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About Padmashali Samaja Seva Sangha

How and Why was Padmashali Samaja Seva Sangha found?
Padmashali Samaja Seva Sangha The introduction of the railways - starting 1853 - by the colonial British government helped penetrate the self-sufficient rural economy. With the forced introduction of machine manufactured goods, especially finished cotton goods from the factories of Birmingham (making use of advances from the Industrial Revolution) etc., from imperial British, the domestic textile industry suffered losses. Being an important node in the rural economy, the Padmashali community also naturally felt the impact. They were displaced from their traditional occupation. This resulted in mass unemployment among the weaver community i.e. Padmashalis. In search of a livelihood there was an exodus to cities like Mumbai.

The early days for these immigrants were difficult because they lacked skills other than weaving. Getting gainfully employed & moving into the main stream society was a herculean task. Many people from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka came in groups and started their own Sanghas and Associations in Mumbai. Mogaveera Vyavasthapaka Mandali was established in 1902 followed by Devadiga Sudharaka Sangha in 1925, Bantara yane Nadavara Sangha in 1927, Kulala Sudharaka Sangha in 1929, Billawara Association in 1932 and so on. According to reliable sources some Padmashalis (Shettigars) started "Guru Fund" in the year 1930 and later established a "Temple Fund" in 1932, a "Thaleyara Sangha" too was established. But all these were short lived.

Around 1934-1935 India's struggle for independence was at its peak. Mahatma Gandhiji traveled all over India and aired the message of unity irrespective of language, religion and caste. Inspired by the voice of Mahatma Gandhi, three individuals took the initiative and came forward to form a SANGHA, which was essentially a SELF-HELP group. This was the only way they could overcome the obstacles/hurdles.

The birth of Padmashali Samaja Seva Sangha
Padmashali Samaja Seva Sangha (R) In the year 1935, three Padmashalis met in the fort area of Mumbai. After a prolonged discussion, they came to the conclusion that they too should have a Sangha to unite the Padmashalis in Mumbai and to provide education to these Padmashalis (Shettigars). With better education these Padmashalis can have a smooth transition into the mainstream society. The three Padmashalis were none other than Krishna Pundu Shettigar, Kookra Chinnu Shettigar and Annappa Basappa Shettigar. (click here to view the Photos) They moved around the fort area of Mumbai in search of Padmashalis of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts and placed before them different issues faced by them. Dooma Shettigar and Hoovayya Shettigar supported them in their endeavor.

On 31-12-1935, a circular was released by K.C.Shettigar to about 30 padmashalis. On 5th of January 1936, the first meeting was held at H.M.Mehtha & Co, 105, Apollo Street, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, the work place of Dooma Shettigar. Seventeen padmashalis were present at this meeting. To promote unity, self-help and co-operation among the padmashalis, to eradicate social and other impediments, to grant scholarships for higher education etc were some of the main points discussed at this meeting. With the above intentions, this committee unanimously decided to establish "Padmashali Samajika Sangha". A managing committee consisting of 8 members was unanimously elected at this first meeting.

Thus Padmashali Samaj Seva Sangha was established in 1936 and registered under the Mumbai Public Trusts Act 1950 in 1953.

Aims and Objectives

  • To promote unity, amity, self-help and co-operation amongst the members of Padmashali Community.
  • To eradicate the social and other impediments that comes in the way of the progress of Padmashali Community through proper means.
  • To grant scholarships to deservative poor students of padmashali community of the district who wish to prosecute studies in Medicine, Professional Course, Literature &Arts after scrutiny of the application and without discrimination.
  • To grant scholarships to deservative poor students of padmashali community of the district who wish to prosecute studies in Medicine, Professional Course, Literature & Arts, if the income of parents is inadequate or nil.
  • To give medical aid to destitute members of the Community during illness. (Even if they undertake to reimburse the expense after they are employed)
  • If such members remain helpless even after recovery and are unable to secure employment in Mumbai and if they so desire, to arrange for their journey to native place at the expense of the sangha.
  • To arrange for funeral of the destitute members of the community and meet their funeral expenses.
  • If any member of the community who has come to Mumbai in search of employment and fails to secure an employment and is unable to continue his stay in Mumbai, to arrange to send back such persons to native place at the expense of the sangha, if he applies for such help from the sangha.
  • To promote cause of education by establishing or aiding educational institutions.

Current Managing Committee

Padmashali Samaja Seva Sangha (R)