Sir Dorabji Tata, was the elder son of Hirabai Tata and Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata. Sir Dorabji Tata was born on 27th of August 1859 in Bombay.
Sir Dorabji Tata completed his primary education at Proprietary High School, Bombay. He attended Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, England at the age of 16. In 1879, he came back to India and completed his graduation from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay.
When his education was completed, he worked for two years as a journalist at the Bombay. After some time, he joined his father’s company, Empress Mills. This was a cotton division.
Architect of India’s First Steel Plant
It was all about the dream of Jamsetji of developing India into an industrial nation by building the first steel plant. But this dream was left unfulfilled due to his demise in 1904. Sir Dorabji fulfilled his father’s dream by setting up Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO, now Tata Steel) on August 26, 1907. Later with the passage of time, Tata Steel has become a global player with an annual crude steel capacity of 34 million tonnes per year.
Sir Dorabji Tata took the initiative to establish the Indian Institute of Science in 1909, and Tata Hydro Electric Power Supply Company Limited is now known as Tata Power Company Limited.
Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata had left a blueprint to his son, Sir Dorabji Tata, ensuring plenty of space for lawns and gardens, places of worship for all religions, wide roads, houses, and facilities for sports.
Based on the Town Planning Scheme proposed by F C Temple in 1919, the city was developed in a hexagonal pattern and is the containment of wide roads, parks, lawns, markets, waste management, and a water supply system.
After this, Jamshedpur transformed into a smarter city by providing quality services to its citizens, like LED street lighting, Biogas, plastic roads, waste management, digital dustbins, and many more.
India at Olympic Games
Sir Dorabji Tata was a keen sportsman. He was the player of cricket and soccer and won many awards in the events during his college years. He was also a good horseman.
Sir Dorabji Tata worked towards entering India into the world of both national and international sports by funding to four athletes and two wrestlers for the Olympic Games of Antwerp in 1920.
Sir Dorabji Tata was the Founder of the Indian Olympic Association and a member of the International Olympic Committee.
First Labour Welfare Measures in India
Sir Dorabji Tata made the introduction of pioneering measures towards labour welfare like Eight-Hour Working Day, Free Medical Aid, Leave with Pay, Workers’ Provident Fund, Formation of Workers’ Committee, Workers’ Accident Compensation Scheme, Establishment of Welfare Department, and even the Paternity and Maternity Leave.
Later, these measures were adopted by Indian law.
A Selfless Leader
Sir Dorabji Tata saved the company from the condition of bankruptcy by pledging his personal wealth, Jubilee Diamond, which belonged to his wife, Lady Meherbai Tata, during the Global Financial Crisis of the 1920s.
Sir Dorabji Tata was knighted in 1910. He died on 3rd June 1932 in Bad Kissingen, Germany. He was buried alongside his wife in Brookwood Cemetery, England. They were not having any child.
The inception of the Diamond Pavilion at the park in the Sir Dorabji Tata Park in Jamshedpur is a veritable salute to Sir Dorabji Tata and his wife for their everlasting contributions and sacrifices towards Tata Steel, Tata Group, and the city of Jamshedpur.
Sir Dorabji Tata Trust has contributed to several fields, particularly medicine, arts, education and more.
National Centre for the Performing Arts
The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), India’s premier cultural institution, was few of the primary projects of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. NCPA is committed towards preserving and promoting India’s rich and vibrant artistic heritage.
Tata Memorial Hospital
When Lady Meherbai Tata died due to Leukemia, the situation triggered Sir Dorabji Tata to do something towards cancer research and treatment.
With the effect of this, the Tata Memorial Centre was commissioned by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. It has evolved into a significant and leading state-of-the-art facility. The majority of patients seek primary care free of charge.
Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Tata Institute of Social Sciences is an outstanding community development project in an indigent Bombay neighbourhood. Later, he approached Sir Dorabji Tata Trust for help.
Dorabji Tata married Meherbai Bhabha (the daughter of HJ Bhabha who was an inspector general education, Mysore state) on February 14 in 1898. His wife was chosen by his father Jamsetji Tata. The couple had no children. It should be mentioned that Meharbai died due to leukaemia in 1931. After her death, Dorabji Tata founded Lady Tata Memorial Trust to advance the study of diseases of the blood.
Dorabji Tata died on June 3 in 1932 in Bad Kissingen, Germany. He was buried next to his wife at the Brookwood Cemetery in Woking, England.
Lesser-known facts about Dorabji Tata
- Dorabji Tata joined the cotton business division of his father’s firm in 1884.
- He was president of the Indian Olympic Association.
- Dorabji Tata financed the Indian contingent for the Paris Olympics in 1924.
- He was also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
- After completing his graduation, Dorabji Tata worked for two years as a journalist at the Bombay Gazette.