‘THE JAM SAHEB’S OFFER WAS GOOD FOR EVERYBODY. JAMNAGAR WAS FAR FROM ANY POLITICAL CENTRE, SO IT WOULD NOT REMAIN IN FOCUS.’
Josephine Salva learnt to sing in Gujarati; where Zbigniew Bartosz, aged 8, learnt how to be popular.
“The Maharaja visited our camp with his pockets full of toffees, which I was entrusted to distribute…. I have never had so many friends,” recalls Bartosz, now 74.
The Polish children met the Jam
Saheb’s children during festival days.
Says Hershad Kumari, the Jam Saheb’s eldest daughter: “We would meet them when we went to spend our summers in Balachadi from Jamnagar. They would also come over during my father’s and brother’s birthdays. When they arrived in Balachadi they were in bad shape due to malnutrition, disease, the arduous travel, but they slowly recovered.” The Jam Saheb told the children he was the father of the people of Nawanagar, so he was also their father. The children called him ‘Bapu’. On the days they were feeling cheeky, they called him ‘the Big Jam’ – but never, of course, to his face.
Every time the Maharaja (left, in black coat, at a production of ‘Cinderella’) visited the children’s camp for a programme, he donated ~1,001. The extra rupee, he explained, was a deposit for the next successful show.