We must keep our dream alive
Hasmukh Bhimjibhai Pattni(Dhanak)
Past President – Parajiya Pattni Association - London
It is with great joy and optimism that I write this message to all the members of Parajiya Pattni Association in London.
The London Region of the Association has gone from strength to strength over the years. This year is no exception. Although, I have the maxim that the work for the community has no limits and there is always something more that can be done.
We are hopeful that with access to new technology London will be the centre of future communications in the world of Parajiya Pattnis. Suddenly the world has now become much smaller with the use of internet and that we are no longer distant from all Parajiyas where ever they may reside throughout the world.
All the members will have experienced and observed that our community has come a long way in the United Kingdom. With new generations a lot of changes have taken place and continue to take place. This is not only necessary but also inevitable.
There have been two important personalities, Shree Mohanlal Nathoobhai Ghaghada of Leicester and Shree Damjibhai Devji of Nairobi who have had a significant impact on Pattni communities both in the UK and in East Africa. Sadly they have recently passed away and from the obituaries, later in this magazine, you will no doubt admire and appreciate their contributions to Pattni society. However they have left behind a solid foundation for us to build upon. I am very grateful for all their foresights and their wishes that we preserve our culture and make progress. I for one have drawn inspiration from their tenets.
It had always been a focal point for us in Mombasa, Nairobi and historically in India that we have a building for our samaj. Over the years, with the best intentions in the world, a property has not been established in the UK despite all the efforts. There have been numerous reasons as to why this has not happened. Some of them were lack of consensus or that the properties were considered unsuitable by reason of location or size. As the years have gone by the cost of acquiring the property has escalated to make the funding a very major obstacle.
That said, I am extremely happy to formally announce that with the generosity of the family of late Damjibhai Devji we have been offered a sum of £100,000, unconditionally, to assist in the acquisition of a property for our London members. This gesture is truly remarkable and so very generous!
All of you are important and as the President of the community I now call upon your wholehearted support. I seek the assistance of all our members, young and old, in any way you can help, be it financial, professional, in fund raising, locating suitable sites or simple encouragement to make this dream come true. So when we knock on your door please give us your generous support. It is for your benefit too!
The goal of acquiring a community property is no longer a dream, it is reality that is achievable and therefore we must put our maximum effort to succeed.
And succeed we shall with all your support.
Unity is Strength
Ashwin Govindji Kagdadia
President - Leicester Region
We are in the 21st Century and I am delighted to see that our Community has upheld our traditions and culture. I would like to see the natural progression of younger members to come forward and take up their rightful place in the running of the PPA - UK. In the Leicester Region we have taken such positive steps on this matter and now have a thriving and active executive committee that is young and vibrant. The full Leicester Region executive committee is listed in this issue of the newsletter.
We must look with confidence to the future. This summer there have been numerous weddings where we had opportunities to meet Pattni members from various parts of the world. I welcome the suggestions made by some that we should consider making the PPA, a Global entity. This indeed will bring us closer to our brothers and sisters residing in the distant lands. My suggestion to the National Executive, PPA - UK would be to hold an open forum, where members from various parts of the world can be invited to discuss the formation of a truly international umbrella entity.
I also wish that we organised more National events in the UK where all regions can participate. This will bring the community more closer. We are a small community and need each other’s support to keep us strong.
Unity is indeed Strength.
Jai Shree Krishna
A Commendable Task
Amratlal Hiralal Visaman - Mombasa
Past Chairman – Parajiya Pattni Samaj Mombasa
Present Chairman – Mombasa Goldsmiths Association
History section made an absorbing reading and was very informative. Thanks to our pioneer forefathers, whom we should never forget, who migrated from India to Africa that we are now eating the fruits of their ventures. A point overlooked in the history section was that Motibai Pathik Ashram was the first ‘vadi’ building in Mombasa for Parajiya Pattni Samaj outside India.Their successive generation is now spread around the world in countries like UK, USA, Canada, Australia and many parts of the world.
I read all the articles about the crises in the jewellery business. It is important that all the jewellers to get together and talk about this issue. It is only by discussing and exchanging the idea that a solution to this turmoil can be found.
As I am an active member in our Samaj and the Goldsmith’s Association, I have always encouraged our members not to bow to customer’s pressure of selling under cost and to behave like professionals and be proud of one’s self.
