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THE UNAWALA
MEMON UNION TRUST

THE UNAWALA MEMON UNION TRUST

Our History

Our Existence

The Unawala Union Trust was formed by the senior Philanthropist of Unawala Memons for helping and aiding the poor, widows and orphans of Unawala by monetary help and uplifting them financially and socially.

Approximately between 1870 A.D and 1900 A.D, some elders of our Jamaat came from UNA to Mumbai for the purpose of trade and commerce. According to one our very Senior members of our present managing committee, his father was born in Mumbai in 1900 A.D, it means his grandfather had already landed in Mumbai prior to 1900 A.D and started his business. In those days our elders used to stay in Mumbai for 8-9 months and during the monsoon, they used to visit UNA for 3-4 months every year.

Migration and Inception

Seeing the progress and prosperity of our elders, slowly but steadily many followed them because they could foresee ample opportunities of business and social activities in Mumbai. In those days, our elders used to meet after the Isha prayers at and around the closed shops of Late Haji A.Rehman Zariwala and other neighbors. They used to exchange news and views about their business activities and problems concerning the Jamaat people. One of our for-sighted members Late Ahmed Sharif Vadiwala (popularly known as Ahmed Musalman) realized the need for an official premise for the Jamaat people, where our members could meet and discuss the social as well as financial problems of our Jamaat.

He insisted on having a permanent office where all members, without any discrimination could meet at one platform and discuss the ways and means of progress for the members. With this pious intention, in 1937 the UNWALA MEMON UNION TRUST was established. The following members played a very vital role in guiding the Jamaat:

  1. (Late) Mr. Haji Abdulla Kassam Jhaveri
  2. (Late) Mr. Ahmed Kassam Jhaveri
  3. (Late) Mr. Abba Valimohammed Batliwala
  4. (Late) Mr. Usman (Siddique) Valimohammed Batliwala
  5. (Late) Mr. Ahmed Hamid Motiwala
  6. (Late) Mr. Ismail Valimohammed Sopariwala
  7. (Late) Mr. Usman Valimohammed Bhagdal
  8. (Late) Mr. Usman Ismail Motorwala
  9. (Late) Mr. A.Latif Valimohammed Bhagdal
  10. (Late) Mr. A.Hamid Ismail Motorwala
  11. (Late) Mr. Hussain A.Rahim Batliwala
  12. (Late) Mr. Fateh Mohammed A.Rahim Batliwala
  13. (Late) Mr. Abdul Karim Ishaque Vadiwala (known as Wada bhaa)
  14. (Late) Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Shahpurwala
  15. (Late) Mr. Haji Umer Haji Khalifa
  16. (Late) Mr. Haji Ismail Umer Mozawala
  17. (Late) Mr. Ahmed Haji Sharif (Ahmed Musalmaan)

With all due respect and gratitude for their years of service and contribution the UNWALA MEMON UNION TRUST salutes them for their determination, for making all of us realize our responsibilities towards our community by setting examples and for all the motivation they have provided for the future generations. May Allah grant them with higher ranks in Jannat-tul-Firadus. Ameen.

The Progress

The names and surnames of our elders clearly indicated that right from the beginning, the Unawala's were leading businessmen of Mumbai. Motor spare-parts, hosiery, cutlery, rice-mills, jewelery, jari-kasab, gold and silver etc, were the main fields in which our elders were quite prominent.

By 1937, approximately 250 families of Unawala had settled in Mumbai and they were a part of Halai Memon Khandwani Jamaat whose president at that time was Late Mr. Fateh Mohammed Chinai, our elders used to visit his office at Halai Memon Mohalla, next to Habib Lagansara to take his advice on any social problem. In short, right from 1937 there have been very cordial relations between the Unawala’s and the Khandwani's. Our Union is a very important part of the Khandwani Jamaat and still we maintain our importance and individuality.

After the establishment of the Union, almost every day our elders before going to their respective office / nosiness establishment used to assemble at the shop of Late Mr. Haji Abdul Rehman Jariwala with the sole purpose of collecting latest information about the social activities of the Jamaat and finding ways of helping the members and solving their problems, if any.

By the grace of the Almighty Allah, gradually the social activities of our Union progressed. Now, it was further decided to give “Turban” and “Golden Sehra” at a very nominal rate at the time of marriage. Also, if a member could not afford to hire a hall or Mandap for the marriage, it was decided to allot the Union premises free of charge for the Nikah ceremony as in those days, very few people used to go to any masjid for the Nikah and the rich people used to have Mandap for 2-3 days in front of their own house. Moreover, on any sad occasion (death), on the third day, after the morning Ziyarat, all the members used to gather in the Union office to offer their condolences and after wards used to reach the close relatives of the dead person to their office/ business establishment.

