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THE

ILLUSTRIOUS

BUSINESS FAMILIES OF BIKANER


FOR ACADEMIC CIRCULATION ONLY

A city develops on the basis of the values, ethics and commitments. Every individual must devote to ethical values and sincerity. We must also recognize these values and must try to follow

these great persons and should try to devote ourselves to eternal human values. Now a days, there is a talk of CSR and corporates are investing money in the development of the society. In Rajasthan, there has been a tradition that business families contribute to the development of the society. Their contribution has not been properly documented. Gandhiji talked about the concept of trusteeship. We have seen many entrepreneurs in India, which have tried to follow it. Bajaj Group generously supported the initiatives of Gandhi ji. These initiatives must be recognized and appreciated. It is not the wealth that can make an entrepreneur a great entrepreneur, but it is how that person is using his wealth that can make him a great entrepreneur. This small article is an attempt to recognize the great contribution to the socity at large. Bikaner is a city of traditions and values. Bikaner is also blessed to have many generous entrepreneurs and social transformers. I firmly believe that all those entrepreneurs, who contribute substantially to the development of the society, must be recognized. They are using money in right direction. Earning money is easy but earning it through fair means and using it for noble cause is the real test of great entrepreneurs. Rajasthan has been fortunate that it has witnessed many great entrepreneurs.

We are documenting stories of some of the entrepreneurs. All these entrepreneurs have tried to contribute to the development of society in some form or other. There are many entrepreneurs, but I am able to write only about a few. It is due to my limited knowledge, limited resources and limited experiences. I wish to write about others also. My efforts should be seen as only a small fraction of the work that need to be done. KHAJANCHI FAMILY Nemichand Khajanchi, a well known entrepreneur in gems and jewellery in Japan. He donated substantially for social cause. Due to his contribution, Sri Jain Girls College was set up in Bikaner. MOHTA FAMILY Mohta family of Bikaner has contributed to the development of city in many forms. They have established Mohata Ayurvedic Chikitsalaya and Rasayanshala. They have also established temples. CHOPRA FAMILY Chopras of (Gangashahr) Bikaner have not only thrived in business, but have also contributed substantially to spirituality. I was fortunate to interact with Mr. Dharam Chand Chopra, who was a spiritual, simple and down to earth person. RAMPURIA FAMILY Rampurias have established BJS Rampuria Jain College and Hiralal Sobhagmal Rampuria School in the city. Rampuria family has also given

a few writers also, who have written substantially on spirituality. KOTHARI FAMILY I was fortunate to interact Mr. Lalchand Kothari, the foremost person among the Kotharis of Bikaner. Lalchand Kothari was a person of learning. He used to read a lot and encourage others to read a lot. He was president of more than 100 organisations and institutions. He was also president of SBBJ (State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur). His relatives Mr. BhanwarLal Kothari and others are also contributing significantly to the development of social organizations directly or indirectly. Bhanwarlal Kothari is also the chairman of Go Sewa Sangh. NAHATA FAMILY The NAHATA family of Bikaner is known for generosity and human values. Shankardan Nahata was one of the architects of Sri Jain Pathshala Sabha, which was started in 1907. His sons Bheru Dan Nahata and Agar Chand Nahata made outstanding contributions. Bherudan Nahata contributed to Sri Jain Pathshala Sabha. Agarchand Nahata was a well known scholar on Jainism, Rajasthani, and Ancient Indian Literature. Harakh Chand Nahata made tremendous contribution to the film industry, real estate business and many other enterprises. Mr. Nahata was a very devoted person. He was also the president of Shwetembar Khartarganch Jain Sangh

(all India) and he generously donated money. He also supported needy persons in their cause. Agarchand Nahata I was fortunate that I got an opportunity to seek his blessings and guidance. Whenever I used to visit Agarchand Nahata ji, he used to ask me to read books. He used to offer books to me to read. He was a passionate reader, writer and devoted person. Sri Nahata ji was not just a historian but a legend unto himself. One of the top littrateurs, thinkers and historians of Rajasthan, he was undoubtedly the nations pride. He was a rare combination of a businessman, scholar and a spiritual man. A renowned thinker and highly learned man of ancient studies, Nahata dedicated his life to explore and research umpteen unknown books of Rajasthani language and literature. In doing so, he became a walking encyclopedia whom researchers from across the globe would approach for guidance. He was so enamored with books and knowledge that he set up a private library Abhay Jain Granthalaya. Nahata himself wrote more than 7000 research papers, edited well above 100 books and researched rare manuscripts of not just Prakrit, Apbhransh and Rajasthani but also of Jain literature. He also discovered more than one lakh

