Category Archives: Collective Giving


Dear Fellow Zoroastrians,
Please join our team “Zoroastrians Go Green” to participate in a global Plastic Free Ecochallenge this July.  July is a global Plastic Free Month, and ZAKOI has started a team in this global Plastic Free EcoChallenge from 1st – 31st July.  Please join our team and invite your contacts also to join our team.  You can commit as little as a few minutes of your time to whatever you are able to do in July to reduce your use of SUPs (Single Use Plastics), and/or learn about the harmful impact that using plastics has on our world’s environment. It’s free! You can sign up from anywhere in the world to be a part of our team here or this link below:
Make it a family activity in July to help Mother Earth by reducing your use of plastics, and have fun while doing your good deeds!  No good action is too small or insignificant in helping our planet.  Collectively we all can make a huge difference to improve the future health of our Mother Earth.  
Please see our Flyer attached as well as info below.  We have also attached instructions on how to join the ecochallenge as well as how to select your actions, in case that helps.
Thx so much in advance, and looking forward to your participation!!!
Best Always!
Bakhtavar Desai
ZAKOI (Zoroastrian Association of KY, OH, & IN)
Join the movement to refuse Single-Use Plastics (SUPs).  Plastic Free Ecochallenge is a month-long effort for all of us to shift away from our single-use plastic dependency, and to care for our ecosystems.  The solution to the planet’s biggest challenges lies in the power of collective action.  By taking action in our own lives and inspiring the people around us, each of us contributes to a world of impact.
Together, let’s create a plastic-free world!
Please join our team “Zoroastrians Go Green” to participate in a global Plastic Free Ecochallenge this July.  It’s free! You can sign up from anywhere in the world to be a part of our team here or this link below:
Learn more about this EcoChallenge at

Questions/Concerns?  Contact: Bakhtavar Desai at


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…….

In Gratitude,

Sarita Dhir.

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)

Bridging the Opportunity Gap | Freyaz Shroff | TEDxChandivali

As we extend our efforts to address inequity one step at a time, is a society with no economic discrimination in education attainable? This talk by Freyaz K. Shroff focuses on the certainty of it. Born and raised in India and educated in the USA, Freyaz K. Shroff moved back to India in 2006 with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and an M.B.A. in International Business and Marketing. She established “KurNiv Foundation,” a non-profit organization that focused on preparing students, living primarily below the poverty line, in gaining admission into and completing college graduation through a proven peer-to-peer mentorship model. In addition to creating a new generation of teen and tween leaders, she also coaches parents and educators on how to raise youth leaders who are empathetic, sensitized, goal-oriented, and can work as part of success-driven teams. Freyaz addressed the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN-CSW) in 2012, while her students addressed the UN-CSW in 2021 and 2022. She was the recipient of the Jamshed Pavri Humanitarian Award in 2012. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Appeal: The Dadar Athornan Institute

Bouncing Back Post-Pandemic

We are pleased to announce that the Dadar Athornan Institute has re-started operations, at almost full strength, after the challenging pandemic, when activities were restricted online.

Established in 1919 by the Athornan Mandal, Mumbai, the Dadar Athornan Institute trains children from Athornan families, in ritual expertise and religious knowledge in a conducive environment. The Dadar Athornan Institute celebrated its centenary three years ago, during which time it has trained hundreds of full-fledged priests, most of whom are In service to the community. As the success and survival of any religion or community is closely connected to its priests, training and Introducing new priests into the mainstream of the community is crucial.

Currently, 25 students are being trained at the Institute for priesthood along with academic education up to SSC Board level at the DPYA High School. Boarding, lodging, education and other facilities are provided free. The expense incurred on each child is around Rs.2,00,000/- per annum.

To sustain the Institution and ensure its continuity, we seek generous financial support from well-wishers and earnestly appeal to all to support the Institute, via schemes related to providing meals, student sponsorships or regular donations.

For further information, contact: +91-22-24138086 / +91-22-070784,
or write to: The Joint Honorary Secretaries,
Athornan Manda!, 240, Navsarl Bldg., 2nd Ar.,
Dr. Dadabhai Navroji Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400001

We take this opportunity to wish the entire global community a very happy JAMSHEDI NAVROZ!

