24. Bandali Muhammad Ladha - page 74
Aloobhai, the grandfather of Bandali Muhammad Ladha was a dedicated servant of the Imam in Kutchh. He visited Iran to see Imam Hasan Ali Shah. His son Muhammad Ladha migrated to Karachi with his family, and became the third Mukhi of Garden Jamatkhana in Karachi in 1905. In those days, the Ismailis from Kutchh flocked in Karachi, making the population of Garden area over 1500. The existing premises of the Jamatkhana became too small to accommodate the Ismailis; therefore, Mukhi Muhammad Ladha donated a piece of plot, adjoining the Jamatkhana, where a new Jamatkhana was built. He was also appointed President of the Supreme Council for Karachi on June 1, 1911 till November 30, 1911.
The Imam made a gracious visit of Karachi for 27 days on April 10, 1920. The city was filled with ten thousand Ismailis of different places. The Council formed a Managing Committee of ten members with Ghulam Hussain Khalfan as its President to control the whole administration. Bandali, the son of Mukhi Muhammad Ladha also rendered his services as a member and earned Imam's blessings.
The Imam appointed Bandali, the son of Mukhi Muhammad as Mukhi of the Garden Jamatkhana on Thursday, May 6, 1920 and said, 'Today, I appoint Bandali Mukhi Muhammad as Mukhi for the Garden Jamat. I appoint him in place of his late father, and also appoint Mukhi Bandali as a member of the Council.' (Then, the Imam spoke to him.) 'Mukhi Bandali, your late father rendered excellent services to the Imam and the jamat and you also render excellent services.' It may be well recorded that Mahomed Jagran was the first Mukhi of the Garden Jamatkhana between 1843 and 1863. Bhanji Rahimani (1815-1918) was the second Mukhi between 1863 and 1905, he died at the age of 103 years. The third Mukhi was Mohammad Ladha, who served between 1905 and 1912. He was followed by Jivraj Ladha, who served for seven years (1912-1920). Bandali Mohammad Ladha was the fifth Mukhi (1920-1939) in succession.
He took leading parts in the Ismaili School Board and the Ismaili Club and other institutions, and funded them generously for their development. He founded the Young Ismailia Garden Volunteer Corps on April 1, 1919 with the cooperation of Mukhi Merali Khimani.
He was also an elected member of Karachi Municipal in 1923, and served for over 16 years.
Between September 1, 1924 and August 31, 1925, he served as the President of the Supreme Council. The Khoja Panjibhai Club honoured him with a warm reception on October 31, 1924 in view of his outstanding services. Ladak Punjani, the President read a welcome speech in appreciation of his devoted services in different fields.
In view of his dedicated services, the Imam blessed him with the title of Itmadi. The Imam ordered to place a marble plate in Jamatkhana's hall in his memory, whose unveiling ceremony was performed by Wazir Rahim Basaria (1885-1927) on December 29, 1924.
Soon after the establishment of Wazir Rahim Boarding in 1928, he was appointed as its Superintendent.
He also founded the Garden Scout Troop in 1930 and worked hard to popularize it in the mass. In recognition of his services to the Scout Troop, he bore the title of 'The Lion-hearted Man of Garden Jamat' in 1940. The Court of Honour of the Scout Troop awarded him a Thanks Badge on February 28, 1940.
Mukhi Bandali Muhammad Ladha died on November 6, 1940.