SIR RATAN TATA TRUST • ANNUAL REPORT 2002 .SIR RATAN TATA TRUST • ANNUAL REPORT 2002-2003 Vision

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    Vision

    His thoughts, in 1913, on the manner in which the Trusts

    funds could be used:

    for the advancement of Education, Learning

    and Industry in all its branches, includingeducation in economy, sanitary services and art,or for the relief of human suffering or for other

    works of public utility.

    To engage qualified and competent persons to

    investigate into matters that pertain to the social,economic or political welfare of the Indian community,the object being to design schemes of a practical nature

    calculated to promote the welfare of the said community, carebeing taken that such work is not undertaken from the stereotyped point of view butfrom the point of view of fresh light that is thrown from day to day by the advance of

    science and philosophy on problems of human well-being

    Further, he also directed that:

    No experiment and no venture should be aided or undertaken unless the scheme thereofis carefully prepared

    No institution or organisation should be aided of which the accounts are not subject toperiodic audits and are not regularly issued and which would not be open to inspection

    and examination

    Sir Ratan Tatas Vision

    I

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    Board of Trustees

    Mr. Ratan N. Tata (Chairperson)

    Mr. H. N. Sethna

    Mr. N. A. Soonawala

    Mr. J. N. Tata

    Mr. K. B. Dadiseth

    Mr. R. K. Krishna Kumar

    Ms. Shirin Bharucha (with effect from February 17, 2003)

    The Trust mourns the demise of Mr. Nani A. Palkhivala, who was an

    esteemed member on the Board of Trustees for 34 years. A stalwart of the

    Tata Group, he passed away in Mumbai on

    Wednesday, December 11, 2002 after a brief illness.

    He was 82.

    We cherish fond memories of his long standing

    association with the Trust and invaluable guidance,

    over the years.

    May his soul rest in peace.

    II

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    Trust Management Team

    Secretary and Chief Accountant Mr. Hoshang D. Malesra

    Institutional GrantsProgrammes Manager Mr. Arun Pandhi

    Programme Officers Ms. Vartika Jaini

    Ms. Kavita Anand

    Programme Associate (Intern) Ms. Nehal Gandhi

    Mr. Prodyut Mukherjee

    Individual GrantsProgramme Officer Ms. Nandini Janardhanan

    Senior Programme Associate Ms. Kumudini Kudalkar

    Accounts Mr. Freddie P. MovdawalaMs. Sanober N. Charna

    Mr. Micky B. Billimoria

    Ms. Bhanu Chidambaran

    Executive Assistants Ms. Razia KhanMs. Meher Raghina

    Office Assistants Ms. Jasmine D. BillimoriaMr. Ravi M. Shetty

    Mr. Ramesh V. Thingalaya

    Mr. Navin D. Thingalaya

    The Trust is grateful to the following for their valuable contributions during the year.

    Bankers American Express Bank, Mumbai

    State Bank of India, Main, Mumbai

    UTI Bank, Main, Mumbai

    Auditors Mr. D. D. Bhathena, Partner

    M/s Damania, Panday and Bajan

    Chartered Accountants

    Solicitors Mr. Jehangir N. Mistry, Partner

    M/s Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe

    III

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    Reflections

    As the Trust enters its 85th year of existence, we reflect on the course of its long and eventful, yet

    unfinished journey of missions and objectives, based on the vision of Sir Ratan Tata, the younger

    son of Jamsetji Tata. The founder of the Tata Empire, Jamsetji was a true nationalist who foresaw the

    significance of the industrial revolution for India. He had a desire to catapult India among the leading

    industrial nations of the world. So was his passion to help young Indians in their higher studies. In

    1892, he started giving scholarships to deserving students for higher studies abroad. Though he

    could afford to give away, he preferred to loan money to deserving students so as to instil in them

    a spirit of self-help1 .

