We take pride in presenting
you the opportunity to know the persona of Mrs. Kira Banasinska:
Kira was born in The Urals to an affluent Polish family,
on 1st of October in the year 1899. Kira's mother fled with her
to Siberia when she was just 19. She then took up a job as an interpreter
with the American Red Cross. When the Soviets arrived in Siberia
in pursuit of the Americans, Kira fled to Harbin, in Manchuria where
there was a large congregation of Polish refugees. She had traversed
different parts of the world, having had to flee from the place
of her origin to Siberia, China, Japan then again to Poland and
eventually to India, where she finally settled down!
She met and married Dr.Eugene Banasinski - a student
revolutionary and together they returned to Poland. Thereafter,
he joined the Diplomatic Service in Japan. During their stay in
Japan, she was professionally trained in Japanese art and music.
When her husband was on various diplomatic assignments, she held
several exhibitions there also, apart from Tokyo.
In the year 1933, they came to Bombay - India, since
her husband was posted as the First Polish Consul General for India.
Kira had then volunteered to look after thousands of refugees mostly
children, (who fled Poland in the wake of uprising ) with the support
of the Polish Red Cross and in collaboration with the Indian Government.
In 1945, after the end of World War II, they were now stateless;
being firm believers in freedom and democracy where they had already
spent about eleven years, the diplomats sought and obtained Indian
Citizenship in the year 1961.
Mdme Kira Banasinska, now 45 years old, had to make
a new beginning all over again thus decided to make toys for a living.
Being an acclaimed master of Japanese art, a perfectionist by nature
- Kira's creative ingenuity and insight led her to producing self-educative
aids for the normal, the blind and the handicapped children. Kira
switched over from making toys to educational equipments in the
year 1953 and thus entered the "World of Montessori!"
She stuck steadfastly to producing precision Montessori
material with the active support from Mr. Joosten, the personal
representative of Dr. Maria Montessori in India and the Association
Montessori Internationalè with its Head Quarters in Holland.
Shortly after her husband's demise in the year 1964,
Kira left Bombay due to factors beyond her control and came to Hyderabad
in the year 1967, where her factory still exists, with a clientele
which is very loyal and very demanding.
In 1973, Kira had turned 73 years. In the wake of
increased financial burden and turbulent labour, she looked for
support and consequently brought in an able partner Mr.R.Sequeira
- a self-effacing, endearing and wistful personality, to assist
her in her endeavour to produce the same quality of materials. The
tradition and the precedence set by them could be seen even now
from the innumerable appreciative communications we receive from
our esteemed clientele and others.
Mdme Kira - a centenarian,
was still very actively associated in the research and development
of the materials. She lived to be a 102!
She was instrumental
in setting up The Montessori Training and Research Trust at Hyderabad.
After a prolonged period of struggle with various government and
non-governmental organizations to get land and other formalities
failed, this project of hers finally took shape due to the active
support lent by her associates.
Kira was also a very good cosmetologist. She inherited
from her mother the art of making creams and lotions and used to
market them directly to the beauty clinics all over the country.
Kira was honoured and decorated by the Polish Government
with Poland's highest civilian award, "The Commander's Cross
of The Order of The Rebirth of Poland", (Polonia Restituta),
for her remarkable services rendered during the war torn days. With
the co-operation of the Polish Consulate in Mumbai, she was laid
to rest beside her late husband Dr.Eugene Banasinski, in Mumbai.
We at Kaybee's salute Mrs. Kira Banasinska for her
courage, grit and determination with which she dedicated her best
days for the humanitarian causes - especially Children!