Scholarships for Post Graduate Studies Abroad

A ladder for talent to rise.

The trustees of K.C. Mahindra Education Trust offer interest-free loan scholarships to Indian nationals for post-graduate studies abroad in various fields. Applications are invited for the K.C. Mahindra Scholarships for Post-Graduate Studies for the year 2012.
The maximum amount for the scholarships will be Rs. 2 lakhs per scholar, except for the 3 K.C. Mahinclra fellow scholarships for which the maximum amount will be Rs. 8 lakhs per scholar.

Applicants for the scholarships are required to satisfy the following conditions:
• They must possess a FIRST CLASS degree or an equivalent diploma of similar standard from a recognised Indian university.
• They must have secured admission or have applied for admission in reputable foreign universities for courses commencing from September, 2012 but not later than February, 2013.

Candidates studying in the FINAL YEAR of the degree or diploma courses are also eligible to apply, provided they produce their final year certificate before 30th June, 2012.
Application forms can be collected from K.C. Mahindra Education Trust, Cecil Court, 3rd Floor, Near Regal Cinema, Mahakavi Bhushan Marg, Mumbai-400001 or downloaded from and submitted in the prescribed format. Prescribed application forms duly filled in by the applicants together with necessary enclosures must reach the Trust Office before 31st March, 2012.

The final interview of the candidates will take place in the month of July, 2012. The interview date will be intimated to the selected candidates by the end of May, 2012.
For more details log on to



Yatha Ahu Vairyo Mohalla

Did you all know there was a locality called,  `Yatha Ahu Vairyo Mohalla‘ near the Crawford Market in Bombay where Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy was born.  Here is some very interesting information on Sir JJ.

Parsee Thy name begins with Charity – is well explained hereunder

Please read on :-

One of the nicest things to have happened in the city recently, has been the restoration of the portrait of Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, First Baronet, a great son of India.

For this, we have to thank Kekoo Gandhy (of Gallery Chemould and Chemould Frames) for his efforts in initiating the restoration work at the J. J. School of Art, and Hungarian painter Laslo Seres, who did the job with enthusiasm and skill, not charging a cent for it. This is called a true labour of love, and perhaps no single individual in the history of Bombay city deserves it more than the philanthropic Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, whose entire life was a personification of charity.

Philatelist Vispi S. Dastoor, an illustrious and industrious research scholar of the Parsi community, provides us with the following interesting facts on the life and times of the noble Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, who was born to a poor Parsi family and became an orphan at a very early age. Yet, he left behind a legacy of tremendous compassion and charity for the citizens of Mumbai.

Jamsetjee, the youngest son of cloth weaver Jeejeebhoy and his wife, Jeevibai, was born at the `Yatha Ahu Vairyo Mohalla’ near the Crawford Market in Bombay  on July 15, 1783.   He lost his parents early in life, and did not have the blessings of a formal education, something he greatly missed and which prompted to open several boys and girls schools and colleges in the city when he became an affluent man in later years.
But life was hard for the young Jamsetjee. He began as an unschooled apprentice to his uncle, Framji Batlivala (notice the appropriateness of the surname!), who sold empty glass bottles out of a shop at Fort. During the three years that he worked with his uncle, he obtained his first hand experience of trade and commerce, and also studied Gujarati, English and elementary accountancy by the dint of his own efforts.
Tales of the achievements and exploits of Hirji Readymoney (notice the `bawaji’ surname again!), the first Parsi trader to visit China in 1756, inspired Jamsetjee to undertake a voyage to China himself. It was the subsequent voyages that brought him immense wealth. Those were the days when widespread smuggling of silk and opium by unscrupulous traders was taking place, but from the beginning, Jamsetjee displayed his integrity. Although he was then only 17 years old, Bombay businessmen extended finance and credit to the extent of Rs. 40,000 (a grand sum in those days), in recognition of the young Parsi’s genius for commerce.