handwritten manuscripts and published unknown books. He also served as director of Shardul Rajasthani Shodh Sanstha, Bikaner and Rajasthani Sahitya Parishad, Kolkata. He fought hard to get a place for Rajasthani in 8th schedule of the constitution. Nahata also initiated an award Shankardan Nahata Puraskarnamed after his father to promote and inspire new writers. He also inspired his nephew (son of his sister) Hajarimal Banthia to establish an award in the name of latters father Phoolchand Banthia. It is not surprising then for him to be considered as the most prominent personality of the Rajasthani literary world. He was always at the forefront among the scholars of ancient studies. It goes without saying that the Jain community too saw him as its leading light. Many organizations honoured him. Jain Siddhant Bhawan, Aara conferred him with Siddhantacharya, Jinduttsuri Sangh bestowed upon him the title of Jain Itihas Ratna and Rajasthan Bhasha Prachar Sabha awarded Rajasthan Sahitya Vachaspati. Besides, authors of other vernacular languages also praised and felicitated him in recognition of his literary work. There are more than 85,000 books, manuscripts, works of arts etc. at Abhay Jain Granthagar, Bikaner (Rajasthan), which was

established by Agarchand Nahata and Bhanwarlal Nahata. Shri Bhanwar Lal Nahata Son of Sri Bherudan Nahata, Sri Bhanwar Lal Nahata was a great businessman as he belonged to a wealthy business family and was also a successful businessman, he was truly the son of saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. Sri Bhanwar Lal Nahata dedicated his life to Jainism, Spirituality, Rajasthani language. Scholars from across the globe used to approach him for guidance. He was also co-founder of Abhay Jain Granthalaya. Nahata himself wrote more than 7000 research papers, edited well above 100 books and researched rare manuscripts of not just Prakrit, Apbhransh and Rajasthani but also of Jain literature. He also discovered more than one lakh handwritten manuscripts and published unknown books. He joined his uncle Agar Chand ji Nahata for the movement for enlisting Rajasthani in 8th schedule of the constitution. He was also one of the prominent scholars of ancient studies. Many organizations honoured him. He was recognized all over India for his contribution to Rajasthani Literature, Jainism and spirituality. He was also a member of the

committees of Board of Studies of many universities. He was also a member of board of panel of experts for Ph.D. Viva in many universities. Shri Harakh Chand Nahata (July 18, 1936 February 21, 1999) was a prominent Indian businessman and social leader. He was son of Bherudan Nahata, who contributed substantially to the development of Sri Jain School Bikaner (Sri Jain Pathshala Sabha) His family has more than 125 years of business presence in the field of trading and distribution in Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Calcutta, Tripura and erstwhile East Bengal (now Bangladesh) Sh. Nahata after completing his schooling at Bikaner and during college years in Calcutta, started his career. Living a full and contented life, he breathed his last on 21 February, 1999 in New Delhi after a brief illness. Tripura Town Out-Agency H.C. Nahata was the first person in Nahata family, who started road transportation in the difficult and inhabitable terrain of Tripura. Handling the largest Railway Out agency in Tripura (Tripura Town out Agency) and establishing a large network of road transport at heavy costs and risks, he was instrumental in starting economic development and two way

traffic to bring economic gains for the tribal people and the state of Tripura. Technicians' studio He contributed a lot for the development of cinema in Eastern India through his Technicians Studio. Calcutta, with which many internationally acclaimed directors like Satyajit Ray, Hritwik Ghatak & Basu Bhattacharya etc. were associated. Later, he turned a film financier and Realtor and was known as an honest and upright person in trade circles. Shri Harakh Chand Nahata encouraged many upcoming artists of films and performing arts with his sanguine advice, help and patronage. He was a great connoisseur of art and literature and secretly helped many budding artists, poets and writers. He spotted talents of writers and published many books at his own cost to encourage them including a Hindi monthly magazine. He was a prolific reader with a razor sharp analytical mind and deep love for human values. He used to write his dairy daily and his diary is now regularly published in Sthulibhadra Sandesh. The writings in his diary show that he was a wonderful writer and visualiser. For his multi faceted contributions to culture, business, trade and industry, he was honored with awards by the Vice President of India and Lt. Governor of Delhi.

