ABDUL SAMAD LODHIA – The Community Man.


USA based entrepreneur, social worker, philanthropist, hails from Austin, in the State of Texas, USA. He is the head of Lodhia family. Basically, he belongs to Hyderabad (India). He is the son of Late Aboobaker Haji Ahmed Lodhia, an ex. Magistrate in India who had obtained his law degree from Bombay Law College in 1946.

Early Activities and Educational Qualification:


Samad Lodhia actively participated during his school days, in ‘SEPERATE TELENGANA MOVEMENT’ agitation during Dr.M Chennareddy’ the then Chief Minister of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh State for demand to separate Telangana from AP. In 1968. After long struggle of 46 years, TELENGANA State was formed on 2nd June 2014.

During the agitation for separate state the schools and colleges were closed for almost one year. At that time, he was sent to Bangalore to Pursue further studies where he passed his Bachelor of Science, B.Sc., from Bangalore University in 1974.



Languages spoken:


He can speak English, Urdu. Hindi, Telugu, Gujarati, Memoni, Kannada, and of course Quran reading.


Business Activities:


Soon after having completed his bachelor’s degree, his parents asked him to take one-year business training in HALT Bangalore, a leading reputed business house and after that can join family business. But he was so much involved in job that he almost remained in job for 11 years in Bangalore.

He worked under Late Abdul Gaffar Haji Latif, a well-known business tycoon and Samad Lodhia was responsible to report him directly for his official tasks and assignments. Samad Lodhia considers him as his MENTOR because it helped him a lot in his business carrier.

What he considers is if you have completed your education, you need to take one or two years of practical training which will help you to groom yourself in your future life.


In 1982 he moved to Hyderabad and joined one of his family businesses in Hyderabad, where he remained there until early 2001 and moved to USA on 29 April 2001.


In USA he started his carrier in Convenience store and Gas station business in Austin and has several stores. His sons run the businesses who had joined him at the later stages. He heads Lodhia group of businesses.


COMMUNITY SERVICES IN USA:


As new to the country and environment and new to people he developed rapport with memon community in Austin. As time passed, he got familiarity by the service he was providing to the community. He was made the President of Memon Association of Greater Austin (MAGA) in 2014 , after remaining the as the member of MAGA and doing active work. He took the Association to the new heights after becoming the President of GAMA. In 2018 he voluntarily gave up the president’s post, after successfully completing four years as President of MAGA paving the way for others enabling them to serve the community and thus not sticking to the same post.


He was approached by WMO North America Chapter Vice President Br. Bashir Akuli and in 2018, Considering his service to memon community and past experiences he was made the Regional Committee Member (RMC) of WMO NA chapter. Since then he actively participated in community service in USA under the able guidance of WMO NA VP Br. Bashir Akuli.


In 2018 he was also contacted by the WORLD MEMON DAY COUNCIL (WMDC) Chairman Janab Iqbal Memon Officer, who offered him to be the ‘AMBASSADOR of WMDC to represent Austin. He accepted the offer and became the ‘AMBASSADOR’ of Austin Texas USA.



MEMON DAY AWARENESS PROGRAM IN HYDERABAD:


This position of AMBASSADOR was offered to Samad Lodhia while he was visiting Hyderabad in 2018. At that time, after accepting the post, Samad Lodhia sponsored and arranged ‘MEMON DAY AWARENESS PROGRAM in Hyderabad on 29th December 2018 to bring awareness of Memon Day in memon community all over the world. The program was a great success and dignitaries who attended the program were Iqbal Officer sir himself , Waris Pathan, MLA Mumbai, Ehsan Gadawala, Vice President WMO NA, Professor Sajjad, Vice President, AIMJF, Br.Shakir Batliwala, AIMJF, Br. Shabbir Bhojani, president, Hyderabad Halai Memon Jamat, Br.Ashraf Patel, past President HHMJ and host of other guests .

This Awareness program helped getting worldwide publicity and also helped in organizing ‘Memon Day’ every year on 11th April due to hard work of worldwide Ambassadors and specially WMDC founder Iqbal Memon Officer.


