The Byramji Nowroji Javeri Dar-e-Meher is an Agiary (Parsi Fire Temple) situated in Kanpur, in the State of Uttar Pradesh. It was established in the year 1930. Currently, it is the only regularly functioning Agiary in the entire State of Uttar Pradesh. Parsis from the adjoining districts such as Lucknow, Jhansi, Varanasi, Ghazipur, etc. also visit the Agiary on important days such as the Atash-no-Parab, and especially during the Muktad days.
Our Dasturji’s quarters are attached to the Agiary, and there are also some blocks for not so well-to-do Parsis in the Agiary Compound. The main Agiary Building and the other residential blocks (including the Dasturji’s quarters) need major repairs and painting. Unfortunately, the Agiary does not have adequate funds from which to meet its regular expenses, let alone spending money on repairs.
Our Agiary is looked after by only one priest. He gets a salary of only Rs. 3,900, along with a free residence with free water and electricity, and medical expenses. We are very fortunate that our Panthaky has been very loyal to our Agiary, and he has continued to work for this Agiary at such a low salary. Besides this, a magnanimous donor in Mumbai helps us by sending our Panthaky Rs. 1,000/- per month. Even then, compared to salaries at Mumbai, Calcutta, Madras, Pune and other places, this total of Rs. 4,900/- is still very low.
Our Panthaky is unmarried, and there are no other members of his family in Kanpur. He is now about 73 years old. We do not know what will happen to our Agiary in case anything happens to our priest. Priests are reluctant to come to a state like Uttar Pradesh, and even if someone were to agree, he would insist on a high salary: certainly not less than Rs. 9,000 or Rs. 10,000 per month minimum, along with many other facilities. As we have mentioned, our Funds are so meagre that we will simply not be able to afford such a salary. There are no other trained Mobeds or even members of the priestly class in Kanpur itself. Unless our Corpus increases, we will not be in a position to employ another Mobed on such a high salary.
We are, therefore, making this earnest appeal to all the Parsi Community to help us in keeping the Sacred Fire alive by donating generously to our Agiary’s Corpus. The Parsi Community is well-known for its philanthropy, and we pray to the Almighty Ahura Mazda to kindle the fire of charity within the hearts of the Parsis to help us.
Should you require any further details or copies of the accounts, we shall gladly provide the same. We are really worried that for lack of funds, we may be compelled to close down our Agiary in the not too distant future. This has to be prevented under all circumstances, hence this appeal to you.. The entire Parsi community in Uttar Pradesh would feel indebted to you for your generosity.
Cheques may please be made out in the name of “B. N. Javeri Dare-Meher, Kanpur”, and sent to Mr. Adil Byramji, Secretary, B. N. Javeri Dare-Meher (Parsi Fire Temple), 63/3, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kanpur 208004.
All these donations will be taken and credited to our Corpus, so that this Agiary can become self-sufficient in future as well. All the Trustees of the Agiary convey their gratitude to you for the anticipated favour.
For B. N. JAVERI DARE-MEHER
( Adil Byramji )