Ahura Support is a secular registered charitable trust working with differently abled individuals and their families. They work towards bettering the lives of individuals with developmental or congenital disorders, most of who are mentally challenged. At their Day Care Centre and Residential Home, they endeavour to maximise opportunities for these individuals to discover their abilities, empower themselves, gain independence and live with dignity in an inclusive environment.
For more details contact Call on: +91-9821043319 || +91-9819859987
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Host – Dr. Mazda Turel
Guest Speaker – Ms. Hutoxi Doodhwala
Location – Mazda Studios
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Directed by – Aarish S. Daruwalla
Produced by – Sarosh K. Daruwalla Mazda Multimedia
Ahura Support Film Shot by – Rehan Daruwalla
Edited at – Mazda Studios.
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The Zoroastrian Association of New Zealand (ZANZ) has just launched its new facility for the senior members of the community residing in the East and South Auckland region.
Called, ‘Good Deeds Club,’ it is a free pick up and drop service of groceries and other items every Sunday and Monday between 11 am to 5 pm.
ZANZ Vice-President Viraf Todywalla, who we understand initiated the concept, said that ‘Good Deeds Club,’ will serve the senior citizens of the Zoroastrian (Parsi) community.
Lockdown Four Service
“We have commenced this service to commemorate the International Senior Citizens Day which was marked all over the world on August 21, 2021. Our aim is to help senior citizens of our community transporting their groceries, medicines and other essentials during the Covid-19 lockdown four,” he said.
Mr Todywalla said that for logistical reasons, the service is currently restricted to East and South Auckland area and only certain services will be rendered.
The service will be subject to terms and conditions prescribed by ZANZ.
“We will be able to provide only pick up and drop service. We are not able to undertake shopping or paying for the cost of groceries, medicines and other essentials. We are also not able to transport our seniors from place to place at this stage,’ he said.
Terms and Conditions
Among the conditions for provision of the service would be (1) Only to Elders living alone without any support or assistance (2) On flexible time- the timing cannot be ‘sharp,’ and will be subject to traffic and other factors (3) On first-received-first served basis; the requirement must be by text at least three days in advance-ideally the Thursday before (4) Upon confirmation by the President and Vice-President of ZANZ (5) On no physical contact basis as per the Covid-19 and other regulations in force (6) On the number of requests at hand; overflowing requests will be held over to the following week
“We will not handle cash or conduct any financial transaction. This service is only to transport day-to-day needs of our seniors and restricted to goods that can be easily carried. ZANZ Committee reserves rights to make any changes or discontinue the service at any time without prior notice,” Mr Todywalla said.
Please contact ZANZ President Roshni Daruwalla on 021-2675397 or Vice-President Viraf Todywalla on 021-0424245
Roxanne Davur grew up around rescued wild cats and today runs Probably Paradise — a shelter home for dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, cows and pigs in Karjat.
Trying to get Roxanne Davur to speak uninterrupted for 30 seconds is quite difficult, as a cacophony of animals in the background often breaks out.
“It is always noisy when breakfast is being served on the farm,” chuckles Roxanne, who runs Probably Paradise, which is situated 11 km outside Karjat, Maharashtra.
She laments how she is often asked, ‘Why is the name Probably Paradise for an animal shelter?’ “You have to be dead to go to paradise, so that’s why this is Probably Paradise,” she replies.
The 1.5-acre farm in Karjat houses 431 animals today, including 250 dogs, 162 cats, eight ponies, seven donkeys, two horses, one pig and one cow. The 75-year-old lists out the numbers from a roster sheet that is updated every month. Most of these rescues are from Mumbai and Pune, where they were injured, abandoned or fell chronically ill. This shelter home for unwanted animals has the unique purpose of giving them a ‘dignified place to die’.
“They are all residents, not pets,” asserts the Master Trainer in Animal Welfare.
Life on the farm starts early when this septuagenarian, dressed in floral motifs and her short hair neatly combed, wakes up in the wee hours of the morning to get the herd ready for the day. “The staff come at 8 am, then we have feedings, medication, and we tend to emergencies throughout the day that even extend into nightfall,” says the 75-year-old.
