Narayan Malhar Joshi (N. M. Joshi) aka Nanasaheb Joshi, the founder of The Social Service League was born on 5th June, 1879 in Goregaon, Kolaba district. (now Raigad). He was born into a Brahmin Priest Family and was expected to learn and practice Priesthood. But his elder brother Madhavrao had a slightly different opinion, he wanted him to study English and so he sent Nanasaheb to Pune for further studies. Pune since those times was known to be a beehive of intellectuals and it proved to be true in the case of Nanasaheb Joshi.

After Graduating, Narayanrao decided to take up teaching as a profession and continued to teach for 8 years. Meanwhile, in 1905, Gopal Krishna Gokhale was active in Pune as he left the Deccan Education Society and started the Servants of India Society. Nanasaheb joined Gokhale in 1909. After which Nanasaheb’s life was full of continuous sacrifices and uninterrupted service for the benefit of the working class.  After working for 2 years in Pune, he came to Mumbai in 1911 and founded The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai on Sunday 19th March 1911. His social work here brought him in contact with the industrial workers in Mumbai. He was not only the founder of the league, but also developed several educational, social reform and social welfare activities amongst industrial workers in Mumbai (then Bombay). Social welfare slowly but inevitably led to labour welfare and labour organisation.

Mumbai, especially the southern – central part of Mumbai was predominantly a labour – class area because of the emergence of textile mills in this region. N. M. Joshi was an activist in the labour movements and worked for the labour welfare throughout his life. He believed that today’s working class shall make tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, and books are a key to their upliftment. Keeping this in mind, Libraries were established by the League in the year 1917 at Chinchpokli. N.M. Joshi used to sell books on hand cart. The idea was to cultivate reading habits amongst the young workers and make books easily available to them. He was indeed a man with vision. His contribution towards the Social Welfare took his success beyond the boundaries. He represented the nation at the International Labour Conference in the year 1919. Soon after that, he also participated in making the trade unions with Gopal Krushna Gokhale, Lala Lajpat Rai and many others. He was one of the Founder Members of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) in the year 1920. And served as the General Secretary there from 1925 – 29.

His contribution towards literature and education had always been remarkable. He started a Marathi Weekly named “Kamgar Samachar” in 1921 for the labour class in the city. He was also the founder of the Sahakari Manoranjan Mandal in 1922 which completed 100 years in September 2022. This was established considering the need for entertainment and recreation for the labourers who had migrated from their primitive villages to Mumbai in the search of jobs. The institution conducted training programmes for theatre artists, which later successfully ran various Sangeet Natak, plays written and directed by mill workers. He encouraged and appreciated the artists and their literary work. Damodar Natyagruha too was established in the same year in Parel Campus.

The first Industrial School for Women (ISW) was established by Nanasaheb Joshi in the Parel Campus in the year 1922. Followed by many other centres opened in the nearing areas. He also founded the Textile Training Institute, Parel in 1924. In the consecutive year, he also started the Social Worker Training Course in Parel. After serving as the General Secretary of the AITUC from 1925 to 1929, he left AITUC and established All India Trade Union Federation in the year 1931. After which, he continued to be a social activist, a leader of various trade union organisations, a nationalist and the face & voice of the nation at various international platforms. He presided over the public meetings of People’s Volunteer Brigade (PVB) in 1942. His active participation in the Quit India Movement since then too was commendable. He was known for his contribution towards the Indian National Movement and the Indian Freedom Struggle over years and as a recognition of this, he was appointed as the member of the Central Pay Commission in 1947. This was the first pay commission of Independent India which was set review and revise the work and pay structure of the employees. N. M. Joshi passed away in the year 1955, but the work done by him and his contributions towards the nation and the society remained immortal forever and in recognition of which The Government of India issued “N M Joshi postal stamp” in the year 1980.

Shri B.N. Motiwala, one of founding members of The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai, played a dynamic role in the organisation’s activities from 19th March, 1919 to February 1953. He was the Secretary General of the Institute in this period. His commitment continued as he assumed the role of Vice – President from February 1953 to September 1957, followed by which, he also served as the President from October 1957 to 1st September, 1964.

Shri Bhawanidas N. Motiwala was an active part of the organisation since the time of its inception in 1911 and continued to serve for over 53 years, till the year 1964. During his tenure, he had been actively participating in the administration as well. He also was a member of the Managing Committee and other committees of the organisation. His proactive involvement encompassed the establishment of night schools, Industrial School for Women (ISW), Women’s Technical Training Centres, Gymnasiums, Libraries, Health Centres and Public Workers’ Welfare Training Centres. Shri B.N. Motiwala’s significant role was instrumental in the success of these initiatives.

