Category Archives: Doongerwadi Process

Establishing the Tower of Silence_Banglore

Mobed Behramji Unvalla and Mobed Nosherwan Unvalla Consecrated the Paak Dokhma of Banglore.

HISTORY form “The Bangalore Parsis”

BY

DASTURJI NADIRSHAH P. UNVALLA

 

Establishing the Tower of Silence

 

Bangalore is known for its salubrious climate. This attracted more Parsees to come and settle here. The total number at the beginning of the 20th Century was about one or two dozen, which steadily rose to 125 by the time the Agiary was built in 1924. In 1937, the population rose to over 300.

 

Several immigrants were hesitant to stay on in Bangalore, as there was no facility for the disposal of the dead in the ‘Zoroastrian way’by use of Dokhma. Amongst them were Sir Hormasji Adenwalla, Seth Dinshaw Cawasji and Mr. A. D. Hakim. This prompted the Anjuman to think of constructing a Dokhma in Bangalore.

Click to read the entire article with pictures.

Courtesy : K F Keravala

Last Rites for Zarathushtis – North America

* * * LAST RIGHTS FOR ZARATHUSHTIS – BY SENSEI MOBED ZARRIR BHANDARA * * *

My Dear Friends:
In this educational audio program:
“LAST RIGHTS”  click here to hear the audio
My good friend Sensei Mobed Zarrir Bhandara has beautifully explained and addressed various choices about the proper disposal of the body in North America.
Hope you are able to benefit from the gift of his wisdom.
With love, light, appreciation and gratitude from
Meher Amalsad

Tower of Silence – Bangalore

One building…On my way to and from the Bangalore International Airport, one building often catches my eye:

I have long known the custom of the Parsi community to dispose of their dead by exposing the bodies to the elements and to the sun. I vaguely remember being shown a “Tower of Silence” in Mumbai, many decades ago.

Click Here for more of this story

Courtesy : Jehangir Bisney

Suggestions to improve BPP’s info regarding paidust in Mumbai

The Bombay Parsi Panchayat has been posting paidust information in Mumbai on their website http://bpppaidust.in effective 03-Jul-2009. Though this information has been a valuable resource, it suffers from the following deficiencies:

(a)  Detailed information is not available for the period 03-Jul-2009 to 16-Dec-2009.

(b)  The ‘select’ function provides an alphabetical listing based on first names of the deceased whereas it would be more appropriate if this were based on surnames of the deceased. I have compiled the most relevant information, sourced from http://bpppaidust.in using the above mentioned guidelines and have attached the same to this message. I request you to post this on your blogpost with the hope that authorities at Bombay Parsi Panchayat will take notice and effect remedial action at the earliest.

With regards,

Rohinton E. Kadva, Bangalore

rekadva@gmail.com

Parsi deaths in Mumbai effective 03-Jul-2009

 

Can we revive the Dokhma at Surat ?

Dear Friends,

These are a few snaps of our Dokhma at village Damka near Hazira, Dist Surat, (About 20 Kms from Surat city) which had been built in the year 1915. It is really constructed in a very scientific way.   Today it is just a history, as it is lying unused on a barren land, which ofcourse can be revived with a little refurbishment and plantations around.   The area is thriving with good number of vultures, moreover the Nature Club Surat,(www.natureclubsurat.org)  is working hard since 2005 on vulture conservation project and have attained success by increasing its population.    Why can’t we parsis extend a helping hand to the nature club to increase vulture population in its natural habitat and revive this dokhma in its real sense by reviving the missing component of the system “Vultures” ?     

Regards   Zubin B. MistryInsurance Surveyor & Loss Assessor Surat.Mo. 098241 11138

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Association for performance of Death Ceremonies

THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE FIRST YEAR NECESSARY DEATH CEREMONIES OF THE PARSI ZOROASTRIANS.

A Society by the name of The Association For Performance Of The First Year Necessary Death Ceremonies Of The Parsi Zoroastrians was founded in the year 1942 for the purposes of performing the essential death ceremonies of Parsi Zoroastrian individuals who desire to perform the same, but do not have any relatives who will get it performed. Presently considerable expenses are incurred for after death ceremonies and many of our brethren may not be aware of the ceremonies necessarily needed to be performed. The reasons for these are many, ignorance being one of them. There are Pa rsi Zoroastrian who do not have any heirs or for several other reasons harbor fear whether after their life time, essential death ceremonies will be performed or not for the purpose of peace of their Ruyan and it is the aim of the Society that the death ceremonies are performed of the said individuals keeping in mind the sentiments attached to the Zoroastrian tenets.