“Just last night, someone brought in an injured dog, which will probably stay here. Our gates are open so the animals can come and go as they please. We also allow visitors but only during reasonable daylight hours.”
Their daily routine also includes preparing tonnes of food, medications, buying vegetables — and one wonders how many hours in a day does Roxanne have?
But her journey with rescues begins when she was a young girl watching her hardworking father, Murzdan Davur, find time to bring home injured and wounded animals. So, growing up in a typical Parsi household, animals have always been a “way of life” for the Davurs.
Growing Up Around Wild Cats
“At first, my dad would bring back street dogs that were abandoned like German Shepherds, Dobermans. At one point, I think my dad had 50 dogs, and my stepmom and I would look after them,” she recalls.
In 1963, the Davurs moved out to Karjat while Roxanne was sent off to boarding school.
“We had a diverse bunch of animals. We rescued hyenas and wild jungle cats too,” says Roxanne.
She grew up to work in the sales and airline industry before finally giving it all up to open ‘Terra Anima Trust’ in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, in 2000.
“My stepmother often said — She is going to end up around animals,” chuckles Roxanne, adding, “I first started with an animal shelter in Ooty for seven years from 2000 till 2008. I was an ‘honorary animal welfare inspector’ for the Nilgiris, appointed by the government, with no salary. I conducted rescue missions there too, when I was in my 50s. But, unfortunately, we had to later close down due to insufficient funds.”
She further adds, “After that, I moved back to Maharashtra and opened my doors to animals on my 1.5-acre family land with Probably Paradise. Back then, people were far more generous in Maharashtra than in the Nilgiris. Plus, I had the land ready, which nobody could chuck me off.”
So, in the Christmas of 2011, Probably Paradise came into being with help from Mumbai-based World For All. Having tied up with the NGO, she is assured that her legacy will not die with her.
By 2016, the shelter had less than 100 dogs, less than half the number of cats they house today, a donkey and five caretakers.
Today, Probably Paradise has 14 staff members, which is still a 60 per cent deficit for the number of animals they house. They also have an on-call vet and an equine dentist. Speaking about their 10-year-journey, she says that they slowly started building the shelter but still have more work to do today, referring to the building of one more cattery and another block of stables.
They also have to redo the medical block, where one veterinarian from Mumbai drives down.
“We cook around 100 kg of chicken waste per day, which is cooked every afternoon to be served the next morning. We use about 30 kg of dried food for dogs and cats. I use premix fodder for the donkeys and the cattle. I have a monthly budget of Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh for running expenses,” she says.
Asked how she manages running this shelter home, she earnestly says, “I beg.” A brief pause later, she continues, “I am constantly on Facebook; I write grant applications to CSRs [corporate social responsibilities] and hold fundraisers to raise money.”
Animals Are Beautiful People
The animal activist encourages people to bring injured animals to her instead of conducting rescue missions herself – which are costly and don’t ensure the animal won’t wander off.
“Sometimes, people leave old animals on the street in the hopes that they will be run down by traffic. Peanut was one of two such ponies that had to be picked up from Matheran — the first one was dead by the time we got there. Peanut’s hoof was run over, and it is still awful, but he is now in treatment, which can take up to six months. So we had to arrange for a tempo to pick him up,” says Roxanne.
Tales from the farm are replete with such stories that often have a tint of droll humour.
“Peru, the dog recently had facial reconstruction surgery because he was hit on the head several times. He has no ears left, but he is a hilarious dog. He is always up to something — trying to steal food. And he always has a happy face,” she says, adding that there are some dogs that you can’t help but smile when you see them.
For dogs, being two-legged or three-legged is not a ‘handicap’, says Roxanne, “They get on with life.”
“I have Lalu bhai in front of me, who suffers from dementia. Now, we have more cases of dogs with dementia as street dogs are not being killed off as easily as they were before the 2000s. Lalu trots off somewhere and often stops in his tracks because he forgets why he is going there. It is the same disease that affects humans,” she says.
Speaking of a solution for strays, she vehemently says, “These animals have the legal right to stay on the street and be cared for. We need to teach children that it is not okay to beat/abuse any living being.”
As we conclude our discussions, Roxanne holds the receiver away from her and shouts out a few dog names. Then, with a chuckle, she continues, “A few dogs, who finished their breakfast, were sneaking up on Lalu bhai to steal his food.”
