmen of the working class and the lower middle class of Bombay for their outspoken championship of the under-dog.
Among the makers of modern Bombay, Rao Saheb Vishvanath Narayan Mandlik occupies a place of great distinction, next perhaps only to that of Jagannath Shankarshet. His experience as a public man was varied. He was a Government servant, a practising pleader, a member of the Bombay Municipal Corporation and its Mayor, a Member of the Bombay Legislative Council and the Central Legislative Council. He was the Editor of the Indian Opinion, an Anglo-Marathi weekly journal. He was also a social reformer having expressed himself in favour of widow remarriage and women's education.
His work as a legislator was appreciated both by the people and the Government. " Had he been born in England he would have become Prime Minister ", observed the Reis and Ryot in appreciation of his work in the Bombay and Calcutta Councils.
Mandlik enjoyed the confidence of the high and low alike for his devotion to duty and whenever he spoke he was listened to with respect and esteem. While the local self-Government legislation was on the anvil in the Bombay Legislative Council, Ranade wrote to him saying that he was certain that Mandlik would fight for the people's cause inch by inch. As late as 1910, Sir George Sydenham Clarke, Governor of Bombay, recalled the memory of Rao Saheb Vishwanath Narayan Mandlik who had immortalised himself by his intellectual eminence and high character.
He was nominated to the Indian Legislative Council in 1884 and a reception was held in Bombay to honour him.
Mandlik was closely associated with the Bombay Association as also the Bombay Branch of the East India Association. Pherozeshah Mehta, K. T. Telang, D. E. Wacha and Badruddin Tyabji were all trained in public work in these two bodies devoted to public work. They had all worked together while welcoming the doings of Lord Ripon, demanding simultaneous Civil Service Examinations and equal opportunities to Indians with Englishmen, and the Ilbert Bill agitation. However, the younger people wanted an organisation of their own for self-expression and the Bombay Presidency Association (For history and activities of the Presidency Association see Chapter 2, History, Modern Period, Vol. I.) came into existence in January 1885. It was inaugurated at a public meeting held on 31st January 1885 at the Framji Cowasji Institute, in response to an invitation by Tyabji, Telang and Pherozeshah.
The Association showed considerable activity in the early years of its existence. By resolutions, memorials and public meetings it focused the general feeling of the community on all matters of common interest. One of the earliest acts of the Association was to organise the carrying on of energetic propaganda work in England. The moment was propitious, for a general election was imminent, Gladstone having decided to appeal to the country against the Home of Commons which had rejected his Irish Home Rule proposals. In view of the growing interest which Parliament was beginning to evince in Indian affairs, and the growth of what might be called an Indian Party, it was felt that there was a good opportunity of educating the English electorate as to the wants of India and of persuading it to support candidates who had made her cause their own and the Council of the Presidency Association decided to take the matter up and appeal for co-operation to other parts of India. A number of leaflets and pamphlets were circulated in England which dealt with a number of subjects of importance to the well-being of India. Three delegates, N. G. Chandavarkar, Man Mohan Ghosh and Ramaswamy Mudaliyar were deputed to England to carry on platform propaganda.
The results of the efforts of the Bombay Presidency Association and other similar bodies to gain the ear of the British public were only partially successful. The activities of Indian patriots and public men at this time found their most practical expression in the establishment of an organisation which for many years afterwards laboured with phenomenal success to achieve complete political independence for India. It was the Indian National Congress which was founded at the close of 1885 in the City of Bombay. It was in Bombay that the foundations of local self-government had been laid and it was appropriate that Bombay should also be the birth place of the national movement for political autonomy. Among those who were present were Sir William Wedderburn, Justice Jasdine, Professor Wordsworth, R. G. Bhandarkar, and M. G. Ranade. The honour of presiding over this gathering was conferred on W. C. Bannerji, one of the most eminent leaders of Bengal. It was, however, a quite representative gathering of English educated India. All alike were greatly in earnest and fired with a noble purpose.
The first session of the Indian National Congress set the tone of the political agitation for many years afterwards as the nine resolutions passed at the session indicated. Most of these resolutions became hardy annuls. Several sessions of the Congress were held in this city, but that is a very big and different story which cannot be appropriately related here.(See Chapter 2, History—Modern Period, Greater Bombay Gazetteer, Vol. I.) Suffice it to say that the Indian National Congress, the Indian Social Conference, the Industrial Conference, the various chambers of commerce and industry, the trade union movement and the awakening in the working class, the lower middle class and the people in general have been the results and expressions of the public life of Bombay and the teachings and doings of its public men.
With the end of the nineteenth century, ended what may be called the earlier part of the incessantly growing public life in the city. To this Mahadeo Govind Ranade's contribution was silent and rather subdued, but it was very much there. Indeed, it was not limited only to the city of Bombay but the whole country. He passed away on January 16, 1901. Rich tributes were paid to him by Lokamanya Tilak when he said that he believed in the all sided and not lop-sided development of the nation. He was clearly of the opinion that we are backward in every way— religiously, socially, industrially, educationally, politically and unless we improve in all these respects we would not come in line with the civilised nations. He was fully conscious that every Indian who had the equipment of western education had this public responsibility and he set an ideal example by his own efforts for 30 years for all to follow. It was even strongly held during the governorship of Sir Richard Temple that the Pune Sarvajanik Sabha which he promoted and of which he was the soul was a seditious body. Quiet courage was his most extraordinary quality.
Under the influence of the teachings of Dadabhai, Ranade, Telang, Mandlik and Pherozeshah Mehta, public life was, generally speaking, an expression of faith in the justice and fairness of British love of freedom and law. The Congress and the Provincial Political Conferences that usually followed the lead of the Congress made demands for improvement in the administration of the various departments and equal opportunities for moral and material development of the people. Hope was always expressed that the liberty loving British would sooner or later grant all that was demanded and Indians would enjoy equal rights and privileges in the British Empire. As a measure of self-reliance the Swadeshi movement began. Bodies like the Indian Chamber of Commerce, the Millowners' Association became the allies of the Indian National Congress and the Industrial Conference. But a younger generation was rising that became impatient to lose faith in the mendicant policy of Dadabhai, Ranade and others. It was about this time that what came to be known as the Extremists in politics and public life gathered strength in the country and this city. Even among the so-called Moderate ranks there was much dissatisfaction. The best and most restrained but unmistakable expression to this is to be met with in the Presidential address of Gopal Krishna Gokhale at the Banaras Congress of 1905.
But how public opinion in Bombay stoutly expressed itself on a matter which may be considered as trivial today is noticeable in the agitation over what has passed into history as a battle of the clocks which arose due to Lord Curzon's decree of July 1, 1905 that India should observe one uniform time since known as the standard time. There was stout opposition to the move from the Corporation spearheaded by Pherozeshah Mehta. Public opinion was also against the adoption of standard time and was expressed in a mass meeting addressed by Bhalchandra Krishna Bhatavdekar, a veteran corporator.
In the Corporation it became a prestige issue and Pherozeshah Mehta carried the house with him. A few hostile persons resented this saying that they protest against the dominance of Pherozeshah in civic affairs. The Times of India observed that in due course Sir Pherozeshah would find that he had sadly over-calculated his strength.
A proposal was again moved in Corporation by Harrison, Accountant General, but the amendment to postpone the adoption of standard time moved by Pherozeshah was carried.
Two months after Pherozeshah had secured the rejection of standard time, that a movement was started which convulsed all Bombay and threatened seriously to impair that harmony between the different sections of its population which had always been the distinct feature of Bombay's public life.( Homi Mody, Sir Pherozeshah Mehta.) A feeling was fostered assiduously in certain quarters that Pherozeshah's opposition was a personal attempt to demonstrate to the city who was master and to impose upon the Corporation his personal will in the face of its opinion expressed twice. The movement was aimed at the overthrow of Pherozeshah whom Harrison described as a despot whose following, he said, must be crushed. He found easy allies in the Editor of the Times of India, Collector and Commissioner of Police, using their official position. They succeeded in persuading the Justices of Peace who were asked to vote for 16 nominees of their choice in return for some favour or the other.
As the elections drew near, public excitement rose to fever heat. Voting day, February 22 came at last. The public had been admitted to the Municipal Hall and the election took place amid scenes of wild excitement. The result of the voting showed that the ' caucus ' of the three had triumphed and Pherozeshah had lost. However two friends offered to make room for Pherozeshah. He accepted one offer and eventually came in. The election was challenged in the court of law where some dramatic incidents were witnessed, some damaging disclosures were made and many people had to look foolish in the course of the inquiry. The case resulted however in the election being upheld. A representation made to Government was turned down. All these incidents kept the public mind in great excitement. They culminated in a great demonstration at the Hindu temple of Madhav Baug in the afternoon of 7th April. A mass meeting of the citizens of Bombay was convened to give expression to the universal feeling of condemnation of the unconstitutional action of Government officials in interfering with the purity and freedom of the election and to adopt a memorial to the Viceroy praying for an inquiry into the affair. Gokhale addressed the meeting wherein he paid eloquent tributes to Pherozeshah and defended his unrivalled position as a tribute and gratitude on the part of those to whose service a great career has been consecrated.( Homi Mody, Sir Pherozeshah Mehta).
The reply from the Government of India reiterated the position taken by the Government of Bombay. The so called caucus could not effect any changes and the corporation still continued to be dominated by Pherozeshah. Thus the caucus entirely failed in depriving Pherozeshah of his exalted position in the Bombay Municipal Corporation.
When these events were taking place there was great upsurge on the political front with the rise of terrorist cult apart from extremism whose followers were Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpatrai. Following the split in the congress at Surat in 1907 leaders of militant persuasion were prosecuted. Among them was Tilak whose imprisonment shocked the people of Bombay and resulted in a spontaneous strike. The then Police Commissioner, H. G. Gell had graphically described the happening in Bombay city as follows : " All sorts of rumours became current about this time and one of the arguments used to gain the sympathy of the masses, especially the mill-hands of Bombay was that Government was displeased with Tilak because he interested himself in temperance and Swadeshi Movements which caused loss of revenue to Government. Efforts were made to stir up a strike by Tilak's friends and sympathisers while the trial was on. There were about 85 mills and one lakh of operatives. Most of them were Marathas and Tilak was a Brahman but that did not stand in his way. He advised mill-hands especially jobbers and head jobbers to form local committees of mill-hands for the purpose of discouraging liquor drinking among them. It is clear from this that Tilak had considered the advisability of gaining the sympathies of mill-hands and teaching them to organise, and had he been vouchsafed a longer period of liberty, he would no doubt have had, in course of time, a large organised body of mill-hands at his disposal. Fortunately, he was arrested in time and though no doubt his followers will try and carry on his work, I do not think they have yet succeeded in doing much. Speakers at Chowpatty ostensibly spoke about Swadeshi but in effect spread Tilak's popularity and disaffection against Government."
Bombay's English educated intellectuals reacted to Tilak's trial and deportment when he was under trial. As Jayakar puts it : Tilak rejected legal defences as disingenuous short cuts to acquittal which he did not desire to adopt and asserted that his defence was going to be on lines, not guided by the desire of acquittal, but forming a worthy answer of the educated classes of India to the challenge of the prosecution. But Tilak disdained them, regarding the trial as offering an opportunity for a defence worthy of the high cause of which he regarded himself as the custodian for the moment.
From the time of Tilak's incarceration in Mandalay jail till the time of his release in 1914, there was a sort of lull in the political movement for freedom, although the Morley Minto Reforms were introduced and the elected element in the Provincial and all India Legislacive Councils was enlarged. Tilak's release from Mandalay jail and the First World War almost synchronised. Tilak made his declaration of loyalty and started very soon the Home Rule League. Mrs. Annie Besant joined hands with him by a separate League for Indian Home Rule, but there was close co-operation between these two leagues and their branches all over the country. The day to day agitation for demanding home rule was considered supplementary activity of the Indian National Congress. Tilak and Besant entered the Congress and until his death in 1920, Tilak almost became the dictator in the Congress with the willing and free consent of his countrymen. During the war years, Lord Willingdon was the Governor of Bombay and during his Governorship public life in Bombay was at its height. Bombay's popular leaders in those days were Baptista, Jinnah, Jayakar, Horniman, Jamnadas Dwarkadas, Sathye, Velkar and numerous others who exploited the platform in Bombay for popularising the demand for home rule. The Bombay Press in the Indian languages and English operated in harmony and unison with the platform.
After the end of the First World War, the Montague-Chelmsford political reforms were inaugurated but they fell short of fulfilling the aspirations of India. Tilak died in 1920 on August 1 and from that date Mahatma Gandhi assumed the leadership of the action. His principal weapon was the non-co-operation movement. Some items of the non-co-operation movement were the boycott of Legislative Councils, boycott of law courts and boycott of schools and colleges. Bombay became most prominent in this movement because the city became practically the headquarters of Mahatma Gandhi and his colleagues. Public life assumed altogether new dimensions and reached a new high in Bombay. The public bodies of businessmen and industrialists became the allies of the nationalist movement for self-assertion and autonomy. Their accredited representatives like Purushottamdas Thakordas, Pheroze Sethna, Lalji Naranji, Homi Mody, Jehangir Petit and others sat in the various legislative bodies. With the inauguration of the Swaraj Party, the edge of national sentiment became sharper. Youth leagues and students' organisations gave enthusiastic support to the national movement. The boycott of the Simon Commission was universal.
The salt and forest satyagraha movements as also the movements for refusal to pay land revenue when the crops had failed and assessment was increased were expressions of acute discontent in the country side, but their echoes ever reverberated in the city's public life. These had prepared the public mind to resort to still sterner action and during the Second World War, the Quit India movement arose like an angry storm when popular leaders like Gandhiji and Jawaharlal Nehru were placed under arrest. As a result of the war, the British power came to the conclusion that it had to transfer power to Indian hands and quit the country as political masters.
After this was effected, the country was divided into India, i.e. Bharat and Pakistan. Under swaraj, public life is asserting itself in all walks of life and all fields of human activity and ever proceeding towards self-fulfilment and the city's manhood (including its womanhood) is trying to reach its full stature.
To the making of the public life of Bombay, the contribution of the working class movement is truly considerable. Factory industry made its organising in Bombay where the first cotton textile mill was established in 1854. The first railway train ran from Bombay to Thane in 1853. These were the beginnings of modern industry which developed in succeeding decades. Factory industry and factory labour brought in its woke many an industrial problem.
Bombay became an industrial and commercial centre of India and was recognised as the financial capital of India before long. This position was due to its being an excellent port on the West Coast. With the passage of time and growth of the city labour became a major force in the public life of the city. The demand of labour for a larger share in the profits and better working conditions led to strikes by the working employees. Mr. N. M. Lokhande was the first labour leader who was employed in a textile mill as store keeper. Early in his life, he came in touch with Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and became an ardent worker of the satya shodhak samaj. Out of this was born his interest in the economic conditions and problems of factory workers. He championed the cause of the workers and made a name for himself. (For a detailed history of Labour Movement in Bombay see Chapter-5, Industries in Greater Bombay Gazetteer, Vol. II.)
Apart from factory workers, other workers also knew about the weapon of strike and resorted to it from time to time. The first was the butcher's strike in 1867 when the municipal authorities decided to remove the slaughter houses to Bandra. The strike however collapsed. In 1899, there was a strike of the signalling staff of the former G.I.P. Railway. The strike continued for 27 days but under threat from the management workers returned to work. The strikes mentioned so far are only samples, but there were many more which make clear that the workers were not unaware of strike as a method of ventilating grievances and securing their demands. By the end of the 19th century, modern industry had secured for itself an assured place in the life of the city and the country. The political awakening that was taking place was solidly behind it. However, an organization to look after the welfare of workers was lacking. This need was fulfilled with the establishment of the Bombay Mill-hands Association in 1890. Joseph Baptista, S. H. Jhabwala, F. J. Ginwala, S. K. Bole, Koregaonkar, Talcherkar and others were the earlier leaders of the working class movement. By 1920 N. M. Joshi came to provide healthy and continuous guidance. An important event of the early pre-war phase of the working class movement was the first strike of a general character with political motivation. It took place in Bombay in 1908 after the conviction of Lokmanya Tilak in the second sedition case against him and against the savage sentence of six years rigorous imprisonment upon him, and continued for six days. It was quite peaceful but owing to the police offensive it became violent. The military was brought on the scene and it caused the death of 15 persons and many more were injured.
It is somewhat interesting to note that Tilak who was in England in 1919 was elected by the workers' meetings in Bombay as the labour representative for being sent to Washington to attend the first International Labour Conference, though the Government nominated Mr. N. M. Joshi, as such and Tilak was asked to be his adviser. Tilak declined the offer. The All India Trade Union Congress was established in October 1920, and the first session of the Congress was held in October with Lala Lajpat Rai in the chair. In his presidential address he put forward socialism as the goal of self-governing India. Mr. Joshi was associated with the AITUC from the beginning.
During this period there were two strikes of textile workers, one in 1924 on the issue of bonus that was being paid to the workers since 1917. The other was the general strike of 1925 which began on September 15 and was on the issue of wage cut. This strike was manipulated by the mill-owners to obtain the abolition of excise duty on cotton. The Government bowed to this demand with the result that the wage cut was restored and strike withdrawn. The employers used the strike as a weapon to get their demand from the Government. And yet the workers and their leaders were accused from time to time of resorting to strikes for political ends.
Mr. Joshi's single-minded devotion to the organisation and the trade union movement and his competence and fair mindedness in handling affairs were exemplary. His constant assistant and collaborator was Mr. R. R. Bakhale, another member of the Servants of India Society. His advice and counsel were always sought and respected by the more militant working class leaders and Communists like Messrs. Dange, Joglekar, Mirajkar, Ranadive, Deshpande, Nimbkar and others. All of these added an important dimension to the public life of Bombay by their work and activities in politics and the working class movement.
Communists started working in trade unions much later than nationalists and o+hers. Systematic work on their part began in 1927. They were mostly middle class intellectuals scattered in a few cities like Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Kanpur. But in a year or so they had a big following in most industrial centres. By 1928, they were the leaders of workers in Bombay. They were dedicated and tireless workers. They had behind them the prestige of the Russian Revolution and the backing of the international communist movement. In the trade union field, communists were following what Dange, general secretary of the AITUC and president of the Indian Communist Party, described as a two-pillar policy, viz., to help in the development of the economy and to defend the interests of the working masses in that economy. Communist influence in the All India Trade Union Congress becomes noticeable from 1925 onwards. A number of communist agents from abroad came into the country from time to time.
Chiefly it was the British communists who trained younger intellectuals and workers in the ideology of communism and their influence on Bombay's undergraduates and intelligent workers was considerable. The total effect of this training and the teaching of N. M. Joshi, Baptista, R. R. Bakhale, Chamanlal and others was the erection of class consciousness among the workers as also white collared clerks hailing from the j ower middle class and the development of strong public spirit for the improvement of the lot of the common man.
A significant development of the period was the appointment of the Royal Commission on Labour under the chairmanship of J. H. Whitley. It was not an all-white Commission since N. M. Joshi and Diwan Chamanlal were appointed among others as members and yet it was boycotted by the communists and even by Jawaharlal Nehru. But the appointment of Joshi and Chamanlal did raise the status of the trade union movement. Both made valuable contribution to the labours of the Commission and impressed everybody with their earnestness as well as by their knowledge of the labour problems.
In this year there came about a split in the AITUC, the section led by Joshi having found it impossible to agree with the decisions of its session in 1929. It formed what became known as the Federation of Trade Unions, but after some years all working class organisations united again in 1938 under the banner of the AITUC.
General elections under the Government of India Act, 1935 took place early in 1937 and Congress ministries came into power in most provinces of India, except Bengal and the Punjab. The AH India Trade Union Congress extended its full support to the Indian National Congress. The result in Bombay was that the Kher Ministry took office. The workers expected a better deal in these circumstances. One noteworthy action of the Congress Ministry in Bombay was the appointment of a committee to inquire into the conditions of the textile workers under the chairmanship of Jairamdas Daulatram. The most far reaching of the actions of the Bombay Ministry was the legislation for the settlement of industrial disputes. Another important Act was the Shops and Establishments Act. World War II broke out in September 1939 and the Congress Ministries resigned in all provinces. During the war, an imposing industrial structure had developed. The first impact of the war on workers and the trade union movement was the rise in prices and the scarcity of essential commodities. The first to react strongly to this situation were the Bombay textile workers. They embarked on general strike demanding an adequate dearness allowance to compensate against the rise in prices. Another demand that became general over the country was the demand for bonus. These demands had to be conceded.
After the war came political Independence and a new constitution, and in 1952 the first election took place. The Ministry of Labour and Employment of the Government of India became the central administrative machinery for the formulation of labour policy. Five year plans for the development of the country were framed and implemented. A lively interest in the international trade union movement and a keen desire to maintain contacts with it have characterised the working class movement since its inception. The international communist movement took an equally keen interest in the Indian movement. The Indian movement was never isolationist in outlook. After Independence, more and more trade unionists are attending international conferences and playing an important role in their discussions.
After nearly sixty years of sufferings and sacrifices, trade unions have secured for themselves an assured place. Workers have realised the necessity of binding themselves together in unions and developing their national organisations. Employers have realised that it is not possible to stop the growth of unions and that, treated with consideration and confidence, they can be of value for maintaining industrial peace and for increasing production. The Government have realised that trade unions are not destructive or disruptive organisations but that they can play a useful and positive role. With this realisation, the attitude of the society as a whole has also changed. There is a general recognition of the important and constructive role that trade unions can play in a free society. And towards this achievement, those workers in public life from the days of Lokhande to this day have made a rich contribution. They have had a considerable share in the making of the public life of Bombay as in other urban centres of the country.
The history of journalism in Bombay commences with publication of the Bombay Herald in 1789 and of the Bombay Courier in 1790. The former disappeared after a brief, almost meteoric existence, while the latter continued to exist, as a separate publication, until 1847. Who its original proprietors were cannot be definitely stated, but its express object was the support of Government, and it was for many years known as the official organ. The office of the paper was in Forbes Street. In 1792, it enjoyed the exclusive patronage of the Bombay Government and continued to publish the orders of Government in full until 1830, when the Bombay Government Gazette made its first appearance, under the auspices and editorship of Colonel Jervis of the Bombay Engineers.
Among the chief contributors and supporters of the Courier was
Mountstuart Elphinstone, who ventilated his view on native education
in its pages.
In 1791, the Bombay Gazette appeared for the first time, and shared journalistic honours with the Courier until 1819, when Captain Stocqueller arrived in Bombay. He, after a brief period of military duty, bought a paper called the Argus, which had been recently started by one Mr. Beck, and republished it under the name of the Bombay Chronicle.
The Bombay Chronicle died a natural death, when its editor returned to England about 1822 ; but in 1827 Captain Stocqueller again sought these shores and commenced to issue the Iris, which for a time had phenomenal success in connection with the dispute between the leading sects of Parsis on the subject of the Zoroastrian calendar. Mr. Henry Roper, afterwards Chief Justice, became one of this paper's most valued contributors ; and shortly afterwards the proprietors of the Courier, who watched the progress of the Iris with considerable misgivings, persuaded Captain Stocqueller to amalgamate his journal with theirs and become editor of the Courier on a salary of Rs. 1,000 a month.
Apparently by this date Bombay journalism had distinctly improved in character and tone. The chief English papers in 1838 were the Bombay Gazette, the Bombay Courier and the Bombay Times, the last named of which appeared for the first time in 1838, while native journalism was represented by the Darpan (mirror), a Marathi publication, edited by Balshastri, and confined to local and domestic matters; the Chabuk (lash), which followed a more outspoken policy and was printed in Gujarati; the Samachar, also a Gujarati paper, and the Jam-e-Jamshed (cup of life), edited by a Parsi and treating principally commercial matters. Two years later (1840) journalism received a considerable impetus by the publication of at least six new monthly magazines, among them being the Dig Darshan and Vidya Sagar in Marathi, the Bombay Magazine and the Bombay Sporting Magazine in English while seven native newspapers, owned by Parsis, Hindus and Muhammadans, catered to the taste of the native public. In 1844 appeared the Bombay Witness, a religious weekly, which was given up in December 1846, in 1845 the Bombay Mail was instituted as a monthly summary of Bombay affairs for the English public at home; an Indian Sporting Review, published at the Bombay Gazette office and characterized as full of " elegance, wit, spirit and sprightliness ", ousted the Sporting Magazine in the same year; while in 1846 a new daily paper was issued under the title of the Bombay Telegraph and Eastern Intelligence. The Courier was merged in the Bombay Telegraph, which became the Telegraph and Courier.
Meanwhile Indian journalism had not stood still; for by the middle of the nineteenth century Bombay possessed six Gujarati newspapers, notably the Samachar, first issued in 1822, the Jam-e-Jamshed, which started in 1831, the Dnyan Prasarak, a magazine started in 1847, the Rast Goftar, which was first published as a fortnightly in 1851 and the Native Opinion started from 1864.
The general spread of education was also noticeable in the demand for the publication of local scientific societies. The Transactions of the Bombay Literary Society, which were printed during the first quarter of the century, had to be discontinued on the score of expenses; but a longer life was vouchsafed to the Transactions of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, of the Agri-Horticultural Society, of the Medical and Physical Society and of the Geographical Society.
The movement for the publication of new European journals steadily progressed. A weekly paper, the Spectator, appeared early in 1847, the Bombay Times joined the ranks of daily papers in 1850, a Bombay Quarterly Magazine was issued from the Byculla Press in the same year, and these were followed by the Bombay Guardian, an evening paper, in 1851, the Bombay Herald, a bi-weekly, in 1855, and the Bombay Standard started by Dr. Buist in 1858. Most of these disappeared or were absorbed in other papers as the years went by, as was also the case with more than one vernacular paper, issued between 1840 and 1870. Those which preserved the even tenor of their way were the Bombay Gazette, which had altered its title to the Gentleman's Gazette about 1842, and the Bombay Times, which absorbed the Standard (1859) and Telegraph and Courier (1861) and became the Times of India in 1861, and among Native Journals, the Indu-Prakash, an Anglo-Marathi journal dating from 1862, and the weekly Gujarathi which first appeared in 1879 were important. These were followed a little later by the Kaiser-i-Hind, published first in 1882, and in 1888 by the Hindi Punch. Vernacular journalism in general received no little impetus from the famous Maharaja Libel Case of 1862, which arose out of the startling charges laid against the high priests of the Vallabhacharya sect by Mr. Karsandas Mulji in the columns of the Satya Prakash, which was amalgamated subsequently with the Rast Goftar.
Since 1880 the number of journals, both English and vernacular, steadily increased, and the native press made great strides in printing. In 1909, there were altogether 131 newspapers and periodicals printed in Bombay and the number of books annually published by the local presses ranged from 700 to 1,000.
The twentieth century opened an era of increasing political consciousness involving the masses in national and international affairs. Consequently the newspapers have become an important means of mass communication, spreading views, holding discussions and expressing opinions effectively and quickly through their editorials and other columns.
The following table gives information about newspapers and periodicals published in Greater Bombay as in 1976.
TABLE No. 1
Newspapers and Periodicals published in Greater Bombay, as in 1976
The detailed information about the leading newspapers and news services in Bombay is given below.(The account is based on information supplied by the respective newspaper offices.)
The Times of India : The Times of India was founded in 1838, with the title of the Bombay Times. This paper was at first a bi-weekly and owed its origin, in great measure, to Lord Metcalfe's action of 1838, which granted freedom to the press in India and encouraged capitalists to embark upon journalistic enterprises. The syndicate which founded it was composed of eleven European merchants in Bombay, Sir Jamshetji Jejeebhoy, two eminent barristers and a member of the medical profession. Dr. Brennan, secretary to the Chamber of Commerce, was the first Editor and was succeeded in 1839 by Dr. Henderson of the Elphinstone College. In May 1840, Dr. Buist was specially despatched from Scotland to edit the paper during whose tenure it expanded into a daily paper on 2nd September 1850. The title of the journal was changed to the Times of India in 1861 during Mr. Knight's editorship. The journal was edited by eminent editors who were mainly Europeans.
The paper always described and commented upon the chief events in the history, and socio-economic life of India. In the nature of things, it was a pro-British paper throughout the struggle for freedom in India. Very often it supported the British rule, and was rather indifferent to the aspirations of the Indians for freedom. After the dawn of Independence it adopted a progressive attitude, guiding and expressing public opinion. It has utilised the freedom of press guaranteed by the constitution of India to the advantage of the reading public.
The original office of the Times of India was located in Maneckji Petit building (now destroyed) near the end of the Colaba Causeway. After being shifted twice it was finally moved to the present Times of India building, opposite the Victoria Terminus.
The Times of India group of newspapers are under management of Bennett Colemen and Company. The company controls many newspapers and journals besides the Times of India which command a vast readership and wide circulation in Bombay and Maharashtra.
The Times of India News Service was set-up by Bennett Colemen and Company in 1953 for an efficient and effective use of the services of its correspondents spread over the country and abroad. Nearly 200 correspondents, of them 18 were staff editors, worked for the Times of India News Service. Besides staff correspondents, there were two other categories, stringers and liners, who were part-time correspondents.
The News Service had two staff correspondents abroad, one in Washington to cover news in North and South America, and the other in London to cover Europe. It had two part-time correspondents in South-East Asia at Hong Kong and at Kuala Lumpur and the other at Colombo. In addition, it also had a part-time correspondent in Australia to cover sports.
The News Service Organisation is headed by the Chief of Bureau. There are two chief sub-editors, one in Bombay and another in New Delhi.
For convenience, the country has been divided into two zones, Bombay and Delhi, according to the importance of news from the area to the Bombay and Delhi editions. Correspondents in the Bombay Zone send their news items to Bombay. Those in Delhi Zone send them to Delhi.
News items received in Bombay and Delhi are processed at re-write desks manned by trained sub-editors. News messages are put in proper shape and passed on to the edition desks in Bombay and Delhi.
Bombay is connected with Ahmedabad, New Delhi and Calcutta by teleprinter links. There are three teleprinter channels to Delhi, two to Ahmedabad and one to Calcutta. Bombay is also connected by teleprinter to Madras, Bangalore, Trivendrum, Hyderabad and Pune.
The Delhi News Service is connected by teleprinter to Bhopal, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Shrinagar, Lucknow and Patna.
The correspondent in Washington communicates his news messages over the telex directly to Bombay. The London correspondent uses the Reuter's transmission line for sending his messages to Delhi.
In Maharashtra the news service has staff correspondents at Piine and Nagpur so that there is adequate coverage of regional news. Of about 40 part-time correspondents working in the Bombay Zone nearly 20 were in Maharashtra.
The Times of India News Service publishes 16 journals from Bombay, of which the Times of India (including Times Weekly) is published from Bombay since 1838, from Delhi since 1950 and from Ahmedabad since 1968. Daily circulation of the paper as in January-June 1976 was 1,81,612 in Bombay, 1,00,434 in Delhi and 29,419 in Ahmedabad.
There were 40 proof readers and 101 editorial staff in the Bombay office of the Times of India. The workmen included press workers numbering 1,660, office staff 860 and administrative and sub-staff 170. At present the Chief Editor is Shri Girilal Jain.
The Economic Times was started in 1961 from Bombay, in 1974 from Delhi and in 1976 from Calcutta. The daily circulation of the same as in January to June 1976 was 26,098, 18,875 and 8,736 from Bombay, Delhi and Calcutta, respectively. The strength of the staff in Bombay comprised 19 proof readers and 61 editorial staff. At present the Chief Editor is Dr. M. Ezekiel.
The Navbharat Times was started in 1950 from Bombay and Delhi. In 1976 daily circulation of this paper in Delhi was more than that in Bombay (2,32,502 in Delhi and 73,431 in Bombay). There were 21 proof readers and 35 editorial staff in Bombay. The present Chief Editor is Shri Rajendra Mathur.
The Maharashtra Times was started from Bombay in 1962 (Mr. D. B. Karnik was its founder-editor.). It is a daily and its circulation as in January-June 1976 was 1,22,459. It has a wide circulation in Western Maharashtra and parts of Vidarbha and Marath-wada. The name of the present Editor is Shri Govind S. Talwalkar.
Besides the above publications, the Times of India Group publishes 12 newspapers and magazines which command a large readership. The following statement gives the statistics about these newspapers and magazines which are published from Bombay and Delhi:—
Daily or Weekly
Year of commencement
Daily Circulation January-June 1976
The Free Press Journal : The Indian National Press Ltd., Bombay published the Free Press Journal, the Bharat Jyoti, the Free Press Bulletin, the Navshakti and the Janashakti.
The Free Press Journal, a daily English paper, is published from Bombay since 1930. Its average daily circulation was 62,342 in 1973. The Free Press Journal News Service is designed as a news and features agency primarily for the Free Press Journal itself. Its services are available also to all publications of the group. The major part of the daily news is supplied by special bureaus in Pune, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Calcutta. These bureaus are linked with the main Bombay office by direct teleprinters. Besides these bureaus, the Free Press Journal News Service maintains correspondents in many State capitals like Madras, Bangalore, etc. and in many towns in Maharashtra and Gujarat. All correspondents file their despatches to the Bombay office where they are received and processed by a special cell of the news department consisting of a Chief of Bureau and two or three assistants. The processed copy is made available to the news editors of all the five publications. At present, the Free Press Journal News Service does not have correspondents in foreign countries (1973).
At present Shri Virendra Kapoor is the Chief Editor of two English newspapers of the company, viz., the Free Press Journal and the Free Press Bulletin. Shri P. R. Behere is the Editor of the Navshakti. The publication of Bharat Jyoti, a weekly and Janshakti has been discontinued.
The Navshakti, a daily paper in Marathi, is published from Bombay since 1932, and its circulation in 1973 was 43,418. The Bharat Jyoti, (It's publication was discontinued subsequently.)an English Sunday news magazine, was started in 1938. Its circulation in 1973 was 62,551. The Free Press Bulletin, an English eveninger is published since 1947. Among the evening papers in Bombay it commands a good readership. Its daily circulation in 1973 was 16,041. The Janashakti, a daily Gujarati paper is published from Bombay since 1950. Its daily circulation was 29,224.
The company had 119 working journalists, 249 press workers, 44 miscellaneous staff members and 61 members of office staff in its employment as on 28th February 1973. These figures include the members of the staff employed in various News Bureaus.
Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Pvt. Ltd.: The Express News Service is a captive arrangement serving exclusively the Indian Express group of newspapers, including the regional language publications. The service has special arrangement with the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times News Service for the coverage of foreign news, in addition to its own correspondents in Washington, London, Cairo, Dacca, Ceylon and Hong Kong.
Under the news service, all the individual reporting establishments of all the editions are integrated, their reports being transmitted over its own teleprinter and telex circuits. The service has also correspondents in all the State capitals and a few other important commercial centres linked to the publication centres by teleprinters.
In Maharashtra, the news service has correspondents at Nagpur and Aurangabad. The service has a branch office and full-fledged bureau at Pune.
The Express News Service supplements the common agencies. The services of all part-time correspondents have been terminated since the news potential in the districts was considered inadequate for such an arrangement. It was considered more useful to have roving correspondents visiting the rural areas frequently.
The Indian Express group of newspapers published the following journals from Bombay: the Sunday Standard, the Indian Express, the Loksatta, the Screen and the Financial Express, the information of which is given below:—
The Sunday Standard.—The Sunday Standard was started in 1936.It is published simultaneously from seven centres, and its daily circulation from each centre in 1973 was as follows: Bombay 1,26,807; Ahmedabad 19,938; Delhi 1,26,807; Madras 44,455; Madurai 77,501; Vijayawada 53,076 and Bangalore 56,030. The total circulation of the same was 4,84,042. It is published in English language. At present the Chief Editor is Miss Dina Vakil.
The Indian Express: The Indian Express is published from Bombay since 1940. At present the Chief Editor is Mr. Hiranmay Karlekar. It is published in English from seven centres, viz., Bombay, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Madras, Madurai, Vijayawada and Bangalore. The total circulation of the paper in 1973-74 was 4,18,919, of which 96,898 was from Bombay.
The Loksatta : The Loksatta is a Marathi daily published from Bombay since 1946. It is a daily paper edited by Mr. Madhavrao Gadkari. The total circulation in Bombay was 1,30,605 in 1973.
The Sunday Loksatta : The Sunday Loksatta was started in 1948 and its circulation in 1973 was 2,13,608 in Bombay.
The Screen : The Screen, a weekly cine magazine was started in 1951. It is published simultaneously from Bombay, Madras and Delhi. The total circulation of the same in the year 1973 was 1,10,291, while in Bombay it was 62,255. At present the Editor in Chief is Mr. B. K. Karanjia.
The Financial Express : The Financial Express is published from Bombay since 1961. The total circulation of the same was 10,895 in 1973. It is devoted to commercial news and commands a good readership in the city. At present the Chief Editor is Mr. P. M. Mohamed.
Janmabhoomi Group of Newspapers, Fort : The Janmabhoomi Group of Newspapers publishes the following newspapers and journals : the Janmabhoomi, the Pravasi, the Vyapar, the Sudha, the Kavita and the Janmabhoomi Panchang.
Janmabhoomi : The late Amritlal Sheth formed the Saurashtra Trust and the Gujarati daily, the Janmabhoomi was first published on 9th June 1934. Since Independence the Janmabhoomi has kept up the proper spirit of publishing news impartially, to enlighten the people on the tasks ahead and create a proper atmosphere in the country for co-operative endeavour and patriotic sacrifice.
It has correspondents in Gujarat State, various parts of India, and offices at New Delhi and Ahmedabad. It publishes news gathered by the score of correspondents objectively. Every week it publishes articles on politics, economics and various other subjects. The paper publishes special features on municipal affairs and sports. Reviews of social and cultural activities find ample space in the Janmabhoomi.
At present the Editor is Shri Harindra Dave. Its daily circulation in Bombay was 33,598, and at other places 7,487 in 1976. It had 31 journalists and 320 technical and administrative personnel.
The Janmabhoomi Pravasi : The Pravasi is a weekly paper published from 22nd October 1939. It gives reviews of international and national affairs. It publishes short stories, serial novels, social problems, etc. There is a separate section for children and cartoons. Its daily circ ulation in Bombay was 51,589 and at other places 19,225 in 1976.
The Vyapar : In order to provide latest information in commerce and industry the Saurashtra Trust started a commercial weekly, the Vyapar in 1949. From 4th January 1961 it is published twice a week. It has a large circulation as a financial journal.
The circulation of the paper in Bombay was 11,240 and at other places 19,129 in 1976. The persons engaged as journalists were 13 in number in the same year. At present the Editor is Mr. S. J. Vasani.
The Sudha (It's publication was discontinued from October 1, 1982.) : A new addition to the group was the Sudha, a Gujarati weekly which was started in 1967 for women. The Editor was Smt. Varsha Adalja. Its weekly circulation in 1976 was 6,500 in Bombay and 5,048 in other places, of which 1,114 were subscribers. Four women were working as journalists.
The Kavita : It is a fortnightly in Gujarati devoted to poetry and poetic criticism. It was started in October 1967. The name of Editor is Dr. Suresh Dalai.
The Janmabhoomi Panchang : The Janmabhoomi Group has an efficient panchang department since 1945. Every year they publish a panchang i.e. Indian Ephemery. It has taken-up research in the field of predictive astrology. The department is also serving the general public by providing astrological advice. The editor was Shri D. K. Sule. Its annual circulation in Bombay was 13,000 and at other places 17,000 in 1976. At Present the editor is Miss Jyoti Bhatt.
The Bombay Samachar, Bombay : The Bombay Samachar, the oldest vernacular newspaper in India, was founded by Mr. Furdunji Marzban, the pioneer of native journalism in Western India, in 1822. Appearing first as a weekly, it was converted in 1932, into a daily paper, but was forced by lack of resources to revert to be a bi-weekly issue in 1833. In 1855, however, it again appeared as a daily, and has remained so up to the present time. Since 1870, the paper was the property of the Minocher Homji family, who conducted it for the benefit of all sections of the public. Now it is managed by the Bombay Samachar Private Ltd.
At present the Bombay Samachar publishes the Bombay Samachar, daily and weekly (Sunday); Diwali Ank, Panchang and Vasant Ank annually. The daily circulation of the Bombay Samachar amounted to 1,30,985 and that of the weekly edition to 1,42,931. The strength of the office staff in 1975-76 was 48, working journalists 30 and press workmen 127. The news coverage for the paper is done by its own reporters and representatives in selected cities and towns in India. The editors of the daily and weekly are Mr. Jehan D. Daruwala and Mr. Shantikumar Bhatt, respectively.
Navakal : The Navakal, a Marathi daily is published from Bombay since 1923. This paper had the fortune of being edited by the well-known journalist and dramatist, viz., Krishnaji Prabhakar Khadilkar who was succeeded by his illustrious son, Yeshwantrao Khadilkar, and then by his grandson Nilkanthrao Khadilkar. Shri N. Y. Khadilkar is the present Editor of the paper. It receives news from various news services and reporters in big cities in Maharashtra.
The Hindustan : The Hindustan which is now published as a daily from Bombay was originally started at Hyderabad (Sindh) as a weekly under the name of the Hindu. The Hindu was started in 1916 as a weekly in Devnagari script by Maharaj Lokram Sharma and Maharaj Vishnu Sharma under the inspiration of Acharya Kripalani and Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani. It was coverted into a daily in 1919 in Arabic script when it was asked to deposit a security of Rs. 2,000, under the Defence of India Act. The newspaper was shifted from Hyderabad (Sindh) to Karachi in 1934 and to Bombay in 1948.
The Hindustan has played a notable part in the freedom movement in India. In 1926, the paper was taken over by Sind Swarajya Ashram which was later converted into Desh Seva Mandal. In 1930, the paper continued to appear under different names from different presses, although the press was confiscated and editorial staff arrested. In 1942, the paper ceased publication after the arrest of most of the editorial staff. It was registered again in 1943. It continued publication from Sind till the middle of 1948, and after migration, reappeared in Bombay on 15th August 1948, first as a weekly and then as a daily from 20th March 1949. It is now being run by Bombay Printers Ltd., a public limited company.
It is the only Sindhi daily published in Maharashtra State, and goes to many parts of the Globe wherever Sindhis are spread. The average net sale in Bombay and other places was 13,000. In 1975 the Chief Editor was Shri Jairamdas Doulatram, the present Editor being Hassomal Makhijani. There were about 100 staff members and workers in the Bombay establishment.
It also publishes a Sindhi weekly, viz., Hindvasi, the average sale of which was 16,882 copies.
It has representatives in almost all important places in India, who dispatch local news. It subscribes to the U.N.I, for news service.
Libraries in Pre-British Period : Prior to the advent of British Rule, libraries were not entirely unknown in the State, although books were few and rare and newspapers or magazines were totally absent. However, some ancient religious institutions like maths or temples,families with old literary tradition, and learned men often collected manuscripts of books for their personal use or for the use of their students. Some of these collections were impressively large and important and it may even be possible to call them the ' libraries' of the period. But such libraries were altogether few and there was no organisation about them.
The modern public library is, therefore, mainly a creation of the British administration. It was as a result of British influence that the printing of books began in India and newspapers and magazines came to be published. With the introduction of these reforms, the foundation for the starting of public libraries was laid. The lead in the matter was almost always taken by influential British Officers, Collectors and Judges, who felt that public libraries should be organised for the spread of information. They were supported, in this endeavour by enlightened leaders of Indian opinion who helped in collecting funds and in popularising the new institutions by overcoming the natural prejudices and suspicions of the people against the actions of the alien Government. The movement, therefore, made a good beginning, in the earlier half of the nineteenth century, in the city of Bombay and the other headquarters of the districts. The Bombay Native Education Society which was in office from 1827 to 1840 recognised the importance of establishing and maintaining public libraries as a means of educating the people and tried to assist them by grants in the form of cash and books. At this time, the society was the main agency for publishing books in Indian languages and hence the grant of books which it used to make was of great assistance to the libraries of this period. The same policy was continued by the Board of Education which was in office from 1840 to 1855, and when the education department was created, there were 22 libraries in the State as a whole of which 10 were in the city of Bombay. The following table reproduced from the Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island (1909) gives the information about the libraries during that period.
TABLE No. 2
CHIEF LIBRARIES OF BOMBAY IN 1909
||Date of opening
||Number of books
Native General Library
J. N. Petit Institute
People's Free Reading Room and Library
Javerilal Umiashankar Library 1
Pandit Gattulalji Library (Free)2
Muljibhoy Jivraj Khoja Library
Mulla Firoz Library
Sir D. Petit Khanda Moholla Library
Kamathipura Telugu Library
|Dr. R.G Bhandarkar Free Reading Room and Library
||Prarthana Mandir, Girgaum
|J. N. Petit Baharket Improvement Library
|J. N. Petit Library, Girgaum
Dhanjibhai Framji Library
|Khoja Chandbhoy Noor Mahomed Library
|Dadabhai Naoroji Free Library
Hindu Union Club
1 The original name was Bhuleshwar Library, donation to the Library.It was changed in 1902 when the contributors of the Javerilal Umiashankar Fund gave the donation to the Library.
2 Contains about 500 old Sanskrit books.
Note,—This list only includes the Libraries registered by the Educational Department. The Chief Libraries of Societies were the B.B.R.A. Society, containing about 90,000 books, the Sassoon Mechanics Institute, containing 14,000 books, the Blavatsky Lodge containing 2,000 books and the Bombay Natural History Society's Library, containing 1,000 books. The other libraries are Circle Litteraire Bibliotheque, Dinshaw Petit, Cosmopolitan Circulating Library, Girgaum Circulating Library and the Jain Reading Room and Library.
LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT (1855-1901) : The Education Department continued the earlier policy of assisting public libraries. The department purchased books and gave to public libraries registered with the department. But unfortunately there was no special grant for assistance to public libraries and the funds for the encouragement of literature in Indian languages was very limited. It did not, in fact exceed Rs. 15,000 at any time. Hence the financial assistance given to public libraries by the Department was not material and the libraries also were not very eager to obtain recognition and registration by the Department. It may, therefore, be said that after the initial start had been given to the movement by Government, the public libraries were left to grow on their own, subject only to a nominal departmental supervision exercised in return for an equally nominal help in the form of books and publications.
This absence of departmental assistance was fortunately compensated by popular enthusiasm, for public libraries went on continually increasing during this period. With the spread of education there was a continuous increase in the number of persons who had developed the reading habit. Books and newspapers became common and available at comparatively low prices owing to the introduction of the printing press. Consequently, more public libraries were established before the close of the nineteenth century. As stated before, they were mostly maintained by subscriptions paid by the members. But some of the libraries were fortunate enough to collect large funds or to secure handsome donations from rich patrons. This prompted them to have a fairly decent collection of books and even buildings of their own.
The first popular Ministry decided to develop a regular movement of public libraries in the State and appointed a Library Development Committee (1939-40) with Shri A. A. A. Fyzee as chairman. The committee was requested to explore the possibilities of a Central Library in Bombay and three regional libraries at Pune, Ahmedabad, Dharwar and of co-ordinating all these four libraries with a net-work of town and village libraries organised all over the State. After Independence there was a tremendous expansion of education and reading habit. This resulted into establishing more and more public and private libraries.
The list of recognised public libraries in Bombay city as in 1975 is given below:—
- Central Library : Asiatic Society of Bombay and the Central Library, Town Hall, Bombay-1.
- District Library : Mumbai Marathi Grantha Sangrahalay, Bombay-14.
- Other Libraries : (1) Mumbai Marathi Grantha Sangrahalay, Dadar, Bombay-28.
2) Dadar Sarvajanik Vachanalay, Dadar, Bombay-28.
3) National Library, Bandra, Bombay-50.
Shridhar Vasudeo Phatak Grantha Sangrahalay, Vile Parle, - Bombay-57.
Rashtriya Mill Majdoor Sangh Granthalay, Parel, Bombay-12.
Khar Residents Association's Kamalabai V. Nimkar Pustakalay, Khar, Bombay-52.
Shri Samartha Pustakalay and Lokamanya Vachanalay, Malad, Bombay-64.
Marvadi Sammelan, Kalbadevi, Bombay-2.
Maharashtra Mitra Mandal Grantha Sangrahalay and Mofat Vachanalay, Lalbagh, Bombay-12.
Janata Kendra Vachanalay, Tardeo, Bombay-34.
Kumari Krishnabai Limaye Vachanalay and Vile Parle Mahila Sangh Granthalay, Vile Parle, Bombay-57.
Mumbai Marathi Granth Sangrahalay, Lamington Road, Bombay-4.
Santacruz Library, Santacruz, Bombay-54.
Government Quarters Residents Association's Vachanalay, Bandra, Bombay-51.
Kedarnath Vidya Prasarini Granthalay, Kurla, Bombay-70.
I. I. T. Sanskritic Mandal, Powai, Bombay-76.
Seth Jamnadas Adulkiya Lions Library, Malad, Bombay-64.
Kandivali Hitavardhak Mandal, Kandivali, Bombay-67.
Mumbai Marathi Grantha Sangrahalay, Ghatkopar, Bombay-77.
Lokmanya Tilak Library, Ghembur, Bombay-71.
Social Service League Library, Chinchpokali.
Mumbai Marathi Granth Sangrahalay, Goregaon, Bombay-51.
Pradnya Granthalay, Worli, Bombay-18.
Shri Ramdeoji Maharaj Library, Mazagaon, Bombay.
Saivadi Loksena Committee, Andheri East, Bombay.
Milind Mitra Mandal Vachanalay, Sion, Bombay-22.
The details of some of these libraries are given below:
Asiatic Society — Bombay Branch : The Asiatic Society, one of the most eminent organisations in Bombay has played an important role in the intellectual life in Bombay. The institution once enjoyed an international reputation for its highly equipped library, prestigeous journal and organisation of seminars and debates with a scholastic level. Formerly known as the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, the institution arose out of the Literary Society of Bombay, which was founded by James Mackintosh, in 1804. The objects of the society were the promotion of literary and scientific investigation connected with India, and the study of literature, antiquities, arts and sciences of the oriental world. In 1827, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland sent a proposal for the union of the two institutions; and in 1829, it formally resolved that the Literary Society of Bombay should thenceforth be considered an integral part of the Royal Asiatic Society, under the appellation of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, though the latter was to be considered quite independent of the Royal Asiatic Society.
The Bombay Geographical Society, which was originally established in 1831 and subsequently became a branch of the Royal Geographical Society of London, was amalgamated with the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1873. Another society merged in the B.B.R.A. Society was the Medical and Literary Society founded in 1789. Of the early societies, the chief were the Agri-Horticultural Society founded in 1830; the Medical and Physical Society founded in 1835; and the Literary and Scientific Society founded in 1848.
Upto 1831 the Society rented a building in the Fort for its library and reading-room; but the need for accommodation of its museum and the gradual growth of the library resulted in its removal in that year to the upper portion of the north wing of the Town Hall. The library dates from the foundation of the Society itself, and received its first tangible nucleus in the Medical and Literary Library, which had been established in 1789 by certain medical men of Bombay. Since that date many special additions have been made to the library, chief among them being a collection of books in foreign languages presented by the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone in 1820, some valuable Sanskrit and Prakrit manuscripts and Gujarati manuscripts presented by the Bombay Government in 1826, a collection of Parliamentary reports and other public records presented by the Court of Directors in 1837, a body of valuable works on natural history, geology, etc., by the Malcolmson Testimonial Fund in 1844, several works on natural history presented by Jagannath Shankarshet in 1863, and a collection of Oriental works by Mr. Cowasji Jehangir in the same year. These and other donations, coupled with the systematic purchase of books, have raised the total number of volumes in the library to nearly 88,000. The museum attached to the library was opened in 1816 for the collection and preservation of antiquities and of specimens of the natural history, arts and mythology of the East. It contains a fine collection of geological specimens, and many archaeological relics, inscriptions, copper-plates, carvings and the like, of great interest and value. A coin-cabinet also forms part of the museum, the nucleus of the collection consisting of donations from Government and a collection, which formerly belonged to William Frere, presented by Sir Cowasji Jehangir in 1864.
For many years membership of the Society was confined to Europeans, the first Native of India to be admitted being Mr. Maneckji Cursetji elected in 1840. After him Mr. Jagannath Shankarshet, Sir Jamshetji Jejeebhoy, and others in increasing numbers were elected. Apart from the establishment of the library and museum, the operations of the Society have consisted of the reading and discussion of papers on Oriental subjects, and the publication of a journal, embodying those papers. The first journal was published in 1841. Apart from this the activities of the Society, both before and after its union with the Royal Asiatic Society, have been manifested on various ways, such as a scheme for a statistical account of Bombay (1805), for the translation of Sanskrit works (1806), the erection of an observatory in 1815, the collection of specimens of Indian products for the Royal Asiatic Society in 1836, the preparation of a list of subjects for investigation by the Chinese-Tartary Frontier Mission in 1847, the formation in 1848 of a commission to investigate and report upon the cave-temples of Western India, and the collection in 1865 of a sum of money in aid of Dr. Livingstone's explorations in Africa.
In 1950, the Society agreed to undertake the responsibility to expand its activities so as to undertake and discharge the functions of the Central Library. By the Trust Deed of 1950 executed between the then Government of Bombay and Bombay Branch of Royal Asiatic Society, the library of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Central Library came into existence.
In 1955, the Government of India notified the central library as a National Depository Library under the Delivery of Books Act, 1954.
The library is equipped with a reference counter. Every day over 1,000 members of the public visit the Central Library for reading. The research section renders service to readers as well as research workers.
Books and other reference material received from the United Nations Educational and Social Council are processed and kept in the UNESCO centre and are made available for reference. The Society publishes a journal devoted to oriental studies. It also organises book exhibitions, lectures, seminars and symposiums.
The Kane Research Institute was started by the Society for the purpose of studies in Indology, Sanskrit, History and Ancient Indian Culture. The Society is recognised by the Bombay University as a Post Graduate Research Institute.
The existing stock of books, periodicals etc., of the Asiatic Society's library as on 31st March 1976 was 2,44,232 comprising 2,03,075 books, 3,157 manuscripts, 25,000 rare and valuable books, 5,000 periodicals and newspapers in bound volumes, and 8,000 periodicals which are not bound.
It had 1,495 members as on 31st March 1977. About 12,091 readers attended the library during 1976-77. The income and expenditure of the library for the year ended 31st March 1977 amounted to Rs. 5,77,232.
Mumbai Marathi Granth Sangrahalay: Upto 1898, Bombay did not claim to have any Marathi public library worth the name. Regardless of this utterly discouraging situation existing then, eleven selfless social workers, from the lower middle class with an abundance of missionary zeal, came forward to make a determined effort in that direction. After a series of mutual consultations, and with a mere trunk load of about four hundred personal old books, they laid the foundation of Mumbai Marathi Granth Sangrahalay in 1898. During the past about 80 years this institution has steadily grown, attaining the stature of a Goliath.
The successful functioning of the reference section is the most predominant feature of all the activities of the institution. The section houses over seventy five thousand books. During 1971-72, over ten thousand readers took advantage of this section and over thirty thousand books were issued to readers during the same period. The collection of over 1,000 rare books has added a distinguishing feature to this section.
At present the vast areas of Greater Bombay, from Dahisar to Church-gate on Western Railway, and from Mulund to Boribunder on Central Railway, are covered with a closely knit net-work of 35 branches, each managed by an elected committee. The overall membership is over 11,699 and the overall collection of books is to the tune of about 2 lakhs.
With the avowed aims and objects of extending the much desired impetus to research in language and history, a language research centre (Marathi Sanshodhan Mandal) and a history research centre (Itihas Sanshodhan Mandal) were started in 1948 and 1958, respectively. The history research centre has published valuable books on historical research numbering over 20. Similarly, the language research centre also claims over 38 publications exclusively on linguistic research. Besides, this centre is currently busy in preparing the Encyclopedia of Marathi literature. Both the centres publish their own quarterlies devoted to research.
With a view to contribute to the enrichment of various literary forms, the publication division was started many years ago. Eminent writers are invited to write books on various subjects of academic interest. So far it has 30 precious publications to its credit.
Maharashtra Prabodhan Branch takes upon itself the responsibility of including the laity to take interest in sciences and technical subjects, through talks and exhibitions.
Sane Guruji Bal Vikas Mandir section exclusively for children, is always humming with activity. It runs twenty reading centres all over Bombay for children, and publishes a monthly, by name, Balvikas. The kala mandal was started with the main object of affording encouragement to the amateur activity in the field of dramatic arts. Many more projects undertaken by the library include an experimental theatre, a mobile library and an air-conditioned hall for rare books.
During 1974-75 the income and expenditure of the library was the same amounting to Rs. 10,08,047.
Bombay University Library : The Bombay University Library, one of the oldest Libraries in India, was established in 1879, and was formally opened to readers in February 1880. At present it has two units, one within the University premises in Fort and the other at the new University Campus at Kalina. The Library at Fort continues to be known as the University Library and the Library at Kalina is named as Jawaharlal Nehru Library. The Library at Kalina started its functioning from 12th July 1971, when the Statistics, Physics, Chemistry and Geography Departments were transferred to the Kalina Campus. The Library was temporarily housed in the Humanities building. The construction of a new library building at Kalina was started in 1973 and two wings were completed in June 1976 where the unit has now been permanently housed.
In the beginning though the growth of University Library was slow, to-day it is one of the largest and the most well-organised academic libraries in the country. The development in the past few decades was so rapid that an annexe to the Fort Library building was built in 1959 providing space for over 2,20,000 books. The collection of the two units now exceed 4,00,000 books and periodicals.
The library is particularly rich in subjects like Mathematics, Indian History and Social Sciences. Its reference section contains up-to-date information on most of the topics. The Library receives over 1,500 periodicals per annum of which about 1,165 are subscribed and the rest are received gratis and in exchange. The manuscript collection of the library is of great value for research in Indian religions, philosophy, literature and history. It has more than 1,190 manuscripts in Arabic, Persian and Urdu, and about 7,418 in Sanskrit and allied languages. Printed descriptive catalogues for most of the manuscripts are available. There are 6,740 research theses and over 1,000 maps and atlases in the library.
The library is also rich in archival materials. It has 57 micro-films and complete micro-film sets of the former edition of District Gazetteers for various States in India and the Census of India volumes for all census years.
In the early years after its establishment the library had an annual budget of Rs. 400. In 1930 the library received a non-recurring grant of Rs. 50,000 from the Government. During 1975-76 the budget of the library amounted to Rs. 12,81,574.
The valuable resources of the library are used not only by the faculty members and students of the University and its affiliated colleges, but also by the research scholars, firms, institutions, and the various government departments in the city. Every year more than 8,000 members make use of the book collection of the library.
Mantralaya Central Library : The Mantralaya Central Library started functioning as the Central Library, since 11th February 1955 as a result of the recommendation of the Administrative Enquiry Committee.
The stock of books in the library consists of Central and State Government publications, reports of various committees, commissions, Gazettes, debates of Parliament and State Legislature etc. The Library also purchases English books mainly on social sciences like politics, administration, economics, history, biography and other kindred subjects excepting science and technology. Since 1960, the library has started to purchase Marathi books and journals embracing almost all subjects. The library pays subscription to all important newspapers and journals and maintains the same after binding for future reference.
During 1976, the library had 42,358 books and 200 bound volumes of periodicals. During the same year 483 books and 200 bound volumes of periodicals were added to the existing stock and 223 periodical titles were received. The expenditure of the library was Rs. 30,000 in 1975-76.( In 1982-83, the Mantralaya Library had 45,400 books and 10,000 bound volumes of periodicals. During the same year the library had 350 members and it issued about 200 books daily. The annual expenditure of the library was Rs. 90,000.)
Dadar Sarvajanik Vachanalay, Dadar : The Dadar Sarvajanik Vachanalay was established in 1907 with the object of doing a useful work in the educational and cultural fields. It is recognised by the Government as an ' A' Grade Library with free reading room. The institution was started only with 600 books and 100 members, now it has 30,000 Marathi, English and Hindi books. It is a peculiar institution of its kind in the area which provides English and Hindi books. At present the total number of membership of the library is about 2,000.
The hall of the library has been named as Kashinath Dhuru Hall after the name of the donor family. The income received from Dhuru Hall by way of rent is also used for the institution. Another spacious hall has been constructed on the 2nd floor with grant-in-aid from Maharashtra State Government for the reading room-cum-reference section.
During the year 1975-76 the institution received grant amounting to Rs. 6,000 from the Maharashtra Government, Rs. 30,000 from the Municipal Corporation and Rs. 1,000 from the Mahalaxmi Temple Trust.
The library arranges lectures of eminent personalities on different subjects, film shows and dramas. During the year 1976 the total number of books in the library was 29,565 of which 17,818 were in Marathi, 8,660 in English and 3,087 in Hindi.
During 1975-76 the income and the expenditure of the library amounted to Rs. 78,876 and Rs. 89,172, respectively.
National Library, Bandra : The National Library was established in 1917 with the object of providing reading facilities and creating liking for literature amongst them.
In 1949, the Library was registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and then under the Bombay Public Trusts Act on 3rd June 1953.
During 1976 the membership of the Library was 1,739. The library is running four branches at Bandra East, Khar East, Khar West and Mahim West. The library possesses about 40,130 books, besides 165 Marathi, 44 Gujarati, 48 Hindi, 85 English journals and periodicals and 17 dailies. Besides lending of books and magazines, it arranges cultural programmes, seminars, lectures and film shows in its own premises.
During 1976 the library received a grant of Rs. 6,000 from the Government and Rs. 75,000 from the Bombay Municipal Corporation. During the same year income and expenditure of the library amounted to Rs. 1,95,494.
The total number of books possessed by the library, on 1st February 1976, stood at 31,735, of which 15,025 were in Marathi, 3,096 in Gujarati, 2,509 in Hindi and 6,751 in English. Besides, there were 4,354 books for children in various languages.
Kandivali Hitvardhak Mandal Library : The library of Kandivali Hitvardhak Mandal was established in 1934, with the object of providing reading facilities to the people. The library section is known as H. T. Vora Smarak Library.
The library had 700 members in 1977. It possesses about 4,604 books, and readers attending the library during 1976-77 numbered 48,000.
THEATRE IN BOMBAY
Theatre in Bombay displays a fascinating variety of attributes. Sometimes while one part is dormant, the other part is dynamic, while one part is just developing, another part is historically ancient. Theatre in Bombay offers more variety than any other city in the world, even more than Tokyo. Bombay's wealth is in its heterogeneity. One comes across as many as ten different styles of theatre in as many or even more languages. There is a confluence of streams. Besides the cosmopolitan character of the city, there is another factor that gives the theatre scene here its unique piquancy. Many places in this city are linked with theatre history. Opera House, for example, signifies more than a junction of roads overlooked by a brooding building in the innards of which we see the latest movies. In the old Royal Opera House, visiting English and other European companies gave excellent drama performances. It is reminiscent of the stage performances of the best classics in English, European and Indian dramas.
Bombay is also the most prolific home of the Indian film industry. The Bombayite goes to the cinema theatre, the drama theatre, listens to classical music and generally supports the performing arts in a greater measure than other Indians.
Bombay city's first theatre came into existence in 1776.( Dr. Kumudini Mehta, English drama on the Bombay Stage, Ph.D. Thesis.) The Bombay Amateur Theatre (Ibid.) situated on the Bombay Green, on a plot of land donated by the Government was constructed in 1776. The cost of construction was met by public subscription raised from among the European residents. In its formative years the theatre also served as the venue for important social and cultural events in the life of the English community. The theatre was renovated in 1818 and reopened in 1819. It enjoyed relative prosperity in the ensuing decade. It was patronised by Mountstuart Elphinstone, and the influential among Bombay's European residents.
The theatre was born of a nostalgic starving to re-create here the atmosphere of a London play-house, and the advertisements, the notices and the critiques of dramatic performances published in the English newspapers of the time, such as the Bombay Courier, the Bombay Gazette, and the Iris, bear testimony to this starving. The taste of the English play—goer found an immediate echo here, for the plays presented on the boards of the theatre were in the main the Georgian comedies and the more entertaining among the farces, popular in the first two decades of the nineteenth century in England.
In the early years of theatre's life, when society on the Island of Bombay was more compact and intimate, amateur theatricals assumed almost a private character and perhaps some of the ladies of the settlement found no hesitation in coming forward to act. But as Bombay grew in size and importance this practice was discontinued.
By 1830, the theatre was already in a state of neglect and it had finally to be sold by auction in 1835.
The Grant Road theatre, opened on February 10, 1846, was situated in the heart of what was then called the Black Town. Towards the latter half of the century, Bombay was already transformed from a frontier outpost into a commercial and industrial centre. In the new urban setting, the area around the Grant Road theatre became Bombay's theatre land. The theatres that had sprung up in Grant Road were usually engaged by the Indian companies, and with the construction of the Gaity Theatre in 1879 English drama moved into more respectable surroundings in the Fort area.
The original dramatic efforts in Marathi and Gujarati began to reflect in this period. The moods engendered by social reform and nationalist sentiments and plays of intrinsic dramatic merit commenced to appear.
In the beginning only English dramas were performed in these theatres. Another well-known theatre during the early years of the 19th century was the Artillery theatre at Matunga. A great entertainment was held here at the beginning of November 1820, when all Bombay society, including the Governor, witnessed a performance of " Miss in her Teens and the Padlock ".
In 1909,(S.M.Edwardes' Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island) the chief European theatres in Bombay were the Novelty and the Empire. The Tivoli was in use in 1909, but was renovated and improved, and renamed as Gaity. The Empire was opened at the close of 1907. During the closing years of the 19th century, a few professional companies visited Bombay and the bulk of the theatrical performances were given by two good companies of local amateurs.
Indian drama commenced to appear in Bombay about the middle of the 19th century, the pioneer being one Mr. Rambhau, who borrowed plots for his plays from Sanskrit literature. In 1865, a Gujarati play was enacted, and between that date and 1875 a large number of Gujarati plays were enacted. The native companies utilised the theatre at Grant Road mentioned above. Subsequently four to five new theatres sprang up into existence in the neighbourhood of Grant Road, namely, the Elphinstone, the Original, the Victoria, the Ripon, and the Bombay theatres. Between 1875 and 1885, several new native dramatic companies were formed, the most popular among which were the Niti Darshak (Gujarati) and the Hindustani (Parsi). The closing years of that decade also witnessed the foundation of the Parsi Natak Mandali. This marked the substitution of the Western harmonium by the Indian soulful sarangi. In 1888, a permanent Gujarati company was formed, which purchased the Gaity.
The native theatres of Bombay presented Marathi, Gujarati and Urdu dramas. Marathi dramas were played only by touring companies, the chief among which were Kirloskar and the Shahu Nagarvasi companies. The Marathi stage opened a glorious chapter with the performance of the Shakuntal, written by Annasaheb Kirloskar, in 1880. The performance of Shakuntal gave new dimensions to Marathi stage and it marked the beginning of the glorious history of Marathi drama stage.
In 1909, there were six theatres for native performances at the junction of Falkland Road and Grant Road, in addition to the rebuilt Gaity theatre opposite Victoria Terminus station, and two theatres on Kalbadevi Road. Some of the theatres in Grant Road area were very indifferent structures acking in sanitation or accoustics. The most up-to-date theatres in the Grant Road neighbourhood were the Grand theatre, built by a Parsi actor in 1907 and the Appu's theatre, which was opened a little later.
The Parsi (Parsi Theatre- Udbhav Aur Vikas by Somnath Gupta ) theatre is supposed to be the first vernacular organised theatre. The history of theatre in Bombay is traceable to 1776 when the Bombay theatre was established. This theatre was however dominated by English drama performances. Though there were a number of efforts to give performances in vernacular by local talents, the information about the organisers is not available. The Parsi Dramatic Core established in 1853 can be regarded as the commencement of the Parsi theatre. It was in 1853 that the Core performed the ' Rustom Jaboli and Sohrab '. The Parsis established a number of theatres in Bombay in the last century as well as in the present one. A few of them may be mentioned here. The Edward theatre on Kalbadevi Road is supposed to be established during the decade 1850-60, and it was formerly a venue of Gujarati dramas. The Elphinstone was established in 1853. The Original theatre also was established in the same year. The Esplanade theatre which is no more in existence was formerly situated near the Crawford Market. The Gaity was another Parsi theatre where mainly English dramas were played. It appears to be the predecessor of the present Capitol. The Tivoli was another theatre which was mainly used by English theatrical companies. It was located at a site presently occupied by the Times of India press and office. The Novelty, said to be constructed in 1887, was popular among the Europeans. The present Excelsior theatre was established on the site of the Novelty. The Grand theatre opened in 1907 in Grant Road area was burnt in a fire in subsequent years. The Victoria theatre was built in the Grant Road area in 1870. The details of the Golpitha Natyashala in Golpitha area, the National theatre and the Ripon are not known. The Empire theatre built in 1907 was started by the Bombay City Improvement Trust, and was designed to accommodate an audience of about one thousand. It was a drama theatre upto 1930 after which it was converted into a cinema house. It is one of the old cinema theatres, and was renovated in 1948. The Royal Opera House was constructed on its present premises in 1925 by a Parsi. It was a venue of English, Marathi and Gujarati dramas upto 1935, after which it was converted into a cinema house. In those days it was supposed to be a very good theatre, the cost of construction being about Rs. 7.5 lakhs.
