GUJARATI ASSOCIATION WILAYAH PERSEKUTUAN AND SELANGOR (GAWPS), MALAYSIA


   
   Mahila Mandal
   Youth Wing
     Brief history of GAWPS

President Message
     Message from the President for      website


Jain Mandir/Bhuvan      Brief description of the
     Jain Bhuvan, function and      activites

Location/Usage Samaj Building
     Map of GAWPS Samaj      Building  and condition for      usage of  premise

Gujarati Classes
     Running and operation of the      Gujarati Classes

Building Committee
     Building Committee formation      and progress made

Office Bearer

     GAWPS Management      Committee

Memberships

     GAWPS membership strength

     GAWPS GUJARATI DIRECTORY

     Significance of GAWPS Logo

 



The origins of the Gujaratis in Malaysia go back to the 14th century when the Gujarati traders use to travel from India to Malacca to sell their spices as it was one of the major ports for trade in this region.

It is therefore not surprising that Malacca & later Penang became the springboard for Gujarati businessman, initially for trade purposes and later for migranting to the then Malaya . These young enterprising and dynamics Gujaratis who braved themselves to seek fortune far beyond the Indian sub-continent with their hard work and rich cultural values soon become a potent force gaining widely acclaimed respect of the various other Indian communities in Malaya. The ancestors of the current generation of Gujaratis in Malaya are believed to have migrated to Malaya in the early 20th century.

To piece together some important events which would capture the historical legacy of Gujaratis, we know that the early pioneers in Kuala Lumpur were the Doshi Families, i.e. Messrs C. J. Doshi, T. J. Doshi, Prabhudas Doshi, M.K. Doshi. On November 21, 1941 the first Gujarati marriage in Malaya was solemnized in Kuala Lumpur. The bridegroom, Mr Damodar Manekchand Damani brought his wedding party from Kajang to wed his wife to be, Miss Lalita, daughter of Manilal Kamani. The marriage was solemninsed at the residence of Shri Chunilal Jagannath Doshi in Princess Street, [now known as Jalan Raja Muda] Kuala Lumpur. It was a grand affair for all concerned and celebrated in true traditional style with much pomp and splendors.

The Japanese occupation of Malaya during the Second World War stifled the growth of the Gujarati community. When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, marking the end of a reign spanning three and a half years, many Gujaratis who had been separated from their families left for India . Some left never to return again.

A steady rise in the Gujaratis population was noticeable after the war. Many more Gujaratis came to Malaya to seek their fortunes in a foreign land. The business community, shattered by the long devastating war, has to pick up the loose ends and start anew. The road to recovery, through painstaking, was indeed very slow. Nevertheless with determination and strong commitment, the Gujaratis as they always are, were able to progress themselves to greater heights as time went by.

As the community grew, more regular interaction between the families developed. Besides the normal visits, the community also got together to celebrate Diwali and other Hindu festivals at the Shree Lakshmi Narayan Temple , Gombak Lane , Kuala Lumpur . In similar fashion, Jain festivals were observed and celebrated by the Jains. In the absence of a proper religion hall, the annual Savantsari or Paryushan pratikraman was usually held at No. 91, Batu Road . [now known as Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman].

It was only in late 1950s, there were concerted effort by some prominent Gujarati personalities to set up community association for betterment of the community as well as preserving our rich cultural value and religion believes. To achieve this goal, Shri Jashbhai M. Patel, Shri Dhirajlal K.Avlani, Shri Chandulal T. Gorasia, Shri Natwarlal Bodiwalla and Shri Narbheram H. Seth as well as other concerned individuals pooled their minds and energies towards this common objective. The Kuala Lumpur Gujarati Samaj was formed in 1959 with Shri Jashbhai M. Patel as it's first President.The Samaj had acquired a rented premises at CA-4, Sulaiman Court [where the Sogo Shopping Complex is now built] to serve a center for communal and religious activities. In 1961, the K.L. Gujarati Samaj hosted a dance by the famous Javeri Sisters from Bombay in aid of the TB Foundation. The Guest of Honour was the Minister of Health and the Indian High Commissioner. It raised RM1,001.00 ( a big sum those days) for the TB Foundation.

