Category Archives: Collective Giving

Aid to Iran – Rejoinder From Parzor

This is to bring to your notice that the Article that has been published in the Jame-e- Jamshed of 22 March 2020, under the heading “Parzor Appeal for Iran  Zoroastrians Afflicted by the Dreaded Coronavirus” was not intended to be brought into the public domain.

Neither WZOT nor Parzor Foundation, as Indian NGOs  is permitted to collect any Donation for any Organization or Individual outside India. Therefore Parzor Foundation cannot receive any Donation- Indian or Foreign for this purpose in the Vijaya Bank Account whose details have unfortunately been given in the Article. Hence any money transferred to this account cannot be used for this purpose.

The appeal made several days ago was for private circulation and was not meant for Individuals to sent money directly to the Parzor Account. Dr Shernaz Cama has been to facilitating individuals who would like to help for this worthwhile cause and is extremely grateful for the community response in support of this cause. However given the nature of the Parzor Organization it is NOT possible to accept money in Parzor accounts.

All individuals who would like to support the cause may please first contact Dr Shernaz Cama at shernazcama@hotmail.com and she will explain to you how you could help.

CORONA VIRUS AND YAZD, IRAN – URGENT help needed

 Dear All,

You must have seen Homi Gandhi’s email appeal, if not it is below my letter for your reference. I am working closely with him to help all Iranians. Since this last week the situation at Yazd, Iran is critical and many are affected by the Coronavirus.

We at Parzor have been in touch with Mr. Sepanta Niknam, President Yazd Zarthusti Association and Council Member of Yazd. They are in desperate need of help and medicines. Due to Sanctions, people are dying and we need to come together and work to help the Iranians as much as we can. Since you may be able to help I am giving details below.

If you can contribute money by wire transfer in Indian rupees to Parzor for medicines of which we need 10,000 Tamiflu, 12,000 Kaletra and Injection of Actimera for 100 people, protective gear etc., please send your donation as per the details given below.

Vijaya Bank Details for Indian Rupee donations

(This is superseded now, please read below)

Bank Name:-                   Vijaya Bank

Account Name:                Parzor Foundation

Account No:-                   xxxxxxxxxx

IFSC Code:-                     xxxxxxxxxx

Address:-                          NO D 65, Hauz Khas Market,

Hauz Khas, New Delhi, 110016

Type of Account :-           Saving Account

Phone No. :-                     011-26963242/ 26969614/ 9312941107

Customer ID No.:-            xxxxxxxx

MICR No:                         xxxxxxxx

INR cheques to “Parzor Foundation” should be sent to the following address:-

Dr. Shernaz Cama/ Dr. Niloufer Shroff

Parzor Foundation,

F-17, Hauz Khas Enclave,

New Delhi-110016

India

T: 011 26513560/ 41626248

However if you are only sending in foreign exchange eg: Australian/ US dollars/ GBP, please send it to WZO as per the instructions to be given by Dinshaw Tamboly. WZO should get the foreign donation from you with a specific note that it is for humanitarian assistance to Yazd Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences Hospital.

This is because while Parzor has a FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) we are a research organization and not a Registered Charity. Hence all donations to the FCRA account are meant only for projects in India.

It has been very difficult and stressful to work at this speed but even this morning one more Zarthusthi has died in the hospital. We are all under lockdown in Delhi and cannot move out. Our own country needs the drugs, as does all of Europe; hence I have had to reach out to very special people for help. It is very good of Homi Gandhi and Dinshaw Tamboly to offer help but our greatest thanks should go to Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla for his donation and Dr. Yusuf Hamied, Chairman Cipla, London, who without knowing me personally has put his Indian staff at our disposal through Karan Bilimoria.

These medicines are NOT available for sale and I am only getting them because of Dr. Yusuf Hamied’s understanding of the crisis in Iran.

Our community must realize that they are very expensive eg: for 200 tablets  of Tamiflu we have already paid Rs. 98,000/- + tax. We need 10,000 tablets for Yazd and 12,000 of Kaletra (which are so far not available and will cost around the same amount if not more). This will itself come to around Rs. 20 lakhs. The injections Actimera 200, which are saving lives, are not available in India – we are trying to source them in Switzerland for 100 critical patients at Yazd.

