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WBG-IMF Civil Society Policy Forum 2021

Civil Society Unit | Department of Global Communications | United Nations

World Bank Civil Society Policy Forum

27 September – 8 October 2021

Dear Civil Society Colleagues,

On behalf of World Bank Group (WBG)-International Monetary Fund (IMF), we invite you to register for the Civil Society Policy Forum (CSPF). The CSPF is a key part of the WBG-IMF Annual Meetings (AMs), and is taking place from September 27 – 8 October 2021. It is comprised of 18 CSO-led sessions on key development issues, also including several WBG-IMF staff as panelists.

Registration is open until 5 p.m. EDT, 20 September 2021.
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Launch of the Gen Z and Beyond Global Survey

Dear Zarathushtis in North America and all over the world,

FEZANA is delighted to inform you of an exciting new project that is launching around the world today.

The GenZ and Beyond Project is an online survey of the global Zoroastrian community. It is being conducted at the Shapoorji Pallonji Institute for Zoroastrian Studies (SSPIZS) at SOAS, University of London and led by Dr Sarah Stewart, SSP Senior Lecturer in Zoroastrianism. Dr Nazneen Engineer, former student of SOAS, is the Project Manager.

Watch the promotional video on the launch of the Gen Z Survey Project

This Survey, which is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the global Zoroastrian community to participate in, will:

  1. Provide an accurate and detailed picture of the community as it exists today.
  2. Identify ways to preserve and perpetuate Zoroastrian identity, belief, and practice.
  3. Generate educational and further research opportunities for the future.

The Survey is completely anonymous and all data that is collected is subject to strict data protection regulations. We encourage every single person who is eligible to take part to sign-up for a ‘unique Survey link’ using your email address or mobile telephone number.

For more information on eligibility and participation, data collection and protection, and research outcomes and benefits, please visit

The survey and its findings will help FEZANA and its member associations in various ways in the coming years. FEZANA endorses the project and we urge you to participate in it, and share it with each and everyone of your family and friends. This is an individual survey and we urge each and every member of every family to take this.

Sign Up For The Survey

Inside a 75-YO Parsi Lady’s ‘Paradise’ for 431 Rescued Animals

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.

Roxanne Davur runs Probably Paradise

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

Roxanne Davur runs Probably Paradise

“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.

Team at Probably Paradise
Team at Probably Paradise

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

Roxanne Davur founder of Probably Paradise

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.”

Probably Paradise shelter home
Peanut’s hoof that was badly injured in a road accident.

“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.

Roxanne Davur

(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)

Renowned Film Critic Rashid Irani Found Dead in Mumbai Home

Renowned film critic Rashid Irani. (Pixel Villages photo)

Renowned film critic Rashid Irani was found dead Aug. 2 at his residence in Mumbai. He was 74.

Irani, who had multiple health issues and lived alone, was said to have breathed his last on July 30 at his home in Dhobitalao, according to his close friend Rafeeq Ellias.

Karan Johar, on Twitter, shared a throwback picture with Irani. He wrote, “Rest in peace Rashid. I remember all our interactions and conversations so fondly. Your insight on Cinema will always be treasured.”

Randeep Hooda tweeted, “Cinema a little less loved today. RIP Rashid Irani saab.”

Sudhir Mishra said, “Oh shit !When I came to Bombay in d early eighties, this was the kind of Bombayite I grew to love. Gentle, firm, held his own in a discussion but always listened. In front of him his city changed. He was in a sense like d Grandfather in Fellini’s Amarcord: lost near his own house!”

Well-known scriptwriter and journalist Aniruddh Guha, the grandson of late filmmaker Dulal Guha, tweeted, “GUTTED! There was no one more passionate about cinema than Rashid Irani! A man stuck in a time warp. Living alone, without Wifi or gadgets, eating meagre meals. A frugal existence. All his friends feared this is how he’ll go. Will miss him saying “Aneerood” on the phone.”