Social contributions of Mr. Nahata He was a leading social leader and philanthropist, who steadfastly stood and fought for human dignity, equality and respect. Associated with more than 60 socio-religious organizations and Trusts like Heart Care Foundation of India, Shanti Mandir-Bithari, Prakrit Bharati, Rishabhdev Foundation, Veerayatan, Rajasthan Bharati, Shri Ambika Niketan Trust, Ahimsa International, Shri Jain Mahasabha. Bharat Jain Mahamandal, Vishwa Jain Parishad and many others in different capacities, he relentlessly endeavored to attain their cherished goals. From (1990 onwards) he was the President of Akhil Bhartiya Shree Jain Shwetamber Khartargachha Mahasangh, the apex national representative body of thousands of Jains of this sect. As President, he fought to safeguard against many injustices and attacks on the rights, dignity and conventions of the Samaj. He wrote on many different subjects and was an orator par excellence, who kept the audience spell bounded with his thought provoking dissertations and mastery over the subjects. Though a Jain by birth, he was an embodiment of Sarv Dharma Sambhav. Regardless of caste, creed or religion, he respected each and every faith and contributed to various temples and places of worship without any distinction. He was a firm believer that religion is and should be a binding

force and not a divisive force. Compassion, tolerance, equality, dignity and love should be the guiding and contributing spirit in religious affairs and to this end he steadfastly worked at various levels and at different forums. Harakh Chand Nahata Marg There is a Harakh Chand Nahata Marg in Bikaner (from Sri Jain PG College to Industrial Area) and there is a Harakh Chand Nahata Marg in Delhi also. The Governments have recognized the contribution of Sri Nahata by giving his names to important roads. The Harakh Chand Nahata Marg of Bikaner is yet to be formally inaugurated, although the government has notified in its press release. But the road in Delhi was inaugurated way back in 2007. On March 1st 2007, the famous Indian wrestler, actor and Member of Parliament (India) (Rajya Sabha) Shri Dara Singh inaugurated "Harakh Chand Nahata Marg (Road) " which interconnects three villages of South-West Delhi, namely Nanakheri, Badusarai and Raghopur. Shri Nahata's family is in the process of developing a Farmhouse Scheme in that area by the name of Westyn Park. In a ceremony held on the auspicious occasion of 'Mahavir Jayanti' on March 31, 2007, accomplished actor, dancer and Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Smt. Hema Malini

unveiled a bust of Shri Harakh Chand Nahata at Mahabalipuram Teerth, Village Bhatti, New Delhi. Indian Postage Stamp in Memory of Harakh Chand Nahata. Department of Posts, Govt. of India, released a commemorative Postage Stamp of Rs. 5 denomination on Shri Harakh Chand Nahata on Saturday, the 28th. February, 2009. The stamp was ceremonially released at a function held at Darbar Hall, Raj Bhawan, Mumbai by His Excellency Shri S. C. Jamir, Governor of Maharashtra. The function was attended by a galaxy of eminent social leaders, Industrialists, Businessmen, Artists, Litterateurs, family members and persons from many walks of life including senior and leading members of Khartargachha Mahasangh and Jain International Trade Organisation, whose presence gave the function a rare grace and dignity. Shri Nahata handled the largest Railway Out agency Tripura Town Out Agency and built roadways in the difficult terrain and inhospitable area of Tripura. This resulted in economic development of the area and two-way trafficking of goods, which significantly contributed in the economic empowerment of the local tribals. He also managed Technicians Studio (formerly known as Kali Studios) at Kolkata and in a path-breaking step, gave shares of the studio

to the technicians. Many internationally renowned directors produced their highly acclaimed films at this Studio. He made significant contributions to many social and religious organisations, some of them being Heart Care Foundation of India, Mimjhar,. Rajasthan Bharti, Prakrit Bharti Academy, Ahimsa International, Rishabhdev Foundation, Bharat Jain Mahamandal, Jain Mahasabha, Delhi, Vishwa Jain Parishad. His tenure as the National President of Khartargachha Mahasangh was its golden period, when he gave a distinct identity to it. He strived to further enrich family institutions like the Abhay Jain Granthalaya, Bikaner (Rajasthan) and Jain Bhawan, Palitana (Gujrat). A Jain by birth, he was an embodiment of Sarva Dharma Samabhava and firmly believed that religion should be a binding force. He generously gave scholarships and support to brilliant students from all community to support them in their studies. He actively participated in all intellectual programmes related to Jainism, Spiritualism, Human Welfare, Social Development. The release of this stamp is a recognition of selfless service to the society and country equally. Lalit Nahata (Son of Sri Harakh Chand Nahata) continues on Nahata traditions of devotion to religion and human values.
I shall be thankful to you, if you share or publish or distribute any of my article / research paper. I shall be grateful to you if

you give me suggestions / join me in writing something useful for this small planet. Humbly submitted by : Dr. T.K. Jain Address: Parakh Niwas, Veterinary Hospital Road, Bikaner 334001 Contact : 9414430763 tkjainbkn@yahoo.co.in, jain.tk@gmail.com, afterschool@in.com, www.afterschool.tk