The Eros opposite Churchgate station was constructed in 1937. It was supposed to be an excellent addition to the theatres in Bombay, as it was exquisitely designed as per the standards of those days. It was also a venue of dramas relished by the elite in Bombay, but was subsequently converted into a cinema house.
During the course of this century Marathi drama stage made immense progress in Bombay. There is a particular class of connoiseurs of Marathi drama. The Marathi stage which celebrated its century in 1980 enjoyed a very great patronage not only from Marathi speakers but also from Gujaratis, Parsis and Hindi speakers in Bombay. Now Marathi dramas are played in a majority of the auditoriums in Bombay mentioned in the table below.
During the course of the last about 70 years a good many theatres and auditoriums were thrown open to the Bombay public. The pace of their development gathered momentum after the Second World War and Indian Independence. The introduction of electricity from the second decade of this century in theatres was an important event. Due consideration came to be given to sanitation, comfort of the audience, audition and light effects on the stage.
The growth of urbanisation and complexities of city life provided and immense stimulus to the growth of theatres after Independence. At present there is a galaxy of auditoriums in Bombay wherein drama, dance recitals and musical concerts and ballets are performed. Some of the auditoriums are exclusively given for Western music concerts and ballets, while a majority of them are patronised by companies performing Marathi and Gujarati dramas. The list of the main auditoriums in Bombay is furnished in table No. 3.
THEATRES IN BOMBAY
(The Taj Magazine, 1st quarterly, 1982.)
Name of theatre
Date of establishment
Type and language(s) of usual performances
|Homi Bhabha Auditorium
||Navy Nagar, Colaba.
||Mainly Western music concerts and ballets.
Seats 1,036, Air-conditioned, very comfortable.
||Theatre from all over India and abroad,as well as all performing arts.
||Seats 700, Now run by NCPA Excellent accoustics, Air conditioned, splendid decor Revolving Stage.
NCPA Mini Theatre
Dance, Drama, film shows and music programmes, both Indian and Western.
|Seats 114, Air-conditioned.
|| New marine Lines
||Drama, film shows and music programmes, both Indian and Western.
||Seats 750, Air-conditioned, comfortable.
Birla Matushri Sabhagriha
|New Marine Lines
Theatre in Gujarati, Marathi and
occasionally Hindi, Indian music concerts.
|Seats 1,159, Air-conditioned, Revolving Stage.
||Theatre in Marathi, Tamasha both INdian and Western music programmes.
||Seats 2,850, Open-air
|Sahitya Sangh Mandir
||Bhalerao Marg (Charni Road)
||Theatre in Marathi
||Seats 800, Air-conditioned.
||Marathi and Gujrati theatre and Indian music concerts
||Seats 600, Air-conditioned.
|Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Wilson College Road, Chowpatty.
||Theatre in Gujarati, music and dance programmes.
||Seats 700, Air-conditioned.
Theatre in Gujarati, English and
Seats 650, Air-conditioned, comfortable.
|Sophia Bhabha Auditorium
||Bhulabhai Desai Road
Theatre in English and Western
Seats 850, Air-conditioned.
|Ravindra Natya Mandir
Marathi theatre, also performances by visiting troupes and Indian music concerts.
|Seats 923, Air-conditioned, comfortable
||Near Dadar Railway Station
||Seats 1,022 Air-conditioned
|Dinanath Mangeshkar Hall
Near Vile Parle Railway Station.
Seats 950, Air-conditioned.
Near Dadar Railway Station.
||Theatre in Marathi and Hindi by amateur and experimental troupes.
||King's Circle, Sion
||Music,dance,theatre mainly by visiting troupes in Tamil,Kannada,Malayalam, Marathi.
||Seats 3,012, Biggest, Air-conditioned.
||Hindi and Marathi theatre
||Seats 900, Open-air
||Janki Kutir, Juhu
||Theatre in Hindi and English, also dance programmes.
||Seats 509, New thrust stage, Air-conditioned, garden cafeteria, Excellent snacks, also dinners by candlelight.
||Theatre in Gujrati and Marathi Indian music programme
||Seats 1,200, Air-conditioned.
N. Thakkar Hall
|Vile Parle (East)
||Theatre in Gujrati, INdian music programmes.
||Seats 650, Air-conditioned.
|Amar Grover Auditorium
||Gujrati and other performances
|Bhulabhai Desai Auditorium
||Marine Drive, BackBay Reclamation
|Cultural performances, international
conferences and educational activities.
|Bharati Kala Manaram
|Amar Hind Mandal
The Tata National Theatre (For details refer to the account of Tata National Theatre in Chapter 19.) at Nariman Point deserves a special mention. It is designed specifically to fulfill the exquisite accoustic and visual requirements of Indian classical music, dance and drama. This magnificent auditorium possesses the most sophisticated accoustic properties so as to do away with the customary reliance on artificial amplification. While maintaining the essential beauty of modern architecture, the architects have achieved their accoustic purpose by means of sophisticated devices. All extraneous noise or sound from the auditorium is eliminated by special devices. The National Centre has some features, perhaps unique in the world which distinguish it from any other auditorium in the country.
Types of Theatre in Bombay : Broadly the theatre in Bombay can be classified as professional and amateur. However the theatre can be classified more scientifically into traditional theatre and modern theatre. The traditional theatre is closer to the Natyashastra ofBharat. It comprises three sub-classes, namely, folk, temple and urban theatres. The Folk theatre aims at entertainment cherished by the lower middle class and poorer people. It covers Tamasha, Bhavai, Jatra, Chavittu Natakam, Theru Koothu, Nautanki, Bailata, Yakshagana, etc. The aim of the Temple theatre is to evoke awe and reverence, and is patronised by the religious people, mainly from the south. It comprises Kathakali, Krishnattam, Kutiyattam and Mahadevi. The Urban theatre aims at entertainment and instruction combined together, and enjoys the patronage of sophisticated urban elite and middle class.
The Modern theatre which is closer to the poetics of Aristotle but very often descending to a much lower level, aims at entertainment of the masses. It is more commercial in nature.(Taj Magazine, 1st quarterly, 1982.)
ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANISATIONS
All India Animal Welfare Association, Bombay 4 : The Association was established in 1951 at Bombay. It was at the suggestion of the Animal Welfare Delegation, sponsored by the India Society for the Protection of Animals, London that the All India Welfare Committee was changed into the All India Animals Welfare Association. It was registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950 on 14th May 1953 with a view to promote welfare of animals and birds in India and other countries.
In 1969 the association had 100 ordinary members, 25 life members and an associate member.
It received a grant of Rs. 3,450 from the Animal Welfare Board and Rs. 7,000 from the Bombay Municipal Corporation in 1968. The trustees of the Royal Western India Turf Club also gave a donation of Rs. 6,000 to the association in 1969. The association received donations of two vans, one each from the Animal Welfare Celebrations Committee and the India Society for the Protection of Animals, London in 1952 and 1967, respectively.
The association has a small staff consisting of a supervisor at the kennel, two staff members to prevent cruelties at the slaughter house and to maintain the water troughs, etc. It has also an ambulance.
The association rescues some good dogs caught by the Corporation by paying necessary charges and finding for them suitable homes. It has rescued and found homes for about 2,000 dogs so far. It looks after the welfare of dogs in the city. It can keep 50 animals in its kennel. It receives generous finances from the Bombay Humanitarian League.
The association is a member of the International Vegetarian Union. It has assets and properties valued at Rs. 31,318. Its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 39,084 in 1969.
Bombay Humanitarian League, Bombay 3 : The Bombay Humanitarian League is one of the oldest charitable humanitarian organisations established at Bombay in 1910.
It is now an all India humanitarian organisation working in various States. It is also internationally known as it gives co-operation to the international organisation for animal welfare, protection of animals, vegetarianism and prevention of cruelties in the name of science, religion, food etc. In times of famine and natural calamities it organises extensive relief operations especially for cattle and occasionally for human beings. Such relief measures were undertaken in the past in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. In Bombay the League organised influenza relief work during epidemics and provided free medical aid to people. The league takes over unclaimed animals from cattle pounds and arranges for their protection in rescue homes run by it. It also takes over weeded out animals from Aarey Milk Colony. A gosamvardhan trust was founded by the League to start an experimental cow unit at the Aarey Milk Colony to prove the potential of cows in dairy trade, and accordingly donated 225 cows.
The income and expenditure of the league amounted to Rs. 2,03,428 and Rs. 2,11,813, respectively during 1975-76.
Bombay Panjrapole Trust, Girgaum : The Bombay Panjrapole Trust, one of the largest panjrapoles (A panjrapole is an asylum for disabled animals whether the disablement be due to old age, sickness or injury.) established in the country, was started in 1834. The management of the trust is vested in a board of trustees consisting of ten Hindu and five Parsee members.
The trust maintains 1,500 animals and five herds of Gir cows. It produces nearly 5,51,000 litres of cow milk per annum and distributes it in sealed bottles to the public. It also distributes, free of cost, cows, bull calves, bullocks and best pedigree bulls to needy farmers and State Government for their key village centres and development schemes. Among the four branches established by the trust, one is functioning at Chembur.
The income and expenditure of the trust amounted to Rs. 14,62,025 and Rs. 15,00,955, respectively during 1970.
Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals, Parel : The society was founded in 1874 by Mr. Cleveland, General Bailard, the Rev. Dr. Wilson, Sir William Lee-Warner and other residents of Bombay for promotion of kindness and prevention of cruelty to animals through education, legislation and establishment of a veterinary hospital.
The society employees a corps of about 15 agents led by a field officer. They are constantly on the alert about the offences against animals and are armed with police powers under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Ten years following the birth of the Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals was founded by Sir Dinshaw Maneckjee Petit in 1884. The management and control of the hospital was vested in the hands of the committee of the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The hospital is equipped to treat all kinds of animals and birds except wild carnivora. Camels, elephants, chimpanzeas, ostriches, deer of various species, rare lemur; and pet panthers are treated as out-patients.
Of the daily average number of 100 in-patients, the majority are dogs, numbering about 60, milch cattle, cats, monkeys, horses and pet-birds. More than 60 per cent of the animals under treatment are treated free of cost or at concessional rates.
The hospital is well equipped with separate wards for different kinds of animals, surgical operation theatres, an up-to-date patho-bacterio-logical laboratory and an X-ray department in the charge of a trained radiologist.
The veterinary surgeons who treat the animals are mainly members of the teaching staff of the Government Veterinary College which is situated adjacent to the hospital.
There is an adequately staffed out-patient department functioning on all week days. About 50 patients are treated every day.
ART, LITERATURE AND CULTURAL ORGANISATIONS
Amar Hind Mandal, Dadar : The Amar Hind Mandal was established in 1947 with the main objectives of creating popular interest in social and cultural development and sports. It also strives for the welfare and progress of the public in educational, cultural and social fields.
The activities of the Mandal include conducting of sports and gymnasium, staging of dramas, a hall for social functions, offering medical aid, lecture series, educational help and other cultural activities. The Vasant Vyakhyanmala, a series of lectures in the spring season, arranged by this Mandal has been enjoying patronage of the enlightened and studious. Maharashtrians since its starting in 1947. All eminent leaders in all walks of life in Maharashtra have graced the platform of the Mandal in this series.
Mandal has been conducting its activities mainly on its own resources while it gets a petty grant from Government.
Bharatiya Music and Arts Society, Sion : The Bharatiya Music and Arts Society was established on 23rd February 1953.
The object of the society is to establish classes, schools or colleges for the study of music, dance and allied arts.
The music college of the Society had a strength of 215 students in 1975. The music classes are conducted in the premises of South Indian Welfare Society's High School at Matunga, and National Kannada High School, Wadala. In the year 1974-75 the Society introduced a seven year integrated diploma course for music, both vocal and instrumental. After completion of the course the successful candidates are awarded diploma, viz., Sangeetha Vidya Praveena. The Society conducts annual music competitions every year.
The Society had 750 members including founders, patrons, life members and ordinary members.
Bombay Art Society, Jehangir Art Gallery, Fort : The Bombay Art Society was founded in December 1888 with the object of promotion and encouragement of Art by holding exhibitions of pictures and other works of art. This is the oldest art institution in India in the field of fine arts. The society is registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.
The activities of the society include publication of an art journal, convening and conducting meetings and arranging lectures in connection with art, establishment and maintenance of a gallery for the exhibition of pictures and other works of art.
The affairs of the society are managed by a managing committee. The Governor of the State is the chief patron of the society. In 1976-77. it had 5 life members, 55 ordinary members and 15 students. The society depends for its funds upon the subscriptions of members and grants received from Government. In 1976-77 it received Rs. 2,500 from Bombay Municipal Corporation, Rs. 1,000 from Government of Maharashtra and Rs. 2,000 from Lalit Kala Academy. About Rs. 4,500 had been distributed by way of prizes. In 1976-77 the income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 33,711.
The society collected exhibits of prominent artists for an exhibition of art and its sale was organised by the Thane District Relief Committee to augment the Chief Minister's Relief Fund for the cyclone affected areas of Maharashtra. Numerous artists from all cadres belonging to Maharashtra had donated their paintings to the relief committee which were exhibited for sale. The society publishes an art journal. In 1975-76, four journals were published and sent to members, art bodies, art schools, colleges, libraries and to a number of publishers in India and abroad.
British Council, Fort : The British Council, founded in 1934, is the principal cultural agency of the United Kingdom for developing cultural relations with the Commonwealth and other countries. It is an independent non-political organisation supported by public funds, with the defined aims of promotion of a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom and the English language abroad and the development of closer cultural relations with other countries. In furtherance of the objectives, it arranges for exchange of persons in educational, cultural and other fields to and from the U.K. It also sponsors dramatic and musical performances and exhibitions.
The council established a library at Bombay in 1950 and the other two libraries are situated at Pune and Bhopal. These three libraries together have approximately 26,000 members. The British Council library in Bombay has very valuable books on all subjects. Its membership is sought for by thousands of readers. The council's income is derived entirely from public funds.
Besides, it arranges for cultural exchanges and educational visits, and strives for understanding and goodwill between India and the U.K.
Circle Litteraire, Fort : The Circle Litteraire Bibliotheque Dinshaw Petit was founded by a group of prominent Indian and European gentlemen on the 9th June 1886. The Circle Litteraire is governed by a constitute which consists of provisions of the usual kind for a cultural institution. Membership of the society is open to those interested in French language and literature.
The Circle Litteraire is a purely educational and cultural institution for the study of French and is registered as a society and as a public trust. The library consists of a fairly extensive collection of works on French literature.
Upto the beginning of the Second World War the Circle Litteraire was amongst the two or three leading cultural institutions of Bombay and its substantial membership came from every class of society. Its patrons were the successive Governors of Bombay, Sir Dinshaw Petit and the Maharaja of Kapurthala. Professors, teachers and students were also well represented. Its regular cultural and educational activities consisted of lectures, talks and discussions in French on subjects connected with French language, literature and thought, staging of French plays and various social activities. Among the famous Frenchmen felicited by the society were Pierre Loti, the celebrated novelist, and the great political figure, Georges Clemenceau. It was mainly due to the efforts of the Circle Litteraire that the University of Bombay introduced French as a subject for the Honours Degree at the B.A. and M.A. examinations.
The work of the Circle Litteraire is financed by income derived from membership fees, interest on deposits, occasional donations, etc. The society always received a very friendly encouragement from the representative of the Government of France in India from whom valuable donations of books and periodicals have been received.
Crafts Council of Western India, Malabar Hill, Bombay 6 : The Crafts Council of Western India was set up in Bombay on 28th February 1966. Subsequently in 1972, its headquarters was shifted to New Delhi and later to Madras. In order to continue the work done by the Crafts Council of India in Bombay, a new organisation, the Crafts Council of Western India was set up and registered in Bombay in June 1972. This organisation is affiliated to the national body, the Crafts Council of India, as well as to the World Crafts Council at New York, U.S.A., whose Asian headquarters is in Sydney, Australia.
The council strives to assist craftsmen in every possible way. It also aims at encouragement of craftsmen in the adoption of improved methods of manufacturing.
It holds annual crafts exhibitions at the Jehangir Art Gallery and other venues. Craftsmen from 12 States in India have benefited through the sales in Bombay.
In August 1975, the Crafts Council of Western India, invited by the Handicrafts Marketing and Service Extension Centre, Kolhapur (All India Handicrafts Board) jointly sponsored a market meet of Maharashtra crafts. About 30 crafts units participated with exhibits including embroideries, wood work, silver jewellery, dolls, batik and textiles.
Film shows, lectures and demonstrations are conducted by the council for members. In addition to demonstrations in embroidery, textile printing, pottery, glass blowing, paper making and weaving, the council proposes to make craft kits for children and to print books on craft making and collaborate with organisations which hold vacation craft training programmes. The most important task is the preservation and exhibition of the crafts of Western India.
The council has a plan to build a crafts museum and a craftsman's workshop.
It is a self supporting voluntary organisation.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Marine Lines : The Indian Council for Cultural Relations with its headquarters at New Delhi is an autonomous organisation entirely financed by the Government of India to establish and strengthen cultural relations between India and other countries. It has got branches at Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.
Activities of the council include exchange of visits of scholars, artists and men of eminence to various organisations and centres of learning. It also arranges international conferences, seminars and lectures by renowned scholars. It has maintained Indian cultural centres, and established chairs of Indian studies abroad. The council also takes care of the welfare of overseas students in India and looks after the administration of the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. It presents books and specimens of Indian art to universities, libraries and museums in other countries. It has a library containing about 25,000 volumes. The council undertakes the work of interpretation of Indian art and culture, and translation of Indian works into foreign languages. It also publishes a quarterly, viz., Indo-Asian Culture and a bi-monthly, viz., Cultural News from India, both in English, as also a quarterly journal in Arabic.
Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh, Charni Road : The Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh established on 21st July 1935, has been functioning in Bombay as an active centre for intellectuals, artists, educationists and litterateurs. The institution owes its origin to the pioneering efforts of Dr. A. N. Bhalerao. It was started as a central literary institution under the presidentship of the late Prof. A. B. Gajendragadkar.
The Sangh holds literary conferences within the limits of Greater Bombay with a view to bring together all those interested in literature. It organises seminars on literacy, cultural and educational subjects. The Sangh arranges lectures and invites prominent persons from various parts of the country.
Felicitations are also held in honour of celebrated writers, poets, editors, dramatists and actors and particularly those who visit Bombay under Government of India's cultural exchange programme. The Sangh guides and directs young men and women in the study of Marathi classics. It conducts certificate examinations in Marathi. About twenty-five devoted professors of Marathi participate in the programme of Marathi teaching by this institution. Classes for teaching Urdu and Russian languages through Marathi medium are also conducted by the Sahitya Sangh.
One of the good schemes of the Sangh is the seven memorial lecture series in commemoration of Waman Malhar Joshi, Hari Narayan Apte, Dr. A. N. Bhalerao, V. S. Khandekar, Anna Martand Joshi, Lalaji Pendse and Nath Madhav, who have adorned the literary horizons of Marathi literature and social life in Maharashtra. The Sahitya Sangh has taken keen interest since its inception in the development of Marathi theatre. It has also established a drama wing and Amrit Natya Bharati and a school for imparting education.
In 1964, the present building of the Sangh Mandir was constructed. The air conditioned theatre named after Dr. A. N. Bhalerao, consists of an auditorium with a seating accommodation of over 800, a spacious stage equipped with all modern amenities and contrivances for the performance of play and dance. Dr. Bhalerao Natya Griha is made available at concessional rates on Wednesdays for Marathi, Hindi and Sanskrit experimental drama performances.
The offices of Marathi Natya Parishad; the Granthali; the Drama Artists' Association and the Professional Marathi Drama Producers' Guild which have similar aims and objects are situated in the premises of the Sahitya Sangh.
A reference library with a collection of about 10,000 selected books has been established to commemorate the late Lt. Col. Principal, A. B. Gajendragadkar, who was the president of the Sahitya Sangh.
In 1982 the Sangh opened the N. R. Phatak Research Centre for fundamental research in Marathi stage and literature. The Municipal Corporation has given a grant of Rs. 50,000 for this centre.
The Sahitya Sangh was honoured by the Government of the German Democratic Republic by inviting the artists of the Sangh for drama recital on the occasion of silver jubilee celebration of the Republic in that country in September 1974. The theatrical troupe gave many drama performances in the G.D.R., Zurich and Berlin.
The Sangh has rendered good service in the field of Sanskrit drama.
In 1980-81 the strength of members of the Sangh was 1,353 including 1,191 life members. During the same year the income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 5,82,157.99.
National Centre for the Performing Arts, Nariman Point, Bombay-21 :
The centre originally registered as the National Institute of the Performing Arts in 1966 was renamed in 1967 as the National Centre for the Performing Arts. The main objects of the centre are, to organise, sponsor, promote and establish scientific research in various fields of fine arts and to establish a national centre for the study and performance of arts.
The centre has built a small recording auditorium, a library and studios in the premises of the Bhulabhai Auditorium. Formerly it had an auditorium donated by late Mrinalini D. Desai, the daughter-in-law of the late Bhulabhai Desai at Breach Candy. Now it has a magnificent and artistically designed auditorium at Nariman Point. Eminent connoisseurs of art and philanthropists like J. R. D. Tata are associated with this organisation. The library is equipped with proper listening facilities, records, tapes, manuscripts and has a large collection of books. Besides, the centre has established a Performing Arts Circle with about a thousand members. The centre also undertakes several research projects.
The centre has come up with the endowments and has received generous support from the Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra. The Government of Maharashtra has made available a land of 8 acres and the Government of India has sanctioned a substantial loan. The annual budget of the centre amounts to Rs. 10 lakhs.
Shanmukhanand Fine Arts and Sangeeth Sabha : The Shanmukhanand Sabha was established by a band of lovers of classical music and dance on 14th April 1944. The Sabha with an initial membership of 500 was amalgamated with a similar organisation, viz., Fine Arts, Bombay in 1950. The new institution came to be known as the " Shanmukhanand Fine Arts and Sangeeth Sabha ".
The main object of the institution is propagation of classical music, dance, drama and other fine arts and also to provide medical relief to the needy persons. This organisation has earned a good reputation in sponsoring the performances of well-known celebrities of Indian classical music and dance. The needs of the connoisseurs of performing arts in the Sion-Matunga and Suburban areas have been satisfied by it by giving performances of top-most artists belonging to various schools of music and drama.
The Shanmukhanand auditorium is the biggest and one of the most magnificent ones in Bombay. It has a seating capacity of 1,552 on the ground floor, 896 in the first balcony and 564 in the second balcony, which make a total of 3,012 seats. It is the largest fully air-conditioned multipurpose auditorium with the best ami latest accoustics. It is a popular venue of concerts of music, dance, drama, and get togethers. Since it has a huge seating capacity it is quite an economical auditorium.
The Sabha, devoted as it is to propagation of classical music, has established a school, viz., Sangeet Vidyalaya for imparting education in Karnatic vocal as well as instrumental music and also in Sitar recital in Hindustani music.
Every year the Sabha conducts music competition in which students from other institutions and private classes also take part.
The Sabha started a medical relief centre for the benefit of people of all castes. The medical centre is equipped with a pathological Laboratory, X-Ray clinic, E.C.G. Unit, Dental clinic, Eye clinic, etc. There are experts assisted by competent staff and equipment.
The facilities provided are available to the public at concessional rates. The philanthropic activities of the Sabha also include medical check up of students in the nearby schools at concessional rates.
The Sabha also arranges film shows on health and hygiene for the children of nearby schools for which admission is free. It also arranges lectures on health and hygiene for the benefit of the citizens. The Sabha also arranges lectures and demonstrations on music by eminent musicologists and instrumentalists. A quarterly journal, viz., Shanmukha devoted to music is also published.
The Sabha had 5,700 members on 30th June 1980. It received a grant of one lakh rupees from Central Government, one lakh rupees from Maharashtra Government and Rs. 25,000 from Tamil Nadu Government in Tune 1980.
The assets of the institution were worth Rs. 3,91,946 in June 1980. Its income from the music school, amounted to Rs. 1,80,981 and from the medical centre Rs. 96,726 in the year ending with June 1980.
Shilpi Kendra, Colaba Causeway : The Shilpi Kendra was establishes in December 1963. It is an organisation run by honorary workers dedicated to preserving India's rich artistic heritage and works under the guidance of the All India Handicrafts Board. The objects of Shilpi Kendra are to popularise and foster the advancement of Indian handicrafts; to help the hereditary craftsmen to continue to practise their art; and to provide them good standard of living through the sale of their handicrafts.
Every year it honours those craftsmen and craftswomen in Maharashtra, who have excelled themselves at their individual crafts by giving Master Craftsman Awards. The exhibitions of crafts are also organised in collaboration with the All India Handicrafts Board.
It maintains direct contacts with craftsmen by eliminating middle men and ensures fair returns for their labour. It also helps the craftsmen to adopt new designs and forms, and encourages to form co-operative societies. Necessary financial help for buying raw materials and machinery is offered by the Kendra.
The Kendra helps the artisans by selling the articles at home and abroad.
The Shilpi Kendra had 77 members which included 30 founder members, 14 life members and 33 ordinary members. It received a loan of Rs. 50,000 in 1967 and grant-in-aid of Rs. 25,600 in 1968 from the All India Handicrafts Board, New Delhi.
Sur-Singar Samsad, Bombay-6 : The young music enthusiasts founded an organisation under the name of Sur-Singar Samsad in 1947 to promote and popularise Indian classical music.
The Sur-Singar Samsad is a movement, rather than an institution, devoted to serve and promote the interests of both artists and public.
It holds the Swami Haridas Sangeet Sammelan once a year lasting for a week. It is one of the most popular music festivals in the country, wherein topmost Indian classical vocalists, instrumentalists and dancers participate.
The Kal-Ke-Kalakar Sangeet Sammelan is a unique venture for discovering talent. Another sammelan, viz., the Ras Ganga was started from 1966 which comprises lok sangeet and dramas. Alankar is the music circle of the Samsad which arranges for classical music programmes for its members at least once in a month. The Samsad presents titles of the Sangeet-peeth to top musicians and dancers every year. It also publishes a monthly news-bulletin, the Sur-Sandesh.
The assets of the institution were valued at Rs. 83,296 and income and expenditure was the same which amounted to Rs. 72,576 in 1975.
Vile Parle Music Circle, Vile Parle : The Vile Parle Music Circle, an eminent organisation in the field of music programmes, was established in 1958 with the efforts of Shri Sadanand Danait, Umakant Deshpande, the late Nanda Patkar and others to provide a high standard of musical entertainment to the residents of Bombay. A band of enthusiastic lovers of music have launched this organisation which has won the patronage of hundreds of connoisseurs of music.
The organisation was inaugurated on 16th August 1958 under the presidentship of M. C. Chhagla, the then Chief Justice of Bombay. This function has become memorable because Surashri Kesarbai Kerkar, the exponent of the Jaipur School of music gave concert of classical vocal music.
The circle was registered under The Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950 on 4th April 1960. The aims and objects of the institution are to promote music and other fine arts, to facilitate and spread education in music and other fine arts by establishing classes and academics for imparting scientific knowledge of Hindustani Classical music and other fine arts. It is to the credit of this organisation that it arranged musical concerts of celebrated artists, such as Smt. Kesarbai Kerkar, Smt. Gangubai Hangal, Smt. Hirabai Badodekar, Ustad Abdul Halim Jafer, Smt. Laxmi Shankar, Shri Bhimsen Joshi, Shri Vasantrao Deshpande, Shri Nikhil Bannerjee, Ustad Allah Rakha, Pandit Ravishankar, Smt. Manik Varma, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Kumar Gandharv, Ali Akbar Khan, Smt. Shobha Gurtu and almost all other contemporary artists. In addition to the regular bi-monthly programmes, the circle also arranges for some special programmes which attract music lovers from distant suburbs and parts of the city. The circle is recognised by the Sangeet Natak Academy since January 1961 as an important organisation in the field. The Sangeet Academy of the circle started functioning from 1st July 1980. Through the Sangeet Academy systematic training in vocal classical music and natya sangeet is being imparted to the students under the guidance of Dr. Mrs. Jyotsna Mohile. About forty-six students were enrolled within a span of one year. It is affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya for purposes of examinations since April 1981.
The circle has formed Natya Shakha for the purpose of encouraging dramatic talent. It also gives instruction in drama performances and connected matters. The Circle organises drama festival staging selected dramas.
Shri P. L. Deshpande, a talented Marathi litterateur and connoisseur of music, takes a interest in the activities of the circle. His guidance to the Natya Shakha is worthy of mention.
The Parle Music Circle had on its roll about 1,044 members in June 1981. The assets of the institution as on June 1981 were worth Rs. 4,72,395 while its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 71,991.
The institution receives an humble grant of about Rs. 3,000 from the Government of Maharashtra.
Babulnath Mandir Charities, Girgaum Chowpati : The Babulnath temple and the other properties were declared to be a religious public charity, and trustees were appointed for its administration on 8th October 1883. The objectives of the trust are : (1) to maintain the temple of Shri Babulnath Mahadeo and other temples attached thereto, (2) to maintain a Sanskrit pathshala to spread Sanskrit education and Vedant philosophy, (3) to protect cows and help the people in case of famine, flood and other natural calamities, and (4) to help educational and medical institutions.
The trust is managed by the trustees appointed under the scheme framed by the High Court. The trust has been helping other social,religious and educational institutions by giving donations within the limits fixed by the High Court. The Babulnath temple is one of the most revered and sacred Hindu temples in Bombay; it is said to have taken its name from the individual, who built the original shrine about 1780. A new and larger temple was commenced in 1836. The present temple with its high spire and pillared hall and terrace was completed about 1900. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is frequented by hundreds of devotees daily. It is situated at the foot of the Malabar Hill on Pedder Road side.
Rao Bahadur Anant Shivaji Desai Topiwala Charity, Girgaum : This charitable trust was established in 1926, with the objects to provide scholarships and financial aid to the poor and needy students from the Kudal Deshastha Gaud Brahmin community.
The institution provides scholarships worth about Rs. 5,500 every year to nearly 50 students and financial assistance to 20 poor and needy individuals amounting to Rs. 2,000. During 1967-68, the annual income and expenditure of the institution amounted to Rs. 45,000. The institution possesses property worth Rs. 7,00,000.
Saurashtra Trust, Fort : The Saurashtra Trust was founded in 1931 with the objects of conducting or aiding schools, colleges, and libraries, providing medical aid to the people and also relief to human beings or animals during times of famine or distress; and helping different societies and institutions having similar charitable objects.
Sheth Gokuldas Tejpal Charities, Fort : This is one of the oldest charitable organisations in Bombay which was established in February 1882. It is an educational, religious and charitable institution. It runs two free boarding schools in Bombay, viz.: (1) Sheth G. T. Free Boarding School, which gives admission to college students, and (2) Sheth G. T. Dormitory Hostel, which provides lodging accommodation to bona fide students on payment of Rs. 200 per month. Both the schools give concessions to poor and deserving students. The former Prime Minister of India, Shri Morarji Desai had stayed at the Gokuldas Tejpal free boarding house for four and a half years during his college days. A number of others who later became very eminent in various fields also received free boarding facility at this institution. They include Prof. C. N. Vakil, the well-known economist; Prof. Welankar, a Sanskrit scholar; Shri N. H. Bhagwati, a Supreme Court Ju.dge and Vice-Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University; Shri C. M. Patel; Shri M. B. Amin and Shri Chandulal Trivedi, a Governor and member of the Planning Commission of India. The first session of the Indian National Congress in 1885 had been held in the Sanskrit Pathshala which was situated in the same compound as the G. T. boarding house. Besides, the institution conducts high schools including two girls' high schools and a Sanskrit Pathshala in Bombay and four high schools in Kutch.
The institution incurred an expenditure of Rs. 13,81,221 in 1968 on educational activities.
Sheth G. T. Hospital which was originally established by this trust in 1874 was subsequently handed over to the Government of Bombay Presidency for management on specific condition that the name of Sheth Gokuldas Tejpal be retained for ever. Now the Hospital is under management of the Government of Maharashtra.
The institution has constructed two temples of Shri Laxminarayan, one in Bombay and the other at Kothara in Kutch. It also manages two charitable funds viz., Bhatia Destitute Relief Fund and the Bai Jamnabai and Bai Manekbai Dharma Fund.
The assets of the institution amounted to Rs. 90,27,667 and its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 16,81,782 in 1967-68.
Shri Mahalaxmi Temple Charities, Mahalaxmi : The Mahalaxmi temple situated on a small hillock overlooking the Hornby Vellard Causeway on the western side of the island of Bombay was built by Ramaji Shivaji in the eighteenth century. For the management of the temple, a scheme was framed by the High Court and the trustees took charge of the temple under the said scheme in 1935. The trustees were appointed in 1935. Board of Trustees have five prominent members of the Hindu community.
The source of income of the trust consists of donations from the public and sale proceeds from coconuts and clothes. The trust gives scholarships to the deserving students and also donations to various educational institutions and hospitals.
Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Fort : Sir Ratan Tata Trust was established in 1919 for philanthropical work aimed at amelioration of human suffering and for other work of public utility. The trust is managed by a board of trustees. Since its establishment the trust has disbursed Rs. 3,55,20,391 for various objects like education, medical relief and social welfare. It has helped towards the establishment of some leading educational, medical and social welfare institutions. It contributed Rs. 11,70,000 for the establishment of the National Metallurgical Laboratory at Jamshedpur. Jointly with other Tata Trusts, it has also contributed substantially towards the establishment of various institutions like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tata Memorial Hospital and Cancer Research Society, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, all situated in Bombay; the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore; Tata Blood Bank and Transfusion Service; Tata Agricultural and Rural Training Centre for the Blind, etc. Two recent Tata projects undertaken by the trust are the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Bombay and the J. N. Tata Memorial Centre at Navsari.
The Trust does not receive donations or grants from other trusts or individuals. A very large number of social welfare agencies both from the State of Maharashtra and other States in India are helped by this trust in their welfare work. It also gives substantial donations to National Funds like Prime Minister's Relief Fund, etc. Over and above these donations, relief and rehabilitation work of victims of natural calamities are undertaken by the Tata Relief Team to which donations are given by the trust. Such relief work was undertaken for the victims of earthquake, floods and cyclones in various parts of the country.
CHILD WELFARE ORGANISATIONS
Balkan-Ji-Bari, Santa Cruz (Juhu Road) : " Balkan-Ji-Bari" literally means children's own garden. It was established in 1923. The organisation aims at making children happy and to imbibe in them the spirit of sharing or giving rather than taking. Its motto is education and entertainment.
The activities of Balkan-Ji-Bari are based on the belief that recreation is a medium of education. By providing recreation in leisure time it tries to develop a sense of responsibility and other civic virtues in children. It conducts children's recreational centres, libraries, workshops and hobby clubs, nursery schools, child guidance clinics and ashramshalas in rural areas. It exerts to have a uniform legislation for children all over the country. It celebrates festivals, and publishes literature for children and on child welfare. It also conducts a pen-friends club and arranges for exchange of gifts, thus bringing children of different States and countries in close touch with one another. It makes efforts to retain in children the beauty and fragrance of life.
Balkan-Ji-Bari has also its youth section—Akhil Hind Yuvak Sangh (All India Youth Association) to satisfy the physical, mental, social and psychological requirements of youths. The Balkan-ji-Bari has branches throughout India and its activities are carried out by voluntary workers. The training camps are organised for these workers at different centres and a regular training institute for child welfare is located at Bombay. Besides, social workers' conferences and seminars on various topics connected with child welfare are arranged.
Balkan-ji-Bari has connections with almost all child welfare organisations of different countries in the world.
The assets of the institution were valued at Rs. 3,08,197 and its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 25,444 in 1970-71.
Bombay Mothers and Children Welfare Society, Worli : The society was established in 1919 and was subsequently registered in November 1946 to promote maternity and child welfare by providing medical services, food, clothing, etc., to mothers and children in the State. The society is carrying out various activities both in Bombay and in rural areas. It runs two maternity homes, one at Worli and the other at Delisle Road in Bombay where pre-natal, natal and post-natal services are made available. Routine examination of blood, urine and stool is also done at both the centres. Besides, it conducts auxiliary nurse-cum-midwives diploma courses with the Central Government aid. The centres together have trained 2,371 dais, 1,000 midwives, 800 health visitors and 150 auxiliary nurses till the end of March 1971. They also, strive for family planning programme and run a well-baby clinic and a Bal Mandir at Delisle Road. The clinic was started in April 1970 where on an average 35 children are given medical treatment at each attendance. The Bal Mandir was started on October 1955. It runs a nursery school. The society also runs a centre at Cotton Green where ailing mothers and children are given medical treatment. The Indian Council of Medical Research conducts a family planning clinic and research centre in the premises of the Dadar centre of the society.
Among the mofussil areas, welfare work is carried out at the health units at Khed in Pune district, at Bhilawadi in Sangli district and at Miri in Ahmadnagar district. The Bhilawadi centre has got two sub-centres, one at Ashta and the other at Walva. These units provide medical facilities similar to those at the centres at Bombay, except for training courses. Various facilities such as gynaecological clinic, paediatric clinic, pathological laboratory and mobile dispensary are attached to these units.
The total income and expenditure of the society amounted to Rs. 5,33,288 and Rs. 6,12,126, respectively in 1970-71.
Children's Aid Society, Mahim : The society started functioning in the old jail at Dongri on 1st May 1927 by establishing a remand home for about 100 children. Subsequently however, an urgent need for a certified school for younger children was keenly felt. It was with the efforts of Shri K. M. Munshi and Shri Morarji Desai that the Chembur Children Home came into being in 1939. The Government also handed over the management of the David Sassoon Industrial School at Mahim to the society in 1939.
In 1941 the society organised a special institution near the Chembur Children's Home for the mentally deficient children.
The society also entered into new areas of work. It started preventive service under the Juvenile Service Bureau in 1954. At present it runs about 12 preventive centres in the city wherein about 1,500 children are accommodated and brought up properly.
The Children's Aid Society has under it a network of institutions, the details of which are given below:
Date of Establishment
No. of children admitted
Remand Home, Umarkhadi.
New Remand Home, Mankhurd.
David Sassoon Industrial School, Matunga.
11,473 (since 1925)
Chembur Children's Home, Mankhurd.
Home for the Mentally Deficient Children, Mankhurd.
Juvenile Service Bureau
The various institutions take care of the juvenile offenders, socially and physically handicapped children, uncontrollable children and victimised children. In the city of Bombay about 3,000 children are taken charge of every year under the Bombay Children's Act and brought to the society's remand homes. The juvenile court plans out the rehabilitation programme for each of them with the assistance of the society's probation officers. The remand homes of the society received over 92,000 children since 1927. Some children are sent to their parents after warning or after taking bonds for their proper care by their parents. Some children who cannot be dealt with under the above corrective measures are sent to certified schools, where training is given in liberal education and crafts.
The society has a governing council of 24 members under the presidentship of the Home Minister of the State. The council has six members elected by the general body, six members nominated by the State Government, four representatives of the Bombay Municipal Corporation including the Mayor, and the Municipal Commissioner, the Police Commissioner, the Secretary, of Social Welfare Department of the State Government and other representatives of social work agencies. The chairman of the society is nominated by the State Government from amongst the members of the council. Each of the institutions has a superintendent to look after its management.
The society has a staff of about 300 workers most of whom have received specialised training in the work of juvenile correction at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
The society annually spends about seventeen lakhs of rupees on its activities. The income consists of grants from the State Government, Bombay Municipal Corporation, Public Charities and sale proceeds of articles made by the children.
The assets of the society were valued at Rs. 16,63,940 on 31st March 1971, while its income and expenditure during the same year amounted to Rs. 16,75,031 and Rs. 19,66,945, respectively.
Children's Film Society, Worli : The society was established in May 1955, under the Societies Registration Act of 1860, to produce, distribute and exhibit films specially suitable for children and young people. This was based on the recommendations of the Film Enquiry Committee which was set-up by the Government of India in 1949.
The Society is the only national agency ( The registered office of the society is situated at New Delhi and its administrative office is at Worli in Bombay.) in the country engaged in utilising the medium of film in entertaining and educating children and young people in the country. It also maintains liaison with similar organisations in foreign countries.
The affairs of the Society are managed by an executive council consisting of seven members, appointed by the Government of India from amongst the representatives of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Finance, and three non-official members. The Society has liaison with some State Governments, union territories and local bodies. The Society has its own production unit which has produced so far 75 films including feature films, short films, cartoon and puppet films, compilations and adaptations. About 12 films have won national and international awards at various film festivals. On an average more than five million people including adults see its films at commercial, non-commercial and free shows organised by the society or Central and State Government departments.
In 1969 the working of the Children's Film Society vis-a-vis the future of the children's film movement in India was examined by a high level committee of the Government of India. The study team recommended amendment to the rules of the society to make it more broad-based for involving all the official and non-official agencies in the country which are engaged in the children's welfare programme, art and culture or television. The recommendations of the study team have been accepted by the society and also by the Government of India in principle.
The finances of the society accrue from grant-in-aid from the Government of India, affiliate membership fees of the State Government, union territories and local bodies, exhibition receipts, sale of prints, film library membership fees, and export of films for screening abroad and TV and theatrical circuits. The Society received grant-in-aid from the Government of India amounting to Rs. 7,89,108 and revenue from its own sources amounting to Rs. 5,01,478 in 1970-71, while its expenditure in the same year amounted to Rs. 12,94,748.
Child Welfare Workers' Association, Santa Cruz : It is an association of the former students of the Balkan-ji-Bari Training Institute for Child Welfare which was founded in 1953 by Dada Shewak Bhojraj.
The objectives of the association are to assist in the advancement of education of children, to prevent cruelty to children, to maintain milk distribution centres for children, children's health centres, nursery schools, etc. The association renders service to various institutions contributing to child welfare. It arranges periodical lectures, discussions, outings, conferences, seminars and surveys on matters of interest to children, and for the furtherance of child welfare movement. The children's days, national days and other social festivities are also observed.
Maharashtra State Council for Child Welfare, Worli : The Maharashtra State Council for Child Welfare was established in 1952 mainly to take over the responsibilities of the Bombay State Committee for the United Nations Appeal for Children and to carry on work for the welfare of children in Maharashtra State. The main aim of the Council is to initiate, undertake and aid, directly or through its branches, schemes for the furtherance of child welfare in Maharashtra State.
The State Council encourages the formation of District Councils which are affiliated to the Council to work for its aims and objects.
The total number of members of the State Council in 1975-76 was 102, of which 43 were life members, 26 ordinary members, 18 institutional members and 15 District Councils. The Council has formed six committees for different activities.
The Maharashtra State Council for Child Welfare which is working in the field of child welfare all over Maharashtra conducts the following schemes in Bombay City:—
(1) Hospital Work : This programme was started at J. J. Group of Hospitals in 1967 which was extended to St. George's and Nair Hospitals also from 1975-76. The programme provides recreational activities and opportunities to the ailing children in these hospitals.
(2)Bhandup Complex : The Council runs a creche and balwadi for children from the poor class, particularly the workers on the water purification project at Bhandup. Around 120 children are benefited by this. The children are given nutritious diet at the centre. Efforts are made to inculcate habits of cleanliness and hygiene and also to prepare a base for further schooling.
(3) Aurobindo Centre : This centre was started in 1976 in collaboration with the Society for Clean City of Bombay. The Centre maintains a balwadi at Bandra for the children coming from the surrounding slums. There are about 90 children attending the balwadi. The purpose of the programme is to inculcate health habits and also to prepare children for a school.
During 1975-76, the income and expenditure of the council amounted to Rs. 63,595 and 66,113, respectively.
Manav Seva Sangh (Bal Niketan), Sion : The Sangh was formerly known as Hindu Deen Daya Sangh which was started in a humble way in the J. J. Hospital compound in Bombay in 1924 to meet the needs of the poor and the destitute. Shri Jamnadas Mehta, the then Mayor of the city, inaugurated the newly constructed home in 1936. The Sangh was registered under the Societies Registration Act on 23rd April 1936. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel presided over its second anniversary in 1938. Seth Govindram Seksaria donated Rs. 50,000 in 1940 for constructing a building for the Sangh. The Central Social Welfare Board and the Government of Maharashtra granted Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 30,000, respectively to the Sangh in 1956 and 1960. It has been functioning as a voluntary social welfare organisation giving protection to orphan children irrespective of their caste and creed, and enabling them to grow into useful and responsible citizens.
Children are brought to the Sangh from juvenile courts, police stations, municipal hospitals, welfare organisations, etc. Illegitimate children are handed over to the institution. Under exceptional circumstances it takes care of children on temporary shelter basis for short specified periods from parents and guardians who are in difficult circumstances. It functions primarily as a fondling home and provides congenial surroundings, educational and vocational training and medical care to children.
The institution is in a position to house about 200 children. Till 1970-71 it took care of about 2,652 children.
It has at its service a medical officer, a lady superintendent, a full time qualified nurse, an experienced matron and caretakers. In cases of major ailments the children are referred to local hospitals. The Indian Red Cross Society has also donated it useful medical equipment.
The institute runs a Montessori class for children within the age group of 3 to 6 years, while the grown-up children go to primary and secondary schools in the vicinity. Much attention is paid to the recreational activities of the children.
The institute gets the grown-up girls married to suitable persons. Children are also given to foster-parents for rearing up. It is a matter of gratification that parents from western countries like Sweden and France have taken children from the home.
The institute is recognised as a centre of studies for students of social work. In 1969-70, seven students were deputed by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences for studies in social research, child-welfare and medical and psychiatric social work.
The institute had 328 members in 1970-71. The total number of children under care, and income and expenditure of the institute for the past few years, was as follows :—
No of children
Its steady progress in many directions of child protection and rehabilitation has received recognition and financial support from the Director of Social Welfare, Maharashtra State; Central Social Welfare Board, New Delhi; Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay; Public Trusts, industrial concerns, commercial houses, philanthropists and well-wishers. The property and assets of the institution valued at Rs. 10.02.110 as on 31st March 1971.
Society for Protection of Children in Western India, Matunga : The
Society was established in March 1916 with a view to provide a home and give shelter to orphan children, educate them and make them good and responsible citizens. The ' Home' of the society is known as the Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Home for the Children.
In 1969 there were 169 life members, 36 ordinary members and 93 associate members.
The assets of the society were valued at Rs. 32,477 in 1968-69. The donations received by it in the same year amounted to Rs.24,854. It also received a grant-in-aid of Rs. 43,982 and recreational grant of Rs.250 from the State Government towards the maintenance of juvenile court committed children. The total receipts from grants, donations, subscriptions, etc., amounted to Rs. 1,35,059, while the total expenditure came to Rs. 1,74,148 in 1968-69.
There were 154 children in the home including after care children. The cost of maintaining one child in the home was about Rs. 64.20 per month excluding the cost of foodgrains in 1968-69. The average age of children was 11 years. The number of Juvenile Court committed children during the year was 120.
Apart from education the home runs printing, tailoring, weaving and music classes. The home also makes arrangements for various training courses for nurses, teachers, gramsevika, etc. The court committed girls who wish to get employed outside are sent to the Jhabwala After Care Home for Girls at Borivali after the age of 18 years, while boys are sent to the After Care Hostel or other State Homes.
Welfare Society for Destitute Children, Bandra : This institution was established on 27th November 1957 at Mount Mary's Hill, Bandra with the object to educate destitute children irrespective of their caste and community. It provided basic education and useful knowledge to earn their livelihood by establishing a workshop for cottage industries, handicrafts and small scale industries. It has started homes for the destitute children, training centres for social workers and a free medical dispensary. The institution is working for inter-religious understanding and communal harmony for strengthening social solidarity and national unity.
During 1970 there were 136 children in the school, of whom 82 were provided with residential facilities.
The income and expenditure of the society amounted to Rs. 20,717 and Rs. 11,889, respectively in 1971.
CULTURAL RELATIONS WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES
Indian Institute of Asian Studies, Andheri : The Asian Research Institute, established in 1956, was subsequently reorganised and named in 1963 as the Indian Institute of Asian Studies. The aims and objects of the Institute are to study the present structure and future prospects of the Asian economy with possibilities of stimulating its rate of growth and of intra-Asian economic co-operation. It also undertakes studies on the problems incidental to economic growth in Asian countries. It functions as a clearing house of information which is done through publications. The Indian Institute of Asian Studies has maintained a library with a small collection of books and journals.
Indo-American Society, Fort : The Indo-American Society, established in 1959, is a cultural and educational organisation devoted for the promotion of understanding between India and the United States of America.
The society had 4,500 members of which nearly 30 per cent were students of different colleges in Bombay in 1976.
The society conducts various programmes such as management training programmes, cultural exchanges, organisation of lectures, group discussions and exhibitions which are of mutual benefit to Indians and Americans. The society runs a library having a collection of more than 3,000 books for members.
The assets of the society were valued at Rs. 97,651, while its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 1,11,125 in 1974-75.
Indo-Arab Society, Fort : The society was established on 3rd November 1954, with the objective of building closer ties between India and the Arab countries in cultural, social and educational fields, and to foster trade and commerce between India and the Arab countries. The membership of society consists of patrons, life members, ordinary members, honorary members, associates and students.
The society meets its expenses through membership fees and donations.It is housed in well furnished premises and also has its own library, where research students come for studies.
The society strives to achieve its objects by holding several receptions, lectures and symposiums in honour of visiting Arab dignitaries as also prominent Indian personalities.
Indo-Japanese Association, Rampart Row, Fort : The Indo-Japanese Association was established in February 1954 as a cultural organisation to promote better understanding, co-operation and friendship between the people of India and Japan. It is one of the biggest organisations of its type in India, working for international relationship.
It has about 1,200 members including founders, members, life members, corporate supporting members, ordinary members and student members.
The Association organised during the last 23 years varied activities which include conduction of Japanese language classes, flower arrangement classes, handicraft classes, regular screening of Japanese documentary and feature films, presentation of well-known Japanese dance troupes, exhibitions of paintings, photography, handicrafts, etc. Academic programmes for the benefit of teachers for upgrading their knowledge about contemporary Japan include organising annual Ikebana contests, study tours to Japan, youth exchange programmes. It has an excellent library on Japanalogy, translation department, and it arranges for cultural delegations and tourist facilities. All its activities in the field of educational, cultural, and social work are towards the enrichment of life.
No financial assistance is received by it from the Japanese or the India Government. Funds are raised by organising cultural programmes to meet the expenses.
Indo-Malaysia Society, Fort : The Indo-Malaysia Society was established in 1957 to promote cultural and business relations between India and Malaysia. Over the years, the society has made an earnest endeavour to promote friendly relations between the people of India and Malaysia. It has in the pursuit of its objectives, endeavoured to promote with a view to promote trade and joint ventures in Malaysia, held film shows on Malaysia, maintained close liaison with Malaysian students and trainees in India. Whenever high dignitaries from Malaysia pass through Bombay, efforts are made by the Society to arrange reception in their honour.
Indo-Mauritius Society, Colaba : The Indo-Mauritius Society was formed in 1965, with the main object of bringing Mauritius and India closer by exchange of economic and cultural delegations. It arranges lectures, films and debates for promotion of Indo-Mauritius friendship.
It has about 1,500 invitees on its roll from all walks of life. Whenever any functions are held expenses incurred are contributed voluntarily by the committee of hosts.
Indo-Swiss Society, Fort : The Indo-Swiss Society, a non-pohtical and non-sectarian organisation, aims at promotion of greater goodwill and amity between the people of India and Switzerland. It also aims at encouraging true appreciation of the art, literature, culture and philosophy of India and Switzerland.
The Society was established in 1969 and was registered in 1971. In 1976, membership of the society consisted of 3 patrons, 36 life members, 6 institutional members and 80 ordinary members.
In the span of last eight years the society has made remarkable progress in its social, cultural and educational activities. In 1970 it had organised an exhibition, " spotlight on Switzerland ".
By organising exhibitions and issuing posters, it has provided an insight into art, culture, industries and other facets of life in Switzerland. Film shows are organised for the benefit of members. Active assistance is rendered for exhibitions organised in Switzerland showing art and culture of India. It also provides assistance to Indian students who desire to go to Switzerland for advance studies.
The source of income of the society is from subscriptions received from its members and donations from general public.
Iran League, Fort : The Iran League was founded in 1922 for establishing closer cultural and friendly contacts between Iran and the Parsis of India, to ameliorate their conditions and to strive for their uplift. It also encourages Parsis to visit their old land.
It issues a " Quarterly News Letter " and arranges lectures on Iranian activities.
Max Mueller Bhavan, Fort: The Max Mueller Bhavan is a branch of the Goethe-Institute, Munich, a private institution promoted by the German Government and working within the framework of the cultural agreement between India and the Federal Republic of Germany. The Max Mueller Bhavan, Bombay, was established in December 1968 Indo-German cultural relations, through a better understanding of both the countries, and co-operation in the fields of culture, arts, sciences and other spheres of learning.
Besides conducting German language courses, the cultural activities of the Max Mueller Bhavan include concerts, lectures, exhibitions and film shows. It has a library having 6,500 books.
(information regarding various colleges in Greater Bombay is based on the " Centenary Souvenir" (18-7-1957) of University of Bombay.)
Anjuman-i-Islam, Fort : The Anjuman-i-Islam was founded in 1875 (For history and role of leaders like Badruddin Tyabji see Chapter-2, History-Modern Period.) and registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1913, with the objects of promoting educational, social, economic and general welfare of Muslims.
It conducts a girls school, a commerce college, a technical school, a hostel for the needy students and the Urdu Research Institution. A number of students belonging to the Muslim community have taken advantage of the educational facilities offered by this society.
It also looks after the welfare of its employees by forming a co-operative credit society to solve their financial difficulties.
The income and expenditure of the Anjuman was the same amounting to Rs. 2,73,519 in 1968-69.
Aryan Education Society, Girgaum : The Aryan Education Society was founded in 1897 by Late Babasaheb Jayakar Diwan Bahadur, and some other educationists and social workers to propagate education amongst Indians.
The founders of the society had the goal of cultivation of respect for the mother-land and our culture in an era when missionary schools were very active in the propagation of western education and religion in India.
At present the society conducts six institutions in Bombay including two high schools, one each for boys and girls, a training college for women, a primary school and a montessori class. Of these institutions, five are located in Bombay.
The Society had property and assets worth Rs. 13,11,749 while its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 1,06,632 in 1973-74.
Ayurvidya Frasarak Mandal, Sion : The Mandal was established in June 1947, with the object of conducting research and modernisation of ayurvedic studies and providing instructions in the field of ayurved.
At present it runs two ayurvedic dharmarth hospitals, two dispensaries and an ayurvedic college.
At the end of March 1969 the fixed assets of the mandal amounted to Rs. 1,98,328.55, while its total income and expenditure stood at Rs. 2,00,437.50 and Rs. 2,96,782.45, respectively.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chowpati : The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is an institution with a missionary zeal established with the objective of integration of Indian culture in the light of modern needs and resuscitation of its fundamental values. The origin of the Bhavan can be traced to the Sahitya Sansad, Bombay, which was founded by K. M. Munshi in March 1922 with the object of developing and spreading the culture of Gujarat. The Bhavan with broader objectives was founded on November 7, 1938. The founder members included men of eminence like Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Sir Chimanlal Setalvad, and Sir Harsiddhabhai Divatia who has since been one of its main bulworks. The Bhavan was registered on April 20, 1939 under the Societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860, and in 1952 under the Bombay Public Trusts Act. It started its endeavour, with studies in Sanskrit, Indian History and Culture, and Gujarati and Hindi.
The generous donation of Shri Mungalal Goenka enabled the establishment of the Mungalal Goenka Institute in 1939 for higher Sanskrit studies, which was later developed into the Mungalal Goenka Samshodhan Mandir (Post-Graduate and Research Institute).
The initial activities of the Bhavan were started in the premises of the Fellowship School on June 1, 1939 which were transferred to rented premises at Andheri. The department of Jain studies was opened soon after with the co-operation of the Gujarati Sahitya Parishad. On September 1, 1939, the Mumbadevi Sanskrit Pathashala was opened as part of the Bhavan, with the help of the Mumbadevi Trust. In 1940, Nagardas Raghunathdas Jyotish Shikshapith was founded, and the beginning of a library was made. In the same year, land measuring about eleven acres at Andheri was purchased from Government.
On September 14, 1940, Mr. Munshi laid the foundation stone of the building, which when completed in 1941, was opened by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.
During 1943-47, there was considerable expansion of the Bhavan's activities. This period witnessed the opening of Jain Shastra Shikshapith in 1943-44; Bharatiya Itihasa Vibhag in 1944; the starting of the Gita Vidyalaya and the institution of the Bhavan's own examination in Sanskrit and Gita in 1945; the inauguration by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel of the Bhavan's Megji Mathuradas Arts College and Narrondass Manordass Institute of Science in 1946; the development of the Mumbadevi Sanskrit Pathashala into the Mumbadevi Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya in 1946-47; and the starting of the Munshi Saraswati Mandir including the library and the Museum in 1947.
The rented premises on Harvey Road together with the adjoining properties were purchased by the Bhavan in year 1946 with a view to constructing a Central Home for the Bhavan in the city. The new building was completed in 1949 at the cost of Rs. 18 lakhs. C. Rajagopalachari, the first Indian Governor General of India, inaugurated the new building on August 8, 1949. This Central Home of the Bhavan has proved to be the hub of cultural activity in Bombay.
In 1951, the Bhavan's Book University was organised. In the same year the Sanskrit Vishva Parishad (World Academy of Sanskrit) was also sponsored by the Bhavan. In 1954, the Bhavan's College of Arts was shifted from Andheri to Chowpati and the Bhavan's Journal, a fortnightly devoted to life, literature and culture was started. The Bharatiya Nartan Shikshapith giving instructions in Indian Classical dances was an important addition to the Bhavan's activities. The Bhavan's College of Journalism, Advertising and Printing was inaugurated in 1961. The Sardar Patel College of Engineering in Bhavan's Campus at Andheri was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India in 1962. Bhavan's Hazarimal Somani College of Arts and Science at Chowpatty was started in 1965.
In 1966, the Bhavan International department was inaugurated by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. The Babulnath Kikabhai Kushal Brahma-Karmodaya Pathashala was opened as a part of the Bhavan's Mumbadevi Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya in 1966. In 1971, the campus at Andheri was renamed as Munshi Nagar in sacred memory of Kulpati Dr. K. M. Munshi, and in 1973 the building of the Bhavan in city was named as Munshi Sadan on the 87th birthday of Dr. K. M. Munshi. In the same year the College of communication and management was renamed as Bhavan's Pranlal Devkaran Nanjee College of Mass Communication. The Mumbadevi Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya of the Bhavan started functioning as Adarsh Sanskrit Pathashala under the Government of India scheme. The department of Ancient Insights and Modern Discoveries was constituted in 1977 for correlating ancient insights to modern discoveries. In 1978, the Department of Foundation and Cultural courses was started. The book extension counter and own your own library schemes were launched in 1980. In the same year Jayramdas Patel College of Commerce was started at Chowpati, Haji Rashid Jaffer College of Commerce was started at Andheri and N. M. Jalundhawala Laboratory of Electronics and Radio Communication was added to the Bhavan's Hazarimal Somani College of Arts and Science at Chowpati.
The establishment of the Rajaji International Institute of Public Affairs and Administration offering a practical course in the method of functioning of true democratic system which was initiated in 1980 was one of the most ambitious and prestigious projects of the Bhavan.
The British Prime Minister, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, laid the foundation stone on 17th April 1981, for the latest venture of the Bhavan in the educational sphere, the Rs. 200 lakh, Bhavan's Shriyans Prasad Jain Institute of Management and Research at Bhavan's Andheri campus.
The Bhavan's associate body, the Sanskrit Vishva Parishad, World Academy of Sanskrit, has many branches all over India and even abroad.
The Bharatiya Stree Seva Sangh, the Bombay Astrological Society, the Sahitya Sansad and the Gujarati Sahitya Parishad are also affiliated to the Bhavan, and conduct their activities in its premises.
The Bhavan has centres and branches at 28 places in India and abroad in United Kingdom and United States of America (New York). The United Kingdom centre of the Bhavan was opened in 1972.
The Bhavan has now developed into a miniature university with its dozen and odd constituent institutions imparting education in subjects ranging from Sanskrit, music, dance, arts, science, engineering, technology, journalism, advertising, public relations, modern management, printing, radio, television and other media of mass communication, and foreign languages like French, Spanish, Russian, German and Japanese. The Bhavan's monumental publication of History and Culture of the Indian People in 11 volumes which was started in 1946 was completed in 1978. The book university series, journals in English, Sanskrit, Hindi and Gujarati and research work in Sanskrit and allied languages, its efforts in resuscitating Sanskritic studies, in popularizing amateur theatricals, reviving folk art etc. are an outstanding and everlasting contribution of the Bhavan to the cause of education, culture and oriental learning.
Bombay Adult Education Association, Fort : The Bombay Adult Education Association was inaugurated in 1934 with the objective to promote educational interests of adults and to co-ordinate university extension courses by undertaking extension courses for educated adults, literacy and post-literacy classes for mill-hands, factory workers and free reading rooms and libraries.
Many.persons including college students are receiving benefits of library started by the association. So also about 15,000 educated adults have taken advantage of the extension classes and nearly 9,000 illiterate mill-hands were made literate.
The membership of the Association is open to all adult members of the public. In 1975, there were 304 members.
The Association receives financial assistance from Government, local bodies and private charitable trusts. In 1975, it received a grant of Rs. 1,000 from the Government of Maharashtra and Rs. 2,000 from the Bombay Municipal Corporation. It also received Rs. 3,500 as donation from N. M. Wadia Charities and Rs. 1,000 from M. K. Tata Trust. The value of assets was Rs. 14,323. Its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 13,999 in 1975.
Bombay City Social Education Committee, Worli : The Bombay City Social Education Committee, formerly known as the Bombay City Adult Education Committee, was officially constituted by the then Government of Bombay Province in 1939, under presidentship of the late B. G. Kher, the Chief Minister of Bombay State. Prior to the establishment of this committee, adult literacy work in the city was carried out under the joint auspices of the Government of Bombay State and the Literacy Committee consisting of local voluntary workers and representatives of social welfare organisations like the Social Service League. The present nomenclature of the committee came into being in 1946 when the programme of literacy and adult education was systematically organised by giving emphasis on its social aspect.
The committee educated over 5,76,103 illiterate men and women till the end of 1969. It undertook a crash programme in 1967, and educated 7,114 illiterate men and women through the voluntary efforts of students, teachers and social workers by the end of 1969-70.
The committee organises social education classes, matru-vikas kendras, educational and cultural activities and voluntary classes. General social education is given to the masses through extra-curricular programmes like talks, film shows, cultural programmes, educational exhibitions, cleanliness campaigns and area libraries.
The committee receives assistance under educational schemes of the UNESCO in India. Delegates of the UNESCO from different countries in the world and some foreign experts in the field of adult education regularly visit the committee and study its various programmes. The annual income and expenditure of the committee in 1969-70 amounted to Rs. 4,98,603. The committee receives State Government grant of 60 per cent of the approved expenditure with a ceiling of Rs. 2,50,000 and municipal grant of Rs. 60,000.
Bombay College (Kirti College) : The Bombay College was established in June 1954 by the Deccan Education Society, Pune. The basic aims of the society since its foundation by the late Lokmanya Tilak, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and other patriotic educationists had been to cover the country with a net-work of educational institutions. The college is situated on a beautiful site on the sea-face at Kashinath Dhuru Road off Cadel Road, Dadar. The construction of the college building was completed in June 1954. At present the college is kn6wn as 'Kirti College '.
Bombay Educational League, Thakurdwar : The league was founded in 1933 to render free educational service to the poor and backward class people by establishing day and night schools. It runs the Colaba Free Night School with English medium.
The institute has planned an education centre called the Nehru Kennedy Memorial-cum-International Education Centre.
The league receives financial assistance only from the public. The income for the year 1970-71 amounted to Rs. 5,228.
Chikitsak Samuh, Girgaum : The Chikitsak Samuh was established in 1906 with the object of spreading and imparting primary, secondary and higher education. The institution had a membership of 252 consisting of 11 patrons, 6 fellows and 235 life members.
The Samuh receives financial assistance from various private trusts, a part of which is utilised for paying scholarships to deserving students.
It runs at present the Sitaram and Lady Patkar College situated at Goregaon, and the Shirodkar High School. A primary school and montessori is also conducted by this institution.
D. G. Ruparel College, Mahim : The Modern Education Society, Pune was founded in 1932. It decided to extend its field of activity to Bombay by establishing there in the first instance a full grade arts and science college. Thus the Ruparel College was established in 1952 on the Tulsi Pipe Road in Dadar. In grateful appreciation of the keen interest shown by Seth Gordhandas Jadhavji Ruparel and Seth Naraindas Jadhavji Ruparel of Messrs. Doongarsee Gangjee and sons of Bombay, the society has named the college as " Doongarsee Gangjee Ruparel College". It was permanently affiliated to the Bombay University after three years since its inception.
General Education Institute, Dadar : The General Education Institute is an old educational organisation founded in 1892 at Dadar with the object of imparting education by starting schools for primary and secondary education, industrial, vocational training institutions and colleges for higher education at different places.
The membership of the institute consists of patrons, benefactors, fellows, honorary members and the representatives of the trustees of the charitable estate of the late M. R. Chhubildas Lulloobhoy.
The assets of the institute were valued at Rs. 25,66,671 in 1968-69. Its annual income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 1,57,701 and Rs. 1,10,068, respectively during the same year.
The G. E. Institute runs a number of schools in and nearby Bombay, the names of which are given below :—
(1) Chhubildas Lulloobhoy Boys' High School, Dadar.
Girls' High School, Dadar.
English School, Mahim.
High School, Kurla.
M. H. High School, Thane.
S. V. J. High School, Dombivali.
New High School, Kalyan.
High School, Kalyan.
P. R. High School, Bhiwandi.
Native Institution, Uran.
Chhubildas Lulloobhoy Primary School, Dadar.
(12)Chhubildas Lulloobhoy Pre-Primary School, Dadar.
Gokhale Education Society, Girgaum : The Gokhale Education Society was founded in 1918 with the objects of starting, conducting and maintaining educational institutions and thereby build up ideal citizens.
Any person holding a Master's degree in first class or the Ph.D. degree of an Indian or a foreign University is eligible for life membership of the society. In 1967 it had 36 life members.
The Society conducts 30 institutions, of which 11 are located in Bombay. These 11 institutions are divided into two centres, which are shown below:—
(1)Bombay Centre: (i) Sheth Dharamsey Govindji Thackersey High School, (ii) Primary Section, (iii) Pre-Primary Section, (iv) Borivli High School, (v) Primary Section, Borivli, (vi) Pre-Primary Section, Borivli.
(2)Parel Centre: (i) R. M. Bhatt High School, (ii) Parel Night High School, (iii) G.E.S. Primary School, (iv) G.E.S. Pre-Primary School, (v) G.E.S. Commercial Institute.
Hindi Vidya Prachar Samiti, Ghatkopar : The Hindi Vidya Prachar Samiti was established in 1938 with the object to conduct educational institutions.
The Ramniranjan Jhunjhunwala Arts and Science College at Ghatkopar, the Ghatkopar Institute of Management and the Hindi High School, Ghatkopar, are the various educational institutions run by the society. The Ghatkopar Institute of Management conducts different diploma courses which are recognised by the Government of Maharashtra and the University of Bombay. In 1977 there were 40 members of the society consisting of patrons, life members, founder members and ordinary members.