The official social media account of the Mumbai Press Club also paid respects to  Irani: “Rashid Irani, 74, one of the country’s foremost film critics, passed away probably on 30 July at home. He was not seen for 2-3 days; a search by friends, club officials and police led to his home, where his mortal remains were found.”

Irani, who had contributed to national dailies like “The Times of India,” “Hindustan Times” and the website “,” was described as “one of the pillars of the Mumbai Press Club Film Society.” The critic was a core member of the club, and never missed a day at the media center writing his reviews and watching films.

Irani was also one of the owners of Cafe Brabourne, a restaurant near Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium. His stint as a journalist was described by him as “It all began with Marilyn Monroe,” as he told Elias.

By R.M. VIJAYAKAR/Special to India-West

Munchi Cama expired on 03 July 2021

Two days after Asia’s oldest newspaper, the Gujarati daily Mumbai Samachar entered its 200th year, one of its owners, Muncherji (Munchi) Cama, passed away on Saturday. The paper was founded on July 1, 1822, but the Cama family became owners in 1933.
Besides being a newspaper proprietor, not many know that Munchi also controlled the Ardeshir Hormusji Wadia Trust, which according to government records, is one of the biggest private landowners in Mumbai. It has over 361 acres in Kurla and a corpus believed to be a humungous Rs 700 crore. Some years ago, when I asked him about the trust’s phenomenal land holdings, he explained to me: “We cannot speculate on our land holding unless we take an audit. A lot of our land was acquired by the government decades ago, but it was returned to us completely encroached.’’
He told me that many builders had approached the trust, offering to rehabilitate slum dwellers and redevelop the land. In the early 20th century, the Cama family of Mumbai Samachar owned 1/3rd of the land in Chembur.
In the early part of the 19th century, Ardeshir Hormusji Wadia was given the lease for Kurla, which comprised the six villages of Mohili, Kole Kalyan, Marol, Sahar, Asalphe and Parjapur, for a yearly rent of Rs 3,587.
In 2018, I met Muncherji at the K. R. Cama Oriential Institute in Mumbai, where he was a trustee. The library, founded in 1916, has a treasure trove of ancient Avesta, Pahlavi and Persian literature and manuscripts including books on Islam and the Koran. I was pleasantly surprised when Muncherji readily agreed to show me a rare manuscript, which also happened to be the library’s most precious treasure– a 7th century AD Arabic manuscript called “Ahd-Namaha’’ or what is called “Covenants of faith’’ or charters granted by the Prophet Mohammad and his son-in-law Imam Ali.
In 2004, my front-page report in TOI about the sale of the Cama family bungalow, Cosy Corner, off Nepean Sea Road to a builder for Rs 108 crore, upset the Camas (So I was told). The builder was one of the tragic victims of the 26/11, 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
Nauzer Bharucha
Goodbye Muncherji …
Muncherji Cama more popularly called Munchi is no more.
I got to know him better in 2008 when he was part of the AFP-7 Panel along with myself to contest the first Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) elections by the process of Universal Adult Franchise. Unfortunately he lost.
He was well read, witty and had the most amazing sense of humour. At public meetings it would be a joy sitting next to him simply to hear his witty comments spiked with caustic humour.
At one election meeting a lady rudely called him a “fat potatoe”. Without batting an eyelid he said: “I am a (healthy) sweet potatoe”. The audience was bowled over.
At the food table he would tell you the right sandwich to pick or the right cut of meat to select. Oh yes he loved good food and that ran in his family.
When I resigned as trustee of the BPP in March 2011 he was elected in my place but he too resigned before completing his term of office.
Through the A H Wadia Trust and several other trusts he was helpful to a large number of people seeking medical other assistance.
He did not believe in making applicants run from one trust to another. I remember recommending the case of a lady in Poona suffering from cancer around the year 2008. The couple was retired and the expense was around Rs. 13 lakhs. He called the lady in my presence and told her “You focus on your recovery and leave the expense to me”. He lived up to his promise and from just a single source all her medical expenditure was covered.
There are innumerable stories about how he would go out of his way to help those genuinely in need. He would send his personal staff over to help some old lady or gent living alone and in need of non financial assistance such as cooking, cleaning paying utility bills etc. He would often even visit beneficiaries at their homes.
He was Director of Mumbai Samachar which will soon be celebrating its 200th anniversary. He sat on the Board of several other institutions including the K R Cama Oriental Institute.
He was ailing and homebound for several months but continued to take active interest in all his work till the end from home.
He loved life and tried to live it fully and cheerfully despite various health challenges.
He had his share of critics but non could doubt his honesty and integrity.
Goodbye Munchi! I’ll always smile thinking of all those comments you passed sitting next to me at the last meeting of the BPP that you attended.
Noshir H Dadrawala

Muncherji Nusserwanji Cama, a director at Mumbai Samachar, the oldest Indian newspaper in print, died on Saturday after a brief illness, sources said.

Cama, who was in his 60s, was active in the family’s publishing business till the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the sources said.

The former trustee of the Bombay Parsi Punchayat (BPP) was a resident of Walkeshwar in south Mumbai. Founded in 1681, BPP is the apex body representing the Parsi Zoroastrian community in Mumbai and is among the oldest charitable trusts.

Keenly interested in history, languages and linguistics, Cama was on the board of several charities and was particularly interested in enhancing educational standards of the less fortunate and helped provide medical treatment for the poor.

His elder brother Hormusji N Cama is more active in the day-to-day operations of Mumbai Samachar.

On July 1, Mumbai Samachar entered its 200th year of publication. The Gujarati newspaper, with its office located in an iconic red building in south Mumbai’s Fort area, was first published in 1822.

Founded by Parsi scholar Fardoonji Murazban, the newspaper passed through several hands until bankruptcy turned it over to the Cama family in 1933. PTI

L&P’s Hemin Bharucha’s shout out to global companies

Welcome to London! L&P’s Hemin Bharucha’s shout out to global companies

“Six and a half per cent of London’s population is of Indian-origin, either first-generation or second generation,” says Hemin Bharucha, Country Director-India and Senior Leadership Team member at London & Partners (L&P). “When I walk the London streets, I can hear Marathi, I can hear Hindi; all sorts of Indian languages being spoken.”

““We work with high-growth companies whose sectors align with good growth for London. London is Open” – Hemin says, signing off. Photo courtesy: L&P

With over two decades of international trade experience working at senior levels with global companies, Hemin has been heavily involved in broadening the India-UK bilateral relationship.

From providing strategic direction for investment projects to generating business development and marketing opportunities, he has successfully consulted and advised a wide spectrum of companies during the course of his career.

“We work with 50 different partners; accounting firms, legal firms, immigration firms. All of them can help Indian companies to set up in London especially. We look at attracting partners from tech, from creativity, mobility and life sciences,” explains Hemin.

He added that India and the UK share a similarity in accounting and legal systems as well as a historical familiarity with each other.
He added that India and the UK share a similarity in accounting and legal systems as well as a historical familiarity with each other. Photo courtesy: MEA

His affiliation with Britain and British agencies stretches back decades, including working at the Scottish Development International, Scotland’s trade and inward investment agency, and the Yorkshire Forward initiative of the British High Commission, where he influenced and facilitated Indian companies to expand their business in the UK, before becoming L&P’s India head in 2017.

On being asked whether the main job of L&P is to market the city as a destination for companies to open their offices, he says that it is equally for London-based companies to do business in key global markets including India.

L&P was launched as a non-profit company in 2011 by the then Mayor Boris Johnson, aimed at promoting the city as an attractive destination for businesses, students and investment. It focuses on building London’s international reputation, helping to retain and grow businesses, attracting international audiences and guiding them to grow with the city.

On being asked whether the main job of L&P is to market the city as a destination for companies to open their offices, he said that it is equally for London-based companies to do business in key global markets including India.
On being asked whether the main job of L&P is to market the city as a destination for companies to open their offices, he said that it is equally for London-based companies to do business in key global markets including India. Photo courtesy: L&P

Despite the negative impact of the pandemic and the economic downturn that has resulted from it, L&P is gearing up for a post-COVID recovery. In fact, says Hemin, they supported 16 new companies that set up shop in the city in 2020 without even physically looking at space.

“It is a testimony to the city of London as a safe place to invest for Indian companies,“ Hemin says.

He added that India and the UK share a similarity in accounting and legal systems as well as a historical familiarity with each other. London has also developed as a global hub for tech, finance and education, which is another major draw for businesses.

Despite the negative impact of the pandemic and economic downturn that has resulted from it, L&P is gearing up for a post-COVID recovery.
L&P is gearing up for a post-COVID recovery. Photo courtesy: Flickr

“With India, we focus mainly on trade, investment and on students. The biggest pull for companies is that the customer is sitting in London,” Hemin adds. However, he says, one of the most important tasks L&P faces is identifying companies that would be a good fit for the city, especially when it comes to midsize and smaller companies and startups. A lot of research and effort goes into determining the compatibility of a firm with what the city has to offer in terms of networking, facilities and technology.

“We work with high-growth companies whose sectors align with good growth for London. London is Open”, Hemin says, signing off.

Tushaar Kuthiala – Associate Editor

Tushaar has extensive experience as a journalist and in founding two start-up newspapers. He has developed editorial models for both copy and content, and has written several articles, news reports on a wide range of topics. He is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College and earned a post-graduate diploma in TV Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai. He has worked as a special correspondent based in New Delhi with Daily World, an international media organisation.

Debating the decline – what people think about the Parsi population

I recently followed a Parsi Directory “Facebook post titled Parsi Count in India Plunges 18% to 57,264,” referring to the decade old 2011 Government of India census figures. I took part and watched as people posted their recommendations on how to combat the problem. As I glanced at these concerns and viewpoints I observed that the orthodox and reformist segments of the Parsi community were engaging in an ivory tower debate — and more often, a vituperative one! I confess I have also been an active participant, spouting views emerging from my real life experiences and frustrations. 

The discussion slowed down in a couple of days and, along with the other 20-plus participants, I too drifted away. A few days later I realized this was a haphazard collection of views on the vital issue of population decline! As we stand at the threshold of the 2021 census I went back to the Facebook page and copied the full segment to study the disparate views.
I rearranged the views on specific topics to decipher what motivated the writers. I have summarized the comments in each section below, keeping the intent of the writers.
The Census: There was not much interest in addressing the numbers of either the Parsi diaspora, or an acknowledgement that there are many Zoroastrians across the world who have no connection to the Indian subcontinent or its Parsi community. The Parsis unabashedly claim ownership of the Zoroastrian faith.
When discussing the census, the primary concern was that our numbers are diminishing rapidly and the Parsis face extinction.
A thread running throughout focused on Parsi racial purity. While a few unquestioningly supported the perspective, others found it repugnant. There were also pragmatic statements like, “The only reason for me to encourage community headcount going up is simple — strength in numbers. Everything else is incidental.” Another writer commented, “They’ll put us in Victoria Gardens with a board announcing ‘Endangered Species.’” One comment suggested: “Please read demographics published in Parsiana under caption Milestones.”

  Illustrations by Mickey Patel

Commenters noted the Indian census figures did not include the Parsi diaspora. Since the British departed from the subcontinent, many Parsis have migrated to other Commonwealth countries and to the USA. There are also transient Parsis residing in the Middle East.
Who is a Parsi: Strongly held views included statements like: “A Parsi is the child of a Parsi couple;” “Children of a mixed marriage can be Parsis only if the father is a Parsi;” “Parsis are a ‘pure race’ and the religion does not permit marriage with people of other races.”
Questionable claims supported the beliefs that conversion is not permitted in the Zoroastrian scriptures, and that the Supreme Court had observed that a person’s DNA does not change on marriage.
Marriage: Several believed it is the responsibility of adults to indoctrinate children that they can find a Parsi life partner if they really want to. Early marriages were encouraged, and women admonished for delaying childbirth, thereby limiting the number of children they can produce. Some spoke of couples linking up at international Zoroastrian congresses. One participant, however, differed: “It’s a matter of luck that guys and girls match up to expectation. From attending various conferences there are loads of options available if one gets lucky. But those who don’t find a partner will never find one. Speaking for myself, my current date is a non-Parsi. I am in my 30s and most of those platforms failed me a match… sorry, this is how it is for me and for many more!”
The problem is there are not enough platforms where Parsi youth can meet socially, except in high density Parsi colonies and baugs.
Non-Parsis also chimed in. “My best friend married a non-Parsi, and they drove him out of the community. Today, if the Parsis really want to survive, they need to marry a humdin and have three children.”
One writer noted that parents, especially mothers of marriageable women, are obsessively picky about who their daughters should marry. Invariably the daughters remained unmarried or marry too late to bear children.
To compensate for delayed marriages, some suggested using scientific interventions like semen banks, in-vitro fertilization, freezing eggs, and surrogacy to birth offspring more effectively.
Misinformation was scattered across the posts: that Zoroastrianism prohibited intermarriage; that racial purity is lost when a Parsi marries a non-Parsi; accepting that an intermarried Parsi man’s children are Parsis. And this led to a conclusion by a few that, “If intermarriage happens we will vanish from the surface of this earth!”
Conversion: It is probably the most volatile debate among Parsis. Challenges like, “If our religion did not allow conversion, how did it ever start?” received defensive responses like, “OK, so what’s your solution to this? Why don’t you come up with one?” The commenter responded, “For a start: equal acceptance of children of intermarriage, when either the father or the mother is a non-Parsi. Then: conversion to Zoroastrianism of anyone who wishes to join and follow the faith. The Parsi community in India cannot hold the Zoroastrian religion hostage under the faulty and despicable perception of racial purity.” The response received several “like” and “dislike” emojis!
The orthodox and the reformists stand firmly with heels dug in on opposite sides of every social and community issue. The terms “reformist” and “orthodox” are often used pejoratively by opposing sides of the debates. Both words actually have a positive bearing. The word “reform” implies a desirable and positive path to follow. It is a good word. But it is often confused with giving up what we value and treasure, and changing it to something different. Change is always threatening as we feel safe in a known condition, however uncomfortable and inconvenient it may be. Reform, instead, can be a meeting point of apparently opposing views. Change can be facilitated by collaboration. It can lead to reorganization, restructuring, modification, transformation, alteration, development and amendment. In a business management environment such thinking is rewarded, because positive and desirable strategies emerge when an organization is re-engineered.
Our community’s lay and spiritual leaders should listen to the needs of its members. Protecting antiquated rules to govern modern human and societal needs will not solve the problems the community is facing. It is never too late to match the fundamental tenets of the universal Zoroastrian faith to meet the social survival challenges overwhelming the Parsi community.
Yezdyar S. Kaoosji
Born and educated in Hyderabad, Yezdyar S. Kaoosji lives in California. He has worked nationally and internationally serving nongovernmental and voluntary organizations as a professional staff, trainer, and management consultant.
Yezdyar S. Kaoosji

Courtesy : Parsiana

Sammy Bhiwandiwalla passes away

With deep sorrow we inform you of the sudden demise of ZTFE Life Member and WZO Chairman Mr Sammy H Bhiwandiwalla who passed away earlier today, Sunday 27th December 2020, Roj Gosh Mah Amardad. He was 81 years old.

A sad loss to Sammy’s wife Ursula, son Cyrus, daughter in law Christine,  daughter Nicola, son in law David and his grandchildren- (Cyrus and Christine’s children) : Chloe – Rose, Marcus, Reubens; (Nicola and David’s children) : Lara, Rhea and Thomas.