Dr. Poonawalla’s kind donation of Rs. 10 lakhs has gone to purchase the urgent requirement of 2 ventilators which are being shipped out to me in Delhi for dispatch to Iran tomorrow. We are hoping to get 50 Covid 19 testing sets directly from Canada to Iran from his second kind donation of Rs. 10 lakhs. The Iranians and all humanitarians are extremely indebted to him.

We have also put together Rs. 3 lakhs from our own funds, for some of the protective gear, which only Dr. Poonawalla’s people have been able to source for us. Much more gear is required but we just do not have the funds.

All this needs coordination across the world and difficult Customs clearance in Delhi and Tehran. I have been doing this nonstop and it is emotionally and physically draining. If anyone else can help, I will be grateful.

Thanks and warm regards,

Shernaz Cama

Dear all,
We are grateful for the community response received for support to Iran. While Parzor has been able to mobilize some funds in our account and sent the first consignment of medicines, given the nature of our organisation we cannot accept any more money into the Parzor Foundation account. 
We request everyone to not transfer any money to the Parzor Foundation account. Should you like to donate funds towards the purchase of medicines/ medical equipment for Iran please we will request you to send the money directly to the medical supplier. KINDLY NOTE THAT YOU MUST SEND US AN EMAIL WITH THE DETAILS OF THE DONATION MADE FOR US TO BE ABLE TO REGULATE THE FUNDS AND CORRESPONDING MEDICINE BOUGHT. 
The details for the bank transfer are as below:
Lucknow Medical Agencies Lajpat Nagar 
Bank name Union Bank Of India Lajpat nagar    
A/c no 349401010928578 
Ifsc code UBIN0534943
Mobile: +91 98110 09573
Mail Id: lucknowmedicalln@gmail.com (Rajiv Kumar)
Thanks and warm regards,
Shernaz Cama

Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America

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Fellow Zarathushtis,

Iranians have been widely affected by the current Pandemic Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus has also affected our small community in Yazd and Tehran. More than 40 Zoroastrians are affected by this pandemic. Available information is incomplete because there are no collective data for Zoroastrians from all over the country. Information available from Sepanta Niknam, Chairman-Yazd Zoroastrian Association and Member-Yazd City council, and Mobed Mehraban Firouzgary are below

— 4 deaths in Yazd (3 men & 1 woman) & 1 in Tehran.
— 8 are in ICU in Yazd,
— 11 in infectious ward in Yazd

There is a long list of medicines and medical supplies needed by Iranians; list sent to and published by United Nations agencies (sent by Iranian Foreign Minister), and which is forwarded to me by Dr. Ekhtiyari, Zoroastrian member of Majlis, via Mobed Firouzgary.

Sepanta Niknam has requested the following medicines and supplies.
“Our urgent needs for hospitals and preventive care teams are:
1. Drugs for treatment of Covid-19: Oseltamivir (tamiflu) and kaletra (lopinavir)
2. Laboratory kits for detection of Covid 19
3. Adult ventilator for intensive care
4. Protection personal kits and Masks”

And Sepanta has also requested whether Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla or any medical charity can help in securing and transporting the above supplies to Yazd and Tehran.

We call upon all Zoroastrians of the world to help our community members and people of Iran to come through this pandemic.

HAMA ZOR! HAMA ASHO BADE!
MAY WE ALL BE UNITED IN STRENGTH IN RIGHTEOUSNESS!

Homi D Gandhi
President, FEZANA

Tanya Computer Centre

Speaking at the 13th Convocation ceremony of Tanya Computer Centre, Founder Tanya Balsara, herself blind and who has personally taught 250 blind students and made them computer literate, most of whom have got jobs in Public Sector said, “I seek your help in spreading the word to all 8.8 million blind people in India that nothing can be more enabling, empowering and liberating as computer literacy can be, for the blind”.

Speaking on the occasion of the 13th Convocation of Tanya Computer Centre, she requested everybody present to atleast introduce one blind person to computer education. She said, she has personally experienced the difference computer literacy has made to her life and therefore her Vision is to see  all 8.8 million blind Indians computer literate. She also said, this would tremendously add to our GDP and help achieve our Prime Minister’s dream of making India a 5 trillion dollar economy.

