History of Samaj in Mumbai.
The appellation Mumbai is derived from Mumba or Maha-AmbaÃ¢â‚¬â€ the name of the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, and Aai Ã¢â‚¬â€ mother in Marathi.
In saurahstra, Kadia samaj people are know for travelling places for work. They where always during era of Moghuls, Maratha or any other king. Thye where needed to build Mandir & Masjids.
English colonies when first started making houses & buildings, our people travelled from Porbandar - ghogha to Surat through sea route. Tension caused from Maratha & Moghul directed English people to move to Mumbai.
Those days businessmans from Kapol Vaniya samaj use to travell through sea route and do business. Nema parekh was one such smart businessman belonging to Kapol samaj. He wrote letter to Governor with 12 points propositions. Governor accepted the idea, and Nema parekh came to Mumbai. Following him many people from Kutch & Khatiyavad area started heading for Mumbai.
Many Parsis from Navsari had shifted to Mumbai. those day many people from Padta vaniya, Luhana, Kadia Salat travelled to Mumbai through Ghogha Port. they took boats to Surat and from there took bullock carts to reach Mumbai. There where no Rail Transport, hence reaching mumbai was considered Challenging. Many people from our samaj where negative about shifting to Mumbai, they use to consider Mumbai as hell. "Once gone to Mumbai, will never come back. One can die in Sea storm", such where the statements made by people. STill many courageous people from our samaj travelled to Mumbai in search of opprtunities. They use to occupy Kolaba, Mazgoan, Worli, Parel and Mahim.
In 1750, first port was built in Mumbai. Workers from Kutch skilled in stone-work contributed. Second port was built in 1755, third in 1765.
In construction od these ports there where different people : "Kamathi" and people from sikar (Rajasthan) & Kutch(Gujarat)
Babulnath Mandir, which was demolished by muslims, was re-constructed in 1780. this initiative was taken person named "Rama kamathi". This temple was on heights, still all work was done with stones. "Kamathi" people come from south of india. One of the place where they where put in, is now known as Kamathipura.
Around 1840, many Rajashthan families migrated to Mumbai. It is said that there where almost 1200 marvadi families in Mumbai. They use to do small business & money lending work. They where found with Red book for writing accounts and money tied in their dhoti. They would approach all houses to check for doing money deals. Those days people from kutch khatiyavad, where also mistaken to be Marvadis.
Around 1845, there was increase in flow of people travelling to Mumbai from kutch & kathiyavad ports. During this time there was No rain in gujarat region for long time, hence more people started shifting in search of livelihood. In 1853 new railway lines where laid between Mumbai & Thane. In 1855 BBCI railways got started. For platforms & buliding development for railiway facility, many of our samaj people got involved. Kadia samaj people where involved in some of the famous structures of mumbai : JJ School of arts, Victoria terminus, High court, Princess dock, Town Hall, Victoria dock, Wilson college, Apollo bandar(port), Taj Mahal hotel building.
Around 1890, Mumbai's [SHri Bhupatbhai Damjibhai Raghavji Tank]'s Grand father, Raghavji Parmar tank use to work in such port construction. With him there where many Samaj people from Bhavnagar region. These people had to go through tough time, they where paid 8 ANaas [50 paise] as daily wage. Room rent was around 4 rupees, but it was difficult to get one. They use to find place in Mud houses in some vakhar(godown), or some place in remote area, or in Vadi(farm) area.
In 1902, people from in & around Savarkundla came to Mumbai. Late Shri Ranabhai Khodhabhai, worled for long time in construction of BB & C Railway platforms & interlock cabins. English PW inspector R.J.Jhonston appreciated his work and has given him Certificate for good work in 1905. Inspector had very strongly recommended Shri Ranabhai for his hard work and great skills. During this time many Parsi families use to trust Kadias from Gujarat & Mumbai for quality work. These days many people use to come to Mumbai to make some money and return back home before rain starts, something simmilar to the way people travelled to Gulf & dubai area 2 decades ago. Many people from our Samaj also came for farming occupation. Many people from Bhavnagar area, use to come to Mumbai to work Kevalvadi.
