Remembering Zarin Dadina
My first association with Dr Zarine Pessi Dadina dates back to 1978, when I took my new born to this wonderful paediatrician in Kolkata. She continued as one to all the children in the family. Little did I know how Providence had brought us together. On a bigger, more beautiful and utterly holistic journey together. Once the birds left the nest, we once again bonded in a totally different and spectacular manner. This time Dr Dadina’s avatar in my life was as a mentor, guide, inspiration and a wonderful new journey began in 2001.
Dr Zarine P. Dadina was a being on a mission on Earth. Ordinance had willed her to serve and love the underprivileged and abandoned children of this world. While she headed the Assembly of God Hospital as its core spirit of service to humanity, one afternoon a foreigner friend walked in with a new born in her arms. The baby’s mother had died on the streets of Kolkata, uncared and unattended to. The new born would probably have met the same fate, had it not been for this kind hearted lady. So here was this baby, literally placed in Dr Dadina’s arms and requested to provide the necessary care and nutrition. She took the baby under her warm embrace and thus was born the Society For Indian Children’s Welfare from her garage!
Along the journey she warmly accepted women to join her journey. Guided them, medically headed the staff, mentored them, loved them and not to forget also scolded them if required!!!! Her love was boundless and her faith and commitment infectious. Whenever asked from where would the resources come…. She would confidently say….it will. And they came…. Multitudes joined us on this journey. This “home” thus grew into a beautiful adoption agency, recognised by the Central and State government. Till today nearly 2500 children and families have bonded in adoption and secured their love and future.
She was unstoppable. As the Organisation grew, different programs were added. Educational Support, Thalassemia and Heart Surgery support, a creche for nearly 200 underprivileged children availing education, medical assistance and nutrition. Likeminded women joined and headed the programs. Her heart was full when we reached out with the Special Needs Program in 2005! She was my solid guide, support, mentor to facilitate this program. At present we have two centres for children with disabilities and her dream was realised as we marched forward providing structured, professional intervention and rehabilitation to these children. She reached out to likeminded donors and friends who supported us through this period. She had no qualms asking for support and often joked…” I’m always ready with a begging bowl!”
Her wonderful, exuberant and highly motivating earthly journey ended on the 15th of December 2019. But legends never die. They carry on to live in their wonderful work and their legacy continues. She would not want us to rest and we shall not. The world is our oyster and she, our pearl!
(By the way, her pearl necklace, was her beautiful hall mark)
We miss her terribly, a vacuum never to be filled, but the work continues…….
Board Member and Program Administrator
(Kolkata Parsis remember Zarin Aunty with love. Many of our adopted children say they visit the centre on their birthdays and interact with the children at SICW)