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Sir Ratan Tata a philanthropist to the core

151st birth anniversary of younger son of Jamsetji Tata on January 20

Jamshedpur, Jan 19: Sir Ratan Tata, the younger son of Jamsetji Tata, was born on January 20, 1871. He completed his studies from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay. In 1892, he married Navajbai Sett. The couple did not have any children.

Sir Ratan Tata joined Tata and Sons as partner in 1896. After the death of Jamsetji N Tata in 1904, Sir Ratan Tata looked after the affairs of L’ Union Fire Insurance Co. of Paris of which Tata and Sons were agents in India. In addition to that, he oversaw the firm, Tata & Company, which had branches in Kobe, Shanghai, Paris, New York and Rangoon.

Sir Ratan Tata had an acute sense of social consciousness. He donated Rs.1,25,000 (in five equal installments) to support Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts against the struggle that Indians were facing in South Africa against apartheid (racism). 

Sir Ratan Tata was generous and any cause that appealed to him received a substantial donation. He gave liberally for relief of distress caused by natural calamities like floods, famines and earthquakes, for public memorials, schools and hospitals. He donated Rs. 10,000 per annum to King George V Anti-Tuberculosis League started by the Bombay municipality, for a period of ten years.

Sir Ratan Tata was a great connoisseur of art. For several years, during his tours within the country and abroad, he collected pictures, paintings, guns, swords, silverware, manuscripts, jades, vases, carpets. Later, the collection was handed over to the Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay.

Sir Ratan Tata was always intrigued with India’s past. Exhaustive excavations were carried out at Pataliputra between 1913 and 1917, for which he paid Rs. 75,000.

Sir Ratan Tata was knighted in 1916 and passed away on September 5, 1918.

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