In those days, there was one rupee monthly member fee and on the first of every month, there used to be a monthly meeting. Moreover, every year Meelad Shareef programs were arranged on the suspicious occasion of Eid-e-Miladun Nabi Sallallahu Allaihi Wasalam, Gyarveen Shareef and Shab-e-Qadr (27th night of Ramadan). From 1935 to 1937, regular Committee meetings were conducted in one of the shops under the Noor Shah Hamdani building situated at the junction of Jhanda Gali and Memonwada Road. Our present Union office was purchased around 1937 approximately. From this office, slowly but steadily we progressed in achieving in our aims and objectives.

The Big Step

In 1948, when Late Mr. Ahmed Kassam Motiwala was the president, one of the managing committee members, namely Mr. Mohammed Ismail Jariwala in one of the monthly managing committee meetings proposed to start a regular “BEWA FUND” (Fund for the widows of the Jamaat). It was suggested that the proposed Fund could be started by collecting just One rupee from every member. However it was decide to call a general body meeting for a full discussion. At that time the “RUPEE” had its real purchasing power(value), the philanthropists like Late Mr. Haji Umer Khalifa, Late Mr. Jusab Sopariwala and Late Mr. Haji A. Gani Readymadewala announced their contribution of Rs 10,000/-, Rs 10,000/- and Rs 5,000/-respectively if all members unanimously agreed to launch the BEWA FUND. Unfortunately, under those circumstances there was some misunderstanding and all the members could not reach on a unanimous decision and hence the papers were filled with an assurance that whenever in the future the circumstances would be favorable, the FUND would be launched.

The Misunderstandings

From 1959 to 1956, our Union was functioning nicely and the activities were going on smoothly under the presidency of Late Mr. Haji Umer Ahmed Jhaveri. Unfortunately, as it generally happens in any social organization, in 1956 there were some irregularities happening in the functions of our Jamaat. At that time, the Managing council of the Halai Memon Khandwani Jamaat passed a resolution for not performing the “Morning Ziyarat” on the third day in the event of any member’s death. As soon as the Unawala Jamaat Managing Committee decided to act upon this resolution, the Jamaat members were divided into “The Ziyarat Party” and “The Non-Ziyarat Party”. After that, the Ziyarat Party members stopped attending the Ziyarat Majlis on the second day at night and the Non-Ziyarat party members stopped going to the Morning Ziyarat on the third day. Because of this controversy, there arose a severe bitterness which had its unhealthy effect on the other social activities. Our progress was hampered due to such misunderstandings. This continued for fifteen long years.

The Re- Union of the Members

At last in 1971, wiser counsels prevailed and by the blessings of the Almighty Allah, all the members once again united. During this period of misunderstanding, the managing committee took some steps to get the Union registered. On the 1st December 1957, the first constitution was passed. In March 1958, the constitution was printed and booklets were distributed amongst the members. In this booklet, the then committee expressed its hope that as usual all the members would serve the Jamaat selflessly and extended their co-operation united. On the last page of that booklet, the names of the then managing committee members appeared in the following order :

  1. Sheth Haji Umer Ahmed Jhaveri (President)
  2. Sheth Haji Kassam Ali Mohammed Cutlerywala (Vice-President)
  3. Sheth Ismail Vali Mohammed Sharif (Hon-Secretary)
  4. Sheth Abdul KArim Ishaque (Jt.Secretary)
  5. Sheth Moosa Haji Abdullah Jhaveri (Treasurer)
  6. Sheth Ismail Umer Mozawala (Councilor)
  7. Sheth Usman Ismail Motorwala (Councilor)
  8. Sheth Abdul Shakur Haji Ismail Arbeewala (Councilor)
  9. Sheth Abdul Gani Dada Motorwala (Councilor)
  10. Sheth Jusab Ibrahim Electric wala (Councilor)
  11. Sheth Mohamed Usman Furniturewala (Councilor)
  12. Sheth Usman Noor Mohammed Motorwala (Councilor)
  13. Sheth Ismail Abdul Gani Readymadewala (Councilor)
  14. Sheth Ahmed Haji Sharif (Councilor)
  15. Sheth Ibrahim Abdul Gani Bijal (Councilor)
  16. Sheth Haji Usman Adam Machiwala (Councilor)
  17. Sheth Hasham Ahmed Electricwala (Councilor)

The Slowing Down

Between 1957 and 1984, our activities had slowed down due to a number of reasons. Soon after our independence in 1947, our members started migrating to far off suburbs like Bandra, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Malad, Mumbra, Kalyan etc. Moreover, due to competition in business and financial difficulties as well as their personal family issues the members could not devote enough time to social activities of the Union. There was no much interest shown and the activities slackened.

