Monthly Archives: March 2011

Thana Agiary Project

AGIARY LANE, AGIARY COMPOUND, TEMBHI NAKA, THANE, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA, 400601

PH: 91-22- 25378103

AN APPEAL FOR RECONSTRUCTING 231 YEARS OLD AGIARY AT THANE. (NEAR BOMBAY)
DEAR FELLOW  ZORASTRIAN PHILANTHROPISTS,

Our Cowasji Jahangirji Patell Agiary-Adarian with the community Hall known as Agiary’s Anjuman otla even while it was in an extremely dilapidated condition towards the end, stood truly tall for 230 Years of its coming into existence (1780 till last year). In its time, this wonderful testament to our faith weathered many a testing time until its need for re-construction could not be put away any further.

The erstwhile Thana Agiary, Estd 1780


Foreground: Agiary’s Jarthosty Anjuman Otla (Hall) about 200 years old.

Background: PATELL APARTMENTS. Constructed in 1992-93-94

SHORT HISTORY

Three decades ago there were only a handful of Zoroastrian families domiciled in the four Century old Thane town of ours (which as people aver is even older then Bombay). The burden of keeping the holy fire alive along with the regular performing of Religious Ceremonies was managed by just one Mobed Saheb. When the coffers of the Trust completely ran dry, the then zealous Trustees mustered up courage to develop its surrounding gold mine of a land (additional land) with a cosmopolitan housing complex, which the then Parsi  Anjuman Objected, so the then trustees of Agiary came with a sparkling idea; not only to top up its corpus but also with a view to expand the community’s scale and size in members; this, by providing Housing to Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians at a highly concessional rate on lease hold basis so as to ensure them a good quality of life. {Lease Hold in this case, for the uninitiated, means Ownership flats with land on lease at 60% less than the prevailing market rate or even about 20% less than the construction cost}. This objective worked seamlessly alongside the fulfillment of the quest of a smooth flow of funds as lease rent. In a sense, it ensured the continued glory of the holy fire burning eternally in our city of Thane. Also, as a consequence of that came up a glorious ten storied tower which goes by the name of “PATELL APARTMENTS”. ( about 18 years before i.e. in 1993-94) . Patell Apartments successfully shouldered the community’s major problem of housing eighty families at a time with an embedded hope to guarantee sufficient and continual income by way of lease rent to take care of our Heritage Agiary and its latter day re-construction plan.

Over and above this residential housing project, they (as in, the then Trustees) also constructed a small single storied commercial Building “MAZDA COMPLEX” with a basement and a half Mezzanine Floor. This was expressly done with an intention to generate more income which can then enable the Trustees to continue with the charitable objects of the Trust: objects, which had stopped progressing for a while due to the terrible paucity of Trust funds.

But over time, the re-construction of our Beloved Agiary with a dedicated Community Hall, and the entire commercial complex (left half-complete for lack of funds) remained a dream unfulfilled for the then stalwart trustees as the Trust just could not get the desired lease rent income from the residential project. The present day trustees have now taken on the onerous responsibility to realise this dream project to its fullest potential (the construction of which has already started). Its scope has been suitably expanded to serve the community’s social and religious needs; as also, by servicing the sacred fire with the help of 4/5 mobed sahibs; a few of them even qualifying for free accommodation given their exigencies.

It is at this juncture that we need your blessings in the completion of the Reconstruction project of the  heritage fire temple; expanding as much as we legally can, within the framework of our land laws. This expansion entails the enlargement of the Anjuman Hall (Otla) as also, the balance work of the commercial wing, which would take care of the Trust’s future finances. The plans were approved by town planning as well as the heritage committee and the Thane municipality. The estimated cost for this project totals to about Rs. 3.3 crores.

We therefore humbly appeal to all our Philanthropist ZOROASTRIANS (and yet with a certain degree of pride, given its glorious history) to lend your active participation and patronage to this worthy cause and share with us the sweet burden of reconstructing the Agiary, its adjoining Community Hall and the half-completed commercial complex so as to help pass on the glory of our Zoroastrian tenets to its future generations. Do step forward with whatever contribution / donation you can to help, whether  it is  in a trickle or a torrent, to keep the fire of our micro community alive and thriving for generations to come.

