the   LADY Jehangir Kothari Memorial Hall ANNEXE



HISTORY form "The Bangalore Parsis"       




Full Name : The Lady Jehangir Kothari Memorial Hall Annexe


Full Address :  

The Lady Jehangir Kothari Memorial Hall Annexe
14 Venkataswamy Naidu Road
Bangalore 560 051

Telephone No. : +91(80)  22864535

E-mail :


Landmark : Opposite the Indian Express building and the Agiary.



HISTORY form "The Bangalore Parsis"




Housing Scheme for the Parsees



From 1965 the housing scarcity in Bangalore increased.  Some Parsees living in rented houses were facing eviction notices if they refused to pay the revised, higher rents.  Among them were very poor and needy Parsees who wished to be accommodated closer to the Agiary area. Many of these tenants were afraid of approaching the trustees and as they were facing eviction notices, it used to worry me that something should be done to help them.  


In those years the Anjuman had meagre funds and experienced great difficulties in managing even its own affairs. The yearly audited accounts were in deficit. The funds, which were earmarked, were invested either with the Bombay Parsee Panchayat or in Government Securities.  So the Trustees were not in a position to help these needy Parsees. As might be recalled, the Trustees had no funds to construct a Dharmasala some years ago either.


One fine day, both Mr. Behramshaw Sidhwa and I sat together and prepared the yearly budget.  We thought of en-cashing a few Government Securities and raising additional funds through donations. The appeal for housing for needy Parsees caused the Trustees and the Panthaki to strain themselves in every direction, even taking undue financial risks.  The Bombay Parsee Panchayat was approached for a loan of Rs. 25,000, which they sanctioned interest-free and some Parsees gave donations to start the work.  All told, we were able to collect Rs.50,000.  The donors’ names are recorded on a tablet in The Lady Jehangir Kothari Memorial Hall Annex.


From this amount it was not possible to buy a plot of land to construct flats for the poor.  Mr. Sidhwa thought of using the vacant plot in the compound of the Lady Jehangir Kothari Memorial Hall.  I requested our President Mr. Sidhwa to try and communicate with the Executors of late Sir Jehangir Kothari at Karachi. Mr. Sidhwa called a meeting of the Trustees and resolved to write to the Executors of the Kothari Trust in Karachi (Pakistan). On legal advice we were informed that the Kothari Hall property vested in the Bangalore Anjuman and there was no necessity to take permission from the Trust in Pakistan.  Even the Executors of the Kothari Trust that had been previously appointed on the board of trustees of the Anjuman and later had withdrawn their Trusteeship.  Despite this, Mr. Sidhwa thought it right to take their approval. 


Many letters were exchanged with the Kothari Trust and eventually one gentleman Mr. Keki Talati came from Karachi on behalf of the Kothari Trust to evaluate the situation. This was followed by more correspondence between them and the Anjuman after which the plan for the proposed building was submitted to them. After much consideration, the Executors agreed to allow construction of apartments on the condition that the proposed building should be 100 feet away from The Lady Jehangir Kothari Memorial Hall, on the East side of the compound. 


Since the Anjuman had property at Guttahalli, the trustees decided to sell about one acre of land behind the prayer hall.  The Trustees sold this land for Rs. 70,000/- and added this amount to the proposed The Lady Jehangir Kothari Memorial Hall Annexe Project. 


The Trustees then called for a General Body Meeting where it was resolved to start construction work. However, the Anjuman had funds for constructing just the ground and first floors. At that time, Mr. Bahadur Saher and Mr. Dara. Ghadiali of Saher & Ghadiali, Architects, had come to Bangalore to start their business.  Mr. Sidhwa approached them to draw up the plans for the building.  Within a fortnight a plan was ready and approved by the Trustees, who then applied to the Corporation for sanction of the plans. When an application for the building was made to the BMP, permission was asked for constructing the ground floor and three additional floors and sanction was received for all these. For the construction of the building Mr. Sidhwa selected Mr. Jimmy. K. Panthaki of M/s. J. K. Panthaki & Co. entrusting the work to him on a no-profit basis.  Mr. J. K. Panthaki, in consultation with the architects, prepared the budget for construction of the ground and first floor. The electrical work was entrusted to Mr. Dinshaw Irani, Proprietor of Flash Electric Works and he completed the work for Rs. 20,000/-.  The plumbing and sanitary work was entrusted to M/s. Plato Engineering, owned by Mr. Homi Rustumji, who completed the work for Rs. 10,000/-.  Mr. J. K. Panthaki was very enthusiastic and with the combined efforts of all the contractors, he started construction work in 1965 and completed it in 1966 at a cost of Rs. 2.25 lakhs.