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Before Partition

16-02-1919 Shewa Fund establishad.
1919 Pathic Ashram (Guest House) started.
03-02-1921 Regisered as Public Trust in Karachi.
26-12-1921 Free Dispensary and Maternity Home started.
20-04-1924 Other Bhatia invited to its Annual Function.
16-04-1925 Medical facilities extended to other communities.
16-04-1926 Foundation stone of bulding laid.
06-09-1931 Opening ceremony of Hospital and Building Performed.
12-09-1933 Shri Gordhandas Assanmal Kikla.LLB,Organiser and one of the founder member expired.
1935 Shri Jawharlal Nehru visited our Hospital
1941 First lady, Smt. Mohiniben, elected as the President for the 23rd year.
1. According to well known poet Jessa Bhatt, Bhatias settled in Thatha (Sind) about 650 Years back.
2. The idea of setting up a permanent releif institute now known as ‘Thathai Bhatia Shewa Fund’, sprang up after The Plague Releif Fund was mooted by some dedicated Bhatias on 31-12-1918, then known as Plague Releif Fund. The calamity caused by this deadly disease prompted Kikla Brothers, Shri Maghanlal and Shri Gordhandas, sons of Assanmal, to set up a permanent Fund. Both brother appealad to the Bhatia community to help Bhatia brothers and sisters who were affected by this dreadly epidemic. The donations poured from all Bhatias living in Thatha, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Karachi, Nathdwara, Bahrain and other places. Lohanas also contributed their mite to this fund. With the success of this Releif Fund Kikla Brothers, together with other Bhatias decided to start a permanent Institution, which can render service to Bhatia community at times of their difficulty and need. The first meeting was called on 07-10-1918 under the Patronship of Shri Damodardas Hemandas at Mumbai. Unfortunately, this effort was not successful. Undaunted, the well-wishers held another get to-gether at Thatha on 16-12-1919 under Presidentship of Sardar Jeramdas Versimal and it was unanimously decided to establish Thathai Bhatia Shewa Fund. This how our Shewa Fund came into existence. At this sammelan 56 participants signed the following pledge and they decided to work as volunteers:-

“I the undersigned declare that I have become the member of Thathai Bhatia Shewa Fund and take a vow that I shall always do my best to work for the interest of the Shewa fund and endeavour to enhance it.”

3. The main idea was to have dedicated members and volunteers for this cause. The first meeting of this dedicated members was held on 20-3-1919 at Thatha in the hall of Thathai Bhatia Mahajan, under the Presidentship of Sardar Jeramdas Versimal Thakkar, and a managing committee of ten members was formed to carry on day to day functions and prepare an Annual Report for the Samvat Year 1975/76, because at that time “Chetichand” was the new year day for Bhatias. Shri Dhamanmal Devkishandas Chachra was elected first President of Shewa fund and Shri Gordhandas Assanmal Kikla, B.A. LLB., was the first secretary of the Fund. Shewa Fund cherishes the memory of Kuvanbai or Jethanbai, widow of Tolaram Harumal, the first generous lady who donated a building at Karachi and Rs.4, 000/- aggregating to Rs 20,000/-.
4. Initially, Shewa Fund did not collect any subscription from the members but entirely relied on donations. The first Treasurer was Shri.Parmanand Haridas and according to the 1st Report (1920), the income came to Rs.1791-11-9 and expenditure Rs.655-14-6. At the end of 1st year the membership rose to 127. This Body was registered as Public Trust in Karachi on 03-02-1921, as decided by the General Body by a resolution dated 22-09-1920.
5. It was then explained to the public that Shewa Fund was an Institution.,whose members felt that it was their duty to work together in one spiritin order to enhance and improve the health, wealth,education, industry-cum-business and employment of the youth, so that Bhatia brothers and sisters, whosoever was in the difficulty, should not think that there is no one to take care of them. They pleadged that they will endeavour to bring salace to the community members in time of their difficulty, sicknessand need. At that time theydesired to tackle the following problems:-
1. Free education;
2. Empolyment of the youth;
3. Free Medical Dispensary;
4. Free Maternity Home;
5. Maintenance of widows, disabled and destitutes and
6. Maintain Regaiters of population, births, deaths, engagements, marriages, etc.
6. The Fund was holding regular meetings and published annual reports.
7. In the beginning only volunteers- Swayam Sevaks- were appointed, which numbered 13 in the 2nd year. Thereafter, Patron, Life, Ordinary members were made. The fees was Rs. 1,000/- and above for Patron, Rs. 51/- for Life Member, and Rs.10/- per year for Ordinary Member. According to the 3rd year report, theren was one Patron, Smt. Punibai or Kesarvahu Karsandas Bhavanji Sampat of Kutch Mandvi (paid Rs.1200/-) 26 Life Members and 124 Ordinary Members.
8. Besides electing managing committee, Shewa Fund appointed outside reprentatives also Karachi, Mumbai, Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah and Bahrain in order to have better contacts with Bhatias.
9. Shewa Fund started its Free Dispensary and Maternity Home on 26-12-1921 wuth great pomp in rentd premises of Late Shri Naraindas Gokuldas Sadh, and christened as ‘Narumal Tolaram Aushadhalaya’.This was mainly for Bhatias. Large number of people took advantage of this ‘Aushadhalaya’, which existed on donations only. Many contributed to this noble cause. Besides, school fees and books were given on loan. On population front the figures noted are as under:-