-Trustees of the Dadar Athornan Institute

New FCRA Bank Account Number for NEFT from overseas donor as of July 2021
Account Name: Athornan Mandal
Account Number: 40227229015
IFSC Code: SBIN0000691
ADDRESS: FCRA Cell, 4th Floor, State Bank of India, New Delhi Main Branch, 11 Sansad Marg,
New Delhi – 110001
Telephone Number: 011-23374390/4392/4143

The NEFT/RTGS Number for our donors in India remains unchanged as below:
Account Name : Athornan Mandal
Savings A/c No : 007200100000785
Bank Name : The Zoroastrian co-operative Bank Ltd, Dadar
IFSC Code : ZCBL0000007
Bank Address : Parsi Colony, Dadar (East), Mumbai 400 014.
Pan No : AAATA0230A
We appeal our generous donors who help us directly through wire transfer to please send their name, phone
number and Pan card number (if the donation exceeds Rs.10,000/-) to and
inform us about it at +912224138086. Our postal address is 651-52, Firdausi Road, Parsi Colony, Dadar (E),
Mumbai 400014. India.

Pandemic Heroes

Do you know a Zarathushti individual or organization who deserves to be recognized for their hard work during the pandemic?

The pandemic has created many unexpected difficulties for everyone around the world. Despite the numerous struggles we have faced, some members of the community have worked harder than ever to improve the lives of those around them. The 12th World Zoroastrian Congress is producing a video highlighting the incredible initiatives taken place by Zoroastrians worldwide during the pandemic. Please share an example of an individual or a group who has made a difference.

You may submit your nominations detailing why you think they deserve to be recognized by clicking on the link below.

Deadline to submit is March 31, 2022.

Nominate A Pandemic Hero

You can also email the submission directly to

Mahtab Bamji —Multiple prestigious awards winning nutritionist who loves social work

Her walk is sprightly, her voice comes through as firm, but is caring and her commitment and contribution to nutrition studies and the health of the downtrodden is solid. Meet, Dr Mahtab Sohrab Bamji, former Director-Grade Scientist of the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, bestowed with the Living Legend of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) recognition in 2017.

The Secretary General, Catherine Geissler, said the award is recognition for those who have significantly contributed to the work of national nutrition society or regional organisation and to the advancement of nutrition at national, regional and global level through professional activities such as research, teaching and services.

As she completes 87 today, Dr Bamji, a spinster, continues to pack her energy and time into social service and health care through the Dangoria Charitable Trust in Hyderabad. It has a hospital in City and operations in Narsapur, on the outskirts of the city in Medak district of Telangana State. She is passionate about her field based work with the poor, especially women and children and farmers, tending to their health and nutrition support.

A workaholic and person of frugal habits, Dr Bamji lives in a compact apartment near the busy RTC X Roads. She has made Hyderabad her home. Having come to join the NIN in 1965, she has spent over half a century, being active in the scientific circles, social work and also the MARCH, (Medically Aware and Responsible Citizens of Hyderabad) started by the late Dr PM Bhargava, C Dayakar Reddy, Dr Kakarla Subba Rao etc. in the 1990s.

Dr Bamji hails from a Parsi family of Bombay. She is among the dwindling numbers of the community in Hyderabad, which after Mumbai and Gujarat hosts the largest number. Among the well known Parsis from Hyderabad that I have known are Dr P M Lentin (94), formerly of the Osmania Medical College and Hospital; fitness expert, Zareer Patel, Lord Karan Billimoria of the Cobra Beer fame, Naushir Mehta (Cricketer) and Rohinton Behramsha, an electronics expert and the owner of Chermas.

NIN, Bamji and their contributions

In the male dominated world of Indian Science, Dr Bamji, has carved a name for herself with outstanding contributions in nutrition and leadership. During the long innings at the NIN (1965-94), she rose to become Director Grade Scientist. She has been listed among the all time top women scientists of India by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) recently.

Dr Bamji did her graduation in Chemistry,  post-graduation in Biochemistry and PhD in biochemistry (1961) from the Bombay University. She moved to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. During 1962-65, she was in the USA as post-doctoral Fellow/Research Associate at Tufts University Boston and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

In a way Dr Bamji is one of the protégé’s of Dr C Gopalan, considered the doyen of Nutrition Science in India. Among others were Dr Vinodini Reddy, Dr Kamala Krishnaswamy (both became Directors of NIN) and Dr Prema Ramachandran.

A biochemist by training, Dr Bamji has made significant contributions in the field of nutritional biochemistry, particularly, towards the understanding of the aetiology of B vitamins deficiencies, development of tests for assessing vitamin nutrition status as well as for estimating the incidence of B-vita

mins deficiency and its daily requirement in the community.

In addition, her work centred on interactions between nutrition and drugs such as contraceptive steroids, and identification of Carnitine as a vitamin. She has published 100 papers, written several book chapters, reviews, popular articles and reports and edited a very popular textbook on human nutrition.