The animals at Probably Paradise are up for adoption, but their wait is often in vain. The 1.5-acre land often falls short for the animals at the shelter, who are quite happy encroaching into Roxanne’s living quarters.
“Once you open your gates to animals, you don’t have to do much — the animals will find their way to you,” she signs off.
If you would like to help Probably Paradise and the work of Roxanne Davur, please click here.
Our community’s vibrant and popular youth icon, Pearl Tirandaz, known for her dedication to community-cum-social-service, and founder of the inspiring ‘Good Deeds Project’ (GDP), continues to inspire and make a difference in the lives of many. The Good Deeds Project is Pearl’s way of giving back to society, where she also highlights motivating stories of good deeds done by everyday people, who feel naturally compelled to help the less privileged. One of her more recent projects was reaching out to our frontline warriors who continue to protect us, at the risk of their own lives.
Pearl shares the moving experience, “The idea to do something for them came from a hoarding that caught my eye, which saluted hundreds of frontline warriors, especially our policemen who succumbed to Covid 19. My first thought was that while we tend to blame for things, we never really appreciate them, when deserved. So, I shared a message of doing a ‘Snack Box Drive’ for our policemen to show our appreciation. I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response! What started out as a heartfelt idea was soon becoming a logistical nightmare! I reached out to friends and well-wishers for their help. And so started the GDP’s First Snack Box Drive, where we delivered 150 boxes to our policemen and BMC workers, in and around Dadar.
Though it was the day of the storm in Mumbai, we set out to distribute our ready snack boxes. And we experienced the reality that our brave cops endure – doing their duty despite being soaked to the bone due to the rains. I remember thinking, while I was drenched and shivering – My God! how do they do it with a smile on their faces! They were cordial and thankful of being thought of during these times.”
GDP’s second ‘Snack Box Drive’ took place on a thankfully sunny day, where 350 boxes were distributed across Parel, Byculla, Mohammed Ali Road, Fort, Colaba, Nariman Point, Chowpatty, Malabar Hill, Teen Batti, Haji Ali, Worli and Dadar. The third drive had the GDP team delivering 500 snack boxes across Sion, Dharavi, Kalanagar, Mahim, Bandra, Khar Police Station, Santacruz Airport, Vile Parle, Jogeshwari, Juhu and Andheri.
“It felt wonderful to meet and speak with them and let them know that we are thankful for all that they do for us, especially during these times. They were happy to know of the Good Deeds Project. I couldn’t have done this without our volunteers. It was physically exhausting, with each drive taking up over eight hours constantly on the road, stopping at every corner or where we saw them patrolling, as also vising the police stations in the area. But the best part about this endeavour is that I saw a lot of people get motivated to take up such initiatives, and that’s the whole idea behind the Good Deeds Project! The more you lead by example, the more people get inspired to follow suit!”
So how does Pearl make the time for her passionate Good Deeds Project, despite her numerous other responsibilities as an employed, young mother-of-two, and a fitness enthusiast, amongst other roles? “Doing something for society and giving back is an innate instinct – I genuinely felt the need to be out there and do things. I just cannot see suffering. But, I’d be lying if I said my day isn’t exhausting… stretching from 7:00am to midnight, it’s a hectic daily schedule! I plan my day in advance, so I don’t wake up to wondering what to cook or what’s work engagements for the day. Right from working out, to my full-time job with Jiyo Parsi, to caring for my kids with online studies, to coming out with a story every week for GDP, and of course, spending quality time with family and friends – it’s all about managing your time well. It gets hectic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!” says Pearl. Kudos to Pearl and all GDP volunteers and supporters for their efforts, and for setting the perfect precedent for all to follow!
From C.V. Raman to Vikram Sarabhai, these institutions have produced leaders who have repeatedly proved India’s calibre on the global stage.
We recently rediscovered Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata as the world’s greatest philanthropist of the last century — a new report showed that he had donated $102 billion. I was reminded of his majestic statue in front of the main building of the Indian Institute of Science. A fundamental question was lost in our celebrations: Why is ‘Tata’ associated with so many top Indian institutions that have a long history of excellence and continue to dominate their respective fields?
