The word J.J. is deeply connected with Mumbai. J.J. stands for Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, a Parsee merchant and great philanthropist.
He was born on 15th July 1783 near the present Crawford Market in Mumbai. Being lost his parents in his early age, he didn’t had formal education and worked with his uncle selling empty bottles.
A Successful Businessman
Along with his uncle he learnt trade anc commerce began his humble career as a bottle seller. At the age of 17 years he got finance of Rs 40,000/- (a huge sum those days) from Bombay businessmen due to his genius for trading. He became wealthy when he starting trading in China dealing in silk and opium.
A tragedy took place on 18th February 1803, when his home and wealth in Fort area burnt to ashes in a fire. He was very determied and didn’t gave up. Infact he made 2 crore rujpees at age of 40 by undertaking voyages to China.Further built his own fleet of ships.
Contribution in Education
What inspired Sir J.J. to take up education sector is that his helplessness for taking up education during his childhood. In 1842 established a educational institution for Parsis in Bombay and Gujarat. He built many schools in Bombay for girls and boys.
– His was a great philanthropist and donated 234,272 pounds to Bombay city.
– He spent s 145,403 to setup Sir J.J. Dharamshala at Bellasis Road, a free home for elderly first time in Asia.
– Founded Grant Medical College (Named after his good friend SIr Robert Grant, Governor of Bombay)
– Jamshetj Jejeebhoy built wells, tanks all over Bombay
– Had 126 public charities including Sir J.J. School of Arts.
– Contributed Rs 80,000 for feeding animals, building cattles etc
Jamshetj Jejeebhoy found a Native Dispensary which provided first health relief centre to the natives of Bombay. This idea further gave rose to the construction of J.J. Hospital. Jamshetji gave the major contribution of Rs 1,64,000 helping Government to construct the hospital. Later in same hospital Jamshetji donated a land to open the first maternity hospital in Bombay. Several similar projects were done for welfare and development of city and its people.
He was very well supported by his wife Avabai Jamshetji who was famously known as Lady Jeejeebhoy.
Jamshetj Jejeebhoy became the first Indian to get Knighthood at the age of 74 years conferred by Queen Victoria.