Revealed in this book
In his latest book Tata Stories (#Tatastories), Harish Bhat recounts how Lady Meherbai Tata saved the steel giant. Jamsetji Tata’s eldest son Sir Dorabji Tata bought a 245.35 carat Jubilee diamond, which is twice as big as the Kohinoor (105.6 carats, cut), for his wife Lady Meherbai from merchants in London. In the 1900s it cost around £100,000. This prized necklace was so special to Lady Meherbai that she kept it to wear on special occasions. But the situation took such a turn in the year 1924 that Lady Meherbai decided to sell it.
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It happened that at that time there was a cash crunch in front of Tata Steel and there was no money left to pay salaries to the employees of the company. At that time, it was more appropriate for Lady Meherbai to save the company’s employees and the company, and she mortgaged her entire personal assets, including the Jubilee Diamond, to the Imperial Bank so that she could raise funds for Tata Steel. After a long time, the company started giving returns and the situation improved. Bhat said that not a single worker was laid off during that time of intense struggle.
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Know how was Lady Meherbai Tata?
According to the Tata Group, the Jubilee Diamond was sold after the death of Sir Dorabji Tata to establish the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. Lady Meherbai Tata was one of those who were consulted for the Saradha Act or the Child Marriage Prohibition Act passed in 1929. He actively campaigned for it in India as well as abroad. She was also a part of the National Council for Women and the All India Women’s Conference. On November 29, 1927, Lady Meherbai made a case for the Hindu Marriage Bill in Michigan. She demanded equal political status for women at the All India Women’s Conference in 1930. Lady Meherbai Tata was the president of the Federation of Indian Women’s League in India and one of the founders of the Bombay Presidency Women’s Council. India was included in the International Women’s Council under the leadership of Lady Meherbai.
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