During the noteworthy milestones of the organisation, such as the Silver Jubilee in 1936 and the Golden Jubilee in 1961, Motiwala served with distinction as both the Secretary and the President, leaving an indelible mark on the legacy of The Social Service League.

Hon. Vaikunth Lal Mehta (23rd October,1891 – 28th October, 1964) Honorary of Padma Bhushan in 1954 by the Indian Government for his remarkable contributions in Public Affairs, was the pioneer of the Indian Co – operative Movement. Having served as the Vice – President of The Social Service League for many years, Hon. Vaikunth L. Mehta, despite being born into a wealthy, business – oriented family, embarked on an impressive educational journey. Recognised with Elite Pride for achieving the highest marks in the B.A. Exam at Mumbai University, he displayed a keen interest in the co – operative movements. He advocated and served as the President for the essentials of life and provided encouragement to Khadi and Village Cottage Industries. He was the First Director from 1953 to 1957 and later, the President from 1957 to 1963. Hon. Vaikunth L. Mehta played a pivotal role in these sectors. In 1912, he initiated his first role as Administrator for Bombay Central Co. Bank and was later promoted as the Administrative Director of the same.

He also was one the founder members of Maharashtra State Co – operative Bank, thus was appointed as the member of the Administrative Committee in 1918. He also served as a Co – Treasurer in the League from 1913 – 15. As a Secretory from 1916 – 45 and as Vice President from 1945 – 64.

Prof. T. A. Kulkarni served as the President of The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai from 1963 to 1966. During his tenure, he implemented various programs in collaboration with Mumbai University to enhance the education and employment opportunities for the students. These initiatives encompassed schemes such as Employment Generation Programmes, Self – Employment Schemes, Entrepreneurial Guidance Programmes, and Part – Time Job Opportunities, etc. making noteworthy strides in connecting aspiring youth with job opportunities across institutions, banks, and industrial sectors.

In alignment with the organisation’s dedication to the working class, Prof. Kulkarni introduced evening training sessions, specifically designed to skill up industrial workers. These sessions, tailored for mill workers, not only emphasized skill development but also addressed pertinent daily life topics, contributing significantly to the holistic well-being of the workforce.

Furthermore, he initiated correspondence-based training programs, ensuring that even those unable to attend in person could access education and guidance through letters and receive books through post, thereby empowering workers to overcome life challenges. Prof. Kulkarni’s strategic initiatives proved instrumental in addressing diverse challenges faced by the working class, offering essential guidance through targeted training programs for all.

Justice Diwan Bahadur Krishnalal Mohanlal Jhaveri (1931 to 1933) was an eminent Indian author, translator, and a historian in languages like Gujarati, English, and Persian. His significant contributions extended to The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai, where he served as a Trustee.

Known for his commitment and dedication, Justice Diwan Bahadur Jhaveri played a crucial role in various financial and social institutions, providing valuable & free legal advice. His journey in the league began as the Vice President and later escalated to the position of President in 1947. Leading with unwavering dedication, he chaired the 34th Annual General Meeting. During his tenure, he initiated the establishment of a free homoeopathic dispensary and a Mobile – library of the books in Marathi and Gujarati for the people in and around the city. This initiative, offering over 120 books in diverse languages, became a valuable resource for the public.

On 9th February, 1938, the institution marked a significant milestone in Women’s Industrial Training and inaugurated its Gymnasium and Silver Jubilee Building. The event was honoured by the presence of Sir Roger Lumley, the British Governor of Mumbai, and Lady Lumley.

Recognising the need for skill development amongst both female and male mill workers, the League took an initiative and founded the Textile Technical Industrial Centre in 1922. Over time, this training centre evolved, incorporating state – of – the – art machinery and amenities, including looms sourced from renowned mills such as Thakarsey Mills, Wadia Group of Mills, Khatav Mills, and Mafatlal Mills. An annexure to the building dedicated for this technical institute was developed in 1924 and on 9th February, 1938, this building was further re – inaugurated on 9th February, 1938 by Sir Roger Lumley (the then British Governor of Mumbai) and Lady Lumley.

The Annual General Body Meeting of The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai, took place on 27th October, 1941, with the esteemed presence of Hon. President Diwan Bahadur Zaveri, Hon. Vice President Justice H. V. Diwatiya, K.J. Dhubash, Fransis Low, Smt. K. Sufi Tayyabazi, Secretary General N. M. Joshi, Secretary B.N. Motiwala, V.L. Mehta, R.R. Bhosale, and other trustee members and dignitaries.

