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Memorial Born 1918 - Demise 8/2/1992 Born: March 1925 - Demise 14/6/2009
Gopaldas Popatlal Pattni
Rambhaben Gopaldas Pattni
Memorial Born 1918 - Demise 8/2/1992 Born: March 1925 - Demise 14/6/2009
Born 1918 - Demise 8/2/1992
Born: March 1925 - Demise 14/6/2009
Late Shree Gopaldas Popatlal Pattni (Dhanak) was born in a small village Sarodar in the Gujarat state of India in 1918, the year when the first world war was about to be officially declared as being over. He was the second child and the eldest son of Popatlal Nathubhai and Rambhaben Popatlal and grandson of Nathubhai Narang Panchang.
He had one younger brother Ratilal Popatlal Dhanak and two sisters Diwariben and Shardaben.
Small boy standing on chair is Gopaldas
Right sitting Gopaldas’s father Popatlal Nathubhai Narang Panchang
Middle younger sister Shardaben
Front Sushilaben Ratilal Pattni
Gopaldasbhai’s childhood was spent in Sarodar but at the age of four his family - father, mother and all his siblings migrated to
One day, fate took a turn and Poptlalbhai went through a major loss in the stock exchange. He suffered further duress from his friends and business associates which led to ill health and finally his death. With his death the family lost everything they had.
Gopaldas was only 5 years old at that time and his other siblings were younger than him and there was no one else who could look after their business which as a result eventually perished.
His mother Rambhaben was very young when her husband Popatlalbhai died but she never remarried due to her promise and devotion to her dying husband that she would take care of their children come what may.
To earn her living and feed her children she used to sew clothes for women. She had one small hand sawing machine. She struggled through life but never lost her dignity and self-respect. She died very young due to tuberculosis and left behind four young children of which Gopladasbhai was the second child.
A Family Man
Few years later Gopaldasbhai met Lalitaben at her home in a village called Chittravad in
After, their marriage they moved to
This shop was situated on
Despite facing all these challenges in childhood and never having the opportunity to go to college or university Gopaldasbhai managed to build a reputation for being a shrewd businessman in
Elected as the President of Pattni Samaj,
With success came more responsibilities and dedicated himself to do Samaj Sewa. Gopaldasbhai became the president of Parajiya Pattni Samaj Kampala where he served the community for 3 years with selfless service.
Lalitaben was very creative and loved to painting sarees, so she started conducting saree painting classes in
Then on one very inauspicious day came the sudden and untimely death of Navin who died in a car accident on 14th December 1969 at the age of 25. This incident was so devastating for Gopaldasbhai and Lalitaben that at that time felt the whole world had come to a standstill.
The Swaminarayan Faith
Navin’s death brought a lot of confusion and soul searching questions for Gopaldasbhai and Lalitaben. To find peace of mind Gopaldasbhai went to Shri Yogiji Maharaj who was the Swaminarayan Guru at the time to seek answers. Following his meeting with him he decided to surrender himself unconditionally to Lord Swaminarayan and so became a devoted follower of Swaminarayan religion.
With time they lived on and then he got Subash married to Sudha, daughter of Narottambhai Meram Govind.
In 1972 with the overthrow of President Obote and start of Idi Amin’s dictatorship, the family had to sadly leave their residency on
As Gopaldasbhai never believed in defeat, he rose to this challenge and rebuilt his life again in
On the social front he and his Parajiya Soni friends in
Lalitaben - 'a rock solid support'
All through his life, during good and bad times, it was Gopaldasbhai’s wife Lalitaben who was his staunch support and stood by him like a rock. She was famously known for her punctuality. All the daily activities had to be done at their set time and she expected people around her to respect the value of her time. Even when she was ill she would get up at 4am in the morning, do her exercise and meditation. Like Gopaldasbhai, she too never failed to say her prayers each day.
There are two types of people in this world. One who is a taker and another is a giver. Both Gopaldasbhai and Lalitaben were givers who gave unconditionally in abundance. Their generosity was such that even today, they may not be here but they are still changing people’s lives around the globe through ‘Everychild’ charity. What they have shown is the ability to move with times when required as they believed change is the law of the universe.
A Proud Dhanak Parajiya Soni
Gopaldasbhai often used to narrate how his Dhanak ancestors fought many wars during Chandragupt Maurya period and lost their lives for the country. Gopaldasbhai was a true a Dhank Parajiya Soni Kshatriya warrior who showed courage, strength and determination in this lifetime. His motto was to keep his will strong no matter what may happen. Gopaldas went through a lot of hardships after both his parents died but he too like his mother was determined to rise above all challenges.
Never Give Up In Your Pursuit
Her granddaughter Dimple (Subash’s daughter) still remembers that when she was a little girl there was a time when she felt disappointed and defeated with life’s experiences and her grandfather Gopaldasbhai took her out into the garden and pointed her towards a spider web and said “look at the spider trapped in this web and see how small it is. There are so many times when the spiders’ house is broken due to rain, wind or by us but does the spider ever give up on rebuilding its house again? Then why do you give up, my dear? You are so much bigger and intelligent than the spider, so forge ahead with strength, determination and will power.”
Dimple feels so proud to be a part of Late Shree Gopaldasbhai’s family and has dedicated a beautiful poem to her Dadaji Gopaldasbhai, Ba Lalitaben, Mum Sudha and Navin Ada.
Soaring with the
A wish in mind, a dream to accomplish! Intense dedication moulded with constant failures.........
In a conquered and defeated state the mind wants rest. But is that the end to it?
Winning is an integral part of life, but life is blended with various other essences to encourage and inspire.
Life is not limited to winning or losing and has invulnerable boundaries of success and to target for what the world calls impossible, is to soar with the phoenix.
To aim for the phoenix with an eagle’s eye is aspiration.
To aim for the phoenix with a sparrow’s desire is intensity.
To aim for the phoenix being a lamb is courage and to dream unlimited is inspiration to make reality.
Success is all about waking up and making an attempt to move ahead with passion and desire. It doesn’t cost much to wake up, and revive your spirits and to believe in your inner self. Rising above your level with realization is soaring with the phoenix. After you have reached the level, give it another try because the phoenix has its limitations. Your trials will revive the myth and burn the phoenix to ashes, letting you free to soar higher than everybody, higher than yourself, higher than the phoenix! (source: MIS Alumni)
From Editor: I would like to thank Subhashbhai Gopaldas Pattni and his daughter Dimple Pattni for providing material and details of their family history.