The committee immediately enlisted the services of Shri Vrajlal Thaker to educate the younger Gujarati children, to read and write in the Gujarati language. The response was enthusiastic and overwhelming. Later, following the footsteps for the first teacher, Smt Fatimaben Gulam Hussain and Smt. Sushilaben R. Patel made significant contributions to the community by sacrificing their time and imparting their knowledge to these children. It was around the same time that the Annual Deepavali Picnic was introduced. It provided a platform to wish one another “Saal Mubarak” and to foster greater interaction and unity among the community members.


It was only in late 1950s, there were concerted effort by some prominent Gujarati personalities to set up community association for betterment of the community as well as preserving our rich cultural value and religion believes. To achieve this goal, Shri Jashbhai M. Patel, Shri Dhirajlal K.Avlani, Shri Chandulal T. Gorasia, Shri Natwarlal Bodiwalla and Shri Narbheram H. Seth as well as other concerned individuals pooled their minds and energies towards this common objective. The Kuala Lumpur Gujarati Samaj was formed in 1959 with Shri Jashbhai M. Patel as it's first President.The Samaj had acquired a rented premises at CA-4, Sulaiman Court [where the Sogo Shopping Complex is now built] to serve a center for communal and religious activities. In 1961, the K.L. Gujarati Samaj hosted a dance by the famous Javeri Sisters from Bombay in aid of the TB Foundation. The Guest of Honour was the Minister of Health and the Indian High Commissioner. It raised RM1,001.00 ( a big sum those days) for the TB Foundation.

The committee immediately enlisted the services of Shri Vrajlal Thaker to educate the younger Gujarati children, to read and write in the Gujarati language. The response was enthusiastic and overwhelming. Later, following the footsteps for the first teacher, Smt Fatimaben Gulam Hussain and Smt. Sushilaben R. Patel made significant contributions to the community by sacrificing their time and imparting their knowledge to these children. It was around the same time that the Annual Deepavali Picnic was introduced. It provided a platform to wish one another “Saal Mubarak” and to foster greater interaction and unity among the community members.

In 1965, Shri Jashbhai Patel, with the support for the other members of the community, was instrumental in organizing the first Navratri festival in Kuala Lumpur . The Navratri Celebrations, organized under the auspices of the Shree Lakshmi Narayan Temple at Gombak Lane , was a resounding success. Since its humble beginning, the festival is now celebrated every year on a grand scale with active participant from the Gujarati, Punjabi and Sindhi communities. In 1971 the Shree Lakshmi Narayan Temple moved to Kampong Kasipillay. As the premises of the Temple was small to accomdate the crowd for Navratri, the celebrations for Navratri then were moved to Appar Tamil School in Jalan Raja Laut. They then moved to their current premises when the Temple was completed in 1982.

 

At about the same time, a group of energetic and enthusiastic youngsters, with the blessings of their peers, started organizing activities for the community. This group successfully organized picnics to Port Dickson, Templer's Park and Pangkor Island . For two consecutive years Deepavali parties to cater for the youths were organized and were well received by the community. In 1973, these youths undertook the organization of the first cultural show in Kuala Lumpur . Financial support was lacking from the senior members but the sheer determination and dedication of the core group produced a show with the limited resources available, and with immeasurable success. It also served as a catalyst for increasing support for subsequent activities.

Despite all these earlier successes, the Gujarati had nothing tangible to show. There was no organization or a building that we could proudly call our own. We could not turn the hands of time back and lament our lack of commitment to cater for the community. The only step to take was forward. At an informal group discussion amongst certain youngsters at the annual Gujarati Deepavali picnic at Batu Caves in 1975, it was perceived that much more could be achieved through an official vehicle. A motion was moved to establish an association and Shri Arvind K Shah was selected to take lead in formalizing the registration with authorities. Following a series of consultative discussion, a draft constitution was prepared and lodged with the Registrar of Societies. The sudden departure of Shri Arvind K Shah to assume an overseas appointment did not dampen the spirit but rather it strengthened the resolve to see the Association formally registered. A Gujariti Youth Association was duly registered in October 1977, which subsequently changed its name to the present Gujarati Association Wilayah Persekutuan & Selangor.The formation of the Association provided the vehicle and impetus for organized activity to cater for the community. Whilst the progress has been relatively slow, the Association has come a long way since its inception. There were problems and there was lack of interest and support. However, the foresight, grit and determination of committed members did produce positive development. To these devoted and committed individuals we must record a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for sparing time and effort to forge a stronger bond within the community and enhance the standing of the Association as a center and medium for the planning and implementation of organized activities. In the absence of access to documented records, it is difficult to identify and trace the progress of the Association over the years, but the major activities and achievements of the Association are highlighted as follows:Later with the strong support of the Gujarati community, the Association were able to buy their own building in Kampong Kasipillay in the year 1984. From time to time the building was used to have annual general meetings and other gathering as and when required.

