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Samvat 2004
-   28thfebruary 1986A.D.

When we read about peoples lives, it turns out to be an insight into what good people are made of, for grateful acknowledgement of their services to society.
For the beautifully lit path that they have carved out for others to follow.
When we go through a brief memory of his life
we come to know that he was a real gem.

Chaganbhai Ghatalia was born in 1904 in Jamnagar. His father expired when he was 11/2 years old and so he started life amidst poverty and hardship. But as great people are always made he was "A lotus which bloomed amidst slime." The ruler of Jamnagar Gujarat, Jamsaheb gave him an award and a scholarship in recognition of his brilliance in studies.

He came to Bombay at the age of nine to earn and learn. He did odd jobs at Mulji Jetha wholesale cloth market and studied at St. Xaviers. He grabbed a job opportunity at Dawa Bazar the medicine market of Bombay and quickly rose to prominence in this field to. He was offered the hand of the daughter of the richest man in Jamnagar. But this marriage lasted a few years and his first wife passed away. He then married Narbhekunverba at the age of 24 years. There are four sons and two daughters out of this marriage. Pravinbhai the eldest son helped him and trained under his able guidance.

They set up Kumar & Co. and became the highest importers of medicines, bulk drugs, & other consumers goods. He was the one who initiated Pharmaceutical and Bulk Drugs Merchants Association which became a powerful & influential lobby.

As he had seen the poverty, he could emphathise with the poor and needy,
"To handle yourself use your head,
To handle others use your heart."
was his dictum. He helped in cash and kind during calamities like riots and the Koyna earthquake. He never stood on the sidelines just being a silent spectator at the things that unfolded before his eyes but he was in the midst of it, forever lending a helping hand.

Then again as he himself was the brilliant student he was very much interested in educational institutions. He was on the governing boards of schools like, Ramji Ashar High School, Gurukul High School, Ratna Chintamni Girls High School. Ratna Chintamni school and college is the world’s first free of charge school and college.

He strove to provide free education for girls and women because people in those days thought it was a wastage to spend money in educating girls. We are really grateful because as our mothers and grandmothers became educated the movement for freedom of women gathered momentum & girls today can pursue studies and professions of their own interest.

Again sensing the health care needs of the society he helped to establish a charitable medical centre "Ghatkopar Seva Samaj" which till date provides medical and relief facilities at marginal charges.

He loved children & they reciprocated and called him "Chaganbapa" endearingly.

Taking note of his services at grassroot level on a person to person


basis, he had been felicitated by Smt. Indira Gandhi, Shri Morarji Desai and others. He was highly influential in local politics because of his social work. In the post emergency era, he dissociated himself from politics and went to Canada. Zealous and enthusiastic he was forever learning new things. His literary craving and love for poetry in particular made him learn many languages.

Mr. Ramesh Ghatalia

His son Rameshbhai Ghatalia also is walking in the same footsteps of his father. Two other sons are now based in Canada.

And then as the daughter in law of Chaganbhai - Chandrikaben Ramesh Ghatalia says, Rahul his grandson as I see it is treading the same path .

Rahul Ghatalia

With the characteristic foresight that they seem to have in the family he registered this website dedicated to Ghatkopar so that our own people across the world pining for news from their homeland can plug in to the website on internet and lo!, all the news will come pouring in, "chitthi aayi hai watan se chitthi aai hai ."

nd so we salute that great patriarch


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