Dr. Hassanally Rattansi was born in Nyeri, in a valley nestling between the Aberdares and Mt. Kenya on 14 th March, 1921. He was the fourth child, in a family of ten, of Maniben and Mohamedally Rattansi. He started his early education in a makeshift school in Nyeri. In those days, the government made no provision for Asian schools in the rural areas. In small towns, such as Nyeri, Asians typically clubbed together to hire a teacher or two from India and set up their own school. More often than not, a leading merchant would make rooms available in his house for classes.
Dr. Hassanally Rattansi took over the management of the Trust following the death of his father, Mohamedally Rattansi, on 28 th July, 1957, and the Chairmanship in 1962. He devoted his life to administering and developing the Trust, and together with his wife, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi (Mrs.), have made it into what it is today, 50 years later.
He believed that helping others opened values for him. In order to effectively do this, he sold his own business in 1987 in order to devote his energies and talents to the Trust. Even before they sold the business, Hassanally worked for the Trust with a zest only he possessed and started to realize his parents, dream. He did this free of charge and on a daily basis for sixteen years, thus fulfilling his dharmic duty.
Former Beneficiaries fond of him urged the Trust to start an endowment fund to which they would subscribe and one that will help more students to pursue education and make Hassanally's dream of eradicating poverty through education, a reality.
He believed that, “If God has given you something more than you need, whether it is money or talent, you are only a Trustee. Use what you need and give the rest to the people around you.”