Presently, the activities of the Society are being revived based on the need of several Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians, who have requested revival of the same. The Society is headed by Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia, Chairman of the Association, and ably guided by:

Ervad Aspandiar Dadachanji, Trustee, Panthaky, Vatcha Gandhi Agiary.

Ms. Shernaz D. Mehta, Trustee, Vice- Chairman, Zoroastrian Co-operative Bank Ltd.

Mr. Ma nek J. Kalyaniwal la, Trustee, Advocate & Solicitor, High Court, Bombay.

Ervad Pakzad Y Katpitia, Administrator, Panthaky, Mithaiwala Agiary.

The Society is in talks with various Agiaries/Atash Behrams for a tie up for the performance of the first year After Death Ceremonies of the Zoroastrians, according to the area in which they live, and even the Zoroastrian individuals living outside Mumbai/lndia can avail of the Scheme offered by the Society.

The Society has presently two Options. It covers the essential after death ceremonies for one year including Muktad and is presently priced at Rs. 40,000/-. Option 2 is the economical scheme priced at Rs. 25,000/-, further details can be obtained from the Administrator from the Association’s office. The Zoroastrian individuals desiring to become members of this Scheme can contact the Society at the following address: Ervad Pakzad Y. Katpitia, Mithaiwala Agiary Compound, Jehangir Daji Street, Sleater Road, Grant Road (West), Mumbai 400007. Phone No. 8080222227, email: 1yeardeathceremonies@gmail.com Zoroastrians who desire to get their first year after death ceremonies performed should become members of the Society by paying a nominal sum of Rs.51/- and thereafter can opt for any of the schemes mentioned above.

The Society is registered as per the Society’s Registration Act and also under the Bombay Public Trust Act and is being looked after by its Board of Trustees. Community members may take advantage of this Scheme depending on their needs. A General Meeting of the Association will be held on Saturday, 276 August 2011 at the administrative office of the Association at 10 am.

Process of Consigning to Doongerwadi , Mumbai , from Overseas

Baname Khuda.

Process of Consigning to Doongerwadi , Mumbai , from Overseas

Why Dokhmenashini ?

Importance of Dokhmenashini:Please refer to recording by Dr.Chiniwalla on Dokhmenashini  at BPP website, linked through Zoroastrians.net

Returning the deceased for his/her last rites requires proper pre planning and teamwork.

The project needs to be broken up in smaller parts and each part needs to be executed with precision.   It is not difficult if properly planned and coordinated.  Total costs thus far have been less/compatible to burialexpenses, if one person / family member is accompanying  the corpse.

This full brief is based on various personal experiences on consigning toMumbai  from California, USA, only, and is predicated on proper planning and back up support in Mumbai.  Hopefully with this initiative,  volunteers from other countries, will share their process as  requirements  of each county/ state/province/country differ.  It also assumes death due to natural causes only, without contagious disease.Before deciding to consign to Doongerwadi please refer to official website of BPP at www.bombayparsipanchayat.com/doongerwadi.html  to ensure procedure/eligibility etc. at Doongerwadi.

The various parts of the project are:

  1.  Most important-Tarikats (spiritual disciplines) to be followed.. Please contact your family in Mumbai.
  2.  Contact  your panthak and family mobed  in Mumbai,in case you are not sure about 4 day obsequies.
  3. Arrangements to be made immediately upon death.
  4. Documents to prepare for a) Arrival in India and Doongerewadi b) Indian embassy c) Transportation. Clearly all these documents have to comply with US Federal and state regulations.
  5. Arrangements  to be made prior arrival of the ruvaan at Mumbai.
  6. Clearing the body in Mumbai and transporting to Doongerwadi  the same day.

1. Pre planning :

A) Identify an experienced and established mortuary .  It is a great support system to advice on latest requirements , documents  procedures, shipment  and travel rates,   and relevant website of Indian Embassy(keeps changing) .

B )Bein touch with your family members in Mumbai and start 4 days obsequies (except Geh Sarna ) immediately upon last breath,  with your family panthak in Mumbai. In addition, you may also carry out the same obsequies(except Geh Sarna)  at place of death, if you have an access to a mobed.

C) Plan on someone to personally hand carry required documents (listed below)  to be notarized by Indian embassy in US.A proper contact needs tobe establishedto save time.  With advanced planning this can be done in a day.

D)It is important to bear in mind that corpses to India can  be cleared only if embalmed . This consists of removing blood from the body and injecting  formaldehyde in its place to delay rigor mortis (decomposition).Embalming adds to transshipment weight. An elegant, light coffin is necessary to limit costs. White coffins are available.

