Smt. Jyotiben Shah- may her tribe increase - meant a lot to the Yusuf Meherally Centre. She passed away on December 05, 2015 at the age of 85.

Jyotiben (in blue saree) with students of the Centre's Marathi medium high school at Tara. The late Mangalaben Parikh is seen in the background
Jyotiben (in blue saree) with students of the Centre's Marathi medium high school at Tara.
The late Mangalaben Parikh is seen in the background


Jyotiben, a gracious lady, who was known for her devotion and love for her family and friends, earned for the Centre a space in the Bajaj Bhavan, Nariman Point, Mumbai to hold its Managing Committee meetings and other gatherings. Her family, the highly respected Jasani family, was close to Gandhiji and the freedom movement. Jyotiben as a child had the rare privilege of being near to Bapuji. Her father-in-law too was close to Gandhiji.

Jyotiben's contribution to the growth of the Centre is unparalleled. Her very name brought many friends and well-wishers to the YMC, many of whom became its Life Members and regular donors. She was the General Secretary of the Centre for decades. She played a very active role in the Centre, which she continued till her health made it impossible. Even then, she continued to visit the project center at Tara, evincing keen interest in its development and growth and the workers.

Jyotiben at Tara with Eva Grose(extreme right) and others of Arbibterwholfart (a German Foundation) in early 1970s.
Jyotiben at Tara with Eva Grose(extreme right) and others of Arbibterwholfart
(a German Foundation) in early 1970s.


Dr. G.G.Parikh, who was very close to Jyotiben from the beginning of the Yusuf Meherally Centre and even earlier, has this to say about his friend and associate:

    The Centre under the influence of Gandhiji, and Rohit Dave who advocated 'collecting only what we needed', changed its thinking because of Jyotiben Shah. She advocated that an institution so big should have a large corpus and its fund raising efforts should match its ambition. "Her early Gandhian upbringing made it easy for her to relate to rural India and its development on Gandhian lines."

A grateful staff of the Centre at Tara held a condolence meeting on December 20, 2015 to condole the passing away of their beloved Jyotiben. It was presided over by Dr. Parikh. Besides the social workers, namely, Sarvashree Madan Marathe, Madhu Patil and Hiraji Patil, Shri Mateen Diwan spoke on the occasion. As did Ms. Amita Purnendu Chatterjee, daughter of the late Jyotiben.

Jyotiben Shah and Mangalaben Parikh at Tara with YMC School children
Jyotiben Shah and Mangalaben Parikh at Tara with YMC School children