I am sure many would come forward and express their own opinion.
I wish you all the best of luck.
Mataji’s Blessing is always with you all
Importance of Associations
This is the age of Union of all Pattnis
Secretary – Shree Samast Parajiya Soni Keravni Mandal, Jamnagar
Treasurer – Shree Akhil Bhartiya Parajiya Gnati Federation, Jamnagar
At international level, apart from the United Nation, there are many types of unions, clubs and associations in various fields like religion, community, business and industry Some of them such as Hindu Council, Rotary Clubs, Lions International and Chambers of Commerce have achieved world recognition and popularity. To an individual, being part of an organisation is very important in one’s life. We humans are similar to the animal kingdom where they socialise in a community. Such association is important for progress and development for both the individual and that of the organisation.
In India Pattnis have formed many regional Samajs through which they organise local activities. Since there is a very large population of Pattnis in India there is no shortage of volunteers. Whereas overseas the numbers are much smaller and most of them members are busy in their occupations, thus there seems to be a shortage of volunteers. This could be a reason why our Samajs overseas have a shortage of human strength.
Another reason could be that due to the new culture of inter caste and inter race marriages, the new generation have a different thinking and are less inclined to be involved as they are less aware of the benefits of a Samaj. Nevertheless, it is the duty of all pioneer volunteers to ensure that the Samaj is strengthened and preserved by way of organising a variety of social and cultural programs that would keep the members interested. In this way all age groups – young, elders and Mahilas are encouraged to be united under one umbrella. Many notable volunteers who are active professionally or voluntarily outside the community have brightened the future development of our Samaj.
Pattnis in India held a committee meeting in Ahmedabad of Shri Akhil Bhartiya Parajiya Soni Gnati Federation - an association of all the Pattni Samajs of India to foster the unity of Pattnis nationwide.
We should work even more closer to ensure that we all progress together - united.
Greetings from Mombasa
Ashok Bhagwanji Devji.- Mombasa
I take this opportunity to enlighten you on the Golden Jubilee anniversary of Parajiya Pattni Samaj, Mombasa, celebrated during Easter of this year 2002. Our Samaj hosted over one hundred guests from Nairobi, Tanzania and U.K. Leading local dignitaries were invited and stage shows of cultural and traditional items were performed with lot of pomp and glitter.
Fond remembrance of Late Shree Kanjibhai Meghji, who donated the Samaj property fifty years ago, was echoed during the opening and concluding ceremony of the event. The Golden Jubilee was a landmark in the history of our Samaj after the Silver Jubilee celebrated in 1977.
Finally I would like to felicitate the entire Parajiya Pattni community wishing them good health and prosperity Best Regards
Importance of associations in the modern world.
Prabhudas Damjibhai Pattni- Nairobi(Kenya)
(Secretary General Hindu Council of Africa)
Associations of various types will always exist but the natures of those associations always change. This is made evident from one of your other articles that states that only 30% of the second generation of goldsmiths have gone into the trade. They have opted out for other careers and professions. So where then is the importance of
the community as Pattnis? Is it still relevant when such a large number of
marriages are inter-community marriages? What is so very important for the
people of same roots to stay together? These are some of the questions that
arise in the mind.
Personally, I think that it is a pity that the community as a whole has not
taken the cognisance of the changing times. I am sure that there could have
been ways to bring modern business practices in the traditional field of
goldsmith. There is also a case for modernising the whole trade so that
on one hand, we would maintain the high quality of our craftsmanship and on
the other, we would use modern manufacturing methods and tools. There are
craft training schools in India but a similar guild could have been created
in UK as well.
It is also worth considering that even if we address the above, we are still
not anywhere near in answering what is the relevance of GNATI. If we look
at this aspect carefully, we would find that really the gnati is for the
preservation of special traits in a group of people, who have same roots,
culture and traditions. Is this preservation necessary? I would think so
because that is what makes life very interesting. But of course, others can
carry the debate forward. However, the social significance of gnati can be
a subject of some sociological research and I think that such studies could
be taken up by some of our own people in the universities. Several such
studies would definitely clarify our thinking and will help in building our
common vision for our community for next few decades. We all should ask
ourselves as to where we want be in fifty years' time. The answers may
astonish many of us.