Think of the famed five — Indian Institute of Science (IISc, founded in 1909), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR, founded in 1945), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS, founded in 1936), Tata Memorial Centre (TMC, commissioned in 1941), and National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA, inaugurated in 1976).
These institutions were established with the support of the Dorabji Tata Trust established by Jamsetji Tata. They all had an element of tripartite agreements between the Trust, provincial and central rulers, with strong ideals of sustainability and governance built-in. All except the NCPA came into existence in pre-independence India. All of them had the best and the brightest leaders at critical junctures in their long history: Homi Bhabha at TIFR, Satish Dhawan at IISc, S. Parasuraman at TISS and also J.J. Bhabha who was synonymous with NCPA. The TMC was also instrumental in realising the synergy between them and the Department of Atomic Energy to help usher in a new era of radiation treatment for cancer therapy in India.
Many of modern India’s stars such as C.V. Raman, Vikram Sarabhai, G.N. Ramachandran, Brahm Prakash, and Vivek Borkar were also associated with one or more of these institutions.
The ‘famed five’ stand out because, unlike most other institutions, they outlived their founders. In fact, over the decades, they have grown stronger, found new ways of sustaining excellence, and attracting and retaining great talents despite working within the usual constraints of a developing country.
The Tata campuses exude the vision of its founding figures and continue to inspire young minds almost a century after they were first built. To get a physical sense, take a walk around the TIFR Colaba campus. I cannot think of any academic institution in the world that can rival its fabulous art collection. It is a standing testimony to the uniqueness of Homi Bhabha, for whom science, engineering, and art were all equally important. In fact, he excelled in all three fields in equal measure. The moment you enter the foyer, M. F. Husain’s 45-feet mural, Bharat Bhagya Vidhata, will greet you. From there it is a treasure trove of great Indian painters such as K.H. Ara, V.S. Gaitonde, and even Bhabha’s own paintings. A unique design features across the campus, starting with a distinct blackboard design to a great view of the Arabian Sea (from the vantage point of being the southern extreme of Mumbai).
The faces of the students, staff, and faculty inside these campuses exude a certain intensity and passion needed to achieve academic excellence, which the institutes offer across a range of subjects such as computer science, mathematics, medicine, performing arts and theoretical physics, to highlight a few.
One cannot help but fall in love with the IISc campus and its scenic avenues named after the flowering trees that embrace them. It is impossible to not be lost in the sorrow of Main Building’s weeping willows in the September evening showers or bask in the exuberance of the Flame of the Forest trees along the main avenue. On the parallel road, a carpet of majestic yellow flowers awaits you.
In an institution like IISc, one is way ahead in new lines of research and work in the intersections of emerging disciplines. Research teams housed in different departments are likely to be working on similar problems albeit from different vantage points. To illustrate, research on diseases such as Parkinson’s could involve electrical engineers applying ideas of probability theory from Markov random fields, and work on design of optimal production systems in management could borrow from stochastic linear programming in civil engineering. By recognising such interconnections, the scope for interdisciplinary thinking and the opportunity to learn relevant subjects in an open and permissible environment is not possible in institutions with a rigid academic culture, where the floor one occupies decides their standing.
To create these great institutions, one needs money of the kind J.N. Tata and later J.R.D. Tata committed. But money alone cannot buy greatness. It needs to be employed wisely. For example, IISc, during Dhawan’s days, ventured into new fields of research that were way ahead of their time such as the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, and promotion of social impact of science through the Cell for Application of Science and Technology to Rural Areas (ASTRA). The TIFR attracted Narendra Karmarkar, who invented the polynomial time algorithm for linear programming for its computer science group despite their number and string theory biases. TISS also started several focal programmes such as the one in disaster management. The NCPA opened its iconic experimental theatre, while the Tata Memorial pioneered bone marrow transplant and nuclear medicine scanning in India.
All these institutions, in one way or the other, encapsulated the phrase — ‘staying ahead of the curve’. This requires extraordinary vision, an open mind on the part of the key players and sharp foresight to bet resources on them.
