their various capacities, the textile mill owners of Ahmedabad
have been pivotal in the building and governing of their
city. The citys major institutions have been founded
and nurtured by the members of the textile community, in
their individual and collective capacities.
1883 Ranchhodlal Chhotalal was appointed by the British
Government as the first non-official Chairman of the Managing
Committee of the Municipal Commission. In 1885 he became
the President of the Municipal Commission. He is remembered
for his dogged pursuit of civic improvements, including
the installation of underground water supply and drainage,
despite tremendous resistance from his colleagues and fellow
citizens. Post-Independence, Ahmedabads first Mayor
was Chinubhai Chimanbhai, known for his energetic endeavours
towards modernising Ahmedabad, and making it into an important
cultural centre. It was Chinubhai who invited Le Corbusier
to the city and commissioned him to design Sanskar Kendra,
the Municipal Museum.
a question facing ATMA is how to make our society a truly
civil society. Having been an important actor
in the making of Ahmedabad, ATMA believes it should provide
a forum to assess and address the current status of civic
affairs. Lectures, workshops and public interactions on
this all-important subject are being contemplated for the
the area of institution building, Ahmedabad owes much to
the conviction and efforts of Kasturbhai Lalbhai and Vikram
Sarabhai. Kasturbhai was the driving force behind the colleges
run by the Ahmedabad Education Society (AES) and the Gujarat
Law Society (GLS). The colleges promoted by AES runs into
a very long list, of which some of the well known ones are
the L. D. Arts College, L. D. Engineering College, H. L.
College of Commerce, M. G. Science Institute, L. M. Pharmacy
College, A. G. Teachers College, Secondary School
and Primary School, and the Centre for Environmental Planning
and Technology (CEPT). Two other premier institutions, the
Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and the Physical Research
Laboratory (PRL) were set up in Ahmedabad through the joint
efforts of Kasturbhai and Vikrambhai. In the co-founding
and designing of the National Institute of Design, Gautam
Sarabhai and Giraben Sarabhai played pivotal roles.
Textile Industrys Research Association (ATIRA)
is the best example of collective action through the Association.
ATIRA was registered in December 1947, with 71 members of
AMOA contributing Rs 52 lakhs for its establishment. The
government, besides granting Rs 19 lakhs, promised to bear
up to Rs 1.5 lakhs of recurring expenditure for the first
five years. Kasturbhai and Vikrambhai were members of a
committee appointed by AMOA to draft ATIRAs constitution.
Even today, ATMA is an ex-officio member on its governing
was also pivotal in establishing the Kasturbhai Lalbhai
Textile Training Centre in Ahmedabad. ATMA not only donated
a large sum towards the institutions land and building,
but also nominates a member on its Board of Governors.
Serving people, particularly the lesser fortunate, has been
a dominant value in the Indian society, which in turn has
influenced the philosophy of Ahmedabads textile families.
They have been widely acknowledged for their role in restoring
to modern enterprise, the Indian tradition of capital wedded
to social good. ATMA has been making regular contributions
in two major areas, viz. (1) Relief at the time of natural
calamity and (2) Social Welfare and Educational Purpose
at the time of Natural Calamity: In 1958, ATMA donated 67,000
yards of cloth to the flood-stricken people of Sri Lanka.
It also assisted in relief work during the Morbi floods
of 197-. In 1972, ATMA, along with the Gujarat Chamber of
Commerce and other leading trade organisations of the state,
formed the Gujarat Sankat Nivaran Samiti, an NGO that works
specifically towards relief and disaster management. During
the 1972-73 drought in Gujarat, the Samiti purchased 7,500
tons of maize for Rs 78 lakhs, besides 500 tons of bajra
to be distributed to the drought-hit areas at cheap rates.
ATMA makes yearly donations of cloth to several institutions
serving the poor and the destitute. ATMA also makes cash
donations to the Prime Ministers Relief Fund and Chief
Ministers Relief Fund, from time to time.
Welfare and Educational Purpose: ATMA has made regular cash
donations to the Red Cross and Blind Mens Association,
National Society for Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped
and a yearly donation to the Family Planning Association
of India. It has contributed to the Labour Welfare Trust
(for riot-affected mill workers), besides promoting the
Tilak Swaraj Fund and the Ahmedabad Workers Education
Fund. ATMA made a generous donation for land purchase (Rs
450,000 in 1980-81) for the Textile Training Centre, Ahmedabad,
as well as a contribution of Rs 470,000 in 1978-79 to the
Sardar Vallabhbhai Smarak Society. It also contributed Rs
10,000 in 1975 towards a Reading Room at Gujarat University,
and in 1997, made a donation of Rs 80,000 to the Ahmedabad
THE LAST FORTY YEARS, ATMA HAS MADE DONATIONS AMOUNTING
TO TWENTY MILLION RUPEES.