Dayawati Modi

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Dayawati Modi
Spouse(s)Gujarmal Modi
ChildrenK.K. Modi
V.K. Modi
S. K. Modi
B.K. Modi
U. K Modi

Dayawati Modi (1915–1994) was a philanthropist and the wife of the founder of Modi Enterprises, Rai Bahadur Gujarmal Modi. People she helped due to her altruistic nature colloquially referred to her as Maji as a sign of respect and gratitude. Her contribution towards development of society in Modinagar and elsewhere was underlined by her dedication towards uplifting the underprivileged and providing educational opportunities to women and children.

Personal life[edit]

Dayawati Modi was born in Kasganj—a small town in Uttar Pradesh. Daughter of Chheda Lal, Dayawati lost her mother at the age of three.[1] Although not formally educated, Dayawati Modi had a penchant for literature, which led to her reading many books stored in her uncle’s attic. This was the beginning of her long and fulfilling tryst with philanthropy in the education sector. On 19 June 1932, Dayawati Modi married Gujarmal Modi at the age of seventeen. This was Gujarmal Modi’s second marriage, after his first wife died due a prolonged illness. Dayawati lived with her father initially, as Gujarmal set about establishing his business in erstwhile Begumabad. Thereafter, the couple had eleven children— five boys and six girls.[2] Children are K.K Modi, V.K Modi, S.K Modi, B.K Modi (Dr. M), U.K Modi. Deeply religious, Dayawati Modi was bestowed with various awards in recognition of her societal contributions.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 1982- Shiromani Award for Sikh Studies[3]
  • 1983- Kala Sangam Award
  • 1986- Bharat Seva Ratna by World Religious Parliament
  • 1978- Included by Cambridge University in their Who’s Who of Intellectuals for the year.[4]


Apart from her massive contribution in the education sector, Dayawati Modi was instrumental in catering to women and children’s issues in the mid-1950s. In 1954, she founded the Samaj Kalyan Parishad at Modinagar, which provided welfare services to women and children. The institution was at the forefront of uplifting the underprivileged by giving them access to education, vocational training and other allied support services.[5] In honour of Dayawati Modi’s philanthropic contribution to society, her family instituted three awards: Dayawati Modi Kavi Shekhar Samman, the Dayawati Modi Award for Art, Culture and Education and the Dayawati Modi Stree Shakti Samman. Several high-profile individuals have received the prestigious awards instituted by the Modi family since its inception, including the likes of the Dalai Lama,[6][7] Kent Walwin,[8] Amitabh Bachchan amongst other luminaries of modern-day society.[9][10][11][12][13]

Since her death in 1994, the Dayawati Modi Foundation has carried on with the same altruistic principles, which governed Modi's life.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "DAYAWATI MODI (1915–1994)". Stree Shakti- The Parallel Force. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  2. ^ Jha, Rama (November 1985). Choice India. Delhi: Rama Jha. pp. 3–7.
  3. ^ "Welcome to Dayawati Modi Public School". Dayawati Modi Public School. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  4. ^ "DAYAWATI MODI (1915–1994)". Stree Shakti- The Parallel Force. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  5. ^ Samaj Kalyan Parishad. Modinagar.
  6. ^ Singh, Ayesha (4 December 2011). "Dalai Lama honoured with Dayawati Modi Award". The Sunday Standard. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Dalai Lama honoured with the Dayawati Modi Award". India Today. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Dayawati Modi Award to Kent Walwin". The Financial Express. 10 November 2009. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Dayawati Modi Award for Art, Culture & Education". International Institute of Fine Arts. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Dayawati Modi award for Menon". The Sunday Guardian. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Dayawati Modi Award For Art, Culture And Education For 2013". Money Indices. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  12. ^ "Dayawati Modi Foundation Honours Paresh Maity". Business World. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Dayawati Modi Award for Padamsee". The Hindu. 18 November 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2014.