The Samiti receives financial assistance in the shape of public donations, grants from Government and the University Grants Commission.
During 1975-76 the income and expenditure of the Samiti was Rs. 8,47,344 and Rs. 6,96,254, respectively.
Jai Hind College, Churchgate: The Jai Hind College was founded in June 1948 by the ex-Professors of the D. J. Sind College, Karachi, and other educationists, who migrated to Bombay on account of the partition of the country.
At first, the college was started only as an Arts College upto the B.A. standard and functioned in the lecture-rooms of the Elphinstone College, for which permission was given by the Government of Bombay. In 1949, the college developed science side upto the Inter-Science stage and was located in hired bungalow on Pedder Road. For the science section the college received a donation of Rs. 1,25,000 from the Basantsing Anil Dharmada Trust and it was named Jai Hind College and Basantsing Institute of Science. In June 1952 both the sections of the college were shifted to a new building on Road ' A' Backbay Reclamation on two plots released by the Government of Bombay.
Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Churchgate : The Institute was established in 1955 with a view to conduct professional courses in business management and industrial management. It is one of the departments of the University of Bombay. Financial assistance amounting to Rs. 2,41,338 was given by the University Grants Commission and the State Government. The annual expenditure of the institute in 1969-70 amounted to Rs. 4,85,793.
At present the Institution conducts courses in Marketing Management, System Management, Operation Management, Computer Management and Administrative Management. It also conducts Master of Management Studies of 2 years and Master's Degree in Administrative Management, Financial Management and Marketing Management of 3 years.
Jamsetjee Nesserwanjee Petit Institute, Fort : The Jamsetjee Nesserwanjee Petit Institute was established in 1856, with the object of diffusion of useful knowledge by making available to the members works of literature, philosophy, science, as also eminent magazines and newspapers. It also arranges lectures on literary and scientific subjects.
The membership of the institute in 1971 was 6,438. Its annual income and expenditure in the last few years approximated to Rs. 2 lakhs.
Karachi Maharashtriya Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, Kurla: The Karachi Maharashtriya Shikshan Prasarak Mandal was established in 1929 at Karachi. The Mandal which was founded by Late V. G. Pradhan (an eminent educationist) and D. V. Anaokar, conducted Shri Shivaji High School at Karachi before partition of India.
After the partition of the country, the K.M.S.P. Mandal started its activities in Maharashtra with headquarters at Bombay. Of the funds kept reserved for construction of building a secondary school for the benefit of the displaced persons' children by the Government of India, the entire amount of Rs. 1 lakh was given to the K.M.S.P. Mandal. At the same time the Government of Maharashtra gave Rs. 70,000 towards the same. The Mandal also received a grant of Rs. 2 lakhs from the Bombay Municipal Corporation in 1971.
The Mandal at present conducts two high schools, one in Bombay at Kurla and another at Kudal in Sindhudurg district. The total strength of students in the Kurla High School was above 1,200 during 1977-78. The total income of the Mandal during the year 1976-77 amounted to Rs. 70,231 while the expenditure during the same year came to Rs. 74,134.
Khalsa College, Matunga : TheKhalsa College, with its imposing building in an ideal situation is one of the most popular institutions affiliated to the Bombay University, with regard to both academic and extra-curricular activities. The college was founded in 1937 by the Gurudwara Committee of Shri Nankana Sahib and is now managed by the executive committee of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar, an elected statutory body of the Sikhs in the Punjab.
It is a matter of great pride that this College attracts students from all over India and provides a common platform for students of different communities, provinces, religions and even different countries to create a healthy feeling of common fellowship and brotherhood. The teachers in this College are also drawn from different parts of India and play-prominent role in strengthening inter-provincial bonds of love and affection among the students.
K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, Fort : This Institute was established in 1916 in the memory of'late Kharshedji Rustomji Cama, the renowned oriental scholar, social reformer and educationist. Mr. D. G. Sukhadvala gave a donation of Rs. 1,00,000 towards establishment of the institution.
The institution is devoted to oriental studies. It encourages research work and gives scholarships to scholars devoted to oriental studies. It publishes a journal and other publications dealing with oriental studies. The institution invites scholars to deliver lectures on the concerning subjects and affords facilities to scholars both from Indian and Foreign Universities.
The institute has a library containing 14,675 books and 1,674 manuscripts on different subjects.
M. M. Arts College and N. M. Institute of Science : The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan started the M. M. College of Arts and N. M. Institute of Science at Andheri in 1946 to cater to the educational needs of Greater Bombay, with the help of donation received through Sheth Charandas Meghji and Sheth Gordhandas P. Sonawala. The late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel performed the opening ceremony on 13th July 1946. The new building of the college was opened on 25th July 1953. In response to the growing demand of the students and the general public the Arts section of the college shifted to Chowpati in 1954. The new building of Art section was inaugurated by Shri K. M. Munshi on 9th July 1955.
New Sarvajanik Education Society, Wadala : The society was registered on 29th September 1949. The objects of the society are to establish, control and manage educational institutions in Bombay.
The society had 539 members in 1968-69.
It runs the following schools, viz., (1) Sarvajanik School, Matunga, (2) M. P. Bhuta Sarvajanik School, Sion, (3) Girgaum Sarvajanik School, (4) K. V. K. Ghatkopar Sarvajanik School and (5) Ghatkopar Sarvajanik (English medium) High School. All the schools are aided by the Government of Maharashtra.
The assets of the society in 1968-69 were valued at Rs. 8,72,233, while its income and expenditure during the same year amounted to Rs. 8,17,566.
Ramnarain Ruia College, Matunga : Realising the need for an Arts and Science College to satisfy the growing demand for higher education in the city of Bombay, the Shikshana Prasarak Mandali, Pune, established this college in 1937. The House of Ruias gave a generous donation of Rs. two lakhs in recognition of which the college is named after the late Seth Ramnarain Harnandrai Ruia. The college was permanently affiliated to the University of Bombay in 1940.
R.A.Podar College of Commerce and Economics, Matunga : The Shikshana Prasarak Mandali, Pune, established this College in 1941 in order to satisfy the growing demand for sound commercial education in the city of Bombay. The House of Podars dpnated a building costing about Rs. 1,46,000 for the college.
Sadhana Education Society, Santa Cruz (West) : The Sadhana Education Society was established in June 1962 with the object of running a teacher's training college in Bombay. The college has a practising school and it conducts research projects sponsored by the National Council of Educational Research and Training. It also prepares students for M.Ed, and Ph.D. degrees in education.
During 1969-70 the number of staff was 19. The total assets of the college during 1969-70 amounted to Rs. 4,50,000. The annual income and expenditure during the same year stood at Rs. 2,51,911 and Rs. 3,54,192, respectively. The college gets annual maintenance grants from the Government.
Sanskrit Vishva Parishad, Grant Road : The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Sanskrit Vishva Parishad was established in 1951 with the main objective to propagate Sanskrit and indology by binding together in one organisation all individuals and institutions interested in the study of these subjects and working for its advancement in India and abroad.
As per the request of the Sanskrit Vishva Parishad, the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has started a graded primary course in Sanskrit through the Saral Sanskrit Examination. Every year about 60,000 students appear in this examination at various centres in India and abroad. Moreover, the staff members of the Saral Sanskrit Examination visit important cities in India and abroad to propagate the ideals of the Sanskrit Vishva Parishad.
During the year 1975-76, it received Rs. 5,000 by way of financial assistance from the Government of Uttar Pradesh. During the year 1976 the income and expenditure of the Sanskrit Vishva Parishad amounted to Rs. 6,949.
Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal, Vile Parle : It is mainly an educational institution founded in the year 1934.
The Mandal conducts three colleges (Mithibai College of Arts, Chauhan Institute of Science and A. J. College of Commerce and Economics; N. M. College of Commerce and Economics; and J. C. College of Law), two junior colleges, a polytechnic (B. M. Polytechnic), a high school and primary school, shishu vihar, two hostels including one for polytechnic, a sanskar sadan, a yoga mandir, sl gymnasium and an auditorium (Shri Bhaidas Maganlal Sabhagriha).
The day-to-day affairs of the Mandal are looked after by a managing committee consisting of 44 members. During the year 1980-81 the Mandal had assets worth Rs. 2,04,00,535, while income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 13,69,242.
Bhaidas Maganlal Sabhagriha was constructed by the Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal with the generous help of Rs. 1,50,000 from Smt. Chandaben in 1973. It provides a great stimuli to the cultural life of the western suburbs of Bombay. Situated in the Juhu-Vile Parle Development Scheme near Vile Parle Station, the auditorium has a seating capacity of 1,179 seats. It is fully airconditioned. The Sabhagriha caters to the needs of entertainment of the people in the western suburbs of Bombay. A good many Marathi, Gujarati and Hindi dramas are staged in this auditorium. The income and expenditure of the Sabhagriha during the year 1980-81 was Rs. 5,56,495.
Siddharth College of Arts and Science, Fort : The Siddharth College of Arts and Science was founded in June 1946, by the People's Education Society, of which Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was the Chairman. It was a significant landmark in the development of higher education in Bombay city under Dr. Ambedkar's inspiring guidance and dynamic leadership. The principal object of the society was to promote higher education among the lower middle classes and working classes, especially, the Scheduled Castes.
Siddharth College of Commerce and Economics, Fort: Siddharth College of Commerce and Economics is one of the several institutions conducted by the People's Education Society, Bombay, whose founder chairman was Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. The college was established in June 1953.
Siddharth College of Law : The People's Education Society, of which Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was the chairman, founded the Siddharth College of Law in June 1956. The object of the College is to provide education in law to the lower middle classes and working classes in general and the Scheduled Castes in particular.
Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy Parsi Benevolent Institution, Fort : This is one of the oldest and the most reputed institutions doing pioneering work in the field of education for the last 125 years. It was established on 9th January 1849 with a view to spread the benefits of education among the Parsis in Bombay and in the mofussil, to give monetary relief to poor and disabled Parsis, and to ameliorate their sufferings by giving them aid to meet marriage or funeral expenses.
The major part of its activities is confined to running schools. It runs two secondary and three primary schools in Bombay. It also runs, under a sister trust, two secondary schools, one each at Bulsar and Navasari and three primary schools, one each at Sural, Bulsar and Navasari. The schools were originally meant for Parsis only, but in the interest of education and to honour the secular ideals of the country the schools are now thrown open to students of all communities. For almost a century education was imparted entirely free. It was only when the cost of running the schools became enormous that the institution started charging nominal fees in some of its schools.
Membership of the institution is open to those Parsis who contribute a sum of Rs. 500 to its donation fund. Most of the schools get financial assistance from Government in the form of grant-in-aid.
The income and expenditure of the institution in 1970 amounted to Rs. 6,25,629 and Rs. 6,36,757, respectively.
Sophia College for Women, Cumballa Hill : Sophia College was founded in 1940 with the inauguration of the " Home and Social Culture" course. It was first affiliated to the University of Bombay for the Arts Course in 1941. The Governing Body of the college is the Governing Body of the Society for Higher Education of Women in India. Its day-to-day administration is in the hands of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, a world wide society for the education of girls. In June 1950, affiliation to the University was made permanent. As the number of Arts student increased from year to year the non-University " Home and Social Culture " Course had finally to be dropped in 1947.
St. Xaviers College, Mahapalika Marg : St. Xaviers College owes its origin to the growth and development of St. Mary's Institution and St. Xavier's High School. The college was founded in 1868 with the object of educating the Roman Catholic Youths of the Bombay Presidency and was affiliated to the Bombay University in 1869. It became a constituent college of the Bombay University in 1953. It is conducted by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. The high school and the college proper was accommodated in a building in cavel until 1873. Then it was situated on the Carnac Road for nearly a generation. In 1890 it was shifted to the present premises on the Cruickshank Road (Mahapalika Marg).
MEDICAL RELIEF ORGANISATIONS
Bombay City Ambulance Corps, Marine Lines : The Corps was founded in 1930 with the object of training young men and women in first-aid, home nursing hygiene and sanitation as also to give medical relief to the sick and injured persons in Bombay and its suburbs.
The free first-aid and ambulance service station of the Corps was started in January 1939 with the objects of removing patients from one place to another, attending to street accidents and other emergencies, providing medical relief in times of riots, epidemics, etc.
The station is located in the Corps' headquarters and service station buildings at Marine Lines, where a fully equipped first-aid theatre, control room, station offices, residential quarters for the paid staff and garages for the ambulance cars are provided.
It is registered as a charitable society which had 13 patrons, 210 life members, 3 honorary life members and 52 volunteers in 1970. The volunteers of the Corps are imparted the necessary training of five years duration in first-aid to the injured, home nursing, hygiene and sanitation. They hold a diploma in ambulance work by receiving arduous practical training in casualty work at Sir J. J. Hospital, and by attending training camps and mobilisation practices.
The strength of the Corps, as on December 31, 1970, was 52 volunteers including 2 warrant and 10 non-commissioned officers.
The volunteers of the Corps were turned out for public duty for the first time on January 26, 1931. The Corps performed strenuous duties during the 1932 riots and put in 80 hours of field duties, treated over 450 casualties and rescued about 200 persons. The peak of strenuous duties ever performed was reached in February 1946, when the entire Corps was mobilised for an aggregate period of 1,668 hours to meet the emergencies of the Subhash Day disturbances, the Royal Indian Navy mutiny and the prolonged communal riots.
The Corps receives grant-in-aid from the Bombay Municipal Corporation. It also received a donation of Rs. 52,438 from the late Sheth Haji Gulam Mahamed Ajam Charity Trust for construction of a building.
The Government of Maharashtra had granted Rs. 58,363 and Rs. 8,293 as house building grants in 1956 and 1958 respectively. The total income of the Corps was Rs. 41,390, while its expenditure amounted to Rs. 44,239 in 1970.
Bombay Medical Union, French Bridge, Near Chowpati : The Bombay Medical Union was established in 1883, with the objects of promoting friendly association and exchange of views between its members, and promoting the advancement of medical sciences.
During 1972-73 the total number of resident members was 274 and 6 non-resident members.
The main activities of the Union are holding monthly clinical meetings, exchange of medical knowledge and promotion of professional ethics in the medical profession. It awards several prizes, gold medals and scholarships to deserving students.
The pioneers of the Union included eminent medical practitioners and leaders of public opinion. They started with building a library with a small collection of books in 1886. In 1887, Sir Dinshaw Petit donated Rs. 7,000 to the Union for a Medical Library which was intended for the use of not only the members of the Union but also of the entire medical profession and even common men. The Library was called the Sir Dinshaw Manekji Petit Medical Union Library after a trust deed was entered into between the Union and Dinshaw Petit in 1888. During the subsequent period it received several donations.
The Union has consistently worked for a high standard of medical education. It was instrumental in the institution of a M.B.B.S. degree instead of L.M.S. in 1912 during which year the first batch of students received the M.B.B.S. degree. The Union has also been instrumental in evolving a code of conduct for medical profession as also important medical legislation.
Cheshire Homes India, Andheri : A branch of the Cheshire Homes India was established at Bombay in December 1955, for taking care of the incurable sick.
The Home is managed by a management committee and various sub-committees of medical experts all of whom provide their services voluntarily. About 50 incurable sick persons suffering from serious diseases such as cancer, paraplegia, arthritis, Parkinson's disease, etc., are provided hospital facility by the Home.
The society receives funds and donations from private sources. The
income and expenditure of the Home was Rs. 78,659 and Rs. 80,425,
respectively in 1970-71.
Diabetic Association of India, Fort : The Diabetic Association of India was established in 1955 for research in diabetes and for rendering advice and necessary facilities to diabetic patients. It is a pioneering organisation in this field and has been serving the cause of the diabetics in a grand measure.
The Association has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research. It has established several branches in important cities of India where public lectures for education of the diabetics are given in local languages every month. It supplies reliable drugs at cheaper rates and laboratory facilities at very moderate rates to the members. It also arranges for frequent check-ups of the diabetics.
The Association encourages research in diabetes by suitable grants to research workers in diabetes. The scientific section of the Association meets once a year along with other specialised bodies at different centres in India for the exchange of knowledge and promotion of research on the subject. In order to co-ordinate the scientific work of workers in all branches of medicine regarding diabetes, a national congress on diabetes is held every three years.
The Association has published several books for the guidance of the diabetics and medical practitioners such as a Guide for the Diabetic, a Companion for the Diabetic and Tropical Diabetes. It also publishes a quarterly journal, Madhumeha. Besides this, the Association through its Nutrition Committee has analysed over 100 recipes of different Indian food preparations giving their carbohydrate, fat, protein and caloric values of a measured portion.
The Association has a cadre of devoted persons like Dr. Ajgaonkar and Dr. N. G. Talwalkar who have done eminent work on diabetes. The total membership including the branches in December 1968 was 2,319. For the last 27 years the Association is maintaining itself on public help only. It does not receive any financial assistance either from the State or Central Government. The Government of Maharashtra has donated it a plot of land of about 2 acres at Mahim where the association has started a home for the diabetic, a clinic and a research centre since 1st January 1982.
Family Planning Association of India, Fort : The Family Planning Association of India was established in 1949 for propagation of family planning for the advancement of basic human rights, family and community welfare, achievement of a balance between population, resources and productivity, and the attainment of a higher standard of life. The Association was registered in 1954.
The Association has provided audio-visual equipment including film projectors, slide projectors, film slides and film strips as also clinical equipment to the mobile units and branches. It publishes useful literature for the benefit of the public.
Its area of operation covers an approximate total population of 6,58,000.
Greater Bombay, among 47 districts in the country, has been selected for intensive family planning work, and since 1967, the programme has received a marked impetus particularly due to the stepping up of the Municipal Corporation's programme for vasectomy.
The Association maintains a clinic for vasectomy operations for the benefit of factory workers and low income group persons.
The infertility clinic of the Association draws a good number of couples for investigation and treatment for infertility and sub-fertility. Practical demonstrations of various techniques are arranged at the Wadia Maternity Hospital. The Association also arranges for training of medical practitioners in family welfare work and for surveys and demonstrations.
The Family Planning Association of India received a silver medal and certificate for its good performance in Bombay. It also won the first prize for voluntary work in family planning in Greater Bombay for the three-year period 1967-70.
Hind Kushta Nivaran Sangh, Fort : A branch of the Hind Kushta Nivaran Sangh, New Delhi was established in Bombay with a view to control the spread of leprosy, and offer assistance for the eradication of leprosy. It has been recognised by Government as a survey, education and treatment unit. The Sangh is also represented on the State Leprosy Advisory Board, which has been functioning from 1970.
One of the main activities of the Sangh under the work programme is to educate the community and to create awareness about the disease of leprosy. Health education campaigns are also organised in the slum areas of Bombay and other parts of the State through various media. It also extends supportive services for sponsoring non-infectious leprosy affected children and healthy children of leprosy parents. The Sangh publishes brochures giving information on leprosy and other related matters in order to identify and make use of the health and welfare agencies for prevention and control of leprosy.
The Sangh received Rs. 39,654 in 1975-76 on account of grants and donations. A sum of Rs. 25,000 per annum was sanctioned by the Government of Maharashtra from 1976-77 for a period of five years for undertaking health education programmes in the State.
In 1976 it spent an amount of Rs. 30,582 for medical relief. Its annual income and expenditure in 1975-76 amounted to Rs. 31,038 and Rs. 39,653, respectively.
Indian Red Cross Society (Maharashtra State Branch), Town Hall Compound, Bombay 1 : The Indian Red Cross Society was established in 1920 with the object of rendering medical relief and the mitigation of suffering. The main objectives of the society are to aid the sick and wounded members of the Armed Forces. The Maharashtra State Red Cross, a branch of the society is managed by a committee comprising a chairman, vice-chairman, treasurer, secretary and other members including representatives of the District Red Cross Branches in Maharashtra State. There are approximately, 10,000 members in Maharashtra State.
The society runs dispensaries, maternity and child welfare centres, hospitals, T.B. sanatorium, and family planning centres. It also runs blood banks in Bombay city as well as in several districts in Maharashtra. This is one of the largest civilian blood banks in the country supplying over 13,000 bottles of whole blood per year, over 85 per cent of which is supplied free or at cheaper rates. T.B. sanatorium is one of the finest and biggest sanatoria in the country with a bed strength of 260. Over 95 per cent of the patients are treated free or at concessional rates. The Indian Red Cross Society maintains the Adams Wylie Hospital with 50 beds, where indoor and outdoor patients are given treatment free of charge. The ambulance section and health training classes are conducted by St. John Ambulance Services, on behalf of the Indian Red Cross Society. During the scarcity period of 1976-77 the Red Cross had over 600 distribution centres in the State in which over 97,000 persons were looked after.
It inculcates in the school children a sense of social service through the Junior Red Cross. Under the guidance of the Junior Red Cross the school children visit hospitals, orphanages, slum areas and bring a little cheer to those less privileged than themselves.
All the above activities, in Bombay city and Maharashtra cost the Red Cross nearly a million rupees every year. The income of the society itself was Rs. 1,83,000 whereas its expenditure amounted to Rs. 1,71,000 in the year 1976.
Donations are received from the public and funds are also collected through membership fees. It gives assistance in the form of medicines to dispensaries run by other charitable organisations, helps individuals by providing them with artificial limbs thereby helping them in earning their living. In special cases wheel chairs and hearing aids are also provided.
Ishwardas Chunilal Yogic Health Centre, Kaivalyadham, Marine Drive :
The centre was established on 6th January 1932, by late Swami Kuvalayanandaji at Santa Cruz under the auspices of the Kaivalyadham. It is now housed in its own building on the Netaji Subhash Road, Marine Drive. The main establishment of the Kaivalyadham is located at Lonavala.
The object of the institute is to give training in yogic physical culture and therapy with a view to promote physical and mental health of people. There are two departments working in the institution, one of which gives cultural exercises and the other gives remedial exercises. The cultural department is recognised by the Education Department of the Maharashtra Government. The activities are carried out under the supervision of a qualified Medical Officer. For the better yogic treatment, the institute has appointed 3 Medical Officers and 12 Demonstrators.
It receives grant from th e State Government. The assets of the institute in 1965-66 were valued at Rs. 1,10,000. During the same year its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 69,000 and Rs. 66,000, respectively.
Jeevan Vikas Kendra, Andheri : The Jeevan Vikas Kendra was inaugurated on 1st November 1972 by the Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi. The activities of the institution include educating the people in public health, hygienic living and family planning. The organisation conducts a medical relief centre for the benefit of the poor strata of society. It provides for all pathological tests, diagnosis of various diseases, radiological facilities and many departments such as cardiology, paediatrics, gynaecology and obstetrics, orthopaedics, E.N.T., dentistry, opthalmology, physiotherapy, etc. All the medical facilities are practically free of cost. All the units work under the able guidance of specialists and qualified technicians.
The immunization department of the Kendra provides various vaccines and sera, and amenities for B.C.G., triple, polio, small pox, typhoid and cholera vaccinations.
The Kendra proposes to establish a hospital for the benefit of the poor, the building of which is under construction.
The Kendra is also conducting a Balvikas Kendra for the benefit of children from slum areas. The Kendra distributes milk and bread to about 1,000 children per day at five different places under its nutrition programme.
The income and expenditure of the Kendra amounted to Rs. 8,21,933 in the year 1979-80.
Popular Ambulance Association, Grant Road : The Popular Ambulance Service was started on 12th November 1947. Ambulance vans are made available to all irrespective of caste, creed and status and calls are attended not only for movement of patients in the city but also for up-country. The ambulance service is maintained out of donations given by the patients and their relatives. Every van is equipped with first-aid kit, oxygen cylinder, etc.
Society for Prevention of Heart Diseases and Rehabilitation, Kemp's Corner : The Society was started in 1968 with the objects to establish cardio-vascular preventive and rehabilitation institute, check-up centres, clinic and hospital, research laboratories and to conduct lectures, seminars, symposia etc., to grant scholarships and aid for deserving medical and paramedical personnel intending to specialise in this field, and to give specialised training to those engaged in the treatment of heart patients.
St. John Ambulance Association, Maharashtra State Centre, Fort : The Maharashtra State Centre of the Association was established on 23rd April 1915, with a view to give training in first-aid, home nursing, hygiene and sanitation, render first-aid in case of accidents or sudden illness and transport the sick and injured, organise ambulance corps and nursing corps. After the establishment of the St. John Ambulance Association, India at New Delhi in 1904, classes in first-aid and home nursing were conducted in Bombay and in the districts of the then Bombay Province by individual doctors for various social organisations, and Ambulance and Nursing Divisions were formed since 1905.
In 1914 the First World War broke out and the training in first-aid and home nursing got impetus and the classes in these subjects were started all over the province and a number of new centres were formed. In 1915 the Bombay provincial centre was established and the work of the organisation of classes was organised on proper lines by the secretariat at Pune. In 1931, the secretariat was shifted to Bombay, and the principal medical and health officer of the G.I.P. Railway was appointed as Honorary Secretary. He called the meeting of all persons concerned in Bombay and framed the rules and regulations and held election of the first executive committee.
Since 1932 elections have been held for the formation of the executive committee to govern the St. John Ambulance Association Centre. After the bifurcation of Bombay State this centre was renamed as the Maharashtra State Centre.
This centre, through the various local and district centres, has been conducting classes in first-aid, home nursing, hygiene and sanitation, and child welfare, and mackenzie school course. During the World War II, the centre conducted Air Raid Protection Classes.
In 1975, 10,841 persons were given training in different courses out of whom 9,971 appeared for the examinations. Of these, 9,840 were awarded certificates and other awards.
There were 27 active local and district centres under the Maharashtra Centre. Detached classes were conducted at 30 places by the Red Cross where the association had no sub-centres of its own.
The organisation organises training programme for educational institutions, members of the police force, employees of the All India Radio and Television Centre, and for the N.C.C. organisation.
The property and assets of the Association in 1975 were valued at Rs. 5,60,506, while its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 52,853.
Yoga Institute, Santa Cruz : The science of Yoga in India is more than five thousand years old. Its technology has come down by tradition from master to disciple. One such great Yogi of the past was Parama-hamsa Madhavadasji who lived at Malsar. His senior-most disciple, Shri Yogendraji founded the Yoga Institute on 25th December 1918 at Versova to promote and standardise the science of Yoga. The institute is recognised by the Government and foreign bodies as an educational, medical and research institute. It is a registered society and is specially exempted to receive donations. At present the institute is situated on the east side of Santa Cruz railway station in Prabhat colony. It has no branches.
The main activities at the institute are as follows:—
(1) 21-day better living course.
(2) Regular class for study and cure of minor complaints (for men and women).
Social workers and teachers course.
Publication of a monthly journal.
Clinic, hospital and laboratory.
Six-month Yoga education course.
Welfare and children wing.
The Institute maintains a fully equipped 12-bed psychosomatic hospital with qualified medical practitioners, a pathological and clinical laboratory, etc. Considerable original work is being done in connection with Yoga therapeutics in treatment of chronic functional diseases. Persons suffering from physical and mental complaints are examined every Sunday and are kept under observation in regular practical classes for one month. On the basis of results obtained at the end of the month further advice is made available. A normal fee of Rs. 25 is charged for the first month.
The Yoga Institute believes that the Yoga ideals, value judgements and way of life can be integrated into modern conditions. This can help in creating a better society for the future. To this end, the institute prepares persons through the short and long term Yoga education courses. The institute was recognised in 1958 by the Government as a special training institute of Yoga and since then it has trained over three hundred men and women including 72 women and 68 foreigners in Yoga education to instruct others.
Over forty books have been published by the Institute since 1920. Most of the popular works have passed the tenth edition mark. It publishes a monthly journal which is widely circulated.
At the Institute over 7,000 patients were treated, many of whom were refractory cases. Over 10,000 students of Yoga have been trained; about 300 men and women were prepared to instruct others. The trained experts of the Institute are now conducting Yoga education centres in three continents where over 2,500 men and women practise traditional Yoga everyday.
The average annual income and expenditure of the Institute for the last few years came to Rs. 1.5 lakhs.
Consumer Guidance Society of India, Fort : It was established in April 1966 by nine housewives and social workers to protect the consumer interest and to unite the consumers of the country. In January 1977, it had 1,938 members including 245 life members, 30 associate members and 35 institutional members. It had five branches located in Pune, Hyderabad, Dandeli, Coimbatore and Thane.
The Society protects and promotes the rights and interests of consumers, gives information and guidance through its monthly publication Keemat. It co-operates with commercial organisations which are interested in promoting fair trade practices. It tries to build up consumer awareness through annual exhibitions, demonstration and through the mass media. At the same time it follows up complaints against shopkeepers and dealers from members and non-members and has obtained redressal in over 66 per cent of the cases it had taken up. In 1974 it started a project of consumer education for low income group persons employing a trained social worker. It propagates consumer awareness and education through various media through a network of 48 community centres in Greater Bombay.
The Society is represented on many national advisory bodies for consumer protection, such as the central committee for food standards, the ISI certification marks advisory committee, and other ISI subcommittees, and the Maharashtra State Advisory Board for Food and Drugs. The Society has associate membership of the international organisation of consumers' unions.
The Society was successful in organising the first All India Conference on consumer protection in 1972 in Bombay to bring together consumer activities from all over the country.
Forum of Free Enterprise, Fort : The Forum of Free Enterprise was founded in 1956, with the objects of educating the public on economic affairs and particularly the role of private enterprise in economic development of our country, and its close inter-relation with the democratic way of life, and thereby to create an awareness among people in private enterprise of their social obligations. It is a voluntary educational organisation. Eminent economists and citizens of Bombay like A. D. Gorwala, A. D. Shroff were closely associated with the Forum.
It issues a journal on important current economic problems. Informative and educative articles bearing views of the Forum are sent to newspapers. So also essay competitions, elocutions and study sessions are held for students and the public. Public speaking courses, discussion sessions and leadership training courses are also arranged. The Forum helps organisations and associations in private enterprise in their public relations campaigns to defend and promote private enterprise.
At the end of July 1976, there were 987 general members, 2,650 associate members and 5,526 student associates of the Forum.
The income and expenditure of the Forum amounted to Rs. 3,36,234 in 1975-76.
Indian Institute of Architects, Fort : The origin of the Institute could be traced back 60 years ago when the Architectural Students' Association was formed in 1923. It was subsequently renamed as the Bombay Architectural Association. It derived the present name in 1928.
The Institute has members spread over not only in India but also in Africa, Afghanistan, America, Australia, Burma, Canada, Ceylon, Europe, Iran, etc.
The main objects of the Institute are to unite the architects in India and to co-ordinate activities of the building industry and of the profession of architecture.
The Institute has done a lot of work in spreading architectural education and maintaining fair professional ethics. It also helps Government and the civic administration in slum clearance projects and housing schemes.
The Institute is run with the help of subscription paid by its members. Its income and expenditure in 1970-71 amounted to Rs. 1,23,071 and Rs. 1,21,527, respectively.
Indian Railway Passengers' Conference Association : The Indian Railway Passengers' Conference Association was established at Bombay in 1945 and was registered as a public trust in 1950. The objects of the association are to educate the public as regards the rules and regulations governing railway travel; to rehabilitate disabled and destitute, orphans and beggars who infest railway premises, in order to prevent them from a life of crime and to convert them into law-abiding citizens; to render free legal advice and aid to railway passengers; to publish newspapers and other literature dealing with the carriage of passengers and transport of goods; and to hold conferences, seminars, etc.
The affairs of the Association are managed by a committee consisting of 19 members. There are 13 life members, about 100 individual members and 200 nominal members. No financial assistance was either sought or received by the association from any quarters.
During the last about 30 years the association took out from the clutches of anti-social elements more than 6,000 young run-away boys at railway stations in the Greater Bombay area. The association has been working for the elimination of crimes on the railways committed by criminals en route in running trains or at railway stations.
The association has established contacts with several passenger associations working in other parts of India and efforts are being made to establish the National Federation of Railway Users on an all India level to function as a liaison between the railway users and the Ministry of Railways and the Zonal Railways.
The Association publishes a fortnightly known as Rail News in English.
National Institute of Labour Management, Parel : The Institute was established on the 26th January 1950. It is a voluntary association of persons engaged in the field of industrial relations and personnel management. Its members discuss and formulate sound labour policies, which would be helpful for the industrial progress of the country and improvement of the conditions of labour and better employer-employee relations.
The Institute has branches at Pune, Kalyan-Ambernath, Baroda, Goa, Thane and New Delhi.
The Institute has over 900 members, who are working as personnel or welfare officers, industrial relations officers, etc., in different industries.
The Institute holds monthly discussion meetings and arranges documentary film-shows, and seminars on important topics for its members. It maintains a library and a reading room, publishes a quarterly journal and conducts a labour advisory service for members and small industrial establishments.
The activities of the Institute are financed from subscriptions from members and donations received from well-wishers. The assets and property of the Institute by the end of December 1970 valued at Rs. 1,03,700. The income and expenditure for the year ended on 31st December 1970 was the same and amounted to Rs. 31,016.
Press Guild of India, Majestic Hotel, opposite Regal Cinema : The establishment of the Press Guild of India is a significant event in the development of journalism in India. It is a broad-based and composite organisation of journalists, functioning on a national basis and assisting not only the members of the profession but also others vitally connected with the newspaper industry.
The aim of the Guild has been not only to promote understanding and goodwill through intellectual and cultural exchange but also to foster high standards of professional practice and conduct, and assist the growth of the press as an effective social force for the good of the nation. It was established in April 1955.
It has a membership of about three hundred journalists representing every newspaper and periodical.
The organisation has started a club, a reading room and a library for the benefit of journalists. The Guild conducts cultural activities like musical concerts, dance performances, lectures, recitations from plays, screening of topical films and seminars.
The assets of the organisation were valued at Rs. 9,124 and its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 11,490 in 1975.
Society of the Justices of Peace and Honorary Presidency Magistrates, Bombay-9 : The Society is a successor to the Society of Honorary Presidency Magistrates of Bombay, which became defunct in 1958. The main objects and purpose of the present Society are to afford opportunities to the members to meet with a view to exchanging ideas and promoting co-operation amongst themselves in the matter of their duties and offices as Justices of Peace and Honorary Presidency Magistrates.
In the beginning, the Society had 242 members including 42 Honorary Presidency Magistrates. The same increased to 644 on 31st March 1971.
The Society has formed several committees to look after its working and to render real public service in its wide and varied sense. The Society conducts a diagnostic centre to provide medical relief to poor persons.
The Chief Presidency Magistrate, the Commissioner of Police, the Municipal Commissioner, the Coroner and the Regional Transport Officer are nominated members of the managing committee.
During 1971, the income and expenditure of the Society was the same amounting to Rs. 12,559.
Arya Samaj (Bombay), Girgaum (Kakadwadi) : The Arya Samaj (For history of the Samaj see Chapter-2, History, Modern Period, in Vol. I.) was founded by late Swami Dayanand Saraswati in 1875, with the objectives to propagate the real Philosophy of the Vedas; to spread the Sanskrit language; and to help in the field of education. The ten principles of the Arya Samaj are followed by the Bombay branch of the Samaj.
With the inspiration of the Rishi Dayanand, the great revolutionary thinker, the Samaj has given new directions, new hopes in religious, educational, social and national fields. The main activities of the Samaj consist of Ved Prachar, free charitable dispensaries, free Sanskrit pathashala, ashrams for orphans and distribution of free books to needy persons.
With the spread of its activities and the propagation of Vedic religion among the people several branches were established in the suburbs of Bombay. The following are the activities of Arya Samaj:
The Ved Dharma Pracharini Sabha was founded in 1898-99 by some young people who were impressed by the principles of the Arya Samaj. Its objective was to propagate Vedic religion through lectures of eminent persons and the Arya magazine. After some time the Ved Dharma Prachar Sabha was amalgamated with the Arya Samaj.
The Samaj purchases reference books on principles of vedic religion and translates them in Gujarathi language for free reading.
The Gorakshopadeshak Mandal was founded by the Arya Samaj to impress upon the people the importance of goraksha.
The Samaj also conducts the Arya Stree Mandal situated at Mandvi and Kalbadevi for amelioration of women. The Stree Mandal has done valuable work in the field of social life.
It also conducts an orphanage for children and women since 1942, which is now situated in Bangadwadi.
The Mithibai Sanskrit Pathshala was established by Sheth Jeevandas Mulji to give education in Vaidnyanic principles and Sanskrit language.
The Arya Vyayam Shala which was established on 12th May 1926 to develop physical health, Auchhavlal Nagar Ayurvedic Aushadhalay and the D. A. V. free night high school which were conducted by the Samaj formerly are not in existence now.
Blavatsky Lodge of Theosophical Society, Grant Road (For history of the Society see Chapter-2, History, Modern Period, in Vol. I.): The Blavatsky Lodge of the Theosophical Society was founded in 1879 with the objects of encouraging the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science and forming a nucleus of universal brotherhood. It was registered under the Societies Registration Act, in July 1906.
The Society has its international headquarters at Adyar in Madras. It has branches all over the world. Its library contains about 6,000 books on religion, philosophy and science.
The society does not get any financial assistance from any Government or private body. The average annual income and expenditure of the society amounts to about Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 13,000, respectively.
Bombay Zionist Association, Hamam Street, Fort : The Bombay Zionist Association was established in 1919 for the promotion of spiritual, religious, social, intellectual, economic and physical welfare of local Jewry.
The Association conducts meetings, seminars and ideological campaigns for strengthening the unity of the Jews.
The income and expenditure of the association amounted to Rs. 21,364 during 1970.
Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, Powai : The Chinmaya Mission was established 25 years ago but the Chinmaya Mission Trust was established in 1964 with a view to provide educational and medical relief.
The trust is managed by a board of eleven trustees. It works through the various mission centres spread all over the country and through other institutions belonging to it. There is no membership of the trust. However, each local centre has a membership.
The mission conducts a diagnostic centre at Chembur, and a clinic at Ghatkopar. The trust has opened two nursery schools in Bombay where, in addition to the regular teaching, the students are taught music, dancing, etc.
The source of income of the trust mainly consists of public donations. In 1975-76, the income and the expenditure amounted to Rs. 9,48,828. All the income is generally spent during the year itself.
Prarthana Samaj, Girgaum (For history see Chapter-2, History, Modern Period, Vol. I.) : The Prarthana Samaj was founded as a religious reformist movement on 13th of March 1867. It is one of the foremost organisations which have played a very important role in the making of modern India and regeneration of the true spiritual heritage of India. From its very beginning it has had a deep impact on the public life of Bombay. This organisation has given birth to many other institutions and individuals who helped in guiding public opinion in this city.
The objects of the society are as under:—
(1)The worship of God in accordance with the cardinal principles of religion enunciated by its pioneers;
The spread of education and of useful knowledge by the establishment of schools, colleges, academies, etc.; and
The establishment of orphanages, rescue homes and other institutions of a like nature.
The authorities of the Prarthana Samaj are known to strive for the realisation of these objectives.
The Samaj runs the following educational institutions in Bombay:—
Ram Mohan English School, Girgaum (June 1917)
Ram Mohan English School, Dadar (N.A.)
Prarthana Samaj High School, Vile Parle (N.A.)
Prarthana Samaj Primary School, Vile Parle (1958)
(5)Prarthana Samaj Pre-Primary School, Vile Parle (1954)
Sir Narayan Chandavarkar Primary School, Girgaum (N.A.)
Sir Narayan Chandavarkar Pre-Primary Shishu Vidyalaya School, Girgaum (1949).
Sir Narayan Chandavarkar Primary and Pre-Primary School, Byculla (N.A.).
The Samaj is handling the problems of unmarried mothers, pregnant widows, married women in difficulties, orphan children and old, infirm women by establishing orphanages and schools. The following institutions are managed by the Samaj for the benefit of destitute women and children:—
(1) W.B.N. Balakashram at Pandharpur (1875);
D. N. Sirur Balakashram at Vile Parle (1932) and
The Balakashram at Wai (1903).
It also runs Dr. R. G. Bhandarkar Library, a Sangeet Sabha and Sunday School. A weekly divine service is also held by the Prarthana Samaj.
The Samaj is publishing a journal, the Subodh Patrika, since 1873. The Subodh Patrika is the official organ of the Samaj.
The total assets of the Samaj were valued at Rs. 13,63,591 in 1968-69. The income and expenditure of the Samaj in 1968-69 amounted to Rs. 9,98,586.
Ramkrishna Mission Ashram, Khar : For the last about 60 years, the Bombay centre of the Ramkrishna Mission has been conducting humanitarian activities in Bombay and different parts of the State. The centre was established in 1923. Since then the Mission has been pursuing various spiritual, cultural, educational, medical and philanthropic activities for the benefit of society.
Daily worship and prayers are held in the ashram, and the birthdays of different preachers and saints are observed. Devotees in large numbers visit the ashram to breathe in a spiritual atmosphere. Regular classes and lectures on religion and culture are conducted by the ashram.
Durga Puja festival and anniversaries of Shri Ramkrishna Paramhans and Swami Vivekanand are celebrated with great eclat in different parts of the city. Birthday anniversaries of the Holy Mother—Shri Sharada Devi, Bhagwan Shrikrishna, Lord Buddha, Shri Shankaracharya and Jesus Christ are also celebrated at the ashram.
The mission runs a student's home for college students to help them in their university education and to imbibe in them the salient features of Hindu culture.
The public free reading room and the Shivananda library of the Mission are equipped with more than 13,987 books on philosophy, literature, science, history, ethics, and 136 dailies and other periodicals.
The Mission runs a charitable hospital equipped with surgical,, pathological, gynaecological, dental, E.N.T., ophthalmic and radiological instruments. Nearly two lakhs and a half patients were treated free of charge from April 1965 to March 1967. Now major surgical operations are also undertaken in the hospital.
The centre undertakes relief work in and outside the State in times of national calamities like famine, flood and earthquake. So far it undertook 26 relief operations, some on very large scale, involving a total expenditure of lakhs of rupees. In the recent past the Mission conducted flood relief work in Kutch and Surat where its total expenditure was above Rs. 10 lakhs.
The assets of the Mission were valued at Rs. 12,75,433 and the income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 2,84,943 in 1966-67.
Religious Amity Centre, Mistry Court, Marine Lines : The Religious Amity Centre was established in 1963 to work for religious amity and goodwill among people. It maintains a list of invitees numbering over a thousand. The expenses incurred are paid by its president. It has had several distinguished speakers at prayer meetings including the late Dr. Zakir Hussain, ex-President of India.
St. Peter's Armenian Church (Trust), Fort : The St. Peter's Armenian Church was founded in 1942 with the objectives to spread religion, to render educational and medical facilities to students and members of the community.
The management of the property of Armenian Churches in Bombay city and other parts of the Bombay province is looked after by the trust. It had 18 members in 1969.
The assets of the trust were valued at Rs. 8,39,016 in 1969, and its annual income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 1,02,089 approximately in the same year.
ORGANISATIONS FOR PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED
Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Deaf — A Project of SARRAM :
It was at the time of the Indo-Pakistan conflict that the Bangla Desh Aid Committee was established with the immediate objective of rendering succour to the refugees fleeing from erstwhile East Pakistan. The work done by the Bangla Desh Aid Committee in Maharashtra was greatly appreciated and lauded, keeping in view especially the fact that funds were raised from the common man by the relentless dedicated and determined efforts of a group of voluntary workers.
It was therefore felt that the group, assembled under the banner of Bangla Desh Aid Committee, should continue working together towards different humanitarian goals, such as, rehabilitation of refugees, rendering help to the needy or under-privileged segments of our society. Instead of disbanding this Committee it was decided to rename it as the Society for Assistance, Rehabilitation, Relief and Aid, Maharashtra (SARRAM). The Society as the successor to the erstwhile committee has had wider objectives. It is one of the leading voluntary institutions which has served to rouse civic consciousness and fellow-feelings of the public and raise substantial amounts for numerous noble causes including rehabilitating the weaker sections of the society and rendering assistance to warwidows and orphans, constructing percolation tanks in drought-hit districts, hostels for widows and orphans, etc.
The late Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Ali Yavar Jung who was the chief patron, associated himself with its progress and took keen interest in its activities.
The latest project with which SARRAM is now occupied relates to the establishment of an institute for the deaf. It was in 1973 that the initial steps were taken in this direction.
SARRAM is sponsoring the establishment in Bombay of an institute for the deaf and mute which has a five-fold objective, viz., (a) training teachers through degree and diploma courses for the teaching of deaf and mute children in secondary and primary schools, (b) running a vocational and technical as well as a general primary and secondary school for the deaf and mute, (c) undertaking home and pre-school education, (d) promoting research in early detection, proper assessment and treatment and (e) assisting the rehabilitation of the deaf and mute.
SARRAM has built up a fund of Rs. 20 lakhs, collected through public donations and earmarked for the establishment of the Ali Yavar Jung Institute for the Deaf. The University of Bombay has instituted degree and diploma courses for teachers' training in technical and vocational education of the deaf.
The Government of India has approved the location of the proposed institute in Bombay. The Government of Maharashtra has released a piece of land in Bandra Reclamation for the setting up of the Institute. The foundation stone for this Institute was laid on the 25th December 1978 by the then Prime Minister of India.
The total assets of SARRAM are of the order of about Rs. 25 lakhs of which Rs. 24 lakhs are in term deposits (1981-82).
Blind Men's Association : The Blind Men's Association is the first organisation of its type established by the blind men in the then State of Bombay in 1947. It has its affiliated branches at Pune and Ahmedabad.
The Association looks after the welfare of the non-institutional blind people.
It renders home visits, offers necessary advice and guidance to the blind. It also provides financial assistance in the shape of loans, free of interest, to enable the blind to set-up small business of their own. Scholarships to blind children as also the children of blind parents are offered for pursuing higher education. A recreation centre for the blind children has been established at balbhavan. It grants monthly assistance and medical aid to blind people and organises recreational activities for them. Braille reading competitions are held every year for the blind.
Many of these activities of the Association are carried out with the help of volunteers. The Association has a membership of over 400 including 300 blind men. The day-to-day activities of the Association are looked after by the executive council consisting of blind men and women. The income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 24,205 and Rs. 22,965, respectively during 1975-76.
Central Society for Education of the Deaf, Agripada : The Central Society for Education of the Deaf was established in 1966 with the objects of guidance, education, training of the deaf; imparting instruction and guidance to parents of the deaf; and conducting research investigations and experiments in all matters concerning education of the deaf.
The Society conducts a central school for the deaf which also guides the parents of the deaf children so as to understand the problems that they encounter during bringing up and education of these children.
Another institution started by the society is the Central Institute of Teachers of the Deaf, to train teachers from all over India, to educate the deaf through the oral method, to carry out hearing tests and assess the deafness of the children and foster the correct methods of teaching speech to deaf children.
During 1976, the income and expenditure of the society was the same amounting to Rs. 1,18,930.
Fellowship for the Physically Handicapped, Haji Ali : The organisation was started in 1956 to solve the problems of the physically handicapped.
The general body consists of patrons, life members and ordinary members. Members include both able bodied and disabled.
The aims and objectives of the society are to ameliorate the conditions of the physically handicapped by fostering in them, fellowship for the encouragement and development of their interests and abilities. It provides opportunities and assistance to the physically handicapped and advise them to solve their social, economic, educational and general problems and for the spread of useful knowledge with the view to affording them training for occupations by which they can support themselves and be useful members of the community. It started an industrial workshop for the handicapped in 1957, the first of its kind in India. Various types of work such as printing, book binding, carpentry, weaving, plastic moulding, plastic welding, packing etc. is undertaken in the workshop.
The main source of income of the institution continues to be cash donations from the public, receipts from charity shows and entertainments organised by the funds committee. It receives grants-in-aid from the Directorate of Social Welfare, Government of Maharashtra.
Happy Home and School for the Blind, Worli : The Happy Home for the Blind, under the auspices of the Blind Relief Association made a beginning in 1925 with 5 blind beggar boys. In 1948 a school was started within the Home, and today it has 130 visually handicapped students on its register.
The primary object of the School is to provide education to visually handicapped children. The School is established for court-committed, juvenile and delinquent blind boys. The rehabilitation and education of these students envisages job-oriented education based on vocational guidance as well as training in music and handicrafts. Academic training is given up to VII Std. and intelligent students are encouraged to pursue their studies under the integrated system of education up to S.S.C. level. The School is a residential school providing all the students free boarding, lodging, clothing, medical aid, educational facilities and all other necessary amenities. Recently, a special unit catering to the needs of partially sighted students was initiated. In this, border liners and apparently slow learners are given special training to use their residual vision efficiently. Another unit was started for the educationally sub-normal children who are too young for vocational placement.
Financial assistance is received from the State Government and the Bombay Municipal Corporation towards maintenance of the children. It also receives grants from charitable trusts and philanthropists for the care of the blind. The annual income and expenditure of the school in 1975-76 was Rs. 1,58,183 and Rs. 2,56,986, respectively.
Industrial Home for the Blind Women, Andheri : The Industrial Home for Blind Women is conducted by the Blind Relief Association which was established on 27th January 1919. The idea to develop the workshop for blind women was originated because of 13 orphan girls in the Dadar school for the blind who had no interest in academic education, and being orphans, had no place to go. The management of the Blind Relief Association therefore set-up this home in the premises of the Dadar school for the blind on the 15th August 1959. The institution shifted to its newly constructed building in June 1976.
The Home trains the blind women between the age group of 16 to 40 years and provides them free lodging, boarding and medical aid. The home imparts them training in different vocations such as weaving, tailoring, broom making and caning of chairs. The main objective of the institution is to rehabilitate the blind inmates and to enable them to gain economic independence. The home placed 40 inmates in industrial employment and settled down marriages of 15 inmates.
The institution manufactures some of the household articles besides caning of chairs and stitching.
The institution gets financial assistance from Central Social Welfare Board for better amenities, Government of Maharashtra for maintenance and Bombay Municipal Corporation for better training facilities.
The income of the institution was Rs. 64,099, while the expenditure amounted to Rs. 84,877 in 1976.
Muncherjee Nowrojee Banajee Industrial Home for the Blind, Jogeshwari: The Home came into existence on the 16th July 1956 to cater to the needs of adult blind men. The new building constructed in the premises of the Home provides training and residential facilities to the blind inmates. In 1956, strength of the Home was only 14 which increased to 150 in 1975. It had trained 763 blind persons upto 1974-75.
The blind are taught to accept the limitations imposed by their blindness. Besides, they are also given training to operate power driven machinery in light engineering and wood work units. In 1975, 530 persons were trained in cane work, carpentry, handloom weaving, tailoring, etc. The orchestra of the home; manned by 20 musicians, is one of the sources of income.
The inmates have organised an Andha Vikas Mandal to solve their difficulties. Different committees have been set-up for entertainment, food, library and cultural activities.
The home had assets worth Rs. 15,07,213, while the income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 3,89,592 during 1974-75.
Narsingrao Shivaji Dharmaji Industrial Home for the Blind, Worli: This institution was started on 1st April 1917 with the object of integration of the blind in all walks of life; to adjust and rehabilitate the adult blind and give them industrial training. The inmates, after their training in selected vocations, are employed either in other factories or in the workshop of the home. The home admits blind persons between the age group of 18-40. The strength of the students during 1966-67 was 115.
The Home provides training in weaving, chair caning, carpentry, tailoring and brush making.
Under contract with the Government of Maharashtra the institution gets orders from the Government as also from the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, the B.E.S.T., the Bombay Port Trust and the Air India, besides, private companies for the supply of dusters, swabs, coarse cloth, etc. The annual turnover in handloom goods amounts to Rs. 60,530. The work of caning and repairs of chairs in all Government offices in Bombay is done by this institution. During 1966-67, 5,863 chairs were caned by inmates, fetching an amount of Rs. 36,152. The annual realisation of tailoring and brush making sections amounted to Rs. 6,720 and Rs. 1,805, respectively during the same year. The blind men mainly perform jobs such as assembling, inspection and packaging.
In addition to free boarding, lodging, medical care, clothing etc. the blind workers are paid about a quarter of the receipts on account of work done by them as incentive. On an average each worker gets Rs. 25 to Rs. 30 per month. The after care service is also rendered by the Home for the aged and infirm blind.
The institution has an orchestra manned by 20 blind musicians. The orchestra party gave 132 performances during 1966-67 realising Rs. 1,81,362.
It had assets worth Rs. 3,33,670 in 1966-67 and its total receipts amounted to Rs. 2,57,691, whereas the expenditure came to Rs. 2,53,498 in the same year. It gets grants from Government as well as private trusts.
National Association for the Blind : This is a premier organisation devoted to the cause of the blind. Founded in January 1952, the National Association for the Blind has encouraged several institutions in the country in the matter of the welfare, rehabilitation and enrichment of the life of the blind. It is conducting and promoting basic and applied scientific research in the fields of education, rehabilitation and economic resettlement of the blind. It encourages good literature for the blind in various forms including braille, large type, sound recordings and equipment and appliances for the use of the blind. It trains instructors and volunteers to work in the field.
By March 1982, the National Association for the Blind had 182 institutions affiliated to it from all over India. Of these, 33 institutions were in Maharashtra. The institutions affiliated to the National Association for the Blind in Bombay are mentioned below:—
Blind Men's Association, Bombay 400 036.
Blind Relief Association, Kalbadevi Road.
Dadar School for the Blind, Dadar.
Haji Allarakhia Sonawala Andh and Anath Stree Ashram, Andheri.
Happy Home and School for the Blind, Worli.
Industrial Home for Blind Women, Andheri (West).
Krishanlal Jalan Charity Trust, Kalbadevi.
M. N. Banajee Industrial Home for the Blind, Jogeshwari (West).
M. U. R. L. National Centre for the Blind, Pant Nagar, Ghatkopar.
NAB Mata Lachmi Nursery for the Blind, Sion.
NAB Workshop for the Blind, Prabhadevi.
N.S.D. Industrial Home for the Blind, Worli.
Salvation Army Blind Men's Working Hostel, Byculla.
Victoria Memorial High School for the Blind, Tardeo Road.
The NAB and the entire blind fraternity in India owes immensely to the philanthropy and dedication of Mr. Vijay M. Merchant who is its president. This cricketer of international fame is the principal architect and source of inspiration for the NAB. He has been instrumental in mobilisation of funds for the organisation. Besides him, a cadre of dedicated persons are working for the cause. The institution has 700 Life members and 300 ordinary members. Its income and expenditure during 1981-82 amounted to Rs. 20,01,884 while its assets were worth Rs. 1,42,30,115.
NAB—Workshop for the Blind, Worli: The present organisation founded in 1963 is an outcome of the amalgamation of two trusts, viz., the Trust of the Workshop for the Blind at Worli and the Maharashtra State Council on Blindness. The main object of the institution is to impart intensive industrial and vocational training with a view to preparing the blind for absorption in employment and economic rehabilitation.
The institution gives training in light engineering, assembly of component parts, tailoring, carpentry, telephone operating, etc.
Up to 1977 December, 590 blind persons have been imparted training in various trades. The organisation secured jobs through its employment and placement committee for 290 trained blind persons.
The institute provides educational and hostel facilities to its inmates-Besides, it organises social programmes for the amusement of the blind-These programmes include musical concerts, orchestra, lectures, bhajans, picnics, etc.
The trainees are paid stipend at the rate of Rs. 70 per month. The day trainees are paid, in addition, a sum of Rs. 15 to cover conveyance charges for their journey from residence to the workshop.
The institution receives maintenance grant of Rs. 1,00,000 from the Government of Maharashtra and a general grant of Rs. 10,000 from the Municipal Corporation. It also receives donations from the general public.
The assets of the institution were valued at Rs. 14,68,916 in 1975-76, while the income and expenditure were the same amounting to Rs. 5,43,250.
National Association of the Instructors of the Blind, Worli : Originally established in 1960 as the Maharashtra State Association of the Blind
Teachers, it became a national organisation in 1963. The objects of the association are to take measures to awaken interest in and to encourage research for the improvement and development of educational methods employed in institutions for the blind, and to raise the status of the instructors of the blind by taking such steps as may be necessary for fostering a fellowship among them, securing their adequate representation on educational bodies and providing facilities for united action for matters affecting their professional welfare.
The activities of the Association are mostly of an academic nature. It arranges periodical conventions, and conducts refresher's courses; and holds workshops, symposia and seminars on various aspects of blindness. A special forum on blindness is held annually when experts in the field are invited to deliver lectures. It also publishes a professional magazine called, The Educator of the Blind. It receives grants from the Central Government and collects funds from donors and sympathisers.
National Society for Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped, Paltan Road, Bombay-1 : The National Society for Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped was established in 1968 to help nearly 20 million handicapped people in India who are blind, deaf, orthopaedically handicapped, leprosy afflicted or mentally retarded. The society coordinates and conducts such activities as will help both the handicapped individual and the numerous welfare organisations working for them.
The society has undertaken 14 major projects such as promoting integrated education of the handicapped, preparation of teachers for them, employment in industries, home bound programme and national sports for them, evaluation and assessment of the programme for them and their training at industrial training institutions. It also provides the necessary help to the handicapped, observes the World Day of the Disabled, holds sports meets, arranges exhibitions, gives awards to the handicapped workers, publishes a quarterly journal, maintains a multi-category workshop and undertakes research on total communication for the deaf.
During 1976 its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 3,25,457.
Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind, Bombay-36 : The South Asia Regional Office of the Society for the region of India, Ceylon, Pakistan and Bangla Desh, with its headquarters at Bombay, was established on 1st January 1970. The Society with its headquarters in England is governed by a Governing Council. The Queen of England is the patron-in-chief of this organisation, which works for the education and rehabilitation of the blind and for the prevention and cure of blindness in 34 Commonwealth countries. The Society has only institutional members.
The Society is a voluntary private organisation subsisting on public funds. The annual budget of the regional office is one million rupees, approximately. Most of the funds are raised by way of donations and by organising charity shows. The society conducted over 200 eye-camps mainly in the rural areas of India. In these camps up to the end of 1970 it examined 2,63,689 ophthalmic patients, treated 2,10,094 of them and operated 21,752 for the restoration of sight and 6,587 for the prevention of blindness.
The Society helps the National Association for the Blind in India in the running of its expanded employment and placement service for the blind and also assists the Tata Agricultural and Rural Training Centre for the blind at Phansa in the resettlement of blind farmers. It provides mobile ophthalmic vans to other Indian organisations to carry on prevention and cure of blindness in rural areas.
Society for Education of the Crippled, Agripada : This Society was founded in December 1958, by a group of prominent citizens of Bombay, who realised that the physically handicapped, especially those from the lower income group, had no opportunity for normal education and good living. The object of the society is to organise educational facilities covering all stages i.e. pre-primary, primary, secondary, university, vocational and technical education for the orthopaedically disabled and crippled, children and adults. Apart from formal education extra curricular and vocational activities are also organised by the society.
In June 1960, the society established the S.E.C. Day School for crippled children, and the school had a strength of 56 students. It is recognised by the Education Department of the Government of Maharashtra, and the Bombay Municipal Corporation.
The society does a great deal of work in furthering the cause of the handicapped whenever an opportunity arises. It makes arrangements for placement in suitable employment and providing wheel chairs for the needy persons.
Society for Rehabilitation of Crippled Children, Haji Ali : The Society was established in 1947, with a view to organise hospitals and clinics for the diagnosis and treatment of disabled and crippled children; to create and educate public opinion on the problems of such affected children; and to compile and publish statistics and maintain records relating to the causes and frequency of poliomyelitis in India.
During 1968 the Society received financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 1,20,000 from the Government of Maharashtra and Rs. 99,000 from the Bombay Municipal Corporation. A sum of Rs. 1,000 was also received from the Central Social Welfare Board during the same period. The annual income of the society amounted to Rs. 1,69,614, while the expenditure came to Rs. 5,07,809 during 1968-69.
The Society runs the Children's Orthopaedic Hospital and the cerebral palsy unit demonstration and research centre. The hospital, with a bed capacity of 50 beds, is well-equipped with an operation theatre, X-ray department, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy units and a school. About 200 children attend daily for treatment in various departments. The unit is sponsored by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare of the U.S.A. Government.
Bombay Natural History Society, Fort : The society was established as a private organisation in 1883 by seven residents at Bombay. It is an eminent organisation actively engaged in collection of information and specimens of natural history throughout India, Burma and Ceylon, and dissemination of the knowledge of flora and fauna, through the medium of publications, lectures, films and expeditions. Eminent scholars in the field are associated with it. It has also been instrumental in focussing official and public attention on the need of conservation and development of the rich and varied wild life of the country.
The Society at present has about 1,000 members from all over India, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon, Europe, America and other parts of the world.
The library owned by the society has a collection of about 6,000 books on fauna and flora. It receives grants from the Government of Maharashtra and the Central Government for maintenance of the research collections.
In 1970 the income and expenditure of the society amounted to Rs. 1,85,391 and Rs. 1,65,781, respectively.
Gujarat Research Society, Khar : The Society was founded in 1936 with the object of promoting, organising and co-ordinating research in all branches of knowledge. It has contributed to the advancement of knowledge, particularly in the field of education, psychology, sociology, economics, health and medicine.
The Gujarat Research Society has a branch in Ahmedabad. In 1968-69, society had 76 life members and 51 ordinary members. The assets of the society during 1968-69 were valued at Rs. 8,69,253 and the income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 1,45,507 in the same year.
The activities of the society are carried out through various units, the details of which are given below:
(1) Psychological Research Institute : Emotionally imbalanced and educationally backward children with normal intelligence are treated at the child guidance clinic with drug therapy, individual play therapy, group play therapy and individual psycho therapy.
Under the expert guidance of psychiatrists, parents of the handicapped children are given instruction through individual and group psychotherapeutic interviews as also through parent group meetings. In 1968-69, 125 children were admitted for treatment. The clinic acts as a training centre for the students of Diploma in Psychological Medicine as well as social work students. It is also approved by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre as a hospital and nursing home for psychiatric patients.
Educational and vocational guidance and psychological testing bureau helps the youth in making proper choice for education. The youngsters are guided on the basis of psychological test. Meetings with teachers and parents are organised in different schools to bring awareness and discuss the problems of children. In 1968-69, 425 pupils took advantage of the services rendered by the Bureau.
(2) Health Research Institute : In field of public health the society has done a good work by starting a dispensary, a pathological laboratory, oral polio vaccine centre and a family planning centre. A centre for mentally handicapped children is also run by the society in collaboration with the Bombay Municipal Corporation. There were 40 children on roll in 1968.
The society has a library which contains reference books on various subjects, serves the needs of the reading public, and especially the students and research workers.
Indian Cancer Society, Parel : The Society was registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 on 20th January 1954 and also under the Public Trusts Act, 1950 on 16th July 1954.
Its membership is open to individuals as also to any corporate body or association of persons.
It is an eminent scientific research organisation which has done pioneering work in cancer research, detection and cure. It is by far the biggest institute in the field in the country and it is equipped with sophisticated equipment and eminent experts. The aims and objects of the society are given below:
Scientific investigation of the cause, prevention and control of cancer; public education on cancer and education of the medical profession in latest methods of detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer; combating quackery; sponsoring of research both fundamental and clinical; establishment of free detection centres, establishing international cooperation in research, encouraging visiting professorship, awarding scholarships and fellowships in cytology, chemotherapy and promoting relief and rehabilitation of indigent cancer patients, donating apparatus to hospitals and research institutions; establishing population based cancer registries in different parts of India, organising all India cancer conferences, cancer exhibitions etc., and the publication of Indian Journal of Cancer.
It gets financial assistance from individuals, municipal corporations, companies and trusts in the form of donations, gifts and grants. In 1970, the Society received Rs. 2,93,200 by way of donations. The income and expenditure of the Society amounted to Rs. 3,16.800 and Rs. 4,11,600, respectively in the same year.
The Society has opened branches and free detection centres in several places in Bombay city. It has also established cytology and chemotherapy departments. National cancer conferences were organised in India in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1971. The first international seminar on cancer was also held in India in 1971.
Marathi Vidnyan Parishad, Tardeo : This institution, established on 24th April 1966, is devoted to the propagation of scientific outlook and popularising science among the Marathi people. It also aims at development of Marathi language for literature on scientific subjects. In furtherance of its objectives it holds seminars, symposia and lectures of scientists on various subjects on science. The scientists on the panel of the Parishad organise lectures on various subjects in the day-to-day life of society with an angle to explain the phenomena in scientific terms. Its objectives are precisely as under:—
(i) Propagation of science through Marathi;
(ii) Enrichment of Marathi for scientific writing;
(iii) To increase the importance of science in life;
(iv) Promotion of scientific research.
The organisation publishes a journal, Marathi Vidnyan Parishad Patrika and other books on science. It arranges fpr exhibitions, film exhibitions, competitions, visits to scientific projects, etc. It advises interested institutions on various scientific subjects and encourages adoption of scientific methods. It awards prizes and scholarships to those contributing to science in Marathi language.
The members of the Marathi Vidnyan Parishad include scientists, doctors, technicians, industrialists, science teachers, as also experts in social sciences. Many of the celebrated scientists in the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre as also eminent professors and medical experts are associated with this organisation. Its membership stands at about 1,500.
The institution is recognised as a research institute by the Maharashtra Government, as well as by the Bombay Municipal Corporation from which it receives grants. Though initially housed in the Air-Conditioned Market building at Tardeo, the organisation has constructed a specious building, viz., Vidnyan Bhavan at Chembur. It has many branches in Bombay and Maharashtra. It is now extending its activities out of Maharashtra, and particularly to Hyderabad and Baroda.
Nehru Centre, Worli: The Nehru Centre was established on 20th October 1972, with the objects to inculcate and promote new social values, secularism and national integration and propagation of a humane, self-reliant and scientific outlook on life, and to perpetuate the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru by undertaking educational, social, cultural, medical relief, scientific research and other charitable activities.
The Nehru Centre aims at developing a scientific outlook in society. It desires to excite and satisfy human curiosity for knowledge. It has a research-oriented programme to probe into new areas of learning and enlightenment. It has planned to have a network of creative units aimed at promotion of arts, sciences and humanities. It has decided to encourage research by instituting research awards and scholarships upto about Rs. 10 lakhs a year.
In accordance with this approach, the Nehru Centre complex offers facilities for children's activities, a hobby centre, a science centre, art galleries, library, auditorium facilities for seminars and symposia, and a publications division. It has established a planetorium in the heart of the city which affords a glimpse of the cosmos and a panorama of the planets around us.
The income and expenditure of the centre during the year ended 31st December 1976 amounted to Rs. 13,84,786.
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Colaba : The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was founded in June 1945 by the trustees of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust in co-operation with the then Government of Bombay. The Government of India has recognised the Institute as a national centre for advanced studies and fundamental research in nuclear science and mathematics. It has also been recognised by the University of Bombay as a constituent recognised institution for postgraduate research in physics and mathematics.
The Institute is managed by a council consisting of a chairman, a secretary, three representatives of the Government of India, one member of the Government of Maharashtra and two members appointed by the trustees of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust.
The activities of the institute are carried out through a school of mathematics and a school of physics. The former is organised with a view to building up a body of competent scientists, actively participating in the mainstream of modern mathematical research. At present there is a group of nearly 40 mathematicians in the school engaged in active research in almost every major branch of pure mathematics. The school organises international symposia on different topics from time to time, under the co-sponsorship of the International Mathematical Union.
The school of physics covers both theoretical and experimental investigations. In addition to what might be termed as pure physics, the Institute conducts research in some aspects of biology, chemistry, geophysics, astro-physics, computer sciences and engineering.
This institute has also established various units and sections such as a workshop, glass shop, and precision instrument section, liquid helium and liquid nitrogen plants, electron microscope and X-ray units, a laboratory for chemistry involving radio-active materials. There are lecture and conference facilities. The library of the institute has a good collection of about 22,000 books and 13,000 volumes of periodicals.
As a result of research that has been carried out, the institute has achieved competence of a unique character in several fields. The following are the activities of the institute which constitute as ' National Facilities ' : (1) National Computation Centre, (2) Balloon facility, (3) Radio-astronomy Centre at Ootacamund, (4) Radio-carbon Laboratory for Archaeology and (5) Tritium Laboratory for Hydrological studies.
The Institute publishes a number of books, pamphlets, lecture notes and proceedings of conferences, symposia and summer schools.
In the year 1968, the institute had 1,350 staff members, of whom 352 were qualified scientists and engineers engaged in research and scientific development.
