The Billawar Association, Mumbai : Genesis and Growth
Three golden teachings of Brahma Shree Narayana Guru are: ‘One Religion, One Caste, One God’, ‘Be Independent through Education’ and ‘Unite and Become Strong’. Inspired by these teachings, in the year 1932, a few philanthropic and dedicated individuals of the Billawa Community merged the following four different entities into one – The Billawar Association of Mumbai.
Shree Gokarnanatha Kshetra Samiti
Billawara Hitawardhaka Sangha
Barkur Billawa Charity
Billawa Youth League
The association’s initial goal was to make education accessible and affordable to the poor and the needy people who had migrated to Mumbai due to poverty and desperation. The concerted efforts of the association helped in establishing the Free Night High School in Fort in 1961, and the English and Kannada Day School in Padubelle, Karnataka. The association is also one of the sponsorer of popular Kannada Bhavan Society in Fort, Mumbai.
True to its spirit, the association continued to serve the people and initiated several beneficial programs like – Financial help, Adoption of Students, Scholarship and Merit Awards to encourage students to excel in their respective fields of education. Later, the association initiated many socio-economic programs like – Free Medical Check-up, Blood Donation Camps, Seminars and Workshops for the development of the youth.
The Association is first among the Tulu-Kannadiga Associations to obtain the O.B.C. status for Billawas. The By-laws of the Association is one of the most progressive and far-sighted designed to adapt to changing dynamics of the community.
Over the years, the Billawar Association has grown in strength making its mark in the metropolis of Mumbai and the nearby hill station, Lonavala. The association established 22 local offices to cater to the growing initiatives and to achieve operational efficiency.