Reactivating the Jamaat

In 1984, the then President Late Haji Umer Ahmed Jhaveri (Motiwala) being fed up of the silence of the members, invited Late Kassam Usman Motorwala and our present secretary Late Haji Mohammed Umer Mozawala and expressed his desire to reactivate the members if they were interested otherwise, he would sell off the Union office and donate the proceedings to the UNA Jamaat in UNA.

With this Objective, a meeting was called in June 1984 at the Halai Memon Khandwani Jamaat Hall. The meeting was attended by more than 150 members and everyone expressed their desire to continue the social welfare activities. Full co-operation and contribution was assured in that meeting. The members who were present in that meeting and inspired the members were :

  1. Late Mr. Haji Umer Ahmed Jhaveri
  2. Late Mr. Ismail Sharif
  3. Late Mr. A.Rehman Jariwala
  4. Late Mr. Mohammed Abba Batliwala
  5. Late Mr. Ahmed Hamid Motorwala
  6. Mr. Haji Moosa Abdullah Bijal (Jhaveri)
  7. Mr. Mohammed Ismail Jariwala
  8. Mr. Abdul Shakur Arbeewala

These elders assured the present generation of their full support, guidance and co-operation. A new managing committee was elected and the following office bearers took up the new leadership.

  1. Late Mr. Noor Mohammed Ahmed Motiwala (President)
  2. Late Mr. Haji Mohammed Umer Mozawala (Hon.Sec)
  3. Late Mr. Abubaker Umer Jariwala (Jt. Sec)
  4. Late Mr. Suleman Sharif (Treasurer)

From 1984 to 1985 for one year, Late Mr. Noor Mohammed Ahmed Motiwala, the president of our Union provided a good beginning and a strong platform and then he resigned. In 1985, Late Mr. Haji Zikar bhai Motorwala was elected as the president. Since 1985, there have been elections 3 times. Following are members who were a part of the Managing Committee of our Union in 2002 :

  1. Late Mr. Haji Zikarbhai Dada Motorwala (President)
  2. Mr. Haji A. Shakur Arbeewala (Vice-president)
  3. Late Mr. Haji Mohammed Umar Ismail Mozawala (Secretary)
  4. Late Mr. Abubaker Umar Zariwala (Jt Secretary)
  5. Mr. Ebrahim Ali Mohammed Batliwala (Traesurer)
  6. Late Mr. Mohammed Ismail Tar Mohammed Zariwala (Member)
  7. Mr. Abdul Majid Haji Umar Zaveri (Memebr) (Member)
  8. Mr. Mohammed Kasam Ahmad Motiwala (Member)
  9. Mr. Abdul Rehman Noor Mohammed Motiwala (Member)
  10. Late Mr. Abdul Sattar Abubaker Kherani (Member)
  11. Late Mr. Ayyub Mohammed Zaveri (Member)
  12. Late Mr. Abdul Latif Usman Zaveri (Member)
  13. Mr. Mohammed Haroon Adam Kasmani (Member)
  14. Mr. Mohammed Iqbal Kasam Masalawala (Member)
  15. Late Mr. Ahmed Bhai Beediwala (Member)

Empowering the Women

With a view to bring awakening amongst our ladies, the LADIES WING was established in 1990-91. Late Mrs. Khatijabai Abdullah Motorwala was the first President of the ladies wing. Mrs. Bilquis Bai Moosa Machhiwala had been giving services as the secretary. These ladies have been conducting Urdu and English primary classes, sewing classes, Craft and mahendi classes free of charge for our female members. It is a matter of pleasure that many ladies have taken benefit of these various classes.

NOTE : Till today the members of the Ladies Wing are the most active members of our Jamaat, they have immensely contributed their valuable time and work dedicatedly to ensure prosperity and progress.

Recognizing the efforts of our Youth

To encourage and motivate our talented youth as well to make them self-dependent, the Unawala Memon Union Trust started an annual felicitation program in 1994 to encourage our youth and recognize their talents and effort by presenting them various awards.

Our Sincere Appreciation

We sincerely thank the founders, promoters, sponsors all the members who have contributed their valuable time and money to uplift our community in any way possible to them and supporting all of us throughout this journey till today. Without their initiative and awareness Unawala Memon Union Trust would not have been what it is today.

Your Belief is our strength

We the Unawala Memon Union Trust members wish to continue our love for our Jamaat by consistently enlightening your belief in us by spreading hope and by contributing in the best possible manner we can. We thank all our members for being our strength and believing in us.

Note : The history of our Jamaat had been drafted by Prof. Abdul Shakur Abdul Rahim Memon back in 2002 and it was narrated to him by the following members :

  1. Mr. Haji A.Shakur Arbeewala
  2. Mr. Md.Ismail Jariwala
  3. Mr. Valimohammed Usman Batliwala
  4. Mr. Haji Umer Mozawala