During this meeting, various projects were thoroughly reviewed, leading to decisions aimed at enhancing facilities across different locations, including Girgaon (Main Office), Chinchpokli Library, Madanpura (Byculla), Industrial Centre (Parel), Vile Parle, Dhuru Building (Dadar), Industrial Centre (Belgaum), Urdu School (Imamwada), National Library (Ghodbunder Road), Bandra, Kapol Niwas (Matunga), Urdu School (Mandavi), Anglo Urdu Night School (New Nagpada) Marathi Night school (Girgaon) and Library (Madanpura). Annual reports pertaining to the same were presented and various decisions regarding them were taken.

At the Annual Function of Madhavlal Gagalbhai Textiles held at The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai, in 1953, renowned name in Co – operative Movements, Shri Vaikunthbhai Mehta delivered a comprehensive overview of the institution’s notable achievements. He addressed the audience, enlightening the historical milestones of the industrial centre. Notably, he highlighted its inauguration in 1922 and subsequent achievement of perfection by 1924. A significant contribution from Shri Navinchandra Madhavlal, honouring his father Shri Gagalbhai Madhavlal, with a generous donation of one lakh rupees, played a pivotal role in ensuring the successful realisation of the educational project. On this auspicious occasion, Shri Vaikunthbhai Mehta also shared valuable insights into various educational and social initiatives undertaken by the institution, specifically designed for the betterment of mill workers.

The inauguration of the Madhavlal Gagalbhai Textile Technical Training Centre, a part of The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai, took place on, 28th March, 1953.

Initiated in 1922 by The Social Service League, the training centre specifically aimed at training the mill workers, especially those in Mumbai, providing essential skills at the Madhavlal Gagalbhai Textiles Technical Centre. Generous contributions from various industrialists, philanthropists, and mills, facilitated the construction of a self – sufficient building in 1953. The inaugural ceremony was held on 28th March, 1953 by the then PWD Minister, Shri. Malojirao Naik Nimbalkar. It also witnessed the presence of Justice Divan Bahadur K. M. Jhaveri (President of the League), Shri. K. J. Dubhash, Shri. N. M. Joshi, Shri. V. L. Mehta, Smt. K. Sufi Tayyabjee, Shri. B. N. Motiwala, Prof. T. A. Kulkarni, Secretary P. G. Naik, and other committee members namely, Shri. Navinchandra Maftalal, along with Shri. Arvind Navinchandra Maftalal. 

This inauguration marked a historic milestone in industrial technical education, with Shri. N. M. Joshi expressing gratitude to all contributors, including Looms, Machinery, and Financial Assistance from Shri. Navinchandra Maftalal, Sir Vithaldas Thackersey, Sir Ness Wadia, and Sir Chunilal Mehta, representing Khatav Mills, Wadia Group of Mills, Maftalal Mills, and Thackersey Mills, respectively. On this auspicious occasion, Shri. Navinchandra Maftalal offered a generous gesture by contributing Rupees One Lakh in the honour of his father, Shri. Gagalbhai Mafatlal, propelling the project’s modernisation.

In 1968, The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai, paid tribute to its 1st President, Sir Narayan Chandavarkar, by unveiling his statue. The ceremony was attended by prominent figures such as Dr. Gajendra Gadkar, the then Vice – Chancellor of Mumbai University, Co – operative Luminary Shri V.P. Varde and Shri S. S. Aajgaonkar, Shri. Dinkar Desai, and other dignitaries.

During the event, Dr. Gajendra Gadkar highlighted Shri. Chandavarkar’s significant contributions, particularly in spearheading various educational initiatives. The institution’s commitment to education materialised through the establishment of 17-night schools in strategic locations like Dongri, Koliwada, Parel, and Sewree. He continued earning praise for his outstanding work.

Under Shri. Chandavarkar’s visionary leadership, the institution ventured into groundbreaking educational programs. In 1917, a library catering to the labour class was initiated. And in 1922, the institution introduced Mumbai’s First Industrial Training Program for women at Damodar Hall covering diverse areas such as art, handicrafts, spinning, weaving, and vocational education. These initiatives showcased the institution’s commitment to holistic development. A pivotal moment came with the launch of Mumbai’s first Co – Operative Credit Society, under Shri. Chandavarkar’s transformative leadership. Co – operative Luminary Varde and Dinkar Desai also acknowledged Shri. Narayan Chandavarkar’s contributions towards these initiatives, leaving an indelible mark on the institution’s history.