 

Elaborating on her vision, Tanya mentioned that if the government could help set up only 880 Computer Centres, with a capacity of 20 seats each, then 50% of the 8.8 million would be covered in 12 ½  years. Estimating that each center would cost Rs. 20,00,000/- to set up and Rs. 7,00,000/- per year to run, the total cost would work out to Rs. 124 crore per year. She said, “In other words with just Rs. 1,550 crore spent over 12 ½  years, half the blind population would be covered and would be able to enter India’s work force. I hope to make a proposal to the HRD Ministry and I am sure with your good wishes, the government should take a serious interest in executing it.”

Tanya Computer Centre, which until recently operated from only one Centre, now has 5 Centres with 4 Centres opening last year in Gujarat; one each in Ahmedabad; Sayla village, Saurashtra; Kapadwanj, Khera and Dessa, Banaskantha, thanks to Tanya Computer Centre’s association with Blind Peoples Association, Ahmedabad. Three additional Centres are expected to come up in Jodhpur, Valsad and one additional Centre in South Bombay, the latter 2,  thanks to the courtesy of Sir Jamshetji Jeejibhoy Trust.

 

Dr. Sam Taraporevala, himself blind, Executive Director, Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) was the Guest of Honour at the Convocation and said, “I do not believe that in today’s India, with the benefit of computer literacy, any blind person should consider himself at a disadvantage, compared to the sighted. He also had an important message for the Blind. “Do not consider yourself to be VIP- Visually Impaired Person.” He asked students which is the best nation in the world and answered,_ Determination!

 

Said Sam Balsara, Chairman, Madison World, “We are delighted to have adopted the cause of computer literacy for the blind in India. Seeing the change that Tanya went through after becoming computer literate and the change in her students, I am convinced that this is the most liberating and beneficial act that anyone and the government can do for the blind.”

Tanya Computer Centre is supported by Madison Resource Foundation the CSR unit of Madison World, India’s largest homegrown Communications Company. Tanya Computer Centre offers free Computer Education to all blind persons. Access to corporate funding through Madison Resource Foundation has enabled Tanya Computer Centre to expand and thereby make computer education accessible to more persons.

 

For more information, please contact Enid D’Souza, 08879556946

 

Mumbai, February 23, 2020:

Let us get together and support a very talented individual Ava Mehta

For all of you who know Ava Mehta and for all of you, who, like me, know her through her wonderful work ‘The story of our Religion – Zoroastrianism’, this is for you.
Ava is currently battling grueling cancer and the financial impact of the illness has left her stressed. A kind parent from her current school in the UK, has set up a campaign for her. When I came across it, I thought it only right to share with the community to which Ava has so greatly contributed. Here is her campaign –https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/avamehta
Ava’s illustrations and the story in her first book made religion so much fun and exciting for me as a young girl, I am sure many of you loved her book too. (If you haven’t laid your eyes on it, you’ve been missing out, young Zarathushtis!) It was one of my favorite books growing up and it is one of the only childhood books that I still have with me and I am ready to now read to my children. Her whimsical illustrations and cute storylines made me laugh and return to re-read the book with so much enthusiasm. I will always be grateful for this gift you have given to me and my family Ava!
Ava has her second book published (Please do contact me for details delzinchoksey(at)gmail.com). She is also working on her third book amidst her chemotherapy, which in itself is an arduous task! Let’s get together and support Ava and leave her to only draw for the wonderful little children who’s life she unwittingly is changing – one beautiful book at a time.
Delzin Choksey
Founder, Crispy Doodles

 

Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy 150th Death Anniversary Medical Scheme for Parsee Senior Citizens Patients with Chronic Ailments

Applications are invited from Parsee Zoroastrian Senior Citizens who reside in Mumbai, Pune, Udvada, Valsad, Navsari and Surat and whose family income is below Rs 5 lakh per annum.

