Kamalnayan Bajaj Hall and Art Gallery is an initiative of the Jamnalal Bajaj Seva Trust. The Trust was established in the name of Jamnalal Bajaj
, the great Indian industrialist (founder of the Bajaj Group of Companies), philanthropist, freedom fighter and Gandhiji’s “5th son”. The Trust was formed after his death in 1942 with an initial corpus of Rs. 500,000, that was Jamnalalji's entire share in the family wealth. Gandhiji himself drafted the Trust’s Memorandum and Articles of Association and finalized its objectives.
Initially, the Trust assisted Sarvodaya workers and Gandhian constructive programmes, but in 1960 the Trust purchased about 400 acres of land on the outskirts of Bangalore to establish an International Sarvodaya Centre-Vishwaneedam. The Centre’s objectives included promoting agriculture, dairy development, rural development and training local women and youth for self-employment.
In 1961, the Trust made a donation to the University of Mumbai for establishing the first management institute in Mumbai, the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies
Today, the Trust also looks after the maintenance of Bajajwadi
, which was a national guest house in the pre-independence days. At Jamnalalji's instance, Gandhiji came to stay in Wardha; soon after, Wardha became the centre of Gandhiji's constructive and political activities. Eminent national leaders from all over the country used to stay in Bajajwadi when they would come to meet Gandhiji. Meetings of the Congress Working Committee were also held here. Bajajwadi today reverberates memories of that historic period of India’s freedom movement.
The Trust also contributes to the promotion of arts and culture through the Kamalnayan Bajaj Hall and Art Gallery. Exhibitions, handicrafts displays as well as corporate meetings, conferences and seminars are common activities inside the Kamalnayan Bajaj Hall. The art gallery is used to display the works of painters and sculptors. The art gallery also provides an opportunity to budding artists to showcase their talents.
The Trust was established with the objective of encouraging, uplifting and empowering less privileged peoples and their communities, with an emphasis on the overall development of women. Fulfilling these objectives, the Hamaara Sapna
Initiative (launched in 2012) endeavours to uplift female slum residents of South Mumbai, along with their families. The project involves imparting skills training along with a holistic education, internships and hands on experience to foster “a better tomorrow”.