The inauguration of the N. M. Joshi Social Works Training by The Social Service League Trust in Parel, Mumbai, witnessed the esteemed presence of Hon. Professor T. K. Tope from Mumbai University on 20th July, 1972.

Initiated in 1925, these classes have been a beacon of guidance, providing valuable insights for both youngsters and voluntary workers. Over the years, the syllabus has been dynamically adjusted to meet contemporary needs. The primary aim of these classes is to bridge societal gaps, nurturing individuals to become exemplary citizens and proficient speakers. It was being conducted from August to February every year during evening hours, this educational endeavour, promoting social brotherhood, received generous support from the Maharashtra Government and Municipal Corporation.

The inception of The Social Service League’s pre – primary school in Parel, Mumbai, marked a significant event on 8th June, 1975. The inauguration was graced by Hon. Chief Shri. H.T. Parekh, Head of the Education Department, in the presence of esteemed individuals such as Smt. Kusum Raut, Shri. H.N. Sapre, Shri. A. M. Relkar, Shri. R.K. Patkar, and Honorary Secretary A. V. Nadkarni.

With an initial enrolment of 76 students, the pre – primary school aimed to cater to students predominantly from lower social and economic backgrounds. The establishment’s commitment towards inclusive education was evident from the beginning. Under the guidance of Smt. Kusum Raut, the first Annual Gathering of the Pre – Primary Department took place on 31st March, 1976, setting the tone for a journey focused on holistic development and community engagement.

The President of The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai, and the Founder of the HDFC financial institution, Padma Bhushan Hon. H.T. Parekh, initiated the Free Mid – Day Meal program for school students from the academic year 1985, providing free meals to the young learners.

In 1986, The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai, commemorated its 75th Anniversary, graced by the esteemed presence of India’s Vice President, Honourable Shankar Dyal Sharma, and the Trust President, Honourable H.T. Parekh.


The esteemed President and revered trustees of The Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai, were honoured with heartfelt recognition on 18th June, 2000, for their unwavering commitment to educational projects in Ambernath.

Shri. Prabhakar Deshmukh, former student, and Vice – President of MADC (Maharashtra Airport Development Company), Ambernath, extended a warm tribute to the Social Service League. Acknowledging their visionary leadership, MADC, Ambernath, generously allotted around 24,000 square meters of land at a symbolic rate of one rupee per square meter on 25th January, 2000. This benevolent gesture laid the foundation for realising the league’s educational aspirations. Within this space, the league initiated diverse educational projects and has submitted a proposal to the Maharashtra government for comprehensive development approval.

The inauguration of the Workers’ Service Training Center by N.M. Joshi in 1968 marked a significant milestone for the Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai. The ceremony was graced by distinguished personalities such as Dr. P.B. Gajendragadkar, the Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University, Shri V.P. Varde, a Cooperative luminary, Shri S.S. Aazgaonkar, the Vice-Chairman of the organization, and Shri A.V. Nadkarni, the Secretary.

Founded in 1911 by Mr. N.M. Joshi, the Social Service League in Parel, Mumbai, undertook various educational initiatives to uplift mill workers and uneducated male and female laborers. These endeavors included special educational and social projects. In 1968, the organization established the N.M. Joshi Workers’ Service Training Center, a vital component of its efforts. The inauguration ceremony, presided over by Dr. P.B. Gajendragadkar at Mumbai University, signified a turning point.

Mr. N.M. Joshi’s visionary leadership not only propelled the Workers’ Service movement across India but also extended its reach to encompass female workers. The movement gained momentum and achieved noteworthy progress, impacting both male and female laborers positively.

On March 28, 1953, the Social Service League inaugurated the Madhavlal Gagalbhai Textile Technical Training Center in Parel, Mumbai. During the ceremony, industrialist Shri. Navinchandra Maftalal graciously accepted a bouquet of flowers presented by Mr. Malojirao Naik Nimbalkar.

The establishment of the Madhavlal Gagalbhai Textile Technical Training Center dates back to 1922, initiated by the Social Service League. In a generous gesture, Shri. Navinchandra Maftalal contributed one lakh rupees in honor of his father, Shri. Gagalbhai Maftalal, propelling the project’s modernization. By 1924, the initiative achieved self-sufficiency. Shri. Navinchandra Maftalal, associated with various mills, including Khatau Mills, Thakarsee Mills, Maftalal Mills, Wadia Group of Mills, etc., procured diverse types of looms and machinery for the project. In acknowledgment of his support, Mr. Malojirao Naik Nimbalkar, Maharashtra State’s Minister of Irrigation, expressed gratitude by presenting a bouquet to Shri. Navinchandra Maftalal during the ceremony.

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