J.N. Tata had the knack of spotting opportunities much before his peers and rivals. When India had barely limped out of the brutal suppression of 1857, which continued well into the early 1860s, Tata founded his first major initiative, Empress Mills (1874), in Nagpur and not Mumbai, due to the proximity to the cotton fields, water and fuel. He established the majestic Taj Mahal Hotel near the Gateway of India in Mumbai in 1903 after he was denied entry into a hotel on account of him being an Indian. He also founded the Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO), now Tata Steel, in Jamshedpur in 1907. This revolutionary thinking and scientific temperament led him to invest in the creation of the ‘temple of science’, IISc, in Bengaluru, which at that time was a small town tucked far away from his comfort zone. Although, unfortunately, he did not live to see the famed five, his vision, compassion, and drive to excel are imprinted in the blueprint of these great institutions that are the world’s toast and India’s honour even a century after they were founded.
Disclosure: Ratan Tata is among the distinguished founder-investors of ThePrint. Please click here for details on investors.
P.G. Babu is Director, Madras Institute of Development Studies, and is on leave from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai. He is an alumnus of IISc and Madurai Kamaraj University and is on the Senate of IIT Bombay and Board of Governors of Institute of Economic Growth Delhi.
Saturday October 24, 2020 was indeed a dark day, not only on account of the Pandemic but more so that Er. Zahan Meherzad Turel, all of 14 years young, a shining star of our Mobedi clan, suffered severe (48.5%) burns injuries whilst performing the ‘boi’ ceremony at Goti Adarian, Surat.
After being administered basic treatment young Zahan was rushed to Masina Hospital at Byculla, Mumbai, where he was given treatment for an extended period of time and thereafter discharged on Monday, January 04, 2021.
Fortunately for Er. Zahan Turel, he received excellent treatment at the Burns Unit of Masina Hospital and is well on his way to recovery.
Such a grisly mishap is not the first such incident that our Mobeds have had to contend with whilst tending to our revered fires. It is beyond imagination that in this day and age our Mobeds continue to perform religious ceremonies without a modicum of protection.
The incident triggered off intense discussions amongst the core group of Team Empowering Mobeds (a joint initiative of WZO Trust Funds and Athornan Mandal). After proactive discussions where various options were considered it was finally decided to have ‘Jamas, Padan & Hand Pockets (for Boiwala Mobeds to wear when inside the kebla) made from fire retardant fabric that would provide reasonable safety to our Mobeds whilst carrying out various religious ceremonies.
Over the last few months, experiments were undertaken to test fire retardant fabrics that would provide safety to Mobeds in case of embers landing on their ‘Jamas, Padan & Hand Pockets’.
Trials have been conducted, where Mobed Volunteers have worn Jamas made from different fabrics of thickness comparable to existing Jamas (on which the fire retardant process would be added later on) to test the comfort levels.
A well wisher Mr. Viraf Sohrabji Mehta who was keenly interested in the project coordinated the exercise with Ms. Firoza Karani, Director of Casablanca Apparels Pvt. Ltd., in having samples made and trials done for which we are most grateful to both of them.
It has now been decided to place an order for manufacturing 800 sets each of ‘Jamas & Padans and 200 sets of hand pockets with Casablanca Apparels Pvt. Ltd., a well known garment manufacturing unit established in 1993 that manufactures a variety of garments for both domestic and export markets.
As fire retardant fabric is not available off the shelves, Casablanca Apparels have placed an order with Arvind Mills, Ltd., to produce the minimum quantity required. The fire-retardant fabric is expected to be ready by mid-June 2021, and the final product ready for distribution sometime between mid to end July 2021. A set each will be offered gratis to practicing Mobeds for their use, should they be interested.
After the fabric has been manufactured, appropriate certificates of the fabric having Fire retardant properties will be obtained from Arvind Mills, the manufacturers of the fabric, as well as Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) an international inspection agency that inspects Apparels, Machinery, Medicines etc, before shipments.
High Priests, Dasturji Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal, Dasturji Khurshed K. Dastoor, Dasturji Keki P. Ravji Meherjirana, Senior Mobed Aspandiar Dadachanji, have all been informed about the initiative and their approval received.
After using the initial set, if Mobeds are satisfied in all respects, it will be for them, or their Agiary Trustees / Panthaki’s to procure additional sets from the manufacturers against payment. A suitable system will be put into place that will make it convenient to procure future supplies.