I first met Dr Bamji as a young Reporter of the PTI in Hyderabad during the mid 1980s. As scientist at the NIN she was easily accessible and explained her research work well. The Institute, under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), had a good number of young researchers, especially women for whom she was not just a motivator but also a guardian for some.

Distinctly recollect one occasion when I reported a story on the troubles facing the Institute’s lab animal house facility. Dr Bamji was quite forthcoming though upset with what had happened. Interestingly, this facility later produced ‘Sumo rats’ in the lab, which proved to be useful in research related to diabetes, under an Indo-US project. Around 2005, the Animal Facility boasted of a few hundred such Obese, Sumo rats, along with other animals for experiments.

Association with Dangoriya Charitable Trust

Post retirement in 1994 she has been associated with the Dangoriya Trust, a well known charitable organisation run by Dr Devyani. Dr Bamji holds the ICMR Emeritus Scientist position as well as the Honorary Scientist of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).

She has been trying to evolve models for improving health, food, and nutrition and environment security in villages of Medak district, Telangana State, through scientific and technological interventions. With the Trust and support of scientific departments a food processing-cum-training centre has been established to prevent wastage of farm produce for nutrition security and women’s livelihood too.


Cause of women in science & science popularisation

Dr Bamji has been a vocal proponent of greater involvement of women in the sciences. She chaired the DST and DBT committees on Science and Technology for Women; chaired the INSA Committee on Science Career for Indian Women and was the Chairperson of the National Task Force for Women in Science during 2006-2009.

At the same time she was deeply involved in popularisation of science through an active role in organisations such as Indian Women Scientists Association and Jana Vignana Vedika.

She co-chaired the Health Panel for Vision 2020, one of the 17 areas identified by A P J Abdul Kalam, former India President in the Vision 2020 documents brought out by the TIFAC (Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council) un 1995. They were intended to transform India from a developing to a developed nation.

Dr Bamji was a Member of Planning Commission 10th and 11th plan working groups and Steering

Committee for Science and Technology 11th plan; She also served on the INSA Council (1993-95) and Vice President during 2009-2011.

The tireless and effective interventions of the Trust that started transforming the quality of life of the villagers attracted the attention of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which presented the national award for Development of women through science and technology.

“Our focus over the years has been on the different aspects of nutrition security — food (crop diversification using green methods of farming, backyard poultry, food processing), environment, health care, livelihood through a holistic approach,” says Dr Bamji with a sense of pride and confidence.

Awards and recognition

Dr Bamji received 21 awards and honours that include: Patwardhan Prize (1973); BC Guha Memorial Lecture Award (1987) and Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Lecture (1998) of INSA; Srikantia Memorial Oration Award (1999); National Award for Woman Scientist (2000) and;  CV Rama

n Medal of INSA (2005).

Scientific research in the country even today does not attract many women. Exceptions like Dr Manju Sharma, who became Secretary of Dept of Biotechnology apart very few women, have reached the top echelons. The Indian Council of Medical Research was led by Dr Soumya Swaminathan, who now is the Chief Scientist at the WHO & the Secretary, DBT is Dr Renu Swarup.

Indian science requires more youngsters, especially women to power it into the future. At present information technology and computer sciences rule.  The science, in general as a career comes a distant second. The contributions and zeal of Dr Bamji should be an inspiration.

Somasekhar Mulugu, former Associate Editor & Chief of Bureau of The Hindu BusinessLine,

 is a well-known political, business and science writer and analyst based in Hyderabad.

Ahura Support


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

Email :

Host – Dr. Mazda Turel

Guest Speaker – Ms. Hutoxi Doodhwala

Location – Mazda Studios

Director of Photography – Rehan S. Daruwalla

Directed by – Aarish S. Daruwalla

Produced by – Sarosh K. Daruwalla Mazda Multimedia

Ahura Support Film Shot by – Rehan Daruwalla

Edited at – Mazda Studios.


Zoros launch Good Deeds Club to support seniors

Twice Weekly Service in East and South Auckland

“I was inspired by Dr Ashley Bloomfield,” says Viraf Todywalla who is seen here with Director-General Health and Secretary and Chief Executive, Ministry of Health at the Eleventh Annual Indian Newslink Lecture held on August 16, 2021 (INL Photo by Narendra Bedekar)

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.

Viraf Todywalla and Roshni Daruwalla (second and fourth from left) with their ZANZ Committee 2021-2023 (Photo Supplied)

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

Venkat Raman
Auckland, August 26, 2021

Zoros launch Good Deeds Club to support seniors

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