Founder of Sir J J Charity Fund
Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, First Baronet, Bombay’s noted Parsi Merchant and Philanthropist, was the Settlor of Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy Charity Fund (‘SJJCF’) in 1838. Having experienced the miseries of poverty, Jamsetjee from an early age, commenced on an unprecedented journey of private and public philanthropy. As Fate began to smile on him, he opened his purse strings and donated generously for flood, famine, and war relief. He gave graciously to one and all, and it was the catholic character of his benefactions that won Sir Jamsetjee universal respect. He neither discriminated between faith and religion nor were his charities restricted by geographical boundaries. His liberality was unbounded, and the absorbing occupation of his later life was the alleviation of human suffering and ignorance.
Sir Jamsetjee was instrumental in setting up the first Civilian Hospital in Bombay, the first School of Art in India, a Causeway connecting Bombay with the island of Salsette and the Bund and Waterworks at Poona. He also financed the construction of many Public Works such as wells, bridges, roads, and shelters for abandoned animals.
As a result of his public benefactions and his contributions for victims of flood, fire and famine in India and abroad, Queen Victoria conferred a Knighthood on Jamsetjee in 1842. Later in 1857, she graciously conferred a Baronetcy on Sir Jamsetjee.
Sir Jamsetjee is remembered today not only as a protector of the poor and down trodden, but also as one who waged a ceaseless war against ignorance and disease. It is difficult to conceive of an Indian whose life has not, in some manner or the other, been touched by one of his legacies.
Over the years, vacant properties were purchased and Agiaries, Dharamshalas and low income residential premises were constructed so that funds generated from these sources could offer financial support to SJJCF in its effort to widen the scope of its charitable operations.