Through hazardous voyages to and fro, he amassed great fortunes, but tragedy struck him on February 18, 1803, when the great fire of Bombay, that burnt half of Fort, reduced Jamsetjee’s home and wealth to ashes. During those trying days when hundreds of people were rendered homeless, two Parsi businessmen came to their rescue. Naoroji Sett opened the doors of his bungalow to home the homeless, and Pestonji Bomanji Wadia gave food to hundreds at his palace at Parel.   Jamsetjee was not one to cower under misfortune. He
undertook his voyages to China again, and made good his losses. By the age of 40, he had made over two crore rupees, a staggering sum in those days. Further riches came to him from cotton trade during the Napoleonic Wars. He bought his own fleet of ships. Said Lord Elphinstone, then Governor of Bombay, of Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, ‘By strict integrity, by industry and punctuality in all his commercial
transactions, he contributed to raise the character of the Bombay merchant in the most distant markets.’

All along, Jamsetjee’s partner was his uncle with whom he began his humble career as an bottle-seller, Framjee Batlivala, whose daughter, Avabai, became Jamsetjee’s wife when he was 20, and she ten. They enjoyed wedded bliss for 56 years, had seven sons and three daughters, of which four sons and two daughters died in infancy.

After the death of his uncle (and father-in-law) Jamsetjee took Motichand  Amichand  and Mohomedali Rogay  as his partners in the firm Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy and Co., and their efforts were enormously successful.
Side by side with his business activities, Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy undertook several charitable projects, all of a cosmopolitan nature. He spent Rs. 1,45,403 to set up the Sir J. J. Dharamshala at Bellasis Road, and till today immumerable old and destitute people receive free
food, clothing, shelter and medicines. All their needs for the past 150 years, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, have been looked after by the Dharamshala, the first free home for the elderly in Asia.

Jamsetjee later founded the J. J. Hospital and the Grant Medical College (named after his friend Sir Robert Grant, then Governor of Bombay). He also insituted, for a sum of Rs. 18,000, the Sir J.J. Books, Prizes and Medals Fund in order to encourage medical students, and in 1851, for the benefit of poor women, he opened the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy Obstretics Institution.

Before 1845, there was no land communication between Bandra and Mahim and people had to be ferried over the Mahim Creek. It was dangerous, and during the monsoons,  countless people would lose their lives on dubious and unrealiable ferry services. Jamsetjee spent Rs. 1,55,800 in order to build the Mahim Causeway, that was justly named after his wife, Lady Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy. Not only did it
save countless lives, but even today, it is a boon to all of us who live in the suburbs. Yet, such is the wretched pettiness of our present day politicians that the Mahim Causeway was recently renamed after someone much less worthy.

Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy had to his credit 126 notable public charities, including the Sir J. J. School of Arts, the Sir J. J. School of Architecture, the Sir J. J. School of Commercial Art. As his fame spread, the residents of Poona approached him to build a bund in order to contain the raging waters of the Mulla and Mutha rivers, and the kind man obliged.

He built wells and tanks all over Bombay, hospitals and schools in Surat and Navsari, Agiaries in Bombay and Poona. His charity was not just confined to human beings. He contributed Rs. 80,000 to a Panrapole for animals, distributed money for the feeding of stray dogs, built water places for cattle and horses.

For all his good work, he became the first Indian upon whom Knighthood was conferred.  Queen Victoria conferred  baronetcy on the first Indian knight, Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy who was 74-years-old at that time.

He died two years later, and never before and never after Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy has Bombay had a son with such a large heart. His charities alone are estimated at over Rs. 100 crore, God bless his soul.

The reason we are telling his story in such detail is that, perhaps, it just might inspire some other young man or young woman who could emulate the example of this poor orphan who made a fortune and disbursed it amongst his fellow citizens.

Yes, Bombay, in the next millenium, needs another Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy.

