LILA WATUMULL SAHNEY
Age: 88. Born: Honolulu, T.H. Mother: Ellen Jensen Watumull Father: Gobindram Jhamandas Watumull
Lila Sahney was a pioneering business woman in the fields of merchandising and fashion. After attending the Prince School of Retailing at Simmons College in Boston, she was a buyer for the Watumull Stores in Hawaii, as well as significantly contributing to the Hawaiian apparel industry. In the mid 1950s she went to India where she opened the first Indian ready to wear boutique in New Delhi and where she met her late husband, Brij Lal Sahney. After their marriage she retired from the fashion industry. While living in New Delhi, India, she was a successful author of an Indian cookbook, From my Indian Kitchen, she was a leader in the New Delhi American Woman’s Club and Chairwoman of the New Delhi Flower Show. She participated in numerous philanthropic & community activities in India and Hawaii. As Chairman of the Watumull Foundation, created by her late father G.J. Watumull, she oversaw the foundation’s activities which included providing scholarships to graduate & post doctoral scholars from India for study in the USA, drilling tube wells in water challenged areas of India, producing oral histories of prominent people in Hawaii (housed at the University of Hawaii), to name a few. Lila Sahney was a staunch member of Punahou School centennial class of 1941. An active contributor of Indian art to the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Lila Sahney worked continuously to bridge East and West. She is survived by her daughter, Sheela (Ashu) Sondhi, son, Gobind (Lisa) Sahney and three grandchildren. A celebration of her life will be held at The Pacific Club, Tuesday, January 24, 2012 from 4-6 p.m. The family has requested that no flowers be sent.