Hamabai’s helping hand

Selling the jewelry inherited from Avabai Petit, her daughter founded an orphanage and school for Parsi girls
Yasmin Charna and Nawaz Merchant

Bai Hamabai Mehta was the granddaughter of millionaire brothers Sir Dinshaw and Seth Nusserwanji Petit. Though born into wealth, she inherited the spirit of benevolence of both these philanthropists. Born in 1883, in her youth Hamabai was reputedly a great sportswoman, a keen rider and once owned prize-winning race horses. She was also one of the first Parsi lady motorists. She toured the world, visiting the remotest regions. On the death of her mother Bai Avabai in 1907, young Hamabai inherited jewelry estimated at about Rs 12 lakhs which she sold and donated the proceeds towards the foundation of the......

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