There are two groups; Vaishnava & Shaiva, who interprets the origin of the word Pamashali as under:
Padmashalis’ developed exclusively cloth weaving skill. They produce cloth as a marketable commodity, without having any organic links or skills in the production of the raw material. They did not have expertise in any other skill. Thus, their skill structure, over a period of time, became one dimensional. By the time British arrived, the Padmashalis were producing huge quantities of cloth and controlled a leading cottage industry of India. We were self sufficient in all respect at our native Telangana in Andhra Pradesh.
The rise of Moghul rules and there after Britishers who came to India for doing cloth business has lot of impact on our samaj weaving technology. The cloth manufactured at Brimingham, England can sell at cheaper rate in India and the qualities of their cloth were much better than our hand woven cloths on Gunta Maggam (Pit-loom). Since there is no buyer for our hand woven cloths, the domestic textile industry suffered losses.
The Britisher established East India Company at Calcutta and spread their business across the India. They have also ruled our country till 1947. The impact of cloth business compelled our Padmashalis to move to different places in India.
Maharashtra is adjacent to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, most of them started moving in search of their livelihood. Earlier days there were no transportation available, people started walking from Telangana and stayed for days together wherever in the en-route to Mumbai. In this course some of them even settled in most parts of Maharashtra like Nanded, Jalna, Aurangabad, Nasik, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Pune and even interior parts of the villages.
The history shows about 175 years back some of the Padmashalis reached Mumbai and settled at Kamathipura. We can witness some families are living here for the last five generation. Our community people are economically backward. They were even idle. Our basic occupation was weaving, hence most of them have chosen weaving job in cotton mills. Gradually the strength has increased and it can be witnessed that about 400 to 500 Padmashalis could be seen in each mill in Mumbai. We were economically backward and our motto is to earn and live and therefore we could not give much importance to education. Thus we were very much backward in Education.
The Padmashali strength increased and about 1500 families were living at Kamathipura before independence. The likeminded people started living together. To meet their needs in good and bad times they established a group called Pandi, (TAT) which comprises of 40 to 50 family under the head of Peddamanishi (i.e. Tat or Pandi Pramukh). Under him every member of Tat is bound by his decision. He is involved in marriages/death/family dispute, etc. Today also we are following the same.
We had good strength in Kamathipura, but they could not come together because lack of social understanding, lack of education was cause of the hour. Further, we have also not had the place to bring the members together. On Narali Poornima, our samaj people were forming a group and going to Markandeya temple at Worli to celebrate Yajnopavitam and respect to dwaja vandanam. There was a need felt to bring these Tat’s (Pandis) together and form a big community to share their difficulties, improve education and also enjoy the good moments. Thus they established Pamashali Ikyechu Mandal.
The Tat Pramukh and members selected would involve in social welfare, festivals like Markandeya Janmotsavam, Holi, Gudi Padva and Narali Poornima (Yajnopavitam).
At current there are about 44 Tat’s, which comprises of 2300 families, attached to our Padmashali Samaj. This could be continued in future also.
Our late Ramchandra K Putta, Bhumaji G Kusumwar, Basappa K Gonewar, Gyanoba L Bijja, Ramchandra B Somalwar, Kisanrao C Guda, Laxmanrao B Irabatti, Ramaiyya P Chitmel, Narayanrao B Ganji, Eranna N Raskonda, Narsingh C Machha, Ramda C Vallakati, Siddiram C Vallakti, Narayan C Chilveri, Sudarshan G Guntuka, Yellappa L Bijja, Laxman Y Domal and Yellappa R Merugu have thought that our Padmashali Community People should be at par with other community in the vicinity.
The members from late Chintal Tat, Bijja Venkaiyya Tat, Elgatla Balakishtu Tat, Ramgiri Parbayya Tat, Chilveri Muttaiah Tat, Gudla Narsaiah Tat etc., have taken lot of efforts to improve the condition of samaj people in all respects like education, financial and in other fields. They have even united other Tats in the Samaj and established Telugu Padmashali Union Club on 14th April, 1924 on the occasion of Ramnavmi Day. They have also made that all Tats are bound by the samaj rules and regulations. Subsequently, the name has been changed to Telugu Padmashali Ikyechu Mandal to get benefit of Marati. As the days passed and people from different Tats formed strong bonding and they all wished to change the name of our Samaj once-again as Mumbai Padmashali Ikyechu Mandal. This was continued up to 30 years and thereafter the samaj name once again changed to Akhil Padmashali Samaj Mumbai.
We have registered our Samaj with Charity Commissioner as a Trust on 15.04.1953 and we got registration no.A-1109 (Mumbai)
To increase its activities and get samaj members united in Mumbai, Tat Pramukhs and working committee memebrs have started giving help to people staying at Fergusen Road, Worli, Delisle Road, Prabhadevi, Dadar, Bhoiwada, Curreyroad, Lalbaugh to establish Padmashali samaj and carry out the activities. In this regard, we can proudly take the names Late Shivram S Amrutwar, Adep Limbaji, Mallappa Sherla, Polas Ramaswami, Rukhmaji Etkyala, Malpeddi Shervaiya, Motkur Antaiyya, Narayan Chukka, Golla Shivayya, Uduta Ramayya, Domala Shankaraiah, Chukkala Gangaram, Erappa Guda, Gurrap Errayya Master and Rajayya Kuntal., etc.
We had established samaj and have taken a place on rent to run samaj activities. Samaj collected money from Members towards membership fees. They all felt that our samaj must have a permanent place to carry out our activities under one roof.