Prayers for Sammy will be performed at the WZO Home as per the WZO email below.

May the soul of Sammy’s rest in peace in Garothman.

Yours sincerely
Malcolm M Deboo
ZTFE President

27th December 2020

Dear Members and Well- wishers,

We are deeply saddened to inform you that our Chairman, Sammy Bhiwandiwalla passed away on 27th December 2020, Gosh Roj, Amardad Mah.

We convey our sincere condolences to his wife Ursula, son Cyrus, daughter in law Christine,  daughter Nicola, son in law David and his grandchildren- (Cyrus and Christine’s children) : Chloe – Rose, Marcus, Reubens; (Nicola and David’s children) : Lara, Rhea and Thomas.
The family wishes that you will join them in prayers for his dear departed soul.

Day 2 – Evening Sarosh No Kardo
Dec 28, 2020 04:30 PM LondonJoin our Cloud HD Video Meeting
Meeting ID: 925 8877 0667
Passcode: wzo-prayer

Day 3 – Afternoon Uthamnu
Dec 29, 2020 03:00 PM LondonJoin our Cloud HD Video Meeting
Meeting ID: 991 9222 8836
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Day 3 – Evening Sarosh No Kardo
Dec 29, 2020 04:30 PM LondonJoin our Cloud HD Video Meeting
Meeting ID: 995 4543 8718
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Day 3 – Night Uthamnu + Daham Yazad Jashan
Dec 30, 2020 06:30 AM LondonJoin our Cloud HD Video Meeting
Meeting ID: 987 1766 7444
Passcode: wzo-prayer

Day 4 – Morning Chahrum Prayers
Dec 30, 2020 08:30 AM LondonJoin our Cloud HD Video Meeting
Meeting ID: 934 2851 2272
Passcode: wzo-prayer

Sammy Bhiwandiwalla together with his wife Ursula started their own company in 1970 supporting the foundry and industrial model making industry. After 35 years they decided to call it a day and devote some time to the second generation. Ursula and Sammy have always taken an active interest in community matters in the UK and were greatly influenced by the actions and sincere beliefs of individuals such as Noshirwan Cowasjee, Shirinbanoo Kutar, Shahpur Captain and many others, that in a changing world it was necessary to create a more balanced and equitable community within the UK. He joined the WZO Board in 1988 and since then has served in various capacities including being the Chairman of WZO.
Sammy has done great service to the organisation by securing funds from a range of sources to ensure that its core work of aiding Zoroastrians and making information available about the religion can continue. He was particularly interested in ensuring equality of rights and treatment for all Zoroastrians, particularly recognizing that non-Zoroastrian spouses and their offspring were an integral part of our community and to be treated as equals.

May Sammy’s soul rest in Garothman Behest

With Profound Sadness,
WZO Committee Members


Bombay Parsi Punchayet To Appoint A New Chairman

Announcement expected within next few days; current chairman Yazdi H Desai has given his resignation citing health reasons

The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) Board of Trustees is set to meet in the next few days to appoint a new chairman after current chairman Yazdi H Desai gave in his resignation on December 23.

Desai, who held the prestigious post for five years, has resigned citing health reasons. The BPP’s Viraf Mehta said, “The Board is set to meet within a few days to accept Desai’s resignation and appoint a new chairman. This will be a zoom (virtual meet).”

Desai in his resignation, addressed to colleague trustees of the BPP, stated that as all of them are aware, he had suffered a stroke in April this year. The letter said further, “Doctors have informed me that full recovery may take longer than I had anticipated, due in no small measure to the fact that I was unable to get any therapy for the initial four months, due to the prevailing pandemic situation.”

Terming it necessary to take this “hard and painful decision”, Desai said that to fast-track his full recovery, his doctors have ordered him to avoid stress. He added that for the past 20 years, his life has revolved around his community and the Punchayet. Desai ended his letter saying it has been a “privilege and honour” to serve the community, acknowledging the support of his wife, Anahita.

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