Navjote Ceremony

Initiation ceremony of Zoroastrians

Irani Zoroastrians term this ceremony as (Dari) SEDRA PUSHAN =”Putting on the sacred undershirt” while Parsi Zoroastrians refer it to as (Ps.Guj) NAVJOTE=”New Born”

By.Dr. Pallan Ichaporia, Ph.D.

(Copy righted No parts to be reproduced except with author’s permission)

Zoroastrians must be properly initiated by ordained priests into the religious community. In the ancient times this occurred at the age of fifteen, the ancient Iranian age of maturity to become responsible for his or her religious, moral and communal life (See: Yast 8[Tir],13-14 and Videvdat 18.54)

According to Videvdat (Vendidad): “Then the she-demon who is the Lie replied,” O Sraosha, truthful and well formed one, of these males indeed this the fourth one, a male whore who after his fifteen year walks forth without either the sacred girdle or undershirt” (Videvdat 18,54). This warning from the Spirit of Evil underscores the emphasis placed on the proper initiation into the Zoroastrian faith.

During the initiation ceremony the candidate wears a sacred white undershirt (Phl. SHABIG; N.P. SHABI,SUDRA; Dari.SEDRA; Parsi Guj. SUDRA, SUDRE), and a sacred girdle (Av. AIWYANGHANA; Pz.AIWAYANGHANA; Pahl. KUSTIG; N.P and Parsi Guj.KUSTI) (Note: Av. AIWYANGHNA (AIWI+YANGHANA(AIWI+YAH)) =to girdle). The initiation seems to be based on the ancient Indo-Iranian custom of investing only the male members of society with a sacred girdle as a sign of their membership within the community.

A similar practice persists to-day among Hindus where male members of the three upper castes (Skt. VARNA) are ceremonially invested with a sacred cord at the time generally called the ceremony of the Second Birth (Skt. UPANAYANA) conducted between the ages of eight and twelve (See: Gonda: Vedic Ritual, 1980, 42, 153-154). The sacred cord is knotted by an ordained Hindu priest and worn under the clothes diagonally around the body over the right shoulder and under the left arm. Hindus never untie this cord but slip it aside and step out of it when necessary.

The pre-Zoroastrian origin of the rite of initiation is found in ‘Dadestan-i-Denig’, where it is clearly stated that king Yima Xshaeta (Jamshid) introduced the sacred girdle, centuries before Zarathushtra (See D-i-D:39, 18-19). This initiation rite has been practiced since the the earliest years of the faith and there can not be any second opinion about it. The age of initiation into the faith of Zarathushtra was gradually lowered with the present day Irani Zoroastrians undergoing it between twelve and fifteen and with Parsi Zoroastrians initiating their children at the age of seven. This may be due to influence of Hinduism. Irani Zoroastrians term this ceremony as (Dari) SEDRA PUSHAN =”Putting on the sacred undershirt” while Parsi Zoroastrians refer it to as (Ps.Guj) NAVJOTE=”New Born”

As in Hindusim, the Zoroastrian initiation symbolizes spiritual rebirth or second birth. After their initiations, Zoroastrians must ritually untie and tie the sacred girdle very time they pray or perform Padyab-Kushti. Sadra and Kustig must be worn every day and night during the life time of each and every individual. It is a grievous sin for an initiated Zoroastrian to abstain from wearing the girdle (Kustig) and undershirt (Sadra), a condition termed “SCAMBLING AROUND NAKED” (Phl. AISHAD DWARISHNIH). According to SHAYEST-NE SHAYEST (4:10): “The sin of scrambling around naked, up to three steps, is a FRAMAN [for] each step; at the fourth step [it becomes] a TANAPUHL.

