Sir Ratan Tata Institute

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the story so far

Our Story

about our background

Established in 1928

the story so far

The Sir Ratan Tata Institute, established in 1928 by Lady Navajbai Tata and the Stri Zarthostri Mandal, is a distinguished NGO dedicated to empowering women by providing employment opportunities. Founded as a tribute to her philanthropist husband, Sir Ratan Tata, the second son of the Tata group Founder Jamshedji Tata, Lady Navajbai donated the institute’s main building to the Stri Zarthosti Mandal. This organization, founded in 1903 to support Parsi women affected by the 1896 bubonic plague, aimed to address the challenges faced by destitute families.

In 1937, Lady Navajbai furthered her philanthropic efforts by donating an additional building on Hughes Road. This expansion facilitated the integration of new embroidery machines, weaving departments, and a confectionery division, enhancing the institute’s capacity to empower women.

The RTI initiated various activities, including cooking, tailoring, embroidery, and Montessori teacher training units, all of which continue to thrive today.

Over the years, the RTI has evolved, expanding to seven locations across Mumbai to meet growing demand. In July 2022, the institute introduced a Gourmet menu, diversifying its offerings.

Furthermore, the reopening of ‘The Landmark,’ a multi-purpose venue, provides a unique space for various events.

The core mission of the institute is to offer employment opportunities for underprivileged women, instilling in them a sense of dignity, self-reliance, and respect within society. Even as staff members reach retirement age, the RTI continues to provide them with suitable work, promoting financial independence during their golden years. The institute’s success is evident in the positive impact it has had on numerous lives, thanks to the unwavering support of its loyal customers and well-wishers. Through fostering self-confidence, financial security, and social well-being, the RTI has made a significant difference for individuals who might otherwise have been deprived of employment opportunities.

Rati Patwa and Maneck Pithawalla from the catering division and Dolat Todiwalla from the embroidery section are our oldest serving members. They joined RTI as young trainees staying at the hostel, and today they as grandmothers they enjoy their roles at RTI with enthusiasm and love.

The RTI has now become a Parsi institution, providing Parsi food and clothing to people across Mumbai for almost a century. With the support of our loyal customers, and hardworking staff, we hope to continue with the work that we’re doing, introducing new products and innovating forwards, whilst still always embodying the Parsi mentality of “Humata, Hukhta, Hvarshta”- “Good thoughts, Good words, Good deeds”. 

Dolat Todiwalla from the embriodery section

The team.

Key people

Lady Navajbai Tata

Founder

Shernaz Buhariwala

Executive Chef

Aban Kamath

Executive Chef

Shernaz Buhariwala

Executive Chef

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