The ever-generous Trustees of Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao have committed to make funds available for this initiative through WZO Trust Funds which will facilitate the initial production from fire retardant fabric of 800 Jamas 800 Padans and 200 pairs of Hand Pockets.
Mobeds, Panthakies and Trustees of Agiarys wishing to accept sets of Jamas & Padans and Hand Pockets made from fire retardant fabric are requested to contact and coordinate with:
Er. Hormuz A. Dadachanji,
D. E. Mithaiwala Agiary,
Opp. Grant Road Station (West),
Telephone Contact (+91) 9820493812
It is clearly understood, implicitly agreed to and accepted by the Mobeds using attire made from Fire Retardant fabric that the initiative taken by Empowering Mobeds & WZO Trusts and funded by Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao has been undertaken solely with the intent of providing safety to our Mobeds.
Empowering Mobeds, WZO Trusts or The Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao, their Trustees and members will under no circumstances be held responsible or liable should the product malfunction / is found ineffective / does not offer protection / or causes any other complications.
It is also reiterated that The Trustees / Members of Empowering Mobeds, WZO Trusts or The Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao have no commercial / pecuniary benefit from this project.
Community members are aware that 15 year young Mobed Zahan Turel suffered from burns injuries on 24th October 2020 when his jama caught fire whilst performing the Rapithvan Geh boi ceremony at Goti Adarian, Surat.
Since WZO Trust’s used their good offices to raise funds from institutions and individuals, details of injuries, treatment, donations and expenditures are being shared in the public domain by way of accountability towards donors.
Injuries & Treatment:
After a short stint of a few hours at a local hospital at Surat for immediate treatment Er. Zahan was transferred to Masina Hospital at Mumbai on 25th October 2020 under the care of burns & plastic surgery specialists – Dr. Suhas Abhyankar and Dr. A. M. Vartak.
Er. Zahan was found to have suffered 48.50% severe and deep burns on his entire upper body, neck, both hands, ears. Doctor’s informed that first 3 weeks were critical and saving Zahan from any sort of infection was the only priority. Fortunately his face and legs were not damaged. Doctor conveyed that probably the entire affected body would need skin grafting which would be a very long haul process. Three graftings were expected to be done.
At the time of admission Er. Zahan tested Covid Positive and was immediately moved to Covid ICU for isolation. This hindered treatment for a few days as the plastic surgeon and burns specialist were not allowed to enter COVID ward. After intense treatment his Covid report came negative and was again shifted to Normal ICU on 5th November 2020.
During his stay at Masina Hospital, Er. Zahaan was given treatment which included two skin grafting surgeries performed on 21st November 2020 and 16th December 2020. Er. Zahaan was discharged from Masina Hospital on 4th January 2021.
Post discharge his daily massage and dressings are being done in Mumbai. Currently there are few patches left to be healed which are expected to heal in due course of time.
Daily dressing is still to be done till the skin stabilizes, which is expected to continue for 2 months from the date of discharge.
In the near future Er. Zahan will have to wear pressure garments for two to three years.
Daily occupational therapy is presently being undertaken at Masina Hospital’s Occupational Therapy Centre. He continues to receive regular counseling.
There is every possibility that Er. Zahan may also require reconstructive surgeries and / or cosmetic surgery sometime in the future.
Though Er. Zahan is unable to sit for long period of time, he has decided to appear for his school board exams and has started gradual preparations for the same.
Expenses as on 22nd January 2021:
Rs. 53,000: initial treatment at Surat Hospital.
Rs.30,34,000: treatment at Masina Hospital.
Donations & Insurance:
Rs. 6,00,000: From a donor who has paid directly to Masina Hospital.
Rs. 6,00,000: From insurance company.
Rs. 9,00,000: From various donors who have paid directly to Er. Zahan’s family.
Rs. 43,78,781: Raised by WZO Trust’s from donors within India.
Rs. 53,47,941: Raised by WZO Trust’s from donors overseas.
WZO Trust’s are holding Rs.77,26,722 on behalf of funds raised by them and will be handing over the amount soon to Er. Zahan Turel’s family for his continuing treatment, as well as possible further treatment at Shriner’s Children Hospital at Boston (USA) modalities and logistics of which are being worked out.