2. Arrangements upon death :

A) Light a diva at deceased’s head and have someone pray Ashem Vohu continuously

B) Arrange for the body to be transported to morgue immediately

C) Start four day obsequies see 1 B)

D)Ask morgue to prepare body for air shipment to Mumbai .Embalm the body as soon as possible

E) If possible, wash the body with Taro with help of family/humdeens.

F) Prepare relevant documents.

G) Alert family members in Mumbai  see 4 below. Also alert volunteer team detailed in 4, 5 .

I) Always double check with Doongerwadi and volunteers in 4,about all  documents required prior shipping the body from overseas. Make sure all original sets for India and place of departure are prepared.

3. Documents

Death certificate (cause of death-natural cause ),embalming certificate , a certificate stating that death was not due to any contagious disease, flight schedule on airline letter head.  All documents need to be notarized by Indian embassy.Prepare seven copies of each document ,including two originals. In addition  a no objection certificate will have to be obtained or arrival Mumbai,.see 5) Clearing the body.

4. Arrangements prior to arrival In Mumbai :

A) Inform family members who should coordinate with flight details to have Doongerwadi Hearse ready upon arrival,notifying bungli etc. All Doongerwadi details, phone numbers are available on BPP website, or they can be made  available through volunteers below.

B) Mr. Mehernosh Fitter  has kindly volunteered to help in this  process. His experience , connections can be very helpful for swift, seamless clearance . If you need to contact him he can be reached at Mumbai ( Tel 2412 2999, Cell; 98201 57534, Fax; 2416 2886) email:meherdel@vsnl.net.   He has received  consigned bodies at Sahar airport in the past and helped clear them with family members.

C) Ms. Kashmira Rao has kindly consented to volunteer   to help out with the coordinating process(at Doongerwadi only). She can be reached at Mumbai cell 91- 9833199985 e-mail: ilg@vsnl.net

5 Clearing the body :

Since volunteers have kindly consented to take care of this detail please advise family members to contact and thoroughly  plan the procedure with them .It involves clearing the body with customs and health department, making statements at Sahar airport police station who may ask to open the coffin and site the corpse,  making a panchnama and obtaining a no objection certificate. Police,Customs , Health Doongerwadi all need copies of relevant documents.It must be stressed to  family members that planning saves a lot of time  to consign to Doongerwadi .

The whole process with proper planning and coordination  takes about six days from US .

Kindly note that the whole process is to facilitate the last rights of the deceased and the very important GehSarna Ceremony which can only to be carried out in a Dokhma and nowhere else .

In US, Ms. Silloo Mehta has helped and guided  several families in these procedures. She can be reached at: 949-551-5252 

Courtesy : Sam Billimoria, Mehernosh Fitter, Kashmira Rao

Late Jehangirji Chiniwala Recording on Dokhmenashini

Following is recording in MP3 format of lecture delivered by Late Jehangirji Chinwalla on Dokhmenashini, date unknown, and is available on line. This recording is the 1st baj no melavdo of Late Ervad Dr. Edulji Hormuzji Koyaji(Poona).The chief guest is Late Dasturji Dr.Hormazdiar K Mirza.The transcript of this lecture will surely be found in the Parsi Avaz newspaper files.This recording is done by the kshnoomn lover Late Diniyar Mistry (Jogeshwari, Malcolm Baugh). The above info is given by KK.

Thanking Behram Dhabhar and Aspi Tavaria for digitizing and distributing this lecture.
The link is provided below:-

http://kiwi6.com/file/7xhd2282qx


Best wishes,

Firdosh K. Sukhia

Mehernosh Fitter

If ever a Zarathosti would like to transport a corpse to Mumbai’s Doongerwadi, it shall be a great pleasure for me to serve my community in a very small way. Should there be a need for any help, I shall be always there, you can put my name, my e-mail; meherdel@hotmail.com

My address is Mr. Mehernosh P. Fitter, 676A, Faradun Terrace, Road No. 13, Parsi Colony, Dadar, Mumbai; 400 031, Tel 2412 2999, Cell; 98201 57534, Fax; 2416 2886.

Click Here for more

BPP link for Doongerwadi

The Doongerwadi phone nos. are as under :

Doongerwadi (Office) +91-22-2367 5974

Doongerwadi (Upper Bungli Office) +91-22-2367 1676

Doongerwadi (Mehtaji’s Office) +91-22-2367 5949

Doongerwadi (Manager) +91-22-2367 5925

The BPP has a procedure in place for consigning the dear departed from within Mumbai, out of Mumbai and even from abroad. Click Here for details. It also includes details of the documentation and the procedure for each location

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