Zoroastrian Return To Roots Kicks Off 5th Trip to India

The 5th edition of the Zoroastrian Return To Roots Program began in Mumbai, India today on December 19, 2018.

22 Zarathushti youth from USA, Canada, Pakistan, New Zealand and India gathered in Mumbai at the Cusrow Baug Pavilion to kick off the program.

Aban Marker-Kabraji, Co-Chair of RTR Program welcomed the RTR Fellows and briefed them about the history of the program and the ethos and principles on which the program is based. She emphasized the diversity of the program and thanked the institutional and individual donors who have put their faith in this program. Arzan Sam Wadia, Program Director of RTR briefed everyone about the upcoming daily program details over the next 15 days.

The group were given a brief history of the Cusrow Baug, Mumbai’s premier Zoroastrian housing colony by Hoshang Jal, the Secretary of Cusrow Baug Pavilion.

Homi Gandhi, President of FEZANA spoke of FEZANA’s commitment as a MoU partner in supporting RTR as an institutional partner.

The participants then made their way to the legendary Britannia for a scrumptious Parsi meal and a personal meeting with its equally legendary owner Boman Kohinoor.

Later in the afternoon, RTR Fellows were welcomed at Madison World, India’s premier advertising and marketing agency headed by the dynamic father-daughter duo of Sam Balsara and Lara Balsara. Here the Fellows got a masterclass in entrepreneurship, media, advertising and a detailed deep-dive in the story behind the hugely successful ad campaign for Jiyo Parsi.

Over the next two weeks Fellows will travel to Pune, Nargol, Sanjan, Udvada, Navsari and Surat before returning to Mumbai for the return leg.

As is customary, all the pre-planning leading up to this day and the daily logistics of the trip is run by RTR Alumni who come back year on year, to continue the program. Zubin Gheesta and Sheherazad Pavri from Mumbai, Kayras Irani from Auckland, Tanya Hoshi from Toronto and Cyrus Karanjia from Karachi are the alumni who will be assisting with the running of the program 

Trail Blazers India, as RTR’s logistics partners since inception were represented by Hutokshi Marker, CEO and Kurush Charna, CTO who will travel with the group for the entire duration.

If you would like to get real-time updates follow RTR on Facebook and Instagram



Gujarat’s Arzan Nagwaswalla keeps Parsi legacy alive in cricket

Parsis have played an important part in Indian cricket history.

Parsis were the first Indian side to visit England in 1886. And around 12 Parsis, such as Farrokh Engineer, Polly Umrigar, Nari Contractor, have played for the Indian cricket teams over the years. The last big name being India women’s captain Diana Edulji.

There still exist a few Parsi clubs in Mumbai which play in the famous monsoon cricket Kanga League, but the Parsi cricketers are almost invisible on the cricketing scene.

On Wednesday morning, one Parsi cricketer — Arzan Nagwaswalla must have made his community proud with a heartening bowling performance, representing Gujarat, that bamboozled Mumbai in their own den Wankhede Stadium.

On a grassy pitch, Nagwaswalla not only came up with a five-wicket haul (5/78) but also seemed to indicate that it is not all over as far as cricketing legacy of the Parsis is concerned.

Nagwaswalla was involved in a major batting Mumbai collapse after bringing three wickets down in two overs at 74 of Suryakumar Yadav, Armaan Jaffer and Aditya Tare even as the calls by his teammates of “Well bowled Bawa” went around. He completed his five wickets after dismissing Dhrumil Matkar after dismissing Mumbai’s crisis man Siddhesh Lad.

“This is my first season and third Ranji match. I have played age group cricket for Gujarat and the performances there helped me in my promotion to the Ranji side,” said the 21-year-old cricketer.

Nagwaswalla said he was nervous when he was handed over the new ball to bowl at the Wankhede. “It all evaporated after the first over. It was my first match on this ground, was a good wicket to bow on. I got the rewards for putting the ball on the right place.”

The youngster has not played club cricket, but he has trained under former Ranji Trophy players. “There are no clubs. My village Umbergaon is on the border of Maharashtra. We had a few Ranji players at our players and I worked under them. I got interest and then the opportunities one after another.”

Nagwaswalla isn’t aware if whether Parsi cricketers still play cricket in domestic circuit. “Mine is not a cricket background. I knew there were Parsi players, who played for India and I know some names. However, I don’t know about the current situation…who is playing or not.”