The present building of the institute on Homi Bhabha Road in Colaba area admeasures about 3,20,000 square feet. The property and assets of the institute were valued at Rs. 6,97,22,330 in 1970. The annual income and expenditure of the T.I.F.R. amounted to Rs. 1,71,84,122 and Rs. 1,62,65,228, respectively in 1969-70.
The main financial support of the institute comes from the Government of India through the Department of Atomic Energy. In 1969-70, the institute received Rs. 185.55 lakhs as capital revenue from the Government of India, Rs. 50 lakhs from the Government of Maharashtra and Rs. 1 lakh from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust.
SOCIAL WELFARE ORGANISATIONS
Association for Moral and Social Hygiene (Maharashtra Branch), Fort : The association was established in 1955. It is affiliated to the International Abolitionist Federation, Geneva.
The main objects of the association are : (1) condemnation and prevention of all types of prostitution; (2) raising the standard of character and conduct in sex relations and to uphold the highest family tradition; (3) recognition of an equally high standard of morality for men and women; (4) eradication of prostitution and kindred evils; (5) eradication of venereal diseases and the condition which promote the same; and (6) education of public opinion for creating proper social hygienic conditions.
All persons over 18 years of age are eligible for membership of the association. The management of the association is vested in the managing committee and the executive committee. The association has its district branches at Ahmadnagar, Nagpur, Pune, Solapur and Nashik. It arranges lectures and seminars on various problems of life and educates people in healthy family life. It also runs balwadis and undertakes case-work services at the welfare centres.
The association receives grants from government, municipality, and the central social welfare board. The assets of the association were valued at Rs. 1,52,155, while its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 19,209 in 1970-71.
Bharat, Sevak Samaj, Ballard Estate : The Bharat Sevak Samaj was started in Bombay in 1954, and registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act with the object to find and develop avenues of voluntary service for the citizens of India.
After the formation of linguistic states, the name of the Samaj was changed to the Maharashtra Pradesh Bharat Sevak Samaj. It received however a great set-back due to stoppage of grants from all the sources.
The Samaj could maintain certain activities only because of the institutionalisation of the activities. The Samaj has started three dental clinics at Bandra, Abhyudaya Nagar and Ghatkopar, besides six dispensaries at various places in Bombay. It also conducts coaching classes for the high school students at Bandra. The community centre at Sardar Nagar (Sion-Koliwada) provides library facilities. A home for improvement of vagrant boys was started by the institute.
Bombay Keraleeya Samaj, Matunga : The Samaj, established in 1930, is the premier social and cultural institution of the Keralites in Bombay. It has got its own building, viz., Kerala Bhavanam at Matunga. Its activities include propagation of the Kerala system of ayurvedic treatment, free reading rooms and library, educational activities, sports and promotion of arts and culture, etc.
The Samaj is the sole agent in Bombay for the supply of ayurvedic medicines from the reputed Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Shala, Kerala. It runs four dispensaries, one each at Matunga, Dadar, Chembur and Goregaon where medical consultation is free of cost. As many as 32,671 patients were given free treatment in 1971.
Free reading room facilities are provided at Matunga, Dadar, Chembur and Goregaon by the Samaj. The library at Kerala Bhavanam has a collection of nearly 8,000 books in English and Malayalam. The Samaj publishes a monthly magazine, Vishal Keralam, in Malayalam.
It conducts a dance class in Kerala Bhavanam and K. G. classes at Matunga and Chembur. The Samaj has an educational fund of Rs. 5 lakhs at present.
The members of the Samaj in January 1972 included 26 patrons, 466 life members, 1,549 ordinary members and 187 associated members. It possesses property and assets valued at Rs. 7,63,301. Its income and expenditure in 1971 amounted to Rs. 9,25,818.
Bombay Legal Aid Society, Fort : The Society was established in 1925 and registered on 23rd April 1930. The objects of the Society are to render legal aid to poor litigants. It provides free legal aid as also the service of lawyers to the poor, in civil as well as criminal cases.
The Society has a panel of advocates attached to prominent labour welfare centres at Naigaon, Kalachowki, Arthur Road, Kamathipura and Worli to give free legal advice to poor persons.
The Society gets Rs. 1,200 by way of Government grant per annum.
Bombay Relief Association, Fort (Cook's BIdg.) : The Association was formed in 1909 by some European inhabitants of Bombay by amalgamating existing charities, and was named as the Bombay European Relief Association. In 1963 the name was however changed to Bombay Relief Association. The Association runs a home for destitute and aged men, and gives medical and financial help to deserving people in distress.
Bombay Young Men's Christian Association : The Bombay Young Men's Christian Association was founded in 1875. It is an important voluntary organisation which has rendered useful service to society. It is not an athletic or recreational club, but an international organisation conducted for the welfare of the young and is devoted to the cause of students, industrial workers and young middle class persons.
The Young Men's Christian Association has a network of affiliated organisations spread over 88 countries in the world. In India alone there are 66 associations in urban areas and 69 in rural areas.
The Bombay branch of Young Men's Christian Association serves its members and the public through the following institutional framework and activities : a home for vagrant boys at Andheri; clubs for high school boys and girls in Young Men's Christian Association branches; three municipal playgrounds managed by industrial workers; gymnasium and wrestling akhada for industrial workers; swimming pool; Young Men's Christian Association Lions Juhu centre and international house to accommodate tourists, visitors and their families.
The Association receives financial assistance by way of donations and funds from the public.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Smarak Mandal, Dadar : The institution was established in 1943 by some enthusiastic social workers with the earnest desire of helping the backward and weaker sections of society. The main objectives of the institution are to organise and strengthen the backward and weaker sections of the society and to strive for their improvement in educational, social and economic fields.
The institution has constructed a worthy auditorium which is named as Shivaji Mandir. The auditorium is used mainly for performance of Marathi dramas which are enjoying good patronage. The auditorium is the venue of two to three drama performances every day. Besides the auditorium there are other wings including Rajarshi Shahu Sabhagriha, Rajabhau Mulik Sabhagriha and reading room where social and educational activities are conducted. The institution has undertaken construction of a hostel building at D. N. Nagar, Andheri, for the benefit of the poor and deserving college students.
The institution has established a branch called Jeejamata Mahila Mandir, which strives for the welfare of women by arranging lectures and exhibitions. The institution has another branch called Sainik Kalyan Kendra which conducts activities for the welfare of persons in the defence forces. It extends help for their settlement in Bombay and attends to their grievances. The institution takes keen interest in sports activities and maintains a library called Shri Shivaji Library. The institution celebrates functions like Dasara Sammelan and Shiv Jayanti when prominent personalities are invited to deliver lectures. The institution receives an annual grant-in-aid of about Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 25,000 from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay. The Corporation also granted an ad hoc grant of Rs. 2 lakhs towards the construction of the hostel building. The institution also secures donations from the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank and the State Government. As against the financial assistance received, the institution grants scholarships to the extent of Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 40,000 to college students. The income of the institution was Rs. 8,35,014 while the expenditure amounted to Rs. 8,19,669 in 1979-80.
Indian Council of Social Welfare, Fort : The Indian Council of Social Welfare was established in 1947 to provide a national forum for the discussion of social welfare and related issues and to foster the development of social welfare throughout the country.
As an apex body, the Indian Council of Social Welfare has helped in initiating and promoting welfare bodies like the Family and Child Welfare Association, Family Services Centre, etc. It has also undertaken projects like Missing Children's Bureau, Volunteer Bureau, Counselling Services; Emporium for Marketing Goods of Welfare organisations, etc. Recently, the council has been recognised by the High Court of Bombay for professional consultation on petitions by foreigners to adopt Indian children.
Conferences and seminars are held by it from time to time. In fact it has provided a forum for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, techniques and experience, as well as a meaningful dialogue between social scientists, social workers, administrators, planners, educators and others engaged in social welfare.
A project to establish a welfare secretariat building at Chembur to house the headquarters of the council, an auditorium, a research centre and a library has been undertaken by the Council. A community services centre is planned for the slum dwellers in Bombay Central area on a piece of land donated by the Bombay Municipal Corporation.
During 1975-76, the income and expenditure of the council stood at Rs. 95,107 and Rs. 1,30,288, respectively.
International Council on Social Welfare, Fort : The International Council on Social Welfare was founded in 1928 in response to a long felt need for an international forum for exchange of information and promotion of human welfare. The objects of the council are to provide a world-wide forum for the discussion of social welfare and related issues, and to foster the development of social welfare throughout the world.
Regional conferences, seminars and other activities which offer an opportunity for constructive discussion and individual as well as co-operative work on questions concerning the broad field of social welfare are organised periodically. It also serves as an official consultant on social welfare matters to the important international organisations such as FAO, ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO, the Council of Europe and the organisation of American States.
The revenue of the council accrues from membership fees based on an annual quota and from registration fees for its various activities. The executive committee supervises the management of the council.
Konkan Cultural Association, opp. Regal, Bombay-39 : The Konkan Cultural Association was established on the 20th of October 1964 for the cause of the social, educational and cultural well-being of the residents of Bombay hailing from the Konkan.
The total number of members of this cosmopolitan organisation was 471 in 1975-76.
The activities of the Association include an employment bureau, adult literacy class, health clinic, and a family welfare bureau. A sponsorship programme assuring opportunities to the young to develop their potentialities and qualities of leadership is undertaken.
The Association has formed five committees such as cultural programmes committee, food committee, games and sports committee, health and welfare committee, to manage different activities.
During 1975-76, 49 students and their families were assisted. The Konkan Khabar, its mouth-piece, gives publicity to different activities of the Association.
Its income and expenditure in the year ending 31st March 1976, amounted to Rs. 53,067.
Lokmanya Seva Sangh, Vile Parle : Lokmanya Seva Sangh was established on 11th March 1923, in memory of the late Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The object of the Sangh is to strive for the welfare and progress of the public in educational, cultural, social, economic and other fields. It is one of the oldest social service organisations in Bombay.
The Sangh has undertaken various activities such as providing medical facilities for children including immunization against diseases. It also maintains a child health centre under the guidance of specialists.
The Sangh conducts a montessori school which had 341 students in 1979-80. It also conducts a school for dumb and deaf children.
The Sangh has a library possessing about 26,000 books of which 16,806 are Marathi, 6,776 English, 394 Hindi, 59 Gujarathi, 105 Sanskrit and 1,860 other books. It had 1,540 members in 1979-80.
The catering service of the sangh is very popular in Parle and the adjoining suburban area. It renders catering service at social functions, parties, diwali festival and such other similar occasions. By such activities it provides work to the needy and poor women.
It runs tailoring, embroidery and handicraft classes which had a strength of 73 in 1979-80.
The Sangh has maintained a well equipped gymnasium for adults and children. It arranges lectures, discussions, elocution competitions and exhibitions.
In 1979-80 the Sangh had 2,198 members, and its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 7,91,807.
Maratha Mandir, Bombay Central: The Maratha Mandir was established on 30th March 1945, with the objects of striving for the welfare and progress of the public in educational, cultural, social, economic, and other fields. It is one of the eminent social service organisations in Bombay and it has done useful work in the field of education.
During 1972, the total number of members was 3,000. The annual budget of the institution was Rs. 10 lakhs.
The institution is running several schools in the city and in rural areas. It also grants scholarships to students receiving higher education.
A number of ladies are given advice on family planning. It receives grant-in-aid for educational institutions to the tune of Rs. 6,50,000 per year from the Government and a small annual grant of Rs. 3,000 from the Bombay Municipal Corporation. It also gets an income of about Rs. 1,00,000 by way of rent from their own properties.
Nagpada Neighbourhood House, Byculla : The Nagpada Neighbourhood House, established in 1927, is a unit of the American Marathi Mission. It is a registered body and is governed by the Mission.
This pioneer social organisation provides a centre where men, women and children from all strata can come together as neighbours for recreation, education, medical assistance and a variety of social services and thereby inspire moral integrity and constructive citizenship.
During the last few years the activities of the house have expanded. It has started classical music and dancing classes, sewing classes, a medical centre and a handicrafts sales centre. The last one was started in 1951 to assist village and cottage industries in marketing their handicrafts. It serves 33 handicrafts-cum-welfare centres throughout India. The house has provided hostel facilities for 33 working men and 16 women belonging to lower income group. The house provides library facilities to about 180 persons daily.
It receives grants from Government as well as from private trusts and individuals. The income and expenditure of the House amounted to Rs. 1,46,283 and Rs. 1,46,422, respectively in 1970.
Parsi Panchayat : The Panchayat had its origin way back in the last quarter of the seventeenth century, presumably in the 1670's during the Governorship of Gerald Aungier. In the beginning it was a quasi judicial-cum-social body dispensing justice and enacting bundobusts. Between 1775 and 1825 it was a powerful social organisation. Its main function lay in giving help to the indigent Parsis and in maintaining towers of silence and other institutions of public worship. But as time changed the Panchayat assumed the functions more of a utilitarian body than an archaic one. Today its main function is to maintain and manage funds and properties specially established for religious and charitable purposes; and to do such other acts and things as may be directly conducive to the well-being of the Parsis. In the second half of the last century the Panchayat began to settle down to be more charitable or a relief giving institution than merely a socio-religious body.
The first religious act of the Parsis in Bombay was to build a tower of silence in 1672 at Malabar Hill. From 1915 onwards the Panchayat began to build bunglis at the Doongarwadi where dead bodies could be brought for obsequial rites and disposal.
The Sanjan memorial column was built by the Panchayat and was opened on 15th February 1920. The forefathers of present day Parsis are believed to have landed at Sanjan.
The first charitable fund started by the Panchayat for the welfare of the community was for funeral expenses in the year 1826. Four months later another fund was started for giving maintenance relief to the poor and destitute. Various funds have been started including the first one in 1826, by the trustees of the Panchayat and today the trustees practically look after the Parsis of Bombay from the womb to the tomb. The number of beneficiaries from the philanthropic activities of the institution continued to grow from 1826. Since 1960 however the Panchayat is mainly concentrating on giving relief to old and infirm persons.
The Panchayat started its housing programme in 1912, when the first housing colony at Hughes Road sprang up. Uptill 1961 the organisation built 142 buildings in nine different colonies in Bombay accommodating about 1,330 families. Many more residential buildings for the benefit of the Parsis in Bombay were later constructed by the trust.
In 1936, clinic building was built in Gamadia colony where the trustees started a clinic known as the maternity and child welfare clinic which they ran for over 10 years. In the year 1948 the trustees obtained a large donation of Rs. 3,57,200 from the executors of the late Dr. Kaikhushroo M. Gimi and the Health Unit came into existence. The unit is meant for the benefit of poor and lower middle class Parsis.
In 1937, a hostel for college students was built in Gamadia colony from a donation of Rs. 60,000 received from the executors of the will of the late Seth Behramji Hormusji Sorabji. The hostel has 54 single rooms. The fees are kept specially low in order to accommodate poor students. The Trustees started an Employment Bureau in 1935.
The industrial institute for men was established so as to provide employment opportunities to deserving persons. In 1951, a printing press was added to the industrial institute. This is known as the Godrej Memorial Printing Press. It executes fine art work and also undertakes colour printing.
Sir J. J. Commercial Institute was started in July 1953 in Bombay, a part of which was converted into a college known as the Sir J. J. College of Commerce.
F. S. Parukh Dharmshala (Infirmary) is one of the oldest institutions under the control of the trustees. It is a place where the old, infirm, meal, blind and destitute persons are kept and cared for throughout their life. Food, clothing, shelter and medical treatment are offered to the inmates.
The trustees had started a vocational guidance bureau in 1947 which was converted into the department of psychological services in the year 1955 with the addition of a psychotherapist in the Bureau.
Passengers and Traffic Relief Association, Fort : The Passengers and Traffic Relief Association is one of the old social welfare organisations in Bombay established in 1915, with the object to educate, advise and help the travelling public and also those engaged in transport of goods. The Association helps the commuters travelling by railway, bus, taxi and air.
From the beginning, the Association has been fortunate in having a galaxy of good men to guide its destinies. It acquired a truly national character with the election of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and Prof. K. T. Shah as honorary members in the late twenties.
In 1944, the Government of Bombay invited the association to send its representative on the Traffic Advisory Committee, presided over by the Commissioner of Police, Bombay. Similarly the association got representation on the Zonal Railway Users' Consultative Committee of both the Central and Western Railways, and on the advisory committees of the BEST and the State Transport.
The Association always endeavoured to focus public attention on the problems affecting the comfort and safety of commuters. While seeking official intervention in the interest of commuters, it always depreciated mob violence and acts of hooliganism leading to the destruction of public property.
In January 1977 the membership of the Association was 350 which comprised patrons, life members, ordinary and moffusil members. The income and expenditure of the association in 1975-76 was Rs. 11,678. The value of its assets and liabilities was Rs. 47,125.
Servants of India Society, Charni Road: The Servants of India Society, founded by Late Gopal Krishna Gokhale on 12th June 1905, is the oldest institution of its kind in India. It strives for the training of national missionaries for the service of India and promotion of the welfare of the Indian people. The headquarters of the Society is located at Pune and has branches at Bombay, Madras, Nagpur and Allahabad.
The work of the Society can be broadly categorised under three heads, viz., economic, educational and medical. The Society has been devoting special attention to the welfare of the tribals and backward class people. At present, it is conducting over 100 centres of work for such people in Karnataka State as well as in U.P. At these centres, balwadis, primary and secondary schools as also welfare services for women and children are carried on.
Its assets were valued at Rs. 52,68,636. Its annual income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 19,54,575 in 1975-76. It received donations amounting to Rs. 1,25,672 in the same year.
Shri Brihad Bharatiya Samaj, Backbay: Shri Brihad Bharatiya Samaj was established originally in Nairobi in 1950 and subsequently in Bombay in 1951. Under the guidance of the then Indian High Commissioner, Mr. Appa B. Pant, some prominent Indians in Nairobi and Mombasa decided to establish an organisation which could render assistance to Indians from overseas countries visiting their motherland. The Mombasa committee requested their friends in Bombay to form a similar committee in Bombay to carry out the objectives of the Samaj. The Samaj was registered as a public trust in 1957.
It provides accommodation for travellers proceeding to Africa or returning there from, and tries to promote social, cultural and educational interests of Indians at home and abroad.
In 1951, the Samaj started a transit camp in rented premises in the Congress House compound at Vithalbhai Patel Road. The Samaj constructed in 1963 a six storeyed building at Backbay Reclamation, Bombay.
The management of the Samaj is carried on by a board of trustees. In 1977, there were 11 trustees, 4 patrons and 21 life members. The income of the Samaj amounted to Rs. 12 lakhs, while its expenditure stood at Rs. 10 lakhs in 1976-77.
It gives assistance, free of charge, to foreign travellers in matters of customs, immigration, booking of passages by sea, rail and air, obtaining passport renewals, visas etc. It also gave other assistance to the Indian repatriates from Zanzibar and Uganda who were forced to leave the countries of their adoption.
To undertake research into the social and economic problems of Indians settled abroad, a research centre was established in 1963. The research centre was named after Sir Purshottamdas Thakurdas. The Muljibhai Madhavani public library started by the Samaj has a good collection of books. The Samaj conducts a book bank for college students in Bombay. The Samaj gives scholarships to students in colleges affiliated to Indian Universities and overseas. It has made arrangements with the Bombay University under which accommodation is provided in the International Students Hostel near Churchgate to 40 overseas students studying in Bombay colleges every year.
The Samaj constructed the Bhulabhai Desai Auditorium which is made available for cultural performances and educational activities.
It also gives assistance to medical institutions for provision of medical relief to poor and needy persons and also to educational institutions.
It received financial assistance for construction of its building at Backbay Reclamation from the Government of India, the Government of Maharashtra, the Government of Gujarat and from a number of business houses.
Social Service League, Girgaum : The Social Service League was established on 19th March 1911. The aims and objects of the league are to pursue social service with a view to ameliorate the physical, moral, and economic condition of the people; and to adopt measures for the training of social workers.
In 1968-69, the number of members of the League was 319, of which 288 were ordinary members.
The League gets grant-in-aid from the Government of Maharashtra and the Bombay Municipal Corporation. It also gets income from its buildings, an auditorium at Parel, and donations from textile mills, and the Bombay Millowners' Association. Its income and expenditure during 1968-69 was the same amounting to Rs. 7,41,498.
In the field of education the League has done a good work by starting different types of educational institutions. The Mafatlal Gagalbhai Textile Technical School conducted by the League is the only institution of its kind in the country imparting pre-employment and post-employment training in spinning and weaving. The school also trained personnel in textile processes deputed by the textile industry in Ceylon.
It also runs industrial schools for women in Greater Bombay, for training young women in needle-work, embroidery and tailoring. The League has started a high school and a night high school. The former was started in 1966 and had a strength of 800. A training class for social workers was started in 1925, with a view to stimulate interest in social work amongst the people.
It imparts an orientation course in social work of six months' duration. Besides, the League conducts libraries and reading rooms in predominantly working class areas. The League has established an allopathic dispensary and an Ayurvedic dispensary at Parel.
The League has maintained a gymnasium, a drama theatre and a co-operative drama club. The Sahakari Manoranjan Mandal stages dramas for the working class. The League publishes a journal, viz., the Social Service Quarterly devoted to the discussion of social problems. Lectures are also organised from time to time to awaken public mind to social problems of the day. A co-operative credit society, started by the League, tries to promote saving habits amongst its members. It also advances loans to its members at a low rate of interest and on easy instalments.
Society for Clean Environment, Chembur : The Society for Clean Environment was formed in December 1969. It is a social, cultural and educational organisation striving for the preservation of a clean environment which is essential for health and welfare of the citizens and their properties.
It runs a laboratory and publishes a quarterly bulletin, the Scavenger, It tries to educate the public through lectures, film-shows, talks on radio and television.
During 1976, the total number of members of the society was 316. Its sources of income consist of donations, subscriptions and grants. Its annual income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 70,000 in 1975-76.
St. Xavier's College Social Service League, Fort : The League was founded in 1950 with the aim of inspiring students with a spirit of selfless and untiring work in the service of the less privileged citizens of the country.
During 1971, the total number of members was 200. The property and assets of the League were valued at Rs. 13,000. During 1971 the annual income and expenditure of the League was the same amounting to Rs. 30,000. The league receives a grant of Rs. 10,000 per bi-annual camp from Government through N.S.S. Grant and Rs. 3,000 as non-Government aid from trusts and donors and Rs. 7,000 from students membership fees.
It adopted Vethi village in Dahanu taluka in May 1968, the main object being implementation of the lift irrigation scheme and induction of the villagers to double cropping. The League is conducting a balwadi in the village Vethi for young children and stitching and handicraft classes for women. Free medical aid is provided to the villagers. Educational and documentary films are screened for the villagers.
The authorities of the League hold exhibitions, seminars and a blood donation drive for the Red Cross Organisation.
Young Men's Hindu Association, Girgaum : The Young Men's Hindu Association was established in 1910, with the objects of working for the social, moral, educational and cultural advancement and benefit of the general public. It was registered in 1946.
During 1975 the total number of members on the roll was 498.
Among the varied types of activities undertaken by the Association mention may be made of a reading room, women's tailoring and music classes, balvikas mandir, Hindi teaching classes, vyayamshala for children and scout and girl guide troupes.
The Association receives annual grant-in-aid from the Bombay Municipal Corporation and the Maharashtra Government for different purposes. The Association has also received donations from Mahalaxmi Temple Charities, Mumbadevi Temple Charities and S. Jindal Charity Trust, Delhi.
During 1975 the income and expenditure of the Association was the same amounting to Rs. 12,786.
Zoroastrian Association, Horniman Circle, Fort : The Zoroastrian Association was founded in 1903 with a view to improve and protect social and financial status of the Parsi community. It also works for the benefit of the community in various fields. The institution has contributed immensely for the upliftment of the Parsis who were always on the forefront in the making of Bombay.
The Association through its work classes imparts instructions in type-writing, short-hand and sewing to its members to earn their living. Scholarships are given every year to the deserving students. It also gives donations to other institutions engaged in welfare work.
The income of the Association is mainly derived from investments in Government securities and fixed deposits with banks.
SPORTS AND RECREATIONAL ORGANISATIONS
Board of Control for Cricket in India (Account is based on Golden Jubilee Volume (1929-79) of the Board of Control
for Cricket in India.): The Board of Control for Cricket in India was constituted in December 1928 with Grant Govan as the first President and Anthony S. De Mello as the first Hon. Secretary with the object to advance and control cricket throughout India and to arrange test cricket matches as also other Foreign and inter-regional cricket matches in India.
The Board owes its origin to many factors, such as (1) popularity of the game played in India and a number of matches being played, (2) the growth of prestigious clubs and gymkhanas which acted as effective spring-boards, (3) various wealthy and devoted patrons who encouraged promotion of the game, and (4) the zeal, enthusiasm and dedication of the founding members.
The first recorded cricket match (Mr. S.C. Caple writes in his book, England vs. India 1886-1959.) was played in India in 1751 between the teams representing the British Army and the English settlers. But it was not till 1792, when the Calcutta Cricket Club was formed by the members of East India Company, that the game began to be played more regularly.
Within five years of the existence of the Calcutta Cricket Club in 1797, the first friendly fixture between a Military XI and an Island XI was played in Bombay, which seems to have given inspiration to the sporting people of Bombay to follow in the footsteps of their counterparts in Calcutta.
The Parsis were the first among Indians to enter international cricket. A team consisting of Parsi players alone, under the Captainship of Dr. D. H. Patel, was sent on the first tour of England in 1886.
A team which could be called an Indian team in the true sense, selected by a committee on the basis of merit, went on a tour of England for the first time in 1911, under the captainship of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, who along with other princes encouraged the game in India. This visit encouraged the formation of the Cricket Control Board.
The unofficial matches were certainly the precursors of the official Test matches. The Test matches between England and India, started in 1932. C. K. Nayadu was the captain of the first test match between India and -England. Prof. D. B. Deodhar was the first cricketer to record a century in the very first representative international match. Their other colleagues gave evidence of the Indian ability in cricket. In the meanwhile, the game continued to gain popularity, the main cause being the annual competitive festivity in cities like Bombay, Pune, where the famous Triangular, Quadrangular and Pentangular matches (Triangular matches were played between the Europeans, Parsis and Hindus ; Quadrangulars between Europeans, Parsis, Hindus and Muslims and Pentangulars between Europeans, Parsis, Hindus, Muslims and ' Rest'. (Also see P. J. Hindu Gymkhana in this Chapter.)) were played. These events attracted the attention of cricket lovers all over the country. The meeting of representatives from various States and Provinces held at Delhi on 21st November 1927 paved the way for the formation of the Board of Cricket Control. The Board was formally framed in 1928. In May 1929, India was admitted as a member to the Imperial Cricket Conference with the unanimous consent of the members present.
Ever since its establishment some championship tournaments are started by the Board. Among those the Ranji Trophy is now accepted as the premier tournament for cricket in India.
It is played annually. This championship which was started in 1934-35, structurally underwent important changes twice, firstly in 1957-58, when the competition was converted into a league-cum-knock-out affair and secondly in 1970-71 when the first two teams from the Five Zones were allowed to compete in the knock-out stage of the championship.
To commemorate the memory of Ranjit Singhji, an illustrious cricketer and a patron of cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket named this tournament after him. The Late Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala donated a magnificent gold cup to be awarded to the winners of this championship.
The first match of the ‘Ranji Trophy Championship' was played in November 1934 and the Bombay team emerged as the first National Champion.
The Zonal Cricket Tournament in India for the Duleep Trophy started in 1961-62. This tournament was named after Duleepsinghji, another cricket immortal and the nephew of ' Ranji'. The first match for the Duleep Trophy between the South Zone and North Zone was played at Madras.
The Irani Trophy, started in 1959 by the Board, was named after Mr. Z. R. Irani who had then served the Board in various capacities. The inaugural match played as a part of the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Ranji Trophy Tournament was staged at the Railway Stadium, New Delhi on 18th March 1960 between Bombay (the National Champions) and the Rest of India led by Lala Amarnath.
Inter-University Championship: In 1935, Mr. Baria donated this Trophy to the Board of Control for Cricket in India for a tournament to be played between the Indian Universities. This tournament was managed by the Board till 1940-41.
The Inter-University Tournament has brought to limelight a number of Cricket Stalwarts.
The Vizzy Trophy Tournament is a Zonal tournament for the Universities. It is conducted by a committee called Vizzy Trophy Committee appointed every year by the Cricket Control Board at its Annual General Meeting. It is normally conducted at one centre in the first week of February. Vizzy Trophy is played in four zones. There was a void between cricket at the school level and first class cricket. With an intention of linking up this gap the Board decided to institute this tournament.
All India Schools Championship was started in 1945-46 to tap talent at a younger age, and nurse it so that it could blossom. The Maharaja of Cooch-Bihar, a great patron of the game, offered the Board a trophy for the tournament, and the Board, in gratitude, named the tournament as All India School Tournament for the Cooch-Bihar Trophy.
Initially, it was an open tournament, played on the knock-out basis and was contested by ten provincial associations. From 1952-53 it took the same pattern as the Ranji Trophy, and is now being played first within a Zone amongst its Associations and then on the inter-Zonal basis amongst the Zonal teams.
The Cricket Control Board introduced in 1973-74 a new tournament especially for those who had not completed 22 years of age, but were not fortunate enough to join colleges. The Bombay Cricket Association, from the funds it had collected to perpetuate the memory of Col. C. K.Nayadu, donated the trophy to the Board to be named as Junior Tournament of India for the C. K. Nayadu Trophy.
A limited overs Zonal tournament was started by the Cricket Control Board in 1973-74, mainly to provide an opportunity to cricketers to adapt themselves to the new type of 'instant' cricket which has become extremely popular in England.
The Maharashtra Cricket Association offered a Trophy to be named after the veteran cricketer, Prof. D. B. Deodhar, for the limited overs Zonal tournament. Its importance lies in the fact that most of the eminent cricketers in India were not accustomed to such matches.
Bombay Cricket Association : Bombay adores a special place in the history of Indian cricket. The city gave birth to a number of cricketers of national and international standing, who have distinguished themselves in test cricket. Bombay cricket fans are known for their enthusiasm and discernment. The Bombay Cricket Association has made valuable contribution in popularising this game and in fostering the spirit of sportsmanship amongst the young. It has also nurtured several eminent cricketers who won distinctions and decorations in national as well as test cricket events. The Association is considered to be a premier cricket association in India. It has its own stadium.
The formation of the Board of Control for Cricket in India spurred the Indian presidencies and States to form their own cricket associations. In order to get affiliation to the Indian Board the leading gymkhanas in Bombay decided to form a cricket association in 1930, and named it as the Bombay Presidency Cricket Association. It was meant for all the areas in the presidency which included Saurashtra, Gujarat and Western Maharashtra. In order to take part in the national cricket championship tournament several new associations sprang up in the Bombay Presidency with the result that the Bombay Presidency Cricket Association had to change its name in 1935 to the present name as Bombay Cricket Association.
The object of the Association is to promote, organise, manage and control the game of cricket in the area controlled by it. The Association has its jurisdiction over Greater Bombay and Thane districts.
Initially the office of the Association was situated in Bombay Gymkhana, later in 1934 it was shifted to Islam Gymkhana, and after 1942, it was again shifted to C.C.I.
As the years rolled by the responsibilities of the Association grew and the activities enlarged. The Association succeeded in getting a sizeable portion of the open space known as the Lloyds Recreation Ground from the Maharashtra Government on lease for a period of 50 years. The present Wankhede Stadium with magnificent pavilions and all the necessary amenities was built in 1974, and the first test match against the West Indies was played at the new stadium in the last week of January 1975. The construction of the stadium owes a lot to the labours and initiative of Mr. S. K. Wankhede, Mr. M. W. Desai and many others.
Amongst the other tournaments which Bombay continued to witness during the first 25 years of existence of the Association the erstwhile Quadrangulars and Pentangulars deserve a special mention. Quadran-gulars were converted into Pentangulars in 1937. The year 1937 was an eventful year in the brilliant history of Bombay's cricket. The year was marked by important events such as, Lord Tennyson's team's visit, opening of the C. C. I. pavilion and the Brabourne Stadium, and inauguration of the pentangular tournament, with the ' Rest' team joining Europeans, Parsis, Hindus and Muslims. The Pentangulars continued to be staged till 1946, the year in which the Hindus won the Championship.
The other annual tournament, in which the Bombay Cricket Association's team directly participated was the National Championship of India for the Ranji Trophy, started by the Board of Control for cricket in India in the 1934. Bombay won the championship in the very inaugural year and many subsequent years. The Association's team won the championship 28 times till 1980.
Dr. H. D. Kanga League Cricket Tournament is a major tournament organised by the B. C. Association which is played in monsoon when the wickets are wet, slow, sticky and drying. This tournament was started in 1948.
Dr. H. D. Kanga Memorial Library was founded in 1950 with the initial capital of Rs. 65,000 provided by the Bombay Cricket Association. In 1980-81, the library had 230 Life members, 685 ordinary and 17 corporate members. It has 8,615 books on sports and other subjects.
In 1980-81 the Association had 348 members. At the end of 1980 as many as 17,554 players were on the register of the Association. The Board appoints umpires for all tournaments registered with the association. The Board conducts umpires' examination.
The World Cup Hockey Tournament was played in Bombay for the first time in India in 1981-82. The first hockey test between India and Pakistan was played at the Wankhede Stadium.
Bombay Gymkhana : The Bombay Gymkhana was instituted for European residents on the 19th June 1875, as the result of a meeting of members of various sporting clubs. Prior to that date any one desirous . of boating, pigeon-shooting or playing out-door games was obliged to become a member of several separate clubs, and it was not till 1872 that the amalgamation of these clubs into a single central gymkhana was agreed upon and a site for a pavilion obtained from Government.
As a result of the meeting of 1875, a pavilion was erected at an initial cost of Rs. 18,000 on the open ground adjoining the junction of Esplanade and Waudby roads, and the hockey and football club, the golf club, cricket club, gun club and boat club were all within a short period affiliated to the new gymkhana. The pavilion was subsequently enlarged at a cost of Rs. 7,000; but, having been found insufficient for the needs of the club, it was replaced by a new double-storeyed pavilion facing the cricket ground, which was completed in September 1907, and opened by the Governor of Bombay in the following December. The Gymkhana contains a racquet-court built in 1882. Under the auspices of the club, a Rugby Football Tournament, Athletic and Sport Meetings and Tennis and Racquet Tournaments are annually held, while the management of the Agha Khan Hockey Tournament and the annual Presidency Cricket Match are also vested in it.
