Charity

Here’s what we know about Hussonally’s charitable efforts:

His best friend was a Parsi lawyer who suggested how he might divide up his estate. He created a blood relation fund, which would comprise 1/3 of the estate. It was supposed to spread over 7 generations but the fund ran low after 5 generations. About 20 years ago, family members signed an agreement ending disbursements of this fund and passed the remaining money along to the larger trust. Today, Bohras can still apply for scholarships from this fund and it is set up as a loan which should be paid back.

A charitable trust was created through his will, which was challenged in the court by his two elder daughters because it was felt that he had allocated a greater part to charity and not enough for them (the Sharia law stipulates that only 1/3 of an estate can go to non-heirs, and they challenged his decision to give more to charity). The court allocated properties for medical and for education initiatives, and the rest of the estate went to the daughters and his wife.

The rest of the his estate went towards funding a maternity home in Bombay and a school and orphanage in Dholka.

The Trust allocated money for “a high school in Dholka for all children of Dholka. It is still that the only high school in Dholka. The current head master is  Anees Sethwala.” It was built around 1923 (the Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in ’83).

He was self-taught and studied under lamplight “when he came to Bombay and worked during the day, so maybe his parents could not afford a education for him? Hence he could have been prompted to start a school?”

“There is a boarding house attached to it. The property exists, but is not longer active because there is better schooling available in small villages [so the boarding house is no longer needed].”

“He’d missed out on education in his life. He wanted to make things easier for other children.”

While he was alive, he set up a sponsored bed in the local municipal hospital for maternity care. It still exists and the municipality runs it now.

After the Trust was formed, “The maternity hospital is Dholkawala Maternity Home in Bombay.  He lost many children and his wives in childbirth. This is why a maternity hospital was his interest. Back then, there was poor hygiene and less experienced midwives.”

“There is also the HAD Wakf Charity Trust for scholarships, which is also used to run a orphanage in Dholka.

“He had first hand experience of having motherless babies himself [thus the desire for an orphanage]”

“He financed the water pipeline from Ahmedabad to Dholka while he was alive.”

For photos of some of his charitable works, please see the “Legacy” and “Dholka” page.