Peace award for Feroze Patch
promotion of secularism without gender bias. The 69-year-old is trustee and honorary secretary of the Hindustani Prachar Sabha (HPS), an educational NGO (nongovernmental organization) founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 to promote Hindustani, the common man’s language. “This was to be a link between Urdu and the high flown Hindi, and serve as a link language between Hindus and Muslims, thus promoting communal harmony,” Patch informed Parsiana over the telephone.
How did a professional who specialized in dealing with dangerous substances such as inflammable goods become a harbinger of peace, Parsiana queried? Patch revealed that he joined the HPS in 2010 on payment of Rs 250 after attending a meeting with a friend 10 months prior. “My curiosity had been aroused by the work being done by the NGO and I later became a trustee, a post held for life and then honorary secretary, which is for a three-year term,” he shared. “The NGO is active in promoting education by opening libraries in schools and colleges and has even started one at Poona’s Yerwada Jail,” he added.
Interestingly, the NGO was co-started by Dadabhai Naoroji’s granddaughters, Perin and Goshiben Captain. In earlier years, educationist and Gandhian Dr Aloo Dastur was president of HPS, Patch mentioned.
Parsiana, Monday, 21-Nov-2016, Page 15: