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SOAS PhD FOR NAZNEEN ENGINEER

Having recently been awarded her PhD, Dr. Nazneen Engineer is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the SOAS Shapoorji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies.
Her interest in Zoroastrian Studies emerged after she attended the December 2007 World Zoroastrian Youth Congress in Australia.
For her doctorate, which was awarded to her on July 24, 2019, at SOAS in London, she produced an annotated translation of a Parsi Gujarati text written in 1883 by a prominent high-priest of the Parsi community. Her post-doctoral journey continues…

WZO Trusts update

WZO Trusts are pleased to share with esteemed donors, Volunteers, Supporters and Well Wishers, by way of attachment a round up of welfare activities undertaken during the course of financial year April 2018-March 2019.

We extend sincere gratitude to all for the support extended by way of donations, volunteering for service and supporting us in various endeavors.

We would be failing in our duties if we did not acknowledge the generous support received over the years from the benevolent Trustees of Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao; in the year under review donations received from them were close to 50% of total donations received.

We look forward to continuing support and cooperation from our community to enable our team to carry on meaningful welfare activities that are aimed at not only ameliorating poverty but also to assist those in economic distress to get back on their feet through gainful employment and rejoin the mainstream of society.

Team WZO Trusts.

Scholarships for University of Oklahoma

ZOROASTRIAN FACULTY NETWORK in collaboration with R. D. SETHNA SCHOLARSHIP FUND invites Applications from Indian Zoroastrian students for grant of Loan Scholarships for the next academic year starting August 2020 for a two years Master’s Program in Engineering culminating in a Doctorate Degree.
The first Scholar would be admitted to the University of Oklahoma, USA provided he/she meets with the criteria of the University and the Selection Committee. The Scholar will be under the mentorship of Professor Farrokh Mistree in the areas of mechanical engineering, industrial engineering or data sciences.
The Scholar would be selected after an intense interview, scrutiny and will be mentored based on their academic performance, constructive service to the Zoroastrian community in the past and their spirit of selflessness to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the people they touch.
The selected candidate will be guided for further funding from other Charitable Trusts / Organizations.
The Scholar would be expected to pay back the scholarship grant in a reasonable period after graduation such that the monies can be utilized for other such scholars.
Applications may be submitted online at bit.ly/ZFNapplication not later than 15th October 2019.

GLOBAL WORKING GROUP Renews Amelioration & Welfare Scheme of Senior Mobeds & Widows of Senior Mobeds.

Community members are aware that Global Working Group (GWG) – comprising of elected Parsi Irani Zoroastrian Federations, Associations in countries that do not have Federations and some prominent Zoroastrians –  being aware of the economic challenges faced by Mobeds (Priests) & widows of Mobeds, 60 years and above – had due to the initiative and efforts of GWG President Mr. Neville Shroff, received funds for disbursement during the year 2019 from a Charitable Trust registered overseas, administered by Philanthropy Services Division of a leading international bank.

 

From the funds received, 109 Mobeds and 30 Widows of Mobeds, 60 years and above, whose annual income is less than Rs.600,000 in the case of Mobeds and Rs.300,000 in the case of widows of Mobeds, are being assisted to the tune of Rs.19,500 per quarter in case of Mobeds and Rs.13,500 per quarter in case of Widows of Elderly Mobeds.

 

The funds have been received by and are disbursed through WZO Trust Funds to the beneficiaries in India.

 

WZO Trust Funds are pleased to inform all the beneficiaries that once again, due to the efforts of GWG President Mr. Neville Shroff, the same Charitable Trust registered overseas and administered by Philanthropy Services Division of a leading international bank have agreed to continue the same level of support during the course of 2020.

Many elderly Mobeds and their widows, who having sacrificed gainful employment all their working days and tended to the spiritual needs of the community, have at best been surviving on very nominal incomes, finding it economically challenging to pass the sunset phase of their lives. It is indeed very commendable that the Charitable Trust registered overseas, administered by Philanthropy Services Division of a leading international bank have made it possible to introduce some degree of comfort into the lives of these elderly Mobeds and Widows of Elderly Mobeds who have spent their lives being guardians of our faith.

 

WZO Trust Funds takes the opportunity to place on record the untiring efforts of GWG President Mr. Neville Shroff, whose initiative and efforts have made it possible for the project to be renewed for the year 2020.

 

 

Dinshaw K. Tamboly;

Chairman,

WZO Trust Funds.

 

Digital Daily Prayers

This link contains audio recitals of our day-to-day prayers from the Khordeh Avesta and other Advanced Prayers, along with their PDF format in English/Gujrati.
It also contains the Entire NAVJOT CEREMONY PRAYERS with pauses for children to learn and recite alongwith.
All recordings have been done by Er. Keki Ravji
In case of any problems with opening / downloading these files, please feel free to MESSAGE/ WHATSAPP on 98339-68668 or Kaizad Aibara kaizad.aibara@gmail.com

Inauguration Ceremony of Udwada Railway Station

Dear Parsi/Irani Community,
Today the 6th Sept 2019, Mah: Farvardin – Roj: Ram Y.Z. 1389, marks the day for the Inaugural of our restored Udwada Station, with Feliciation ceremony of our Vada Dastoorji Shri Khurshed Kekobad Dastoor and his efforts and personal attention towards the Restoration of the Udwada Railway Station and the whole of Udwada. It’s the most beautiful station in South Gujarat and equipped with the latest technology and the most modern facilities for commuters. An announcement for halting Flying Ranee and another train for the convenience of commuters was made by Vada Dastoorji Shri Khurshed Kekobad Dastoor for which he shall put in an appeal and request our Railway Minister Mr Piyush Goyal to do the needful. He also requested citizens to take care of the upgradation and considered it as their own by keeping the surroundings clean and requested everyone to join the “Šwachh Bharat Mission” a dream of our adorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra bhai Damodardas Modi Jee. Ervad Mr Zarir. M. Dastoor too was present with other Parsi members of Udwada Gam to applaud Vada Dastoorji Shri Khurshed Kekobad Dastoor for his fulfilment in getting the project completed in the stipulated time period. Many more from the Lions club, WE club, Senior citizens club, Bhakti and Shakti Mandal members, Udwada Anjuman, Vyapari Mandal, Gram Panchayat and District and Taluka Gram Presidents were present to grace this special day.
The programme started with Maa Saraswati Vani by students of Bhagini Samaj School, speeches were held by the dignitaries and ended with reciting our National Athem. It was a wonderful evening and a successful inauguration of the beautifully made air-conditioned rooms was done by Vada Dastoorji Šhri Khurshed Kekobad Dastoor.
Sweets and chocolates were distributed to everyone present to mark the happiness and fulfilment of the day.
Bharat Mata Ki Jay.
Love and Regards
Shahin J A Mehershahi.

The incredible adventures of Parsi Cyclists around the world

How it began

The first group to set off on their bicycles was made up of six members of the Bombay Weightlifting Club. They were Adi Hakim, Jal Bapasola, Rustom Bhumgara, Gustad Hathiram, Keki Pochkhanawala and Nariman Kapadia.

According to Rohinton Bhumgara, son of Rustom Bhumgara, the six youngsters had attended a public lecture in 1920 by a Frenchman who had walked from Europe to India. Hearing him talk left them deeply inspired.

Their journey began in October 1923 and meandered through Punjab, Balochistan, the Middle East, Europe, United States, Japan and South East Asia.

On the way, one team member returned to India from Tehran for “personal reasons”, while two others were so “enamoured” of America that they stayed back.

Adi Hakim, Jal Bapasola and Rustom Bhumgara return to Bombay after nearly five years.
Adi Hakim, Jal Bapasola and Rustom Bhumgara return to Bombay after nearly five years.

“Once, he [Jal Bapasola] narrated how they approached the Raleigh Cycle Co of England in Bombay about [the company] sponsoring the cycles,” Babani was told by Bapasola’s 82-year-old son Noshir Bapasola, who lives in New Jersey.

“The company refused. But when they reached England, he said the company was begging them to use their cycles. He asked them why they had a change of heart and was told quite bluntly ‘we did not believe that you boys would be so successful’.”

By the time Hakim, Bapasola and Bhumgara reached India in March 1928, they had covered around 70,000 kilometres.

In their book With Cyclists Around The World, they enumerated their achievements with “pardonable pride”: in four and a half years, they had scaled the Alps, crossed “pirate-infested territories” and waded through jungles with “hostile semi-savage tribes”, sometimes “escaping death by inches”.

 

Click Here for the full story in Dawn with pictures

First in 215 yrs, woman to helm Asiatic Society

Balaporia holds a General Certificate of Education from Oxford (Photo by Raju Shinde)

For the first time in its 215-year-old history, a woman has been appointed as the president of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai.
The announcement of 77-year-old Vispi Balaporia’s appointment was made on Saturday after she reportedly won 107 of 163 votes.

Elections for the head post of the historical institution are held every three years and a person can serve only two terms.
The daughter of Shavax Lal, who worked as secretary to Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, Balaporia retired as the Head of the Department of English, and vice-principal of Jai Hind College. Currently, she is a visiting faculty at the BMM Department of Jai Hind College.
Talking to Mirror, the acclaimed academician stressed on the importance of ensuring the completion of ongoing projects and generating funds.
“Several projects depend on the generosity of donors; such as the conservation of old and rare books, as well as a large collection of old maps that require restoration. Experts who undertake such specialised work need to be paid. Then, there are infrastructural improvements as well, for which plans are ready, but permissions have to be obtained and funding sought.”

Click Here for the full story in Mumbai Mirror

Alka Dhupkar – Mumbai Mirror

UDWADA STATION – HISTORY

There was no separate railway station for Udwada on Bombay Baroda B. B. & C .I. Railway. One had to alight at Pardi station and travel eight miles to reach Udwada. Seth Behramji Nusserwanji Seervai (1824-1914) started his business as a railway contractor and carting agent in 1864 for B. B. & C.I. Railway.

Seth Behramji Nusserwanji Seervai wrote a letter to Mr. J. K.  Duxbari, the railway company’s agent  on 16th October 1868 and stressed the need for building a small station at Udwada where Parsis go on a pilgrimage to the ancient Atash Behram and if the railway company wants he offered to pay the expenses for constructing the station.

On 11th June 1869 Mr. C. Curry, the railway company’s agent replied to Seth Behramji Seervai that a small station will be constructed at Udwada by the railway company but if he or his friends could improve the road from the station to Udwada village.

Seth Behramji on 20th October 1869 wrote a letter to Mr. T. C. Hope, Collector of Surat and offered to pay half the expenses for repairing the road. Mr. Hope accepted the offer by his letter of 8th January 1870 to Seth Behramji and stated “… the Local Fund Committee will undertake hereafter to improve it as far as the means at their disposal will allow.”

Thereafter Seth Behramji on 8th April 1870 deposited Rs.2,000/-  in Surat’s Government Treasury for the road to Udwada village. The railway company constructed a small temporary station at Udwada and inaugurated it on 23rd December 1869. The road to the Udwada village was built on 25th May 1870.

Bai Motlabai Jehangirji Wadia contributed Rs.68,000/- ( Rs.38,000/- for constructing the permanent road and Rs, 30,000/- for its repairs)from Udwada station to the Atash Behram. The railway company demolished the 25 year old temporary station and built a permanent station 3/4th mile away and inaugurated it on 1st January 1896.

(Source: Parsee Prakash Vol. Ii  Translated from Gujarati into English by Marzban Jamshedji Giara)

Udvada Station recently renovated now
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