Gradually people involved in farming activities arranged for some land and started doing farming independently. As population of Mumbai started to increase, people started shifting to Parla, Andheri, Borivali area.
Those days Kumbharwada was the only meeting point for all work-matter. All contractors use to assemble here with workers. Contractors where more famous as mistry. It was common to find them wearing black hat & black coat, thats how they where popular. They use stand on Theka(hieghted place), hence they where also know as thekedar. Those days Mistrys use to behave with strict rules & regulation with co workers. karigar who once starts work under a Mistry, had to stay with him for long time. Many times, workers where not paid their wages for almost 6 months. many people use to start travelling 6 in morning, reach 8 at khumbharwada, goto work, after working till 6 in evening they had to again goto Kumbharwada. They would reach home at 8 or 9 in night.
Poeple who use to earn enough, would buy a small room on [Phagdi] and later call their family to stay togather. While going on work, they use to carry Tiffin box. Tiffin box use to be aluminum box with 2 partitions.
Poeple who lived without family, would carry Rotis and pickle. They use to carry rotis packed in Old newspaper, make roll kind of packing. Then buy USAL, MISAL or some curry from place close to work. When in short of money, they would eat vada pav or some snacks outside. People from our Samaj have gone through tough times.
Parsis use to stay in Kolaba area, Gujaratis in Bhuleshwar and remote area, Muslims in Mahim & Grant road. Our Gnati people started shifting to different places. Along central line : Khumbharwada, Ghatkopar and Mulund. Along western railway : parla, Andheri, malad, and Borivali. SLowly more people started settling in Mumbai. Some became contractors, some Kadias and others got into some kind of business.
In Khumbharwada out of all contractors, many of our gnati people where well known. Meghji Jadhav Uka was one such person. Many people from Savarkundla, amreli area use to work for his account. this account is still into business. His son Shri Madhavjibhai Meghjibhai jadhav and grandson are presently handling same account.
Simmilarly Premjibhai Karsanbhai Solanki and Popatbhai Bhagvanji jadhav, SHri Dayabhai Ramjibhai parmar where some of the respected contractors.In parla Shri kanjibhai Kurjibhai Chotaliya(shifted to mumbai in 1935) prospered. He did many construction projects in Juhu area.
Nanjibhai bhavanji Jethva (shifted from Gondal, later lived in PArle(E)) prospered in business. Presently his sons are handling business. On mahant road he use to own 7 complete buildings. he use to rent these buildings. nanjibhai has done lot of things for our Gnati people. Gnati's first coperative chawl in Parle(w) was helped by Nanjibhai. He has also helped construction of dus(10) kholi, S.V Road, Parla. Muljibhai Raghavjibhai Tank had also worked togather for same.
70-75 years back, Late Shri Muljibhai RaghavjiBhai Tank, settled in Parla. He also did good in business of construction. In Malad area, Late shri Nanjibhai Gokulbhai Aajugiya, and sons :- Muljibhai nanajibhai Aaajugiya, Lavjibhai Nanjibhai Aajugiya prospered in construction business. Aajugiya got into Tiles manufacturing business. In 1943 in donated Rs.5000 for construction of Malad Mahajan Vadi. In Malad, Late Shri kanjibhai Dhanjibhai Jadhav also did lot of good work for Samaj. He has big contribution in making life easy of many Samaj people who where new to Mumbai. He worked hard to raise fund for construction of Vadi.
Late Shri Kalidas Ramjibhai kacha was very well doing contractor from chembur, and did lot of Social work. SHri Ramjibhai Tank was another important member from Chembur. Kanjibhai Jashabhai Parmar & narayanbhai Dharamshibhai Solanki where well know contributor for Samaj. Naraynbbhai Solanki was big contractor. Nanjibhai Tank had limestone shop.