In order to be able to focus and look after the interest of the youngters of the Gujarati community, GAWPS took important step to form the Youth Wing in 1997. Later in 2001 the Ladies Wing named Mahila Mandal was form to take care of the womens need within the community. Both the above organisation comes under the direct umbrella of the GAWPS. Since their formation, they have been very active in helping the GAWPS to organise events as well as maintain good harmony among the community to much greater height.

With the fast growing of the Gujarati community population, there was greater needs for a better and more suitable facility/building, the Association made a very big step to buy a new and bigger building closer to the main residential areas of Gujaratis in Klang Valley, at 38, Lorong Maarof, Bangsar Park, Kuala Lumpur. The above was made possible with the continued and strong support of all GAWPS members who willingly contributed generously for the Building Fund.

In keeping with the rapid pace of the modern world driven by info technology, on 12/6/2004 GAWPS took another giant step to  launch their own website
(Website Address : www.gujaratikl.com.my)
and E-mail Address : info@gujaratikl.com.my)
linking  ourselves firmly with the outside  world. It is hoped with this website, Kuala  Lumpur & Selangor Gujaratis will  explore the whole world and make  more friends and contacts for the  future benefit of the Gujarati  communities everywhere.

To keep up with the latest trend in the communication technology, GAWPS started sending messages through SMS for urgent messages starting from 1st August 2005.

While awaiting for appropriate approval from the authority for extensive renovation of the existing building, the Management Committee decided to carry some minimal renovation for immediate need to cater for a crowd of 300 to 350 people. With the help of generous donors, a substantial renovation were done with state of art equipment be installed from 14-06-2005 and completed by end October 2005. The beautiful renovation which not only gave us a more comfortable premises but had raised the image of our community among the Malaysian communities. The renovation was only made possible through the tireless effort of Ir. Ashok H. Patel, Mr. Sailesh Kamani and Mr. Rajesh Kamani. The renovated building was officially opened by Mr. Harsukhlal M. Kamdar on 30-10-2005 on the Dhanteres day.

 

 



Click on
for more history photograph
s

 In keeping with the rapid pace of the  modern world driven by info  technology, today, i.e on 12/6/2004  GAWPS took another giant step to  launch their own website linking  ourselves firmly with the outside  world.

 It is hoped with this website, Kuala  Lumpur & Selangor Gujaratis will  explore the whole world and make  more friends and contacts for the  future benefit of the Gujarati  communities everywhere.

Following are the photographs after the building was renovated and ready in October 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  MAIN ACTIVITIES ORGANISED BY GAWPS  


Every year the Association organise variety of social,religious, cultural and entertainment events for the the Gujarati community. Some of th regular yearly function carried out by the GAWPS are as follows :

Religious cum Welfare Week
Janmashtami Celebration
Dhanteras Celebration
Jain Paryushan Festival
Diwali Salmubarak Gathering
Jain Ayambil Festival
Raksha Bandhan
Sangh Bhojan

Besides the above regular functions/event, the association also from time to time organise some talks/disclosures by prominient religious/spiritural figures or other organisation that benifits the members. Every alternate years the association take parts in the Gujarati Sports Carnival organised in turns by the GAWPS, Melaka Belia Sakti /Gujarati Samaj and Penang Seva Samaj.

 

 

   
  Copyright @ 2004 GAWPS, MALAYSIA All rights reserved.                                                           Designed by Rajesh Bhatt