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Activities in Mumbai




In course of time Amils along with other displaced persons went on settling down wherever they were able to get accommodation all over Bombay. Bombay is a vast city of distances. Getting accommodation in locations of one's choice with a view to be near friends, relatives or even where other Amils are settled has always been a difficult proposition. Even chance meeting on the roads or in buses or trains between friends, relatives were a rarity. Under such condition the only solution for the Panchayat to make members meet each other to retain brotherhood was to organize meetings, social gathering etc. as frequently as possible in different locations. This was expected not only to make Amils meet each other and have social contacts/interactions but also between the Panchayat management and members. Such meetings had various other advantages. One was that chances of marriages between Amil boys and Amil girls would increase. Also when Amils had domestic social disputes these could be referred to Panchayat for settlement. The joy and sense and feeling of belonging to the known community was another benefit of holding such meetings.

Accordingly it become a policy of the managing committee to have social gathering and meetings at different locations as frequently as possible with the help and co–operation of those Amils living in the respective localities. In addition it was also decided to combine social gatherings with annual general body meetings in different localities. In pursuance of this policy the localities in which gathering were held were Bandra, Sion, Churchgate, Warden Road etc. Lunch at these gathering were prepared by voluntary workers themselves, among them a prominent volunteer was the late Mangharam B. Punwani. Incidentally, the Bandra gathering (about 600 guests) including lunch was hosted and financed by Late Shri Chetan Thadani.

An important purpose of a community to have a Panchayat is that the community should remain intact. The founding father of our Panchayat had known that unlike in Hyderabad and Karachi the members in Bombay would not be able to secure accommodation and reside in clusters and were found to be spread all over the city. To overcome this unavoidable situation and to achieve the object of togetherness in the community they had devised and laid down a policy that there should be meetings or social gatherings for contacts between members in different part of the city.

Another method adopted for fulfilling the object of the panchayat viz preservation of the community was to hold seminars at which discussions on the problems and future of the community were held between the older and younger generation. New and coming generation was made aware of the glorious part of the community and getting ideas of how to keep the community tied together in future.

The detailed discussions were printed in brochures and circulated among all members for information. Such seminars were held at D.T. Shahani Holiday Home in Lonavala with 60 or 70 participants by the patronage of late Kishinchand T. Shahani who gave free use of his entire Holiday Home for 3 days. One seminar was held in Sun n Sand Hotel at Juhu, by the kind patronage of late R.J. Advani. These seminars became extremely popular and discussions fruitful. The Reports printed in Amil Samachar for some of the seminars are shown separately in a chapter marked "Down the memory Lane"

Authored by Shri Doulat T. Punwaney, the only surviving member of the first Committee and Edited by Asha Idnani and Menka Shivdasani.


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