Those days construction work was more tedious and tough. Various raw stones where used in construction. Gnati people use to bring construction tools & Leather footwear(chappal), whenever they came to Mumbai from village (Gujarat). Later Bharat tiles started making mosaic tiles in Mumbai, and it started getting used in construction work. Nowdays things have changed, we have Marble, italian Marble and so many sophisticated tools to use.
Other than construction proffesion, many gnati people got into Farming proffesion. They are still known as Vadiwala(people who own farms). Various places in Mumbai, Lalbag to Dahisar, Worli, Chembur, had these vadis. many families with lastnames Parmar, Tank, Gohil, Mevad, Gediya, Bavaliya, Rathod, Chohan, Vala, vaghela, Chotaliya where into farming proffesion. those days they use to have big houses, hence even functions like Marriages where also easily arranged in personal living place. Like big places these people also where big at heart, they would always have people who came to their door.
Before Water pumps came into existence, bullocks where use to draw water from wells.
parla's [Naraynbhai Parmar]'s father dakhabhai Parmar was very kind person. He would help people not only with all basic necessities, but job as well. He has also known as danaSeth (one who donates).
Simmilary Raghavjibhai Tank, from CHkuvadi[Bandra] was kind person.
[Damjibhai Tank]'s father RaghavjiBhai, has helped many people in need. He would guide & help Vadiwalas to perseve their cases in court for their lands in trouble. He had lot of interst helping young generation to perseve education. in his remebrance, his family has established college in Bhavnaagr, named "Raghav college".
Satishbhai's father Bhikabhai Gohil was courageous man, he helped people financially and use to support people in need.
bhikabhai use to team up with Ravjibhai Tank(from VashiNaka) and use to carry out many activities for samaj.
Some of the names which where prominent in helping samaj work where: NanjiBhai Dudhabhai Gohil, Lalbag's Raghavji Gediya, harjiBhai Gediya, Kandivali's MulrajBhai Gediya, Chembur's Raghavji Gediya, DevjiBhai Mevada, kanjiBhai Mevada, karsanBhai Tank, BachuBhai Chauhan, JadhavBhai Tank, Parel's PopatBhai BhanaBhai Parmar.
Vadi(farm land) in Lalbag's Mill compound belonged to Raghavji Gediya and HarijiBhai Gediya In wadala, NarshiBhai tank & BhimjiBhai tank had Vadi.
SatishBhai's grandfather, KarshanBhai Gohil had vadi in Dadar area. Arjanbhai Rathod, Bhikhabhai Mevada, kanjibhai Mevada, takharshibhai Bavaliya, ShyamjiBhai Mevada, DharamshiBhai Tank, BhagvanBhai Tank, all these people had very big vadis.
In Mahim Matunga area, DevshiBhai Chotaliya, PragjiBhai Gohil, ValjiBhai Chotaliya, HarjiBhai tank, Jadhavji Gohil, kaluBhai Ladva, had vadis.
In bandra area, DanaBhai Parmar, RaghavBhai Tank, NanjiBhai Tank, KanjiBhai Vaghela, VitthalBhai Vaghela, BhagvanBhai Kacha had vadis.
In Sanatacruz Military camp, PragjiBhai Gohil, DurlabhBhai Chotaliya, NarayanBhai Gohil, had vadis.
In parla area, even today ShyamjiBhai Tank, HarjiBhai parmar, GovindBhai Parmar had vadis.
In Irla, in reserve bank society area, Nanji Dudha Gohil had vadis. Close by, thakarshiBhai BhagvanBhai Tank had vadi. There where also vadis of Ranchodbhai Vala, GhelaBhai tank, ValjiBhai Rathod.
Near parla Highway, MuljiBhai Vala, KurjiBhai vala, karshanBhai Vala, BachuBhai Rathod, KhimjiBhai rathod had vadis.
Many vadi owners use to get into trouble of keeping rights over their land. In such cases, Late Shri DamjiBhai Tank and MulrajBhai Gediya use to guide and help these people to take action for their rights.