They once-again united and started collecting fund under the name of Shri Markendeya Devasthan. Initially they all thought that we would construct a Markendeya Temple. In 1933 they have purchased a place at 6th cross Lane, Kamathipura and given a name as Markendeya Ashram. There they have made Dinik, Vartaman Papers etc., available to improve the interest among the Padmashalis and they have also established Free Library. Late Yellappa V Ekkaldevi has provided furniture.
To achieve samaj objectives, the place purchased was in-sufficient. With the help of committee members and ordinary members we had purchased Bhavana Bagh. In order to have Office space we had requested cloth merchant Shri Sherla Mallappa. He had generously agreed and purchased a space at Rs.3,300/- adjacent to our Bhavana Bagh and given in the memory of his father’s name. On this place we have constructed Padmashali Prasadam. Late Narayanrao Ganji had taken lot of efforts and supervised a construction of the Padmashali Prasadam. Late Poshanibai Adep has donated the tiles in Padmashali Prasadam in her sister name Lalammabai Gajula in 1954.
We have to remember Late Laxman Balaji Irabattini, who had tirelessly contributed to upbringing of samaj people. He was a President for a number of years. Late Narsappa Hanmantoo Dudka, was a Managing Trustee and always maintained financial transaction correct and even remained alert at all times. Because of him only we could take free space adjacent to Markendeya Ashram. The moment He got news about disposal of free space, He had himself paid an amount of Rs.10,000/- advance in the year of 1968 and given to samaj.
We have received sum of Rs.30,000/- from Late Laxman Balaji Irabattini family. Since the samaj activities increased day by day, we had constructed a hall on free space purchased adjacent to Markendeya Ashram and given a name as Late Laxman Balaji Irabattini Hall. Total expenses towards construction was Rs.40,000/-. This was possible because we could get the cement at a very competitive prize by the then Late Kashinath L Enjamuri and Ramchandra G Guntuka.
The property deed created by Late Ekkaldevi Yellappa, his wife Ekkaldevi Rajubai and their sons Shri Bhumaiyya and Shri Narsaiah given the place at Vajreshwari Temple and 2 buildings no. 39 & 44 at 6th Lane, Kamathipura, donated to Samaj.
With the help of Shikshana Samithi working committee members under the Charimanship of Late Balla Ramchandra Bhumaiyya have generated a donation of Rs.29,000/- in the year 1973 and kept in Fix Deposit in the Bank.
The place adjacent to Prasad Hall has purchased with the help of Ramareddy Padmashali Sangam in the year 1999. Later on it is renovated and given a name as Markandeya Hall.
Every Samaj must have by-laws to run the activities. As such in the year 1962 first constitution was drafted by Late Bhumaiyya Y Injamuri. Thereafter, we are following the by-laws of Padmashali Samaj. The by-laws was edited by Late Kashinath Y Injamuri, Balla Ramchandram and Dattaram L Injamuri.
In the beginning of the year, we celebrate Markendeya Mahamuni (Kula Daivata) Janmadenostavam. On this day we do Hawan at Prasad hall and also at our Markendeya Mandiram at 6th Lane. Thereafter, we take procession of Markendeya Mahamunipadukas in and around Kamathipura. At 1200 noon onwards we give Prasad at our Prasadam hall to all devotees.
Holi Utsav – On this day all Tat Pramukh and their members are honoured with garland and gulal. Thereafter we pour different colour and enjoy Holi Utsav.
Gudi Padva - On Gudi Padva day each Tat make Pachhadi and distribute to all its members. This day is also called a beginning of the festival and New Year.
Narali Poornima – In the morning we do Hawan at Prasadam hall in Bhavana Bagh and pooja at Markendeya Mandir at 6th Lane, Kamathipura. Thereafter we change the thread i.e. Yajnopavitham in the Bhavana Bagh hall. In the afternoon Haldi Kumkum Programme is organized by Mahila Mandal. In the evening we felicitate all the passed students (SSC & above).
A need was felt to improve education facilities at our samaj and provide a place to study, a committee established Padmashali Free Library in the year 1950.
Padmashali Co-Operative Credit Society: The Padmashali Co-operative Credit Society established in 1954 with the objective to help the needy people at a low rate of interest.
The objective of the Shikshana Samithi is to help poor and needy student. The Shikshan Samithi collected fund Rs.29000/- from various people and kept in fix deposit in the year 1973. From the accrued interest, Shikshan Samithi paying scholarship amount from July 1976 onwards. This is continued till date. Shikshan Samithi also felicitate students who have passed in SSC and above on Narali Poornima day.
Every day Satsangh is conducted at our Prasadam Hall. They also do Hawan on Markendeya Janmadenostavam and on Naralipoornima day. They call Sages for one week before the Markendeya Janmadenostavam and arrange daily pravochan on Gita . During the Shravanamasam they continuously engaged in Pooja and Hawan for the betterment of society people.
To improve participation of ladies in Education and other field, Padmashali Mahila Mandali established and it is continuously working hard. Beside education, the committee members also imparts stitching and various types of cooking.
Keeping in mind that we could help the Samaj People to have good health, a Padmashali Arogya Seva Samithi established in 2000. They conduct various programme like Health Check-up camps, Eye camps, Blood Donation camps, etc. We have also arranged free medicine to poor and needy people during the camps.
We started Padmashali Vrudha Seva Samithi to enroll old people. We have helped them to get Senior Citizenship Card. We have also arranged get together programme and felicitated them. Further, the committee members help in diagnosing their health.
We indebted to founder of this samaj, who have reluctantly worked day & night and given the place to Padmashali people in heart of Mumbai City. Once again, our sincere thanks to all of them.