WZO Trusts profusely thank institutions and individuals who have collectively contributed towards this humanitarian effort and pray that young Zahan will quickly overcome the set back, rejoin the mainstream, continue to serve the community, and be blessed with a sound future.
Marzy Parakh, 36 Restaurateur And Founder Of Live To Give
Inida has just five hospital beds per 10,000 Indians, according to a study by the Human Development Report. The results show that out of 167 countries, India ranks 155 in access to healthcare. No surprise then that there was a mad scramble for expert medical treatment a month into the Coronavirus infection outbreak. Marzy Parakh, a restaurateur and philanthropist, remembers the time all too well. As the founder of a WhatsApp group called Live to Give (LTG), which encourages users to participate and donate to the source directly, he was flooded with enquiries. “The outbreak was too sudden. People were clueless about which hospitals were admitting COVID-19 patients. If they’d call on the hospital number, there would be a long wait.”
In April, he launched a helpline by tapping his network of doctors, hospital staff and citizens, with 15 volunteers from LTG. “We divided city hospitals amongst us; one person would be in charge of, around 10. Whenever someone would call in with a request, we would check with our sources and get back in five minutes.” They also had a dedicated team for ambulance bookings. All a caller had to do was send their details, and Parakh’s team would be able to book a bed, an ambulance and even ascertain whether the individual would need a cardiac or a regular ambulance. It did not stop at booking alone. There was a special team handling follow-ups. “We had two groups, one called SOS for hospitalisation, and the other, which we christened, Here To Stay, for follow-ups. The volunteer would call up the hospital every day, speak with the doctor to find out how the patient was faring and then inform the relatives, because there were times when family members weren’t able to get through to the hospital,” he says, adding that they have even facilitated video calls between doctors and family members. Being a 24×7 helpline, Parakh says, they would receive calls in the wee hours. “We had to wake up hospital trustees and doctors to get things done. There were cases when patients needed ventilators and critical care, and you can’t afford a delay.”
With the infection cases in Mumbai under control, the group is now focusing on adopting destitutes. Through the LTG group, they raise funds for their admission in elder care facilities. “Similarly, the volunteers periodically make calls to the person. The family has abandoned them, but there’s a volunteer, who is a stranger, caring for them. It restores your faith in humanity.”
Our dear Shahpur was introduced to us by our aunt Ruby Contractor in 1983 when they visited India with others to create awareness about the establishment of WZO.
Since then our friendship with Shahpur blossomed into a very close and fulfilling relationship. It was Shahpur’s vision that WZO undertake community welfare work in India and it was solely due to his enthusiasm, support and guidance that we took the first tentative steps to establish the WZO Trusts in India.
It was our good fortune that in the initial years we had Shahpur to fall back on whenever we needed guidance and support. He regularly visited India once every year till 2007 to visit with us, villages in Gujarat, meet beneficiaries and view the transformation taking place in their lives.
The humble Parsi farmers remember Shahpur even at present and consider him to be one of their benefactors. Their prayers will resonate with those of many others for the smooth transition of his soul from the physical to spiritual realms.
We extend to Shahpur’s wife Inderjit and daughter Armaity our deepest and sincere condolences.
Rest In Peace Dear Friend.
From Bachi & Dinshaw Tamboly
I had known Shahpur from my early years of the 1960s in London. At that time, Shahpur was the youngest Treasurer Trustee of the Zoroastrian House (The Incorporated Zoroastrian Association of Europe). As an astute Chartered accountant, he brought order to the funds at the Zoroastrian House. And this helped the Zoroastrian House move from 11 Russell Road in Kensington to Compayne Gardens in Finchley Road/Hampstead area.
He encouraged Zoroastrian Youth to actively participate in the activities at the Zoroastrian House. And these activities did not stop at fun and enjoyment but in helping our community and others. I remember going to Brookwood cemetery each year during the Farvandian days and cleaning out the areas around where our ancestors’ remains are buried. I am not sure who had started this annual picnic-like event but each year Shahpur encouraged youth to participate in it.
May his noble soul rest in eternal Peace and May Ahura Mazda bless his soul in Grothman Behest! My sincere condolences to Inderjeet and Armaity and other members of Captain family.