    Like his illustrious father, Sir Ratan too, was kind hearted and generous, always willing to lend a

    helping hand to any individual and institution in distress. Blessed with the good fortune to support

    a comfortable lifestyle, Sir Ratan always felt that accumulation of wealth also carried along with it a

    significant responsibility. He had a true Indian outlook with a

    nationalistic fervour; yet on the other hand, he possessed a

    balanced, broad-minded view-point. Serious charity meant

    making the effort to identify a cause one deeply cared about,

    and then devoting time as well as effort and money. In his short,

    but satisfying lifetime, Sir Ratan had identified several issues,

    which would bear testimony to his munificence. Amongst these,

    he decided to contribute towards the movement for social

    awareness and upliftment that was unfolding in India, towards

    the turn of the twentieth century.

    On June 12, 1905, a visionary took an oath to serve his

    motherland, support and promote the national interest of her

    citizens. The man in question was none other than Gopal

    Krishna Gokhale. He then asked his friends, Natesh Dravid,

    Gopal Krishna Deodhar and Anant Vinayak Patwardhan to take

    a similar oath. Thus was born the Servants of India Society, with Gokhale as its founder and the

    other three as its life members. The founding of this brotherhood in Poona was the outcome of

    Gopal Krishna Gokhales belief, that if the masses were to be liberated to function as active members

    of Free India, they must have a band of selfless and intelligent workers, who would dedicate their

    lives to the service of the nation.2 Gokhale, along with his trusted lieutenants, trained the volunteers

    of the Society to be nationalist missionaries, infusing in them the virtues of valour, truth, courage

    and resolve. Gokhale was resolute on spiritualising public life and he honed his team of workers

    accordingly. With astute nobleness running through the rank of workers of the Society, it was but

    In service of the Motherland..

    IV

    1 Lala, R. M. (1981) The Creation of Wealth; I.B.H Publishing Company, Mumbai.2 Dhavse, R. (2002) Servants of India; http://www.indiatogether.org/stories/2002/rd1002.htm.

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    Reflections

    natural that it established a distinguished and unparalleled record of work that furthered the cause

    of the nations welfare and Gokhales vision of national service.

    The functioning of the Society greatly depended on the generosity of the public. There was a section

    of people who considered it obligatory to lend financial support to the cause of Gokhale and his

    Servants of India Society. Sir Ratan was deeply interested in the activities of the movement, and

    decided to provide for the operational costs of the Society for a period of ten years, starting from its

    inception in 1905. A total sum of Rs. 111,000 was disbursed during that period, which in those days

    was a very large amount. Sir Ratans involvement in the social movement is evident from his letter

    to Gokhale reiterating his support to the Servants of India Society, and enquiring about the situation

    in South Africa, where Mahatma Gandhi was spearheading a movement to highlight the plight of

    Indians under the prevailing regime.3 Sir Ratan went on to support the Gandhi-led agitation in South

    Africa, disbursing a sum of Rs. 125,000 in the period 1909-1913.

    15th October 1909

    Dear Mr. Gokhale,

    Perhaps you would like to have in writing the promise I made to you

    when I saw you last. I now confirm my promise to contribute to your

    Servants of India Society Rs. 12,000 per annum, instead of the Rs.

    6,000, which I have hitherto done. The conditions under which I make

    this contribution remain the same as before.

    I hope you have not forgotten to move in the matter of the South

    African question. I shall be glad to hear from you on the subject.

    With kind regards,

    Yours sincerely,

    Sir Ratans involvement with the Servants of India Society did not end at mere fund disbursals. He

    took a keen interest in the activities of the Society and regularly appraised them. He kept in constant

    touch with Gokhale, in India and in England.

    During the period 1905-1915, the Society created branches across many parts of India, concentrating

    V

    3 Tata Central Archives, Pune.

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    its efforts in the areas of education, economic and social work and relief activities. Gokhale was a

    firm advocate of spreading education. Being a lecturer himself in the Fergusson College, he taught

    English and Mathematics, before becoming its Principal. I