MULJIMAL THAWERDAS ASARPOTA (JANIANI)
(1900 A. D. – 1979 A. D.)
was one of the most popular respected and loved personality
of our community. A man of prudence and soft spoken. He
was calm, simple and pragmatic. He was extremely punctual,
disciplined and self confidant. Everyone believed in his
honesty and sincerity.
Muljimal was born at Thatha in the year 1900 A.D. His education
was not much as he studied up to middle school but he obtained
rich experience through hard work and high values. When
he was a child, his father Thawerdas lovingly called him
“GAGAN” and in course of time, as he grew up,
this pet name transformed into Gagabha or Seth Gagabha and
this sobriquet carried the love and respect of his large
family as well as the community up to the last days of his
life on 2-7-1979.
Gagabha was just 15 years of age, his elder brother Dharamdas
expired and his father could not carry on the joint business.
The business was well spread in Thatha, Karachi, Bombay,
Dubai and Bahrain. Gagabha accepted the challenge, worked
with dour determination and in course of time, he matured
into a shrewd merchant and his business flourished. It was
an import export business specializing on foodstuffs and
commodity items. Gagabha was kind and compassionate and
he started SAHITA FUND (help-aid) at Karachi in order to
extend necessary help to the needy Bhatia families residing
anywhere. He took active pat in Shewa Fund movement and
became the member of the managing committee in the year
1923 and its president in 1932/33 at Thatha. He was managing
committee member of Thathai Bhatia Panchayat at Karachi.
partition of India in 1947 displaced Hindus from Sind and
Gagabha migrated to Deolali. Soon he re-established his
Bombay office in the commercial centre at Kalbadevi road.
He also shifted his family to Malad (West), Bombay.
was true sevak of the community. He advocated the re-establishment
of our traditional organisations i.e. Thathai Bhatia Panchayat
and Shewa Fund, and helped them to take concrete shape.
A Shewa Fund’s flame flickered dimly after partition,
he took up the charge in 1955 from ailing Shri Parmanand
Haridas and continued the modest activity with the help
of veterans like Shri. Ram Lilwa, Vishnu Saad, Ishwardas
Haridas and some others. He was also the pioneer of Kewal
Baugh Trust and Thathai Bhatia Parchayat at Kandivli. Gagabha
had an uncanny quality of grouping diverse people together
for an ideal and silently inspire them to contribute in
kind or deed for the welfare of the community. With a sizeable
donation for the plot from three philanthropist, Shri Khushalds
Dagara, Shri Tulsidas Fatehchand and Shri Haridas Kewalram
and construction expertise of Shri Ishwardas Bhatia and
substantial financial help from Shri Hiranand Gajria and
many others, he helped to raise the Shewa Find’s monument
at Kandivli. He was the president of TBSF from 1958 to 1961
and from 1962 to 1978. He also helped to raise Kewal Baugh
Trust with generous donation of plot by Shri Kumbhandas
Kewalram and services from Shri Hemandas Pitambardas and
others and also Thathai Bhatia Panchayat where he held the
post of President for many years. Gagabha floated a private
trust, Thawerdas Janimal Thathai Bhatia Trust, and donated
a sizeable amount to Bhatia General Hospital and a free
bed has been reserved for needy patients as also extend
monetary help to deserving persons. He was Mg. Committee
member of Nasik Panjrapore, Marwar Dharamshala, patron Malad
Kandivli Education Society (N.L. High School), trustee of
Kuwanbai Trust and was connected with many other organisations.
Thus his humanitarian services were quite expansive.
spite of his illness in later years of his life, he continued
to serve the society up to the end of his life. Gagabha’s
sobriety, wisdom and foresight are of great contribution
to the betterment of our three institutions in Bombay. He
is fondly remembered by one and all.
by Late Shri MULJI GANDHI
Sampark – November 1994 to March 1995 Issue