Applications are also invited from Parsee patients (regardless of age and residence), whose family income is below Rs 5 lakh per annum, and are suffering from any of the following chronic ailments

  • Cancer
  • Renal Failure
  • Heart / Lung Disease / Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Neurological Diseases
  • Liver Disorders
  • Psychological Disorder

After careful scrutiny and personal interviews (if necessary), Applicants shall be selected on the basis of age, income, family support, medical record, etc. Selected persons shall be entitled to receive reimbursement of medical expenses upto a maximum amount of Rupees Fifty thousand (Rs 50,000/-) per annum

Application Forms may be collected (at Rs 20/- each) between 3rd February and 16th March 2020 (between 10.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. only) from any of the following centres

  1. Sir J J Charity Fund, Kalpataru Heritage Bldg, 5th Floor, 127 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Mumbai 400 001.
  2. Sir J J Agiary, 826, Dastur Meher Road, Pune 411001
  3. Sir J J Dharamshala, Sea View Street, Udvada, 396 180.
  4. Sett R J J High School, Tithal Road, Valsad 396 001
  5. Jamshed Baug, Sir J J Marg, Charpool, Navsari 396 445
  6. Surat Parsee Punchayat, Dr J Lashkari Road, Shahpore, Surat 395003

Application Forms duly completed with all necessary supporting attachments should be submitted, either personally or by Registered Post, to Sir J J Charity Fund, at the address mentioned (at Sr. No 1) above, on or before 31st March 2020. Those persons who are presently covered under this Scheme need not re-apply.

Murnbai, 24th January 2020

Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal And Son Kaizad Felicitated With Karmaveer Puruskar Maharatna Award

On 26th November, 2019, our Community’s and India’s leading performer and activist, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and her son, Kaizaad Kotwal, were felicitated with the prestigious ‘Karmaveer Puruskar Maharatna Award’ in New Delhi, as part of a Rex and UN initiative. They received this honour for their great contribution to women’s empowerment in combatting violence against women and girls.

With her son, Kaizad, Mahabanoo established The Make-A-Difference Foundation in 2008, dedicated to the cause of battered and abused women as also individual victims of abuse, across all strata, irrespective of religion, caste and creed. The Foundation has done great work in the bastis of Dharavi. The Make-A-Difference Foundation has been created to raise awareness for and funds towards ending violence against women and children, across India. Through this foundation Mahabanoo has collaborated with luminaries including Eve Ensler, Oscar-winning actors – Jane Fonda and Marisa Tomei, and Bollywood personalities and artists – Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar, Imran Khan, Loveleen Tandan, Chitrangada Singh, Mansi Scott, Suchitra Pillai, Usha Uthup and others. The Foundation works at every strata of society with a variety of projects and program in urban schools and colleges, alongside economically disenfranchised women in the ‘bastis’ of Mumbai.

Speaking to Parsi Times, Mahabanoo said, “Apart from my work in theatre, I use the Arts to bring about social change and towards the empowerment of women, across the board. I have started a group called ‘The Empathy Meeting’, where women meet once a month. The tag line of this group is ‘Share, Support, Survive’. It’s a totally free group where there are absolutely no charges.”

A leading activist and a performer of great repute, Mahabanoo is an actor, director and producer in film, television, theatre and radio, with over 60 national and global credits to her name. A social justice advocate working diligently for women’s empowerment in ending violence against women globally, Mahabanoo has received numerous awards and honours in India and across the world, for her untiring efforts. In 2018, she received the inaugural ‘HER’ and ‘WOW’ (Women of Wonder) Awards for exemplary women achievers in various fields. In 2011, she received the prestigious Karmaveer Puraskar award.

As the owner of Poor-Box Productions, one of India’s premiere theatre companies, Mahabanoo has produced, directed and starred in some of India’s most critically acclaimed works and the longest  running shows in English and Hindi including Shirley ValentineArt(W)Hole In The Head! and now in its seventeenth year in India, The Vagina Monologues (in Hindi and English).

In August 2019, Mahabanoo directed 11 American women in ‘The Vagina Monologues’ to raise funds for three charities – ‘Rape Response’, ‘Centrepoint’ and ‘Adult Literacy’, with amateur actors. “The ‘Vagina Monologues’ will enter its 18th year of performance in 2020. I hope to open its Gujarati version early in 2020,” says Mahabanoo.

Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal And Son Kaizad Felicitated With Karmaveer Puruskar Maharatna Award

Samvaad Fellowship 2019

Samvaad Fellowship 2019 is a chance for tribal youth to undertake a project, through a research proposal or a social action initiative, to work on cultural aspects concerning their tribal community. Application form is enclosed.

