Anant Shivaji Desai Topiwalla High School
, Malvan was conceived and established in the beginning of the twentieth century by Raobahadur Anant Shivaji Desai Topiwalla, a well known industrialists and philanthroper donor towards social causes. The school began its 1st Academic year in 1911.
Raobahadur Anant Shivaji Desai alias Bhausaheb Topiwalla was born on 17th October 1853 in Walawal in the erstwhile Sawantwadi State in British India. Due to poverty Anant’s father migrated from Walawal to Zarapi to earn living for the family. Anant’s, during tender age, had to help his father in a small roadside shop where he learnt and to some extent acquired entrepreneurial skills. At the age of 11 he attended school at Kochara for a while but as his father was seriously ill he had to give up school permanently. His father advised him to move to Bombay (now Mumbai) to seek his fortune. Soon his father died and young Anant moved to Bombay.
While in Bombay, initially he took up all sorts of menial jobs (blue collar ones) and began selling goods during spare time. A Gujarati friend helped him in the business. Thus his business instincts grew which culminated in setting up a factory for manufacturing various types of ‘Topis’ a headgear, which became famous. Anant Shivaji Desai acquired ‘Bhausaheb Topiwalla’ name and fame, prosperity as a businessman. He ventured into German silver, aluminum utensils which products captured entire Bombay market. He also sold prints of famous paintings of the great artist Raja Ravi Verma; the paintings of various Gods and Goddess adored walls of a large number of households. Thus he became a successful industrialist and a successful businessman through tireless efforts, honesty and expansion and diversification of his business to meet market needs, in his early thirties, he became a very wealthy person. He always felt that this wealth won due to blessings of the God and remained humble and wired in to his moorings. He was aware of illiteracy and poverty all around. He was compassionate about shearing his wealth to help others to educate, articulate to become successful.
In the social arena his mission had two distinctive objectives. One, to promote education (which he was despaired of) in the then Ratnagiri district-in particular provide physical facilities such as school buildings, student hostels, playing grounds besides setting up scholarships for higher education including higher studies in England. And two through various non-governmental agencies help the poor to evolve into better beings.
Anant Shivaji Desai Topiwalla High School is 95years old (2006). While establishing the school in 1911, his vision encompassed a huge majestic well spread out school building with lot of open space for further expansion, physics & chemistry laboratories, administrative block on the main campus. He reckoned that certain students would need hostel facility. In close proximity to the main campus, he built two hostel buildings within a huge (15acre) play ground (named boarding Ground). He also realized that the School would need money to carry out routine repairs & maintenance work for which he created an endorsement fund of Rs.75, 000/-. For the management of the school, he set up ‘Malvan Education Society’ a charity organization chose to the Collector of the District to be its chairman, the idea being that wise guidance and counsel would be available to the school during its development as an excellent educational institution. The concept of ‘Think Big’ was evident in Raobahadur Anant Shivaji Desai in early twentieth century. This was a creative mind, indeed. In Malvan again, he helped promote school for girls and financially helped several other schools in the Ratnagiri District.
The school has developed into a big campus achieving excellent results in all facilities, academic, sports, extra curricular activities etc year after year. All this is on account of his vision actualized in building up a premier educational institution-A.S.D. TOPIWALLA HIGH SCHOOL, MALVAN- through the continued blessings of the “Topiwalla Family”, including his son Narayan, grandsons Motiram and Sitaram.
At present his grand children actively helping the school, being part of Managing body of Malvan Education Society.