Late Shri Hashu Advani
Late Shri Hashu Advani was born on February 22, 1926 at Hyderabad, Sind (now in Pakistan) and graduated in Arts, Commerce and Law in Bombay.
Shri Hashu Advani was known to every household in Chembur neighbourhood as 'Hashuji' and was very popular among the commoners. Hashuji was elected to the Bombay Municipal Corporation for two terms and was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly five times. He was the State Minister for Urban Development from 1978 to 1980 and was the Minister for Finance and planning from 1995 till his sad and untimely death.
Hashuji's office cum residence at Chembur Colony was a great solace for the needy. It used to be always crowded, whether Hashuji was present or not. People with various complaints and appeals converged on Hashuji's place at any hour of the day or even at night. People had implicit faith that Hashuji would certainly redress their difficulties. There was no frown on his face, no irritation in his soft - spoken conversation and no end to his patience. Indeed, when there was any respite in this constant stream of sufferers and needy, he would feel restless.
Hashuji was a total humanitarian. He considered human relations on a highest pedal throughout his life. He could be cited as a sterling example when "Karma Yogis" are discussed. It is not possible to fully define the towering personality of Hashuji in few words. It would require a volume. Austere, disciplined living, life - long celibacy, profound knowledge, supreme self - restraint and patience were his scintillating attributes. Fluent and powerful expression of one's ideas without using the crutches of ornamentation in speech, extensive and varied experience and knowledge acquired over years of study and research, clear thoughts and foresight were his special qualities.
Hashuji never hankered after success in spite of having to enter politics. On the contrary, he would always like to remain in the background and thus quietly continue to be engrossed in his selected sphere of service with total dedication and fortitude. Hashuji had pride in our ancient culture but his thinking was modern. He was of the opinion that one should be able to adapt oneself to the changing times without abandoning the core of one's self. Hashuji earned the sobriquet "Shikshan Maharshi".
All round development of Chembur was the dream held dearest by Hashuji and he staked his all to fulfill that dream. He spent all his energies towards this goal until his death. He never spared himself or his health to bring this dream to reality. As a part of this dream, he decided to open Schools and colleges in Chembur. He observed that a large number of children were not able to get admissions in School and Colleges and had to travel long distances for their studies.
Hashuji was not born in a rich family and had to depend for financial help from his friends. He visited England, France, Spain, Nigeria, USA, Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and West Indies to collect donations for educational activities. Hashuji formed Vivekanand Education Society which conducts Crèche and Day Care Centre for children, 3 primary and pre-primary schools in Hindi, Marathi and English Mediums, 3 Secondary Schools and 2 Junior Colleges, One Degree College of Arts, Science and Commerce, 2 Polytechnics for Diploma and Certificate courses, a College of Engineering, a College of Management and Vivekini Sanskritik Niketan.
Hashuji set up Chembur Welfare Association, which runs a Marathi Medium Secondary School, in the slum area of Chembur, besides Balwadies, Community Welfare Centres and Stitching classes for Ladies. Hashuji was the pillar and a source of inspiration for Govandi Education Society, which runs R.S.Tahiliani Madhyamik Vidyalaya with Marathi Medium, Smt. Vidyawati Jugilal Podar Technical Institute, imparting Computer Education and Shri Hashu Advani Memorial School (English Medium).
Hashuji founded Chembur Colony Yuvak Mandal, which runs a number of Institutes like Rochiram T. Thadhani High School for Hearing Handicapped, Hashu Advani College of Special Education, Vivekananda Yoga Kendra, Akar Health Club, College Students' Reading Room, Mind Computer Center, Vidyankur Classes etc.
Hashuji had several other projects in hand which remained incomplete and yet to be implemented. Hashuji has bidden farewell to us. Let us pray that more and more people like Hashuji are born so that we could walk with our heads high.