The Padyab-Kustig is performed before a Zoroastrian can engage in any religous activity as it ensures the purity of his body and soul. It is enjoined that this ritual be performed early each morning on rising from sleep, prior to religious act of eating, before ablutions, at the beginning of each of the five periods of the day and after urination and excretion. (Although this may be hard to follow but one will still find most ordained Zoroastrian priests and devout Zoroastrians still true to this ancient tradition). ALL ZOROASTRIANS do undergo the ablution on entering the premises of a fire-temple, to ensure that every religious act they perform is done so in the state of purity of body and soul. The Padyab-Kushti ritual, because it involves the performance of a purification rite, differs from the simple Kushti ceremony, in which a ritually clean person unties and reties the KUSHTI without first performing ablutions; the simple Kusti ceremony is referred as “MAKING NEW THE SACRED GIRDLE” (N.P.:KUSTI NAW KARDAN ) or “TYING THE SACRED GIRDLE” (PGj.: KUSTI BASTAN).

The main principle underlying this ceremony is to providing religious purity for the performance of religious functions as praying, approaching the sacred fires, attending funeral ceremonies (before and after), eating etc. This simple and beautiful rite thus ensures a Zoroastrian to maintain a state of socio-ritual purity of his/her body and soul at all time.

Best regards,

Dr. Pallan R. Ichaporia.

Initiation ceremony of Zoroastrians

By.Dr. Pallan Ichaporia, Ph.D.

(Copy righted No parts to be reproduced except with author’s permission)

Reproduced With permission from the Author

Rustom I

Here’s a significant contribution by a Parsee to our country’s development in aeronautics, which is perhaps little known, but amply recognised by the government of our country. Thought some of us would like to know about it. 

Some of us, who were present at the recent WZCC AGM, may have realized that both the brothers mentioned in the mail below were present amongst us.  

– Hoshang.



It is a proud moment in history to see India’s UAV Drone (pilotless aircraft) named after a Zoroastrian aeronautics engineer, designer and project leader that produced the prototype at at Bangalore, the late Professor Dr. Rustom Behramji Damania, included in this year’s (2012) India’s Republic Day Parade on 26th January. The picture was provided by Dr. Rustom Damania’s older brother Minocheher, a mechanical engineer, from Mumbai, India, and forwarded to me by his younger brother Dr. Ardeshir B. Damania who works as a crop plant geneticist at University of California, Davis.

Maneck Bhujwala

Rustom-I, a medium altitude long endurance UAV, takes-off and lands like a conventional aircraft from a very short runway.

An outdoor pilot standing on the ground close to the runway exercises the take-off and landing of the U

AV, and after take-off hands over the control to an indoor pilot, operating from the ground control station, for carrying out rest of the mission. Payload operator controls the various payloads from ground control station to capture essential video pictures and data.

Rustom-I can fly for 12 to 15 hours, at speeds up to 250 km per hour. It is intended to be used for surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, fire correction and battlefield damage assessment. Further development of its use as a weapon delivery mechanism cannot be ruled out.

The UAV is likely to be inducted in all three wings of the Indian armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) and internal security organizations such as, the state police forces, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police, and the Coast Guard in the near future.

Ardeshir B. Damania
Davis, CA

1st International Day of Service (Zoroastrians Stepping Forward)

 1st International Day of Service (Zoroastrians Stepping Forward)
Zoroastrians Stepping Forward (ZSF), a NextGenNow (NGN) initiative, is an international day of service that will be led by local chapters on May 5th, 2012.  Associations are encouraged to organize a day of fun and host a shoe drive to support local charities. This event will help raise awareness about the importance of shoes in enhancing the physical, mental and emotional lives of disadvantaged individuals. Furthermore, it is an opportunity for the Zoroastrian community to gather and celebrate philanthropy and health.
We are inviting every center, as well as remote populations, to join in on this inaugural event. Together we can foster unity within our community both locally and globally.
Please refer to the attached documents for more information.
Resource Manual– Contains information about ZSF and a guide for associations to plan their day of service.
Media Packet– Contains sample documents for customization (letter to members, newsletter article, poster/flier).
Guidebook for Religious Class Teachers– Contains lesson and project ideas for teachers to educate their students in the areas of poverty and social service.
Behrose Taraporewalla, ZSF Chair

Mantreh Atashband, NGN Director

Behrose B. Taraporewalla,
“I am in the world to change the world”–Kathe Kollwitz

Situational Analysis of the Elderly Parsis in India

Situational Analysis of the Elderly Parsis in India

–         S. Siva Raju

–         Tata Institute of Social Sciences

–         Deonar, Mumbai – 400 088.


