Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao
initiative to extend financial support to Parsi Pallbearers
(Nassesalars & Khandhias) employed at various Dakhmas in India.
In Zoroastrian theology all dead matter is considered unhygienic and polluting. Parsi Pallbearers (Nassesalars & Khandhias) are corpse bearers invested with Priest like duties and responsible for protecting the living from contamination by the corpse. Theologically Pallbearers are supposed to hold a venerated position, but that is sadly not the case in present day and times.
It is only Zoroastrians who do not have recourse to any other professional positions who gravitate towards becoming Pallbearers at functional Doongerwadi’s / Towers of Silence at various parts of India, especially the west coast.
The incomes of Parsi Pallbearers are not only modest compared to other professions, but they function under extremely trying conditions that often cause emotional strain.
With a view to providing our Parsi Pallbearers some financial relief as well as to make them feel appreciated, WZO Trust Funds requested the generous and caring Trustees of Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao, to consider extending financial support to this segment of our community, which they readily and willingly agreed. WZO Trust Funds thereafter requested various Anjumans that have Towers of Silence (Dakhmas) under their jurisdiction to provide us with a list of individuals that served as Pallbearers.
We have now received a final list of 76 individuals who perform the duties of Pallbearers at various Towers of Silence (Dakhmas). Upon the recommendation of WZO Trust Funds, the Trustees of Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao have agreed to financially extend support on a quarterly basis (July-Sept 2019) onwards amounting to Rs.22,500 (Rs.7,500 per month) for a period of one year, thereafter to be reviewed and considered for renewal.
It is hoped that the support that will be extended will not only provide a modicum of financial relief to the Parsi Pallbearers but will also make them realise that the community appreciates their services.
It will not be out of place to reiterate that Trustees of Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao have as an institution been extending maximum support through WZO Trust Funds to Zoroastrian individuals in India requiring assistance for meeting medical expenses, towards the pursuit of higher education, providing financial relief on quarterly and piecemeal basis to individuals who are economically challenged or in different forms of distress. The present initiative is yet one more illustration of their large heartedness, benevolence and concern for our community.