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The David Sassoon Library and Reading Room has signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with US$ 13 billion JSW Group’s social development
arm, JSW Foundation, to restore and conserve the iconic David Sassoon Library at Kala Ghoda in
Mumbai. According to the MOU, JSW Foundation shall extend Technical & Financial support
towards Conservation, Restoration of the iconic library. JSW has joined hands with Hermes, Kala
Ghoda Association, The Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai and others to raise funds for this
restoration project. The restoration of David Sassoon Library is expected to be completed in

Commenting on its MOU to restore the iconic library, Mrs Sangita Jindal, Chairperson of JSW Foundation said,

“We are pleased to join hands with the team of the David Sassoon Library,
Hermes, The Kala Ghoda Association, The Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai and other
generous donors to restore and conserve one of the oldest libraries in the city. During the last
two decades, the David Sassoon Library has welcomed me and millions of people- especially
during the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. This restoration MOU is our way to reciprocate and give
this iconic library its due as a primary institution of learning in the heart of Mumbai’s art and
heritage precinct. The Library’s proximity to the other educational and cultural institutions like
the Elphinstone College, CSMVS Museum and other art galleries makes it the fulcrum of
Mumbai’s educational and cultural movement. We will be collaborating with India’s most-
respected Heritage & Conservation Architect Ms Abha Narain Lambah for this restoration

According to Mr Hemant Bhalekar, President of the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room

“We have been waiting for this day for a long time. Our entire committee and its
members are happy that the library building will be restored to its original glory. We would like
to thank all the donors specifically Mrs Sangita Jindal and Mrs Abha Lambah for taking this
initiative to conserve and restore David Sassoon to Library and Reading Room.”

According to Mrs Abha Narain Lambah Founder & Principal Architect at Abha Narain Lambah Associates,

“I am delighted to work on this project with Mrs Sangita Jindal and the David
Sassoon Library team to restore the magical legacy of this iconic library. The David Sassoon
The library is among the oldest landmarks in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Victorian & Art
Deco Ensembles of Mumbai. The conservation plan will comprehensively cover architectural and
the interior design of the library for restoring its interiors and exteriors including the rebuilding of the
the original sloping roof over the library, restoring the façade and interior spaces and undertaking the
conservation of its historic interiors.

The David Sassoon Library and Reading Room is a Grade 1 heritage building located in Mumbai
city’s historic art precinct at Kala Ghoda. It is one of the oldest surviving libraries in Mumbai And
among the first buildings to be built at the Kala Ghoda in 1870. It was designed by Gostling and
Campbell in buff-coloured trachyte (Malad stone) and limestone which gives the building its
distinct character. The Victorian Neogothic-styled structure was originally built as a museum and
library of mechanical models and architectural designs. It was principally used by a group of
foreign mechanics working at the mint and government dockyard. The Institute was renamed in
1938 as the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room after the activities of the institute
diminished. The Museum and Library were named after Sir David Sassoon, a Baghdadi Jew
merchant, who funded the construction of the iconic monument.
In current times, the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room is a host to young students and
senior citizens alike. The entrance lobby of the library doubles up as an art gallery, extending
from the Jahangir Art gallery across the street. The David Sassoon library gardens are amongst
the very few green open spaces in the historic district and is a welcome retreat from the busy
public streets. The garden is a landmark venue for the annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.
About JSW Foundation: JSW Foundation is the social development arm of the US$ 13 billion JSW
Group, one of India’s leading business houses. It has a long track record and a rich legacy of
empowering rural communities to enrich their lives for the last three decades. The Foundation’s
focus areas are Education, Health & Nutrition, Skill Development, Rural BPO, Environment & Water,
Sports and Art & Heritage. Through a strong field presence, it operates across 22 rural locations in 11
Indian States with priority on communities around JSW’s plant & port locations. JSW Foundation also
reaches out to communities beyond these locations to contribute to India’s social
development in a meaningful way. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Foundation supported various
communities & families by providing food and healthcare facilities across all these locations. JSW
Foundation’s holistic life-cycle based interventions have positively impacted more than a million
underprivileged people across India. It operates two multi-speciality hospitals in Karnataka &
Maharashtra with the outpatient potential of 100,000 annually. Its educational interventions have
positively impacted more than 130,000 under-privileged children in rural locations while its
Agriculture, Women SHG & Rural BPO initiatives have created new livelihood sources for more than
16,000 farmers and 10,000 rural women. The Foundation has provided access to sanitation by
constructing more than 7500 community toilets in rural villages. It has also helped more than
200,000 needy individuals access Government welfare schemes. JSW Foundation's work in Art &
Heritage is focussed on restoring India’s monuments such as Chandramauleshwar Temple in Hampi,
Kenneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue in Mumbai among others. These restorations have been recognized
globally and won prestigious international awards.