Here is the application form:

T A T A  S T E E L  C S R

SAMVAAD FELLOWSHIP 2019

A P P L I C A T I O N  B R O C H U R E

YOUR CHANCE, FOR YOUR TRIBE

PURPOSE

Samvaad, a platform for exchanging ideas and thoughts on tribalism in India, turns 6 this year. Over these years, tribal communities from the length and breadth of the country and overseas have converged on this platform and have taken the lead in initiating discourse on issues that govern them. Each edition has been a meeting ground from over 1,200 tribal artists, development practitioners, social activists and experts from different walks of life.

Samvaad is now fast growing as an eco-system where tribal thoughts and voices manifest in various forms – be it a discourse, documentaries, music collaboration or a work of research. A platform that it offers is supporting unique initiatives in preserving tribal culture through the Samvaad Fellowship.

The past four years of Samvaad, a pan-India tribal conclave, organized by Tata Steel Corporate Social Responsibility division, have brought us in contact with simple yet profound problems and solutions articulated by tribal people themselves. This is why we launched the Samvaad Fellowship that seeks to extend Samvaad footprints across the nation through promoting tribal culture as ideated by the tribal communities themselves.

The fellowship will encompass initiatives which are aligned towards conservation of any indigenous practice from tribal culture particularly on language, art, rituals and customs which are vulnerable to being lost and will adversely impact the unique identity of the community. There can be an array of proposals but focusing on culture preservation and promotion. The key is to let the artists bring out their dreams for preserving and promoting their cultural practices and provide the same with initial financial support and mentoring.

Samvaad Fellowship is in its Third year, and over the last two years, it has extended support to projects working on preservation of tribal language, culture, artet al . In 2107 the fellowship was awarded to three individuals who worked on preservation of their languages through development of the scripts, creation of primers as well as dictionaries and magazines for promotion. Further in 2018 we were able to extend support to more individuals who brought in ideas which were highly important and vulnerable like Peace Building and conflict resolution through Morung building, Preserving and promoting Oraon art, documenting Dehvali Bhil Folktales, rediscovering Kharam tribe language.

PROCESS

The attached application form should be submitted by all interested in pursuing their contribution to their community through the fellowship. The finalists will be selected on the basis of alignment to the purpose of fellowship.

A boot-camp to understand the dynamics of cultural entrepreneurship, the mechanics of innovation, theory of change, budgeting and revenue models and project management will be conducted for the finalists from November 13-19, 2019 during Samvaad 2019.

This will be followed by a simple pitch by the finalists for selection of the best by eminent jury, which will be then supported by Tata Steel.

SUPPORT

  1. A grant of max Rs. 6 lakhs for one year for five teams given in installments as per the proposal
  • Mentoring support throughout the year through training programs and linkages with experts

SELECTION CRITERIA

  • Idea: The uniqueness and creativity in the project idea to preserve and promote tribal cultureNeed: The vulnerability of the heritage that is to be promoted or preserved
  • Impact: The change that the project idea is capable of making for the tribal community at large
  • Sustainability: The long-term contribution that the project plans to be a part of
  • Team: The passion, dedication and expertise in the individuals and partners for achieving the project’s objectives

RULES

  1. The awardee must belong to the tribe for which he/ she is proposing the idea
  • One member of the awardee team must dedicate their full time to the implementation of the idea
  • The project must be a means to preserve or promote tribal culture and must not have any religious or political affiliations, whatsoever
  • Registered not-for-profits in existence for more than three years are requested not to apply for the fellowship
  • Applications are to be submitted by email to samvaadfellowship@tribalculture.org or post to Tata Steel CSR, 3E-Road, Northern Town, Bistupur, Jamshedpur-831001, Jharkhand, India. Anyone facing any trouble in completing the application form may contact us at 8637384843/8144029212
  • Finalists will need to be present for the boot-camp and award ceremony at Samvaad 2019 from November 13-19, 2019. TA/ DA for the same will be organized by the Tata Steel CSR team
  • The grant amount and period will be decided by the jury with respect to the need of the project
  • Monthly progress reports and quarterly meetings would need to be submitted to justify utilization of funds
  • Outcome of the project in terms of research document, film or videotapes, etc. will have to be shared with Tata Steel CSR at the end of the project period
  • Decision of the Tata Steel CSR Management in extending or withdrawing the Fellowship will be final and binding
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