Year 1921 – 22 1424 Growth about 1.92% per year in 13 years.
Year 1926 – 27 1598
Year 1931 – 32 1692
Year 1934 – 35 1780
10. FUNDS: For all such charitable activities, shewa Fund entirely depended on voluntarily donations. Initially small contributions were gratefully accepted. In this respecttwo note-worthy things must be mentioned. Firstly, most of the Bhatia family use to contribute their mite whenever they had any function in their family, such as marriage, sacred thread ceremony, engagement, birthday (chatty – naming ceremony), etc. Some even donated on occassions of recovery from sickness or successful trip abroad (particularly Gulf) and in memory of their deceased relative. Secondly, our sisters had unique emotional idea of Bhandara (Piggy Bank) scheme. They used to put small coins in this Bhandaras. Shewa Fund opened such small collections from families once in a year on Holi Festival. The total of such collections from families used to be quite good. It also created a sense of savings amongst children.
11. Shewa used celebrate its Anniversaries – Varshik Utsav – with great pomp and pleasure. At its 5th such festival on 20-04-1924, under the presidentship of Diwan Ramchand Pitamberdas, representatives of Sind Bhatia Maha Sabha were invited. They came from different parts of Sind such as Hyderabad, Rohri, Shikarpur, Larkhana, Mir and Karachi. This means that Thathai Bhatia believed in integrity of all Bhatias including Sindhi and Kutchhi Bhatias. At irs 6th annual festival, held on 13-04-1925, where representatives of other Bhatias were invited, Shewa Fund announced to extend its medical facilities to other communities also. This was welcomed by all and speeches by prominent persons like President of newspaper ‘Hiteshu’, ‘Sindhi Samachar of Shikarpur’ and the president ofHyderabad Mitra Mandal, Shri Gordhandas Kikla was sent as representative of Karachi District Bhatias at a conference held on 31-10-1925 at Karachi. Prompted by the Welfare activities conducted by Shewa Fund, Bhatias of other provinces of Sind also stsrted their own organisations at Hyderabad, Shikarpur, Nasarpur, etc.
12. Shewa Fund opened its doors for Life membersship in the year 1924 -25 to Bhatias of other places also. Bhatias of Shikarpur, Rohri, Shahabunder, Nasarpur, Ranjpur (all Sind), Dera Ismail Khan (N W F), and Kutchi Bhatias became its members. In 1926, Shri Haridas Lalji Lakhmidas, a Kutchi Bhatia, was elected as President.
13. Thathai Bhatias also used to take active role in the yearly festival of ‘Hindu Sat Vama’ – Seven Hindu Communities that lived in Thatha at that time. This Mela (festival) used to be held at Shree Sinha Bhavani Temple, under the hills in the month of Ashad or Shravan each year.
14. At one stage Thathai Bhatias were seriously concerned with the depletion of its population and feared slow extinction. They had to appeal for increase in its birth rate, which as seen above was less than 2% per year.
15. Shewa Fund was deeply concerned with the falling of trade in Arabia and felt that they can be diverted to other proffessions instead of depending on Gulf.
16. It is noted from the report for 11th and 12th year that widow marriage was permissibble in the community.
17. In the year 1931 Shewa Fund achieved its desired goal to have its own Hospital Building in Thatha. The foundation of this building was laid on 16-4-1926 and the work was completed in 1931.The opening ceremony of the Hospital was performed on 6-9-1931-Gokulashtami Day- by Shri Naraindas Moolchand Shroff (Khiara). This building housed Maternity Hospital, Dispensary, Reading Room and Library and Pathic Ashram (Guest House). At that time this RCC building was unique one in thatha and considered as a boon for Bhatias and others. The work of sister B.B. Chatterjeefor hospital was greatlt appreciated. She rendered dedicated service from 24-11-1921 to 03-9-1932 and her photo was also published in the 13th Annual Report. This hospital achieved high status after the visit of civil surgeon of Karachi, Lt.Col. I.D. Johns, IMS and Surgeon General of Mumbai Government, Major Gen. W. H. Forester, IMS. In the visit book the wrote their opinion as under:-

