Many people become great by what they have. Only a few know how to become great by what they are. One such, great among the greats, was Jamshed Nusserwanjee Mehta.
In 1918 as a young man, he was elected a councilor of the Karachi Municipal Corporation. He displayed such profound civic sense and fervent concern for the welfare of his fellow human beings that he was soon elected the President of the Corporation. He served in that capacity for 12 years and become the first Mayor of the city.
When Jamshed was born
Against the shortsightedness of his councilor, he succeeded in constructing wide roads, parks, gardens and playgrounds for the young. He divided the city into wards each of which had at lest one primary school, a clinic and a maternity home. He organized emergency services such as the f ire-brigade and ambulances to reach people in emergencies.
To each aspect of this planning, he gave his personal attention. With his honest skill, real and real hard work he turned
As a member of the Sindh Legislative Assembly, as founder, president, secretary or treasurer of countless organizations and corporations, he served every field of human life and activity, big and small.
But his real greatness was embodied in himself, his wonderful personality, his universal love and compassion, and above all his disarming simplicity and humility. He was a real friend, philosopher and guide to the poor, sick and suffering.
For the blind, the deaf and the disabled he organized special services. He was particularly compassionate towards the lepers and gave his personal attention to the Hendersen Leper Asylum at Manghopir. The needs of these especially disabled people were ever present in his mind and action.
Jamshed Nusserwanjee always took a keen interest in the social services and the Scout Movement and although he is not amongst us today he has left a permanent place in our hearts that he won by his good deeds and qualities.
He was the father of scouting in Sindh as well as in
He was born in
Soon after leaving College, Jamshed joined his father’s business. Though a practical businessman, he showed in his work admirable detachment, integrity and a high purpose. Jamshed Nusserwanjee -as he came to be know in his later life- gave to other not only all the riches of his purse but all the wealth of, his soul; and living a life of self-denial, love and sacrifice, left behind him the fragrance of the rose. Late Christmas Humphreys in his book ‘Via Tokyo’, described Jamshed as the greatest man he met whilst in
On 1st August 1952, Jamshed passed away. His fragrant soul left the temporal body after a short illness. But upto the very last day, his mind was alert and he continued to work lying in bed. Even with the last flicker of his life, his mind was engrossed in thoughts of others, whose welfare he sought.
Contributed by the Jamshed Memorial Society.
To commemorate the Jamshed Nusserwanjee 1886-1986, Pakistan Post Office is issuing a stamp of Rs 3 denomination on January 7, 1988.