“I am the youngest player in my town. Not many from my community are left back there and they have either moved to Mumbai or migrated elsewhere,” said Nagwaswalla, who idolises Zaheer Khan and Wasim Akram.


Wings at Rustom Baug

Registrations are now open at Wings ‘18!
Please register for the event(s) of your choice.

  • Badminton
  • Table Tennis
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Indirect Volleyball
  • PUBG
  • Throw ball
  • JAM
  • Sepak
  • Midnight Treasure Hunt
  • Paintball
  • 1 vs 1 football
  • FIFA 19
  • Bawa’s Got Talent

Venue – Rustom Baug Grounds
Dates – 8th,9th,10th,11th November

Follow us – https://instagram.com/wings__18

For registrations contact;
Shazen Elavia – 9820175935
Arish Sidhwa – 9870423046


World Zoroastrian Youth Congress – Registrations Open!

Tell your kids! Tell your friends!

Register for the 2019 Zoroastrian Youth Congress

  • Who: 18-35 year old Zoroastrian Youth from around the world
  • What: Sign up for the World Zoroastrian Youth Congress today!
  • When: July 1-6, 2019
  • Where: Los Angeles, CA USA
  • Why: Learn about the Zoroastrian religion, network with peers and other professionals, and make new friends from around the world!
  • How: Click the “I’m an Early Bird” button below…use the code FIRST100 to get the early bird price of $399.99!
I’m an early bird! Sign me up!

What is a Youth Congress?

Theme: A Global Zarathusti.

As the first youth congress took place in California in over twenty-five years ago, this congress is a milestone event where we can recognize the progress and shortcomings that our community have faced over the last twenty-five years as the original youth groups have now transitioned into adulthood.  Now, it is time that we re-energize our youth and engage them again to build a better Zoroastrian community in an increasingly globalized world.

We plan on encouraging the youth to attend and take place in the ABC’s of the congress.

  • Academic: What updates have taken place in our understanding of the religious and historical literature regarding Zoroastrianism over the last twenty-five years?
  • Business:  What professional opportunities are Zoroastrians thriving in across the world and how can we continue to thrive professionally and entrepreneurially going forward?
  • Community: What can we do to reignite the flame as our community continues to expand across the world?
Sounds interesting! Sign me up!

EARLY BIRDS:  Register as soon as you can!

For the first 100 buyers, we have tickets available at US$ 399.99!

Use the coupon code: FIRST100

The ticket prices will increase significantly as time passes (up to $599) so buy now!
I’m an early bird! Sign me up!

Applications Open For 2018 Zoroastrian Return To Roots Program

The Zoroastrian Return to Roots Program is pleased to announce the opening of applications for Return to Roots 5 Trip scheduled to take place from 19th December, 2018 to 2nd January 2019. This will be the fifth tour after the first four very successful tours in 2013-14, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The aim of Zoroastrian Return to Roots is to bring together young Zoroastrians from across the world between the ages of 22-35; to return to their roots, reconnect with their culture, and revive the community. Participants (‘Fellows’) will explore various significant Zoroastrian historical, religious, cultural, and archaeological sites in India over a trip of 15 days.

The itinerary will take participants to Mumbai, Gujarat and Pune.


A hat-trick from Dilshad Daruvala

Hello Humdeens
Many of you will remember the Parsi Panja of Dilshad Rayomand Daruvala as she participated and won in the past two years at the All Zoroastrian Arm Wrestling Competition at the Parsee Gymkhana at Marine Drive.
1. On Sunday, November 20, 2016: 
    Dilshad arm-wrestled three contestants before she won the the Gold Medal that many of us saw. 
    She won the Medal in the Over 40 Ladies category. 
2. Then, on Sunday, November 19, 2017: 
    Dilshad arm-wrestled her way to retain her title and won an easy gold medal as an individual. 
    Besides, she was part of a team that scored the highest points and received a cash-prize at the 
    All Zoroastrian Arm Wrestling Competition at the Parsee Gymkhana at Marine Drive.
3. Now, last Tuesday, May 1, 2018:
    Dilshad called me from Nagpur, where she lives with her advocate husband and two lovely little 
    daughters, and where she had recently participated in the 31st State Arm-Wresting Champion-
    ship organised by the Nagpur District Arm-Wrestling Association.
      She has sent the following two attachments with this brief little WA message:
     Stood Second and am selected for the national level arm-wrestling championship to be 
     held at Lucknow
Congratulations Dilshad. What a hat-trick! 
Great seeing your medal and your certificate in the attachment.
May you have many more such victories !!! 
P.S. Dilshad can be seen seen arm-wrestling at 3:47; (she is in a yellow dress) in the attached 2016 YouTube video clip:

Youth Leading The Way To A Stronger Global Zarthushti Community

What happens when 4 Dasturjis, 2 architects, 2 therapists, 2 Lawyers, an advertising exec, an entrepreneur, a paramedic, a filmmaker, a sommelier, a colonel in the US army, a political consultant, a yoga instructor…. all walk into the Forest of Dean in England?

A social movement finds its wings!

Article by Narges Kakalia

In March 2018, a group of young Parsi and Iranian Zoroastrians from India, Pakistan, Canada, the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand gathered for ten days at the inaugural World Zoroastrian Youth Leadership Forum at the beautiful Asha Center in England.  They came at the generous invitation of Zerbanoo Gifford, who founded the Asha Center, a beautiful, serene retreat space in Gloucestershire, that delivers transformative education “to bring about lasting inner, social and environmental change.”  The Asha Centre was founded on Zoroastrian-inspired principles of environmental and social sustainability.  The Forum was organized by Asha Center intern Sanaya Master of New Zealand, who helped run the Forum.  The participants had all been identified as people who play leadership roles in their local communities.

The Forum was nothing short of transformative for the participants.  The group of 20 young Zoroastrians worked together under the auspices of instructors Mark Gifford, an interfaith minister who has extensively studied Zoroastrianism, and Adrian Locher, an actor, director and specialist in conflict resolution.  Through various exercises and energizers, Adrian and Mark helped the Forum participants connect with each other at a deep level.  Then, together, the participants identified challenges facing Zoroastrian communities worldwide (some examples included youth engagement/empowerment, global support for Udvada Iranshah, diminishing knowledge of/engagement with scriptures/religious texts, the need for appropriate places of worship in the diaspora, etc.) and then brainstormed ways to surmount those challenges to build a stronger, more sustainable community.  While religious education was discussed, the main focus of the Forum was on building momentum for engagement and active participation at every level of the global Zoroastrian community.  The Forum concluded with the participants starting a written document that sets forth a mission, vision statement, and plans and projects for the future.

Of course no Zoroastrian event could ever be complete without some fun, silliness, and an obsessive focus on food and drink.  In addition to the daily question, “what are we eating today,” the Forum saw the first ever Zoroastrian Masterchef challenge, a Zoros-Got-Talent night (featuring Lion King sung in a dagli, and sari-clad Spice Girls), a few heartfelt Freddie Mercury invocations, and roadtrips (to Oxford and Wales) during which some enterprising young Zoroastrians used bathroom breaks to buy and bootleg alcohol onto the Asha Center premises.  Groups of participants routinely stayed up until 2 or 3 am, discussing their various communities and bonding with fellow participants over hot topic debates and games of Mafia!  When the Forum concluded, the organizers, participants, staff and volunteers at the Asha Center bid each other somewhat tearful goodbyes.  Though begun, the challenging work of initiating and building sustainable projects for a stronger community still remains.  Stay tuned to this space for progress reports over the months and years to come.

Participants included:

Diana Bharucha, Seattle USA
Karl Desai, Sydney Australia
Jim Engineer, Chicago USA
Tanya Hoshi, Toronto Canada
Kayras Irani, Vancouver Canada
Narges Kakalia, New Jersey USA
Tinaz Karbhari, Auckland New Zealand
Jehaan Kotwal, Mumbai India
Shazneen Limjerwala, Mumbai India
Jimmy Madon, Lemington Spa, UK
Sanaya Master, Auckland New Zealand
Layla Mazdayasni, San Diego USA
Shazneen Munshi, London UK
Shireen Patel, Lahore Pakistan
Sheherazad Pavri, Mumbai India
Cyrus Rivetna, Chicago USA
Arashasp Shroff, Toronto Canada
Benafsha Shroff, Denver USA
Cainaz Vakharia, Washington D.C. USA
Arzan Sam Wadia, New York USA



The 4th trip of the Zoroastrian Return To Roots program kicked off today in Mumbai. Over 24 Zoroastrian youth from USA, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Pakistan and United Arab Emirates will participate in a 13 day trip through Mumbai and Gujarat.

At the opening orientation ceremony at the Cusrow Baug Pavilion, Aban Marker-Kabraji, Co-Chair; and Arzan Sam Wadia, Program Director; welcomed the participants and gave them a brief outlay of what the RTR program is about, a brief historical overview of the program since inception and its hopes for the future.