Study sponsored by




India’s demographic transition, though it has decisively entered the second phase, exhibits wide variations across different religious groups. While most of the communities are still in this second phase, there are certain religious groups, most significantly the ‘Parsis’ who have entered the final stage of demographic transition. The data on population dynamics among the Parsis reveal that they have been experiencing a consistent decline in their population over a period of time. The Parsi population constitutes less than 0.01 per cent of the total population of the country. The age structure of the Parsi population shows that it is an ageing community, as the birth and death rates have declined. As a secondary effect, this has further reduced the proportion of children, resulting in ageing from the base.  The per cent of elderly population in the total population is as high as 31.0 per cent, as per the 2001 Census. In view of the high proportion of the Parsi elderly, their problems are multiple, viz., social, economic, psychological and physical including health. A scientific study of the elderly Parsis was attempted, mainly, to understand their living conditions in terms of their demographic background, socio-economic and health conditions, family and social involvement.

Click Here to Download the full report

Parsi (Zoroastrian) Fire Temple, Calcutta (Kolkata)

The present fire temple of Anjuman Atash Adran was established in 1912 by  Ervad Dhunjeebhoy Byramjee Mehta and operates to this day. Anjuman Atash Adran Temple is located on the Metcalfe Street (Popularly called the Bandook Gali) in the Boubazar area of Central Calcutta (Kolkata).

The Parsi are fire worshipers and the holy flame eternally burns in the Parsi Fire Temple. The Parsi Temple is out of reach of Non Parsis . But the during the first week of December 2010 the temple was repaired and holy fire removed from the alter. Non Parsis were allowed in the Fire Temple and I was lucky enough to shoot inside the temple.

Click here for the full story with some interesting photos.

Three Eminent Parsis in Padma List

The President of India has approved the conferment of PadmaAwards-2012. This year the President has approved 109 awards including one duo case (counted as one) and 14 in the category of Foreigners/ NRIs/ PIOs/ Posthumous. These comprise 5 Padma Vibhushan, 27 PadmaBhushan and 77 Padma Shri Awards. There are 19 ladies among the awardees.

Padma Awards, the country’s highest civilian awards, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in all disciplines/ fields of activities, viz. art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.

The Parsis included are :

Padma Bhushan

Dr. Noshir H Wadia

Medicine-Neurology Maharashtra
Dr. Homi K.Bhabha

Literature and Education UK *

Padma Shree

Shri Yezdi Hirji Malegam Public Affairs Maharashtra

Click Here for the full Press Release

Courtesy : Jehangir Bisney

13th Zoroastrian Games Registration Now Open

Dear Friends,

The Zoroastrian Society of Ontario (ZSO) and the Zoroastrian Sports Committee (ZSC) proudly announce that registration for this year’s games are now open! We invite you to take advantage of our early bird deadline of March 22, 2012 and register to attend and participate in the 13th Zoroastrian Games in Toronto, ON Canada. We encourage you to register early as all spots for athletes, housing, and social events will be on a first-come-first-serve basis – and we tend to reach capacity very fast.

For more information and to register please visit any of the following webistes:

If you have any questions, please email us at:

What: The 13th Zoroastrian Games

When: June 29 – July 3, 2012
Where: The Magnificent York University

We look forward to seeing you in Toronto on June 29- July 3rd 2012!


Zoroastrian Society of Ontario (2012 Host Committee)


Zoroastrian Sports Committee