With Faith, Simplicity, Hard Work, Good Character and Truthfulness as their basic principles of life, Cutchi Memons expressed a desire to live together in an organized society. This led to the formation of their "association", their Jamat. In fact, wherever Cutchi Memons settled down, they invariably got together to form "Jamats" which was one of the greatest contributions of forefathers to the Cutchi Memon fraternity. This established the foundation of an organization based on the principles pf Unity and Brotherhood, ideals so very essential for the social, cultural and economic progress and prosperity of any society.
Just as an organization must have a leader to manage the affairs, Cutchi Memons and their Jamat had a 'SAIT"!
The office of the Sait, the head of the Jamat, was supposed to be the most dignified, and a prominent and influential person was selected to fill the position. The Sait so selected commanded the love, honor and respect of the members of the Jamat, and was held in high esteem by all. The Sait's word was the law! His duties were to guide members in all aspects of their lives, and to attend their social and cultural events. The Sait's decisions were accepted by one and all without demur. Although there was neither any written set or rules and regulations nor a committee to assist him, the Sait never misused his powers. As a mater of fact, the Sait was responsible for fostering unity among all members of the Jamat, and promoting the social and cultural welfare of all. In course of time, the office of the Sait became hereditary.
The Jamat at Secunderabad was no exception. Saits managed its affairs for many years, and members of the Jamat lived together in a well-knit manner.
The Jamat started deteriorating in the late Thirties. In 1936, a few prominent persons met for deliberations, and felt the need for re-organizing the Jamat to conform to the changing times. A committee was formed to frame rules and regulations so that the Jamat would function in a democratic manner.
The year, 1936, is important for our Jamat when it saw the introduction of a written constitution. On September 29, 1939, a Managing Committee under the Presidentship of Janab Shaik Adam Haji Mohammed Essack Sait was elected. Thereafter, our Jamat has functioned with a Managing committee and a President at the helm of affairs.
At this time, the need for a Jamatkhana was felt. The former Jamatkhana at Kazigalli was demolished under the Cantonment Improvement Plan, leaving the committee members with no place to meet, and for members to organize their social and cultural events. Janab Abdul Sattar Abdul Khader Sait, the then President of the Jamat, helped purchase a plot of land near the Masjid-e-Nallagutta, and constructed a Shadi Khana for the benefit of Cutchi Memons of Secunderabad. This Jamat owes this and many other noble deeds and philanthropic works to Janab Abdul Sattar Abdul Khader Sait. May his soul rest in peace.
In 1965, the then Managing Committee decided to rewrite the Jamat's constitution. Accordingly, a redrafted constitution was introduced before members in 1966. It was further amended in 1970. It was again rewritten in 1986 in view of changing circumstances.
Income from the Jamat's property has been showing steady improvement. This property consists of Shadi Khana, one house and fourteen Mulgies. Some other activities are:
1. Registration of the Jamat under the Societies Act, and extending the jurisdiction of its activities to the entire sate of Andhra Pradesh,
2. Holding Prize Distribution functions for greater cohesion of the community members.
3. Arabic School (evenings).
4. Financial Aid: This is an educational assistance program. Rs. 21,000 is being sanctioned every year towards grant of fees to school and college students of the Jamat. A sub-committee is constituted to supervise this work.
5. Aid to Widows and Destitutes: A sum of Rs. 21,000 is being given to widows and destitutes of the Jamat every year. May Allah Paak accept this gesture and give maghfirat to all.
6. Grant of Business Loans: The Jamat has sanctioned loans to members since 1984 for starting new business or expanding existing business. A sum of Rs.1, 64, 000 has been sanctioned so far. A revolving budget of Rs. 40,000 is sanctioned.
- General Secretary
Cutchi Memon Jamat - Andhra Pradesh (Secunderabad)
[The above account is from the 1993 World Souvenir of the All India Cutchi Memon Federation. We hope to obtain updated information from the Jamat soon. - Arif G. Kadwani}
Information courtesy: Arif G. Kadwani, Cutchi Memon Jamat of North America