Your contribution for cementing our heritage Agiary may please be sealed with a cheque or a demand draft favouring “The Thana Agiary Fund-Construction Account”   Address: Office, Thana Agiary Fund, Agiary Compound, Agiary Lane, Jambli Naka, THANE 400601. Maharashtra, INDIA.

Yours truly,

Thane Agiary Fund
Pervez Bhesania ( Trustee) +91-9820181818

Nilufer Jehangir Katrak – Medical Assistance

Medical Assistance Appeal for Mrs. Nilufer Jehangir Katrak

I have received an appeal from Mr. Jehangir Noshirwan Katrak for his wife Nilufer Katrak age 47 years. They live in Shapurji Bharucha Baug, Andheri.

Nilufer was diagnosed for breast cancer on February 4, 2010, and was operated for modified Radical Mastectomy on May 18, 2010 at Bharatiya Arogya Nidhi General Hospial by Dr.Ratna S. Parikh, General surgeon and Breast Specialist.

Jehangir is a part-time mobed  at  Patel Agiary in Andheri (west). Jehangir earns approx. Rs.200/- per day (depending only on availability of prayers to be done), Erv. Kersi Katila Panthaki of the Patel Agiary and who also resides at Shapurji Bharucha Baug, has referred this case.  Jehangir’s 83 year old father Mr. Noshirwan  J. Katrak, who has retired and lives at Umbergan (Gujarat State) sends him Rs.3,000/- per month. But his health is also failing now.  Jehangir does not have any other job from where he can earn a living. Jehangir also has 79 years old mother who lives with him in Bombay.  His wife Nilufer is a housewife who used cook and supply meals and Jehangir used to help her out at home. Since the operation she has been advised not to exert too much and hence the only income they used to have from supplying meals has been stopped.

Nilufer has been advised rest for at least another 1 year, till the wounds are completely healed and the test results shows she is out of danger. At the moment she is unable to make use of right hand.

They had applied to various charitable trusts, and have gratefully received a total sum of Rs.1,31,000/- (details of the fund received are with Jehangir).  The cost for the operation, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, medication etc. has gone above Rs.2,30,00/- which was met from their meager savings, as they do not have a Medical Policy or any other savings.

The income they have at the moment, from praying at the agiary  and what his father sends is not enough for the day to expenses + the medical cost.  Nilufer is required to go through all the tests again by April end, and they do not have any funds left to go for the check up.

All the Medical reports, receipts etc are available with them.

Katrak’s  live at the below address:

Mrs. Nilufer Jehangir  Katrak
Q/16, Shapurji Bharucha Baug,

S.V.Road, Andheri (west),

Bombay 400 058

Tel. 9221451747

Little help from all of us will help this couple tide over their difficult trying times. Whatever help you desire to extend to this couple will be greatly appreciated and Acknowledged.

You may, if you wish to help this couple,  please send your cheques/cash directly in the name of  Mrs. Nilufer Jehangir Katrak  at their address given above.

May God Bless you with abundance always, to extend a helping hand.

Thank You. Regards,

Thrity Yazdi Tantra – 9821754901

Benaifer Kushroo Mehta – 9892313020

Threads of Continuity

by Ashdeen Z Lilaowala

The Sudreh and Kusti have become universal symbols of the Zoroastrian faith. While there are no written records of when the kusti originated and it is not certain who wove or wore the first kusti, it is clear that it is a part of the Indo-Aryan sacred tradition. It is seen in the janoi of the Hindu tradition and in the cord worn over priestly garments in the Orthodox Church.

A kusti is made up of lamb’s wool or camel’s white hair representing the animal world. This white wool is considered to be an emblem of innocence and purity.

According to oral tradition, the 72 strands, from which the kusti is woven, represent the 72 chapters of the Yasna.. So, a Zoroastrian who ties his kusti with piety is said to have acquired the merit of performing the yasna ritual. In the Hormazd Yasht, 72 names of God are recited; the ritual then also becomes equivalent to its recitation.

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Courtesy : Jehangir Bisney