MEMON DAY is celebrated in Austin by community gatherings on 11th April each year arranging blood donation camps and feeding the poor being the main concept Memon Day.


Positions Held:


MEMBER OF HHMJ


While in Hyderabad, few years after coming from Bangalore, he actively participated in memon community social activities. He was the youth committee member of Hyderabad Halai Memon Jamat.


During which time Hyderabad Halai Memon Jamat hosted two days ‘All India Memon Jamat convention ‘in Hyderabad. Janab Ebrahim Seth Superiwala was the president.

Since it was a two-day convention all Jamaat’s officials coming from different parts of country were to be accommodated in different hotels of the city. As a youth committee member, he was given the task to receive incoming guests at Railway station and send them to their allotted hotels. He enjoyed the task and performed very efficiently.

ORGANISING SECRETARY HALAI MEMON (HYD) WELFARE SOCIETY:


The main aim of the above Society was to construct 21 apartments for deserving needy Memons in Hyderabad city. There were no memon colony during that time and this was the first memon colony propped to be constructed. Samad Lodhia was made Organizing Secretary in 1998 to overlook and organize the activities of the Society. It was challenging task and until the time he left abroad nine apartments were completed and it was great to work with committee members.

INDUSTRY AND SALT ASSOCIATION ACTIVI-TIES IN HYDERABAD:


As a salt manufacturer he was the Secretary of ‘Twin Cities Salt Association’ from 1993 to 2001 and held the post for 8 years. Every two years he was elected as Association Secretary unopposed due to his explicit

CHALLENGING TASK TO OPPOSE CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS ORDINENCE:


The Government of India wanted to make edible salt into an iodized salt and wanted to implement the law. Industries were not ready to go for iodization program. Despite repeated representations the government did not yield to postpone the implementation of Iodization law.


Samad Lodhia went to High Court on behalf of the Association representing big and small salt farmers and industries. He successfully argued the case and ultimately stay was granted. Indian central Government had to yield to the High Court order and more time was given.

This resulted Salt industries all over AP and India getting relief for few more years.


He considers this as a great achievement challenging central governments ordinance in High court, as service to the salt community.


NATIONAL SEMINAR ON GANDHI JAYANTI


During iodized Salt protest, he was responsible along with a Social activist Dr. P V Bhaskar Rao by organizing a nationwide seminar namely COMMEN SALT -OUR BIRTHRIGHT, coinciding with Gandhiji birthday on 2nd October 1998 in Hyderabad.

A host of prominent Social activists spoke on the occasion. This program had a great impact on salt iodization protest movement as Gandhiji also had undertaken ‘DANDI SALT SATYAGRAH’ during Independence struggle.


SALT MANUFACTURERS AND MARKETEERS ASSOCIATION, ANDHRA PRADESH


Samad Lodhia was elected as the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Member of the state salt Association erstwhile AP state in 1998 to 2000.

He is of the firm opinion that memon community members shall strive and work hard to try to excel in all fields as far as possible. he is of the firm belief that a success in life can be achieved by hard work, sincerity, self-confidence, giving charity, telling truth, respecting elderly. He also says present day youth and women are few and rarely seen in community service which is not a good sign for the Memon community.


ACTIVITIES:


- WMO America North Regional Committee Member (RMC) 2018 till current.

- AUSTIN AMBASSADOR World Memon Day Council 2018 till Current.

- PAST PRESIDENT Memon Association of Greater Austin (MAGA) 2014 to 2018.

- EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER Salt Manufacturers and Marketeers Association Andhra Pradesh State 1998 to 2001.

- Secretary Twin Cities Salt Association, Hyderabad, India 1993 to 2001.

- Organizing Secretary Halai Memon (HYD) Welfare Society, Hyderabad1998 to 2000.

- Member Youth Committee Hyderabad Halai Memon Jamat HHMJ, Hyderabad.

- Member Students Union of Telangana, Agitation demanding separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh from 1967 to 1969.












KYC (Know Your Community), is a series of stories on various Memon Individuals & Organizations established in India & abroad highlighting their contributions for welfare & upliftment of society & Memon community across the Globe.