After Independence the Bombay Gymkhana maintained its old glamour, and is patronised by the elite society and sport lovers in Bombay. The first test cricket match was played on the ground of this Gymkhana in December 1933.
Bombay Hockey Association : The former Bombay Provincial Hockey Association was established on 2nd October 1934. In 1964 it was renamed as Bombay Hockey Association. The office of the Association was at Cross Maidan near the Parsi well upto 1949, which was shifted to the Cooperage in 1950, and to its present premises near Churchgate railway station in 1951.
The Association has a ground on the plot of land obtained on a lease basis from the Maharashtra Government. The ground extends over an area about 20,000 sq. feet with a sitting capacity of 10 to 12 thousand audience.
The Association conducts Hockey matches on its own ground as well as on the Bombay University Stadium and other grounds in Bombay. It conducts the Bombay Hockey League, Charanjit Rai Tournament, Guru Tegh Bahadur Memorial Gold Cup Hockey Tournament, Bombay Gold Cup Hockey Tournament and the Bombay Hockey Championship.
The Association had 1,512 members as on 31st May 1980. The income and expenditure of the Association amounted to Rs. 87,082 on 31st May 1980.
Bombay Presidency Radio Club Ltd., Colaba : The club was established on 8th March 1928. It is situated on Arthur Bunder Road at Colaba. It is a recreational club equipped with a Badminton court, Billiard room, snooker, skittle game and a card room. The club has a swimming pool for the benefit of members. Reading room facilities are an added attraction for the members. The club has a permit room and a golden jubilee room which are available to the members for lunch and dinner parties. These rooms are also available for meetings, conferences and gatherings on payment.
The Radio Club enjoys the patronage of the elite class from Bombay and has about 4,000 members.
Catholic Gymkhana Ltd., Charni Road : The Gymkhana near Charni Road railway station, was established on 20th December 1913 for promotion of sports activities, cultural activities, such as dramas, debates, seminars etc. and social get-togethers. It has obtained a piece of land on lease from the Government of Maharashtra, on which a pavilion has been erected. The Gymkhana has almost all kinds of facilities for various outdoor and indoor games, such as, Cricket, Badminton, Tennis, Billiards, Chess etc. It participates in several local tournaments. It is affiliated to several sports associations in the State including the Bombay Contract Bridge Association, Bombay Cricket Association (as a member), Bombay Hockey Association, Greater Bombay Badminton Association, Greater Bombay Regional Amateur Athletic Association, Maharashtra State Billiards Association, Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association, Maharashtra State Table Tennis Association and Western India Football Association.
The Gymkhana had 1,753 members on its roll in 1982. Its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 10,34,161 and Rs. 13,47,982, respectively in 1980-81.
Cricket Club of India Ltd. : The Cricket Club of India was founded in 1933. The Brabourne Stadium constructed by it which was a monument of those days came into existence in 1936. The Club occupies an area measuring some 90,000 sq. yards of land which was entirely reclaimed. The C.C.I, is in the very heart of the sophisticated area of Bombay, barely 100 yards from the Churchgate railway station. The Club is entirely cosmopolitan in composition and conception. At present it has about 6,000 members on its roll. It provides several facilities including Tennis, Badminton, Squash courts and a modern swimming pool. The Cricket ground of the Stadium measures 40,000 sq. yards and provides for covered accommodation all round for nearly 50,000 spectators.
It may be recalled that the first test cricket match in India was played in Bombay at the ground of the Bombay Gymkhana in December 1933. The match was played between India and England. The venue of subsequent test matches was shifted to the Brabourne Stadium since 1937.
The Brabourne Stadium became the scene for staging First Class Cricket and test matches in Bombay. The C.C.I, and the B.C.A. had common bonds and many of the office bearers of both the organisations were common. Hence North stand of the stadium was placed at the disposal of the B.C.A. till 1973-74.
After construction of the new Stadium, namely the Wankhede Stadium the venue of test cricket was again changed. The last test match was played at the Brabourne in February 1973.
Though test cricket is not played at the Brabourne now, the Duleep Trophy and Kanga League cricket matches, as also many prestigious football tournaments are staged here.
Golf Club : The Bombay Golf Club was founded on the 9th January 1842. The Club had a goodwill connection with the Blackheath Golf Club of England. For about five years the Bombay Golf Club flourished, but disappeared about 1848. It was revived for a short span of some years, but in 1861, bereft of most of its members, died a natural death. It was on 16th November 1869 that two English enthusiasts in concert with others, reconstituted the club under the title of the Royal Bombay Golf Club. In 1875, the Club was amalgamated with the Bombay Gymkhana and flourished steadily ever since. Many prestigious trophies were annually competed for by the members of the club.
Islam Gymkhana : The Islam Gymkhana, situated on the Kennedy sea-face between the Parsee Gymkhana and the P. J. Hindu Gymkhana, was established by subscriptions from the Bombay Muhammedan community in 1891, with the object to encourage sports. The pavilion of the Gymkhana and the cricket and tennis grounds were completed in the following year.
The Gymkhana has obtained membership of the Bombay Cricket Association. After Independence membership of the Gymkhana was open to all communities. In 1981-82 it had about 900 members, and has facilities for various sports, such as, Cricket, Table Tennis, Billiard, Chess and other games like cards.
The Gymkhana takes part in several local tournaments such as Kanga League, Salarjung Tournament and Talim shield.
Maharashtra State Badminton Association, Marine Lines, Bombay 20 :
The Maharashtra State Badminton Association was established in 1960 with a view to control or govern the game of badminton in the State.
The Badminton Council, established by the Bombay Presidency Olympic Association for badminton was dissolved in 1942 and a new organisation, viz., the Bombay Provincial Badminton Association was formed. In 1952, the name of the Association was changed to the Bombay State Badminton Association and it was again renamed as the Maharashtra State Badminton Association in 1960.
The membership of the Association is open to district associations, zonal associations and individual members. In 1971, there were 6 patrons, 274 life members and 10 ordinary members.
The Association received a nominal grant of Rs. 1,615 in 1971 from the State Government through the sports council. A sum of Rs. 5,000 was donated by the Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd. Its income and expenditure coincided to Rs. 52,544 in 1970-71. The assets of the Association were valued at Rs. 53,707.
Maharashtra State Billiards Association (Islam Gymkhana), Netaji Subhash Road : The Association was established on 1st September 1947, with the object of promoting and developing the game of Billiards and snooker throughout the State of Maharashtra.
In 1972 the Association had 60 ordinary members, 30 life members and 17 patrons.
The Association, since its inception, has been staging the Western India Billiards and Snooker Championships as also conducting the Bombay Billiard League every year. This is open to all ordinary members in Bombay. This has proved a very popular tournament. The Association is utilising the Islam Gymkhana premises as its headquarters.
The Association has produced champions of national and international events. Mr. Wilson Jones was a world amateur champion twice in 1958 and 1964. He is also a holder of world record of 8 centuries in 2 hours of play. Michael Ferreira was also a runner up twice in 1962 and 1969 and broke the world record under the new rules.
The Association receives a grant of Rs. 2,000 per annum from the Maharashtra State Sports Fund.
Orient Club, Girgaum : The Orient Club was opened on |the 1st of May 1900. The main object of the club was avowedly to encourage more intimate and friendly social relations between the leaders of Indian society and European gentlemen.
The Club was initially housed in a hired bungalow on Chowpati, which was subsequently shifted to its own building on the Girgaum Chowpati.
The affairs of the Club are managed by a committee consisting of a president and 14 members elected annually. The Club provides facilities of indoor games like Billiards, Table Tennis, Cards, etc. and a permit room, well patronised by members and their guests. It is mainly a recreational club.
In the year 1981 the Club had 360 members, of which 89 were life members and 215 were permanent members.
The assets of the Club were worth Rs. 7,71,300, while the income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 4,28,130 in 1981.
P. J. Hindu Gymkhana, Marine Lines: The Parmananddas Jivandas Hindu Gymkhana, was opened on 5th May 1894 at the hands of Lord Harris, the Governor of Bombay. A few young enthusiasts in the then Elphinstone High School in 1878 started a club known as the Hindu Cricket Club for encouraging the game of cricket amongst the Hindu public of the city. They had their practice pitch on the Esplanade ground. In 1894, the Bombay Gymkhana, the premier European cricket institution agreed to play a match with the club for the first time and this became a regular annual feature since then. The P. J. Hindu Gymkhana arose out of the Hindu Cricket Club.
The Gymkhana was named as Parmananddas Jivandas Hindu Gymkhana in memory of the father of the chief donor who had contributed a sum of Rs. 10,000.
In 1892, the Bombay Government granted a plot of land on the Kennedy Sea-face (near Marine Lines Station) for cricket pitches, a pavilion, and other sports activities of the club. The expenses were met from donations by Gordhandas Parmananddas, Gordhandas G. Tejpal, Gordhandas Khatau and others.
The Gymkhana has contributed towards promotion of sports in the city of Bombay. It has produced illustrious exponents of Cricket, Tennis and Badminton.
The Gymkhana secured membership of the Bombay Cricket Association in 1933.
The Presidency match arranged between Hindus and Europeans in 1905 gave birth to the triangular cricket matches between the Europeans, Parsis and Hindus. The first match of this tournament was played in 1907. Afterwards the quadrangular match was introduced with the entry of the Mohammedans in 1912, and later in 1937-38 the pentangular with the entry of ' Rest' who were good cricketers but did not belong to any of the above four communities.
In 1937, the Gymkhana staged a festival match on their ground with celebrated cricketers like C. K. Nayadu and Prof. D. B. Deodhar. The Oxford Athletics visited India in 1902 and played against a representative Hindu Team on the Gymkhana ground wherein the players of the Gymkhana distinguished themselves.
The Ranji Trophy championship was introduced by Board of Cricket Control in memory of the great Indian batsman, the late Prince Ranjit Singhji. Many of members of the Gymkhana played in these series since its inception. The P. J. Hindu Gymkhana played an important role in preparing cricketers in Bombay.
Tennis, like cricket which has its own history was first introduced in the Hindu Gymkhana in June 1894.
The Gymkhana took part in the Western India Lawn Tennis Tournament in 1912 which was uptill then confined to the Europeans.
Since the commencement of Tata Shield the Hindu Gymkhana took part in the competitions from time to time and won the shield for the first time in the year 1921.
The Billiards Department of the Gymkhana came into existence in 1902. The Handicap Billiards Tournament was introduced in the year 1914 which is still continued.
A Flying Billiards Tournament was held for the first time on 15th August 1928 and the Open Billiards Tournament was started in 1931 which is being played annually. The game of Snooker and Slosh was introduced in 1943 and the first Handicap Slosh Tournament was held in 1944. The Gymkhana was affiliated to the Bombay State Billiards Association since 29th September 1947.
In 1936, the game of Badminton was introduced with the handsome donation for a Badminton Pavilion from Mr. Motiram Desai. The first Bombay Presidency Amateur open badminton championship was played in August 1938.
In 1942, Gymkhana got affiliation to the Bombay Provincial Badminton Association. Some of the members of this Gymkhana won regional titles, while some were chosen to represent India in the Thomas Cup World Badminton Competition.
Table tennis, then known as Ping Pong was introduced for the first time in the Gymkhana in 1907. A tournament in the singles event was held for the first time in the year 1925. A member of the Gymkhana won the national championship in 1948 and 1949, and was selected to represent India at the World Table Tennis Championship held at Budapest.
Herbert Smith Shield competition was conducted by the Times of India and Gymkhana has been taking part in this tournament since 1942. It also participated in the league tournament arranged by the Bombay Table Tennis Association from the year 1940.
The Hindu Gymkhana has 5,496 members. Its income was to the tune of Rs. 9,97,822 while expenditure amounted to Rs. 10,08,525 in 1981.
Parsee Gymkhana : The Parsee Gymkhana was founded on 25th February 1885, to meet the needs of the community for recreation and to encourage sports, athletics and gymnastics. The Gymkhana situated on the Kennedy Sea-face near Marine Lines is one of the old Gymkhanas of Bombay. It occupied its present premises in 1900.
Actual cricket career of the Gymkhana started in 1889 when the services of a military bowler from Colaba were requisitioned to give training to the prospective players. In the same year the annual fixture between the Bombay Gymkhana and the Parsees as a community, as well as between the Parsees and the Poona Gymkhana, were first arranged, and these proved to be the forerunners of the Parsee Presidency Tournaments, Triangular and the Quadrangular tournaments. From 1901 the Bombay match was extended to three days, and came to be known as the Parsee Presidency match.
The Parsee Gymkhana patronised lawn tennis considerably. The first tournament was initiated in 1892. S6me members of this club distinguished themselves in many important matches. In 1921 the Gymkhana won Sir Dorab Tata tennis shield.
Although cricket and lawn tennis always claimed the bulk of attention in the Parsee Gymkhana, other games were not altogether neglected. In1894 football held favour with a certain section, while in 1918, hockey was first introduced.
Apart from outdoor games, the Gymkhana provides for many indoor games. Billiards was first introduced in 1902. Ping-pong commands its quota of votaries mainly from the colleges, while the extension of the Dinshaw Kanga pavilion put the Gymkhana into possession of one of the best badminton courts in Bombay. Some members have attained proficiency in this game, and in 1930, R. F. Vakharia and N. K. Dubash won the championship in the Seers Cup Tournament.
The affairs of the Gymkhana are controlled by a managing committee elected annually. Among the illustrious band of architects of this Gymkhana, a few names may be mentioned : M. J. M. Framji Patel, Mr. Jamshedji Tata, Sir Jamsetji Jeejeebhoy, Dinshaw Maneckjee Petit, N. N. Wadia, D. J. Tata, F. D. Petit, D. D. Kanga, Dr. M. E. Pavri and many others.
The Gymkhana has about 700 members at present and it is open for all communities.
Princess Victoria Mary Gymkhana and Gymnasium : The Princess Victoria Mary Gymkhana and Gymnasium was established in November 1908. Originally it was founded to commemorate the visit to India on the 9th November 1905 of Victoria Mary, the Princess of Wales. It was started with a nucleus fund of Rs. 6,000 being the surplus from the fund collected for a reception to the princess at the Town Hall on 11th November 1905. Lady Dhunbai Cowasji Jehangir and Miss Serene M. Cursetji pioneered the establishment of the gymnasium. Miss Khanumbai Noormohamed gave a donation of Rs. 40,000 towards the cost of the building and badminton court.
The Gymkhana provides the women of Bombay with all the amenities of healthy club life together with games such as tennis, badminton, table-tennis, billiards etc. Many memorable parties were held in the Gymkhana in the past, such as garden fetes for charities, farewell parties to the illustrious presidents like Lady Minto, Lady Willingdon, and reception to the King and Queen of Afghanistan.
The Gymkhana is now a well established institution which not only renders service to its members, but also encourages social service activities. The Dhun Desai Scholarship was established to help needy sports-loving girls. The disabled and the handicapped are given necessary assistance.
The Gymkhana is affiliated to the Maharashtra State Women's Council, Maharashtra State Badminton Association, Maharashtra State Table Tennis Association, Billiards Association and Cooperage Residents Association.
In 1981 the Gymkhana had 972 members and assets worth Rs. 9,19,176, while the income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 2,22,294.
Royal Bombay Yacht Club : As early as 1839 Yacht-racing and boat-racing were in vogue in Bombay. Originally the Yacht Club is reported to have been formed in 1846. The existence of the Yacht Club as a properly established institution dates from the year 1880 when a proposal to build a club-house was first made.
The original premises of the Club on the site of what was then called the Wellington reclamation were obtained on lease of 50 years.
The Yacht Club was formerly a favourite resort of the European society of Bombay. The most note-worthy addition to the club was a fine block of residential chambers on the South side of the Apollo Bunder Road, in 1898.
The original beautiful building of the Club was taken over by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre after Independence and the activities of the Club were shifted in the magnificent stone building just facing the old one.
Though originally a European club, at present majority of the members are Indians. Sailing sports is the main activity of the club. At present the Club has six yachts. Occasionally Club arranges social functions in honour of members or guests. It provides facilities for table tennis and Billiards, as also a library and restaurant.
Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd., Mahalaxmi : The Royal Western India Turf Club, founded in about 1800, controls racing held in Bombay, Pune and New Delhi. It owns two race courses, one being at Mahalaxmi, Bombay and the other at Pune.
From 1828 all horse racing in Bombay was held at Byculla, the winning post of the old race course being situated in front of the BycuUa Club. In 1883 (1880 as per Bombay City Gazetteer, Vol. Ill, p. 238 (1909).) this venue of racing was shifted to Mahalaxmi. The 2.5 km. race course and its enclosures studded with lawns, gardens and paddocks have been transformed into a beautiful spot.
In 1935, King George V, then Emperor of India, was graciously pleased to grant permission to the Western India Turf Club to use the title ' Royal'. Since then it is called as the Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd.
The Apprentice Jockeys' School was started in June 1938 under the guidance of the stipendiary stewards of the club which has produced since then many top class jockeys.
In the year 1967 the club started inter-venue betting between Bombay and Pune, i.e. when the races are held in Bombay, betting is accepted at the Pune race course. In 1974, it was the first club to start intervenue betting with the Bangalore Turf Club and this is a regular feature since then. In addition to this, this club accepts inter-State betting on races run in Calcutta, Madras and Bangalore for the Indian Turf Invitation Cup.
The racing season at Bombay commences in December and lasts till the middle of April providing 26 to 30 days of racing. The Club holds special races in aid of charities every year.
The centre of the Bombay race course is divided into playing fields and allocated to different institutions who apply for the use of the same.
Besides being the venue of races, the race course provides excellent facilities for entertainment, club-activity and walking. It is the biggest open ground in Bombay, and is well maintained.
The assets of the Club amounted to Rs. 4,40,02,203 and its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 22,38,973 in the year ending with June 1976.
Western India Football Association, Cooperage : The Western India Football Association was established in 1889. The main objectives of the Association are to promote, control and develop the game of football in the State of Maharashtra, and sending the State teams for national and international events. The Association imparts training and coaching to players and referees. It has produced many Olympians and International football players who have represented the country in international tournaments. The State Association had won the National Championship in 1951 and 1964, which were held at Madras.
The Association has obtained the football ground on lease from the Government of Maharashtra. In 1982, it has 742 individual members, 90 institutional club members, while eleven District Football Associations are affiliated to it. They are granted permission to conduct football competitions. The Association provides help to the disabled players and strives for welfare of the members. It conducts fund raising programmes for flood relief, hospitals and other social services as demanded by circumstances.
Willingdon Sports Club, Mahalaxmi (Also see Chapter-2, History, Modern Period, in Vol. I of Greater Bombay Gazetteer.) : The Willingdon Sports Club was founded by Lord Willingdon, the Governor of Bombay, in the year 1917 as a social club to enable business people, executives and dignitaries to meet and play various games. The total membership of the club was 2,900 on 4th May 1977.
Foreign dignitaries and VIPs and foreigners participating in various types of games and sports are allowed to make use of the club as guests of members.
The Club has magnificent lounges and splendid lawns, which are maintained upto international standards. All facilities for indoor games, lawn tennis and polo are provided for the benefit of members. The entire premises of the Club are beautified with luxuriant gardens and trees. The Club is patronised by the aristocratic society of Bombay.
Bapnu Ghar : Bapnu Ghar is a unique institution founded in 1953 by Mr. Manu Subedar, the philanthropic chairman of the Lotus Trust. In 1956 the management of the Bapnu Ghar was entrusted to the Maharashtra State Women's Council by the Lotus Trust. The Bapnu Ghar Committee was formed by the Maharashtra State Women's Council to look after its day-to-day management and deal with the cases which come to Bapnu Ghar.
Bapnu Ghar offers free shelter to all women who are in social distress. It does not keep any one permanently. The aim of the institution is to arrange for reconciliation and to see that a woman returns to a happy home.The institution does not admit unmarried mothers or destitutes. On an average over hundred women have been admitted every year and nearly 40 per cent of them have been reconciled back into their families.
Admission to Bapnu Ghar is free and women receive some domestic training. The entire work of the institution is done by the inmates themselves. Also to give the women some sort of education literacy, sewing and embroidery classes are conducted regularly. All inmates are medically examined on admission and when the need arises they are referred to a hospital for treatment. The children's film committee of the Maharashtra State Women's Council organises film shows of educational value.
Children, whose mothers are obliged to stay in the institution for a length of time, and who cannot be kept with their mothers and whose fathers and relatives refuse to take their responsibility are being sent to the William Booth Salvation Army School at Ahmadnagar and to the Byramjee Jejeebhoy School at Matunga. The educational expenses of these children are paid by philanthropic individuals.
Apart from this, arrangements have been made for some children to receive free education at Nadiad Hindu Anath Ashram. Some inmates are sent for free education to Vikas Vidyalaya, Wadhwan and Kasturba Vikas Griha, Bhavnagar. The family counselling service of Bapnu Ghar provides assistance and advice to non-residential cases.
Beggars' Home for Females, Chembur : It was established in 1946 for the detention, training and rehabilitation of women beggars admitted under the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959.
Women admitted in this institution are first trained in various crafts such as tailoring, basket making, broom making, etc. and subsequently are rehabilitated either by providing employment or reconciliation with their relatives. Besides the general section for handicapped women, there is a section for leprosy treatment in the Home.
Bhagini Samaj, Khetwadi:—The Bhagini Samaj was founded on the 19th February 1916 in memory of the late Gopal Krishna Gokhale. It is one of the pioneer cosmopolitan women's institutions functioning in Bombay. It was founded with a view to work for social, educational, economic and physical welfare of men, women and children.
It conducts various activities like Balmandirs, cultural, educational, recreational and industrial classes and free library for women and children at Khetwadi, Mandvi, Bhuleshwar and Tardeo. Besides, it also runs two other primary schools. Needy women are provided tailoring, embroidery and other handicraft work. Two hostels for working women have been provided by the Samaj at Lamington Road and Gokhale Road (Dadar).
The Samaj also conducts child care centres in different localities where pre-natal and post-natal care as well as free medical service is given to mothers and children. Lectures, film shows and exhibitions are arranged to propagate consciousness about health, balanced diet and family planning.
Apart from above activities conducted in Bombay, the Samaj runs the following educational institutions at Udwada, a hostel for adivasi girls, a balmandir, a primary school for boys and girls, a multi-purpose high school with home science, a primary teachers' training college for women, and an ashram shala for boys and girls.
Bhagini Seva Mandir Kumarika Stree Mandal, Vile Parle : The Bhagini Seva Mandir Kumarika Stree Mandal was established in 1929 for the upliftment of women and children and to help the handicapped.
As on 19th March 1977 the total membership of the Mandal was 1,200. The educational activities of the Mandal comprise montessori, primary and high school, junior college of education for women, a tailoring class, and a school for mentally retarded children. Besides, the Mandal conducts short term courses, viz., a Yoga class and cooking and hair-style classes.
The work of training and education of retarded children was taken up in hand by the Mandal with a view to train them to look after themselves and to earn their living. With this idea in mind the mandal started a school with three children on its roll in the year 1954. In 1972 the school had 67 children in the age group of 5 to 18 years. They are given general education as also training in different crafts like, cane work, fret work, pottery, painting and embroidery.
During 1975-76, the income and expenditure of the Mandal stood at Rs. 4,41,314 and Rs. 4,54,400, respectively.
Dadar Bhagini Samaj, Dadar : The Samaj was established in 1932 to achieve cultural, social and economic progress of women and children. Women above eighteen years are eligible for membership. During January 1977, there were 80 members on roll.
The activities of the institution are carried out through various centres such as udyog mandir, arogya kendra and kreeda kendra. The catering establishment of the Samaj is known in Dadar locality, which provides snacks to school children, and people from nearby offices. It also takes catering contracts of marriage parties and similar occasions. By such other activities it provides work to the needy and poor women.
It receives municipal grants for the library and health centre.
Keraleeya Mahila Samaj, Shivaji Park : The Keraleeya Mahila Samaj was established in 1944 with the object of undertaking social, cultural and educational activities for the welfare of the community. In 1972, it had 250 members including 45 life-members. Daring 1971-72, the income and expenditure of the Samaj was Rs. 20,000 andRs. 15,000, respectively.
The Samaj possesses a small building on a plot given on lease by the Municipal Corporation. It conducts K. G. classes, dance classes, classes in cooking, painting, flower arrangement, etc. for its members.
The Samaj holds cultural functions, sales, social gatherings and a portion of the amount collected was donated to charitable work like jawans welfare fund and Society for the Rehabilitation of the Physically Handicapped.
Maharashtra State Women's Council, Town Hall : The Maharashtra State Women's Council was founded in 1919. The objects of the Council are to associate women of all nationalities in Maharashtra State for mutual help and the service of others, to further the interests and advancement of women and children in India; to train women in the responsibilities of citizenship; to organise work of a special nature in case of any emergency and to collect funds for the same.
The income of the Council was Rs. 2,84,670 and the expenditure incurred Rs. 2,92,406 during the year 1970-71. It received donation worth Rs. 80,227, grant from Government and private bodies Rs. 22,527 and income from internal sources Rs. 1,81,916 in the year 1970-71.
The Council is federated to the National Council of Women in India which in turn is affiliated to the International Council of Women In 1971, it had 1,880 members. The Council has many committees whose activities are as under:—
(1)Rescue Home gives shelter to court committed girls in moral danger and court committed children.
(2)Bapnu Ghar provides refuge for women in social distress.
(3)Worli Welfare Centre—Kasturibai Khandelwal Nari Seva Sadan provides the means of augmenting their meagre faily income of women.
(4)Parliamentary Committee acts as the watch-dog of legislation concerning women and children.
(5)Haj Group helps helpless women who are in transit through Bombay on their way to and from the Haj.
(6)Labour Committee conducts tailoring classes for women and nursery classes for children in Matunga Labour Camp.
(7)Women's Home Industries Depot Committee markets articles made by needy women.
(8)Social Education Committee teaches women in functional accomplishments in order to employ their leisure hours usefully. It also conducts literacy classes.
(9)Children's Recreation Committee has 9 centres in the city, where trained workers conduct group recreational activities.
(10)Children's Library Committee with its mobile library van, holiday library and book service provides children with good reading.
(11)Child Welfare Committee runs a child guidance clinic for problems of delinquency and special classes for the mentally retarded. A day care centre called Naunihal is also run for children of pre-primary school age.
(12)Health Committee conducts health centres at rescue home and Matunga Labour Camp with special emphasis on propagation of family planning.
(13)Ad hoc Milk Distribution Committee distributes milk to undernourished children through its 12 centres.
(14)Beggar Problem Group has as its aim the elimination of the beggar nuisance in the city.
(15)Children's Film Group arranges film shows for children during school vacations at special low rates.
(16)Civic Group seeks redress of citizens' grievances which are of a public nature, tries to instil civic awareness and brings to the notice of municipal authorities various public needs.
(17)Foster Care.—This programme was undertaken from November 1969 on a request from the Central Social Welfare Board. It is a new concept in social work for our country, whereby children receive care in foster homes without being institutionalised when their parents for one reason or another are not in a position to provide for them.
(18)Junior Wing was started to train future leadership for the Council. As an initial approach the members of the group run a Balwadi in the compound of the Town Hall. They provide recreational opportunities for these children and also distribute free milk to them.
(19)Child Guidance Clinic (Rescue Home).—Recognising the need for more and more child guidance clinics, the Council opened another clinic at Rescue Home premises for the inmates and children of rescue home, remand home as well as of the locality. Under trained guidance the mental and physical development of the child receive a new impetus.
(20)Funds Committee strives to collect money essential to maintain and expand the activities of the Council outlined above.
Seva Sadan Society, Gamdevi : The Seva Sadan Society is a well organised, growing and progressive organisation aiming exclusively at the all round progress and well being of women. It was established on 11th July 1908. At present it runs various types of educational institutions such as a primary school, a high-school, a training college, English classes for adults; ashrams and a home for vagrant children and centres of cooking, hosiery and laundry. The details of some of these constituents are given below:—
The Hindu ashram and the Parsi ashram are primarily meant for their own students and workers.
The home for the homeless admits orphans, widows, deserted women and such other needy women and girls. The inmates of the home are given instruction in the schools and training college. They are also taught tailoring, embroidery, cooking etc. and thus are, made themselves self-supporting. The total number of inmates in the year 1971 was 40.
The training college viz., Ramabai Nowrange Junior College of Education had four divisions, and had a strength of 180 in 1970-71. The strength of primary school and high school in the same year was 319 and 556, respectively.
The English classes are mainly conducted for adult women. A typewriting class was started for ladies in 1967.
In 1971, there were 107 members of the Society. It receives a Government grant for training college and a high school and a municipal grant for primary school.
Shraddhanand Mahilashram, King's Circle : Shraddhanand Mahilashram conducted by the Hindu Women's Rescue Home Society was founded in December 1927. It was mainly established to provide shelter and assistance to those women and children who are in distress and thereby to rehabilitate them.
The institution, though in the beginning started only as a rescue home, has now developed into a multipurpose institution to help and up-lift children and women in distress. It provides multifarious facilities by conducting primary school, tailoring and embroidery classes, a fondling home, orphanage, rescue home and home for old and infirm women. Besides, the institution also conducts a work-centre for women staying outside the ashram premises which helps them to supplement their income.
In 1967-68, 46 women were admitted in the ashram, which number rose to 60 in 1970-71. The institute provides these women with lodging, boarding and protection free of charge until they are properly rehabilitated by securing a job on completion of education or by marriage. The section of girl students and after-care section of the institution together had 18 girls in 1970-71.
The State Government pays capitation on maintenance charges at various rates from Rs. 15 to Rs. 37. 50 per month per head, for orphans, rescue and preventive cases, children on remand, court-committed children, old and infirm women, convicts, etc. Besides, the Bombay Municipal Corporation pays an annual grant. The annual income and expenditure of the home amounted to Rs. 5,09,368 and Rs. 5,08,117, respectively during 1970-71.
Shri Jain Mahila Samaj, Marine Drive : Shri Jain Mahila Samaj was established in October 1910, with the object of making all round progress of women and children through conducting schools, libraries, classes for adult women and by inculcating the spirit of co-operation among them.
The Samaj is conducting literary classes through Gujarati, Hindi and English languages for adult women in the Fort and Dadar areas. Sewing classes are also conducted and many trainees have secured Government diploma. No fees are charged for attending the classes. Besides, the Samaj is conducting a balmandir at Dadar and a library located in Fort area with 15,000 books to its credit.
A monthly magazine Vikas, published by the Samaj deals not only with news about the activities of the Samaj but also publishes articles on cultural subjects.
The yearly expenses of the Samaj exceed over Rs. 21,000 while the regular income is Rs. 11,000.
Vanita Vishram, Girgaum : The Vanita Vishram was founded at Bombay in 1915 with a view to ameliorating the social, economic and other problems of suffering women by educating them. It was registered under the Indian Companies Act in 1928. Smt. Zaverbai Bhagwandas Narottamdas then donated Rs. 50,000 towards the cost of construction of a building.
The Vanita Vishram Training College, an institute for training women teachers for primary and upper primary schools, was established in 1916. The entire responsibility of running the sixty year old Sir M. N. Kanya-shala was taken over by the Vanita Vishram. Besides, the Vanita Vishram runs an ashram and an English school. Sir Vithaldas Damodar Thackarsey donated Rs. 1,00,000 for the Ashram in 1918 in memory of his mother and it has been named as Smt. Nathibai Ashram. The English school was started in 1924 and was subsequently affiliated to the Shrimati Nathibai Damodar Thackarsey Women's University, Bombay in 1930. The school is housed in its own building.
The total assets of the Vishram in 1969-70 were valued at Rs. 23,75,930, while its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 85,255.
Vile Parle Mahila Sangh, Vile Parle : The Mahila Sangh was founded in 1952. It aims at alround development of women and children. It runs a Shishuvihar, primary and secondary schools and a women's college; an employment centre; handicraft classes, a health centre for children, a family planning centre and a marriage bureau. It also maintains a library, and arranges for exhibitions, lectures, picnics and games for women.
In 1969-70 the total number of members of the Sangh was about 800. The assets of the Sangh were valued at Rs. 4,74,282, while its income and expenditure amounted to Rs. 74,924 in 1969-70. It received donations from the public amounting to Rs. 42,509 in 1969-70.
Young Women's Christian Association of Bombay, Fort : The Young Women's Christian Association, an organisation in the service of women, was established in Bombay in 1875. It is a branch of the Young Women's Christian Association of India with its headquarters at New Delhi, which in turn is a part of the World Young Women's Christian Association with headquarters at Quai Wilson, Geneva. The Association endeavours to promote the full development of women and girls irrespective of race, culture and creed.
The board of management, an elected body of the Association, carries out various programmes relating to housing, education, cultural exchanges etc. and welfare service.
To solve the problem of housing for working women, hostels are run by the Young Women's Christian Association in many parts of the country. The first hostel was started in Bombay in 1887 at Dhobi Talao. The Young Women's Christian Association stepped in the field of vocational education and employment by starting a commercial school and an employment bureau in 1905. The education programme covers a wide range of subjects from domestic art to public involvement in social service and understanding of political responsibilities and from individual development to community development. It conducts four balwadis at Colaba, Worli, Sewri and Modiwadi, and provides supplementary diet to under-nourished children. It has also undertaken a free feeding programme for a certain number of children in the Express Highway area children's complex.
It runs a tailoring class for ladies and children's garments and a weaving class at Andheri for school drop outs. A nutrition education project was started in 1960 to teach the low income group women about low cost balanced diet. It also undertook a bakery craft training project for housewives as well as small bakers and low-income group women.
It renders help to the police, in rehabilitating or re-uniting with their families, girls who have been abducted or who have absconded. It conducts a welfare centre. To cater to the needs of foreign and national tourists the Young Women's Christian Association opened the international guest house in 1970.
The Young Women's Christian Association has membership of nearly 1,000. Financial assistance is sought from the public at Carnival. It receives financial assistance from the Wheat Associates (U.S.A.) for its bakers' training and nutrition project.