“The building and general arrangements appear very satisfactory. A pleasant contrast to the Muncipal Dispensary.”

18. Our Bhatias did not forget the mute animals and opened a water foundation (Awara) in the market. For its maintenance, Bai Tillanbai, wife of Pahelajdas Mulchand donated Rs.2500/-
19. In our 15th year report, 01-04-1933 to 31-03-1934,membership figures given are a under:-

atron
1
Life Members Adults
120
Life Members Minor
5
Ordinary Members
16
Total
142
20. PATHIC ASHRAM (GUEST HOUSE):
In Thatha, a small town, there was a problem of housing Bhatia families coming from outside places for short periods. To solve this difficulty Shewa Fund started Pathic Ashram in the year 1919,where such guests were accomadated. Generous hearted Shri Jeramdas Pahelajdas gave his spacios building for this purpose. Later worthy sons of Late Shri Haridas Janimal gave their big building for this purpose. When Shewa Fund had its own building this activity was shifted there in 1932.
21. Shewa Fund lost one of its illudtrous founder members, Shri Gordhandas Assanmal Kikla, a crusader and organiser on 12-09-1933, when he was the President of Shewa Fund. He breathed his last in Karachi.
22. Sometime in the financial year 1935-36, one of the most prominent personalities who visited our Hospital at Thatha was Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, then President of Indian National Congress. In visitor’s book he remarked:
“I have not only visited this Hospital but spent a night on its roof, not as a patient. I wish the Hospital is a success.”
23. During the period of another dignatory, Mrs. Cecillia Burgess, organiser of Indian Red-Cross Society, Sind, also visited our Hospital. She wrote a remark:
“It was a pleasure to find so beautiful abuilding for a Maternity Home and to learn that the Bhatia Shewa Fund maintains it. This is a credit to the community.”
24. Amongst other visitors during this period, who lauded the work and functioning of the Hospital, were:
(1) Lt.Col. B.Briggs, M.S.
(2) C.H.Primilani, ex President Sind Medical Union and Ex- President of All India Medical Association.
(3) Swami Govindanand.
25. The participation and contribution of our Bhatia to Shewa Fund is also noteworthy. We have already mentioned above the contribution of Smt. Kunnbai, Smt. Tarabai, wife of Maganmal Kikla wandered from house to house with a ‘Joli’ to collect funds. Then came unique era when for the 23rd year 1941-42 – Shewa Fund elected the first lady, Smt. Mohoniben Ishwardas Bhatia, as its President.
26. Unfortunately no material of importance is availabe after the year 1941- 42. With the partition of India in 1947 we had to leave behind our most loved Shewa Fund, its welfare activities and it’s building which was situated in Igyaras Bazar with built-up structure of 6225Sq.ft., costing Rs. 61,650/-. It is learnt that this building has been allotted by the Pakistan Government to ‘Ghee Grading Laboratory.’
Thanks to Shri Parmanand Haridas Asarpota, who brought with him types of securities worth Rs. 25,400/-. Shri Hemandas Pitamberdas credited to Shewa Fund a sum of Rs.930/- after selling miscellaneos articles of Shewa Fund in Thatha.

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