Aban outlined the support and belief of worldwide Zoroastrian institutions, organisations and individuals who see value in the program and what it offers and come out in support of it in various ways including funding, logistics and support.

The RTR Fellows intrdouced themselves and spoke about what they hope to take away from the intensive 13 day program.

Over 4 years and 4 trips the RTR Fellows now numbering 65, have become empowered ambassadors as they return to their communities world over.

Always envisioned as a youth-driven initiative, this year’s program is primarily run by RTR Alumni Zubin Gheesta and Sheherazad Pavri of Mumbai, Ruxshin Dinshaw and Natasha Karanjia of Karachi, and Kayras Irani of Vancouver.

Follow the journey of these 24 youth over the next 13 days by following their Facebook Page and Instagram Feed.

By Mehernaaz Shovir Irani 




NIH Honours Neville Sanjana

Neville Sanjana was recently conferred ‘The New Innovator Award’ as the outstanding Indian American Scientist 2017, by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and its Office of Strategic Coordination’s The Common Fund. Neville is among the seven Indian-American scientists selected for National Institute of Health Awards 2017. A core faculty member at the New York Genome Center and an assistant professor of biology at New York University and of neuroscience and physiology, Neville was selected for his project, ‘In Situ Functional Genomics to Understand Transcriptional Regulation’, which basically utilises new technologies for large-scale DNA synthesis and gene editing which can be applied to gene regulation, cancer evolution and metastasis, drug resistance, cancer immunotherapy, neurodevelopmental disorders and synthetic biology.

Earlier Neville has achieved a doctorate in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT; B.Sc in Symbolic Systems; and a BA in English literature from Stanford University. He has also been a recipient of the ‘Kimmel Scholar’ Award; the ‘Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator’ Award; the ‘NIH Pathway to Independence Award’; and the ‘Paul Allen Institute for Brain Science Next Generation Leader’ Award.


Monaz Gandhi Receives “The Harvey Excellence Awards”

Monaz Gandhi Receives “The Harvey Excellence Awards As The Youngest Achiever & The Most Valuable Harvey Indian For Her Invention Of MONTEA – The India’s First Teaching Robot

Monaz Viraf Gandhi With Both Harvey Excellence Trophies For MONTEA

LONDON – 01 October 2017 – Ms. Monaz Viraf Gandhi slams historical special category award ton by bagging two high profile awards namely The Harvey Youngest Achiever 2017-2018 and The Harvey Most Valuable Indian 2017-2018 at The Harvey Excellence Awards hosted on 27 September 2017 at London.

Monaz Viraf Gandhi, A Mumbai based pre-school teacher working at The Learning Curve, Mumbai has created historical innovation named MONTEA who is the India’s first Humanoid Teaching Robot. MONTEA has claimed worldwide recognition in the field of education through the promotions and campaigns organized by SXRC – USA all over the world in different schools and colleges and other testing laboratories. Due to the overwhelming performance of MONTEA worldwide, SXRC Board Members had proposed the name of newly invented and demonstrated MONTEA to The Harvey Awards Council, London, UK with its performance reports, demonstration videos and other necessary documents.

27 September 2017, The Harvey Excellence Awards hosted at London witnessed live demonstration of the last minute entry of MONTEA demonstrated by Dr. Shivani Rawat, Chief Technical Assistant,

SXRC Bengaluru. The hair raising test scenarios stunned the audience where in MONTEA replied to technical questions of each subject asked by the audience to the point and very rapidly along with it MONTEA also showed his dance skills, karate skills, cricket skills, badminton skills and many other hair raising skills. After the demonstration, The Harvey Excellence Awards Council announced The Youngest Achiever 2017-2018 Award and The Most Valuable Harvey Indian 2017-2018 Award under the special awards category for Ms. Monaz Gandhi who is the creator of MONTEA.

Harvey Youngest Achiever Award

Most Valuable Harvey Indian Award

Dr. Shivani Rawat received the award on behalf of Ms. Monaz Gandhi at London said, “I thank all the dignitaries present here, The Harvey Excellence Award Members, SXRC Members and all who have directly or indirectly helped in the creation of MONTEA on behalf of Ms. Monaz Gandhi whose innovation you all just witnessed on this big stage and I can feel the wow in each one of your eyes which has left you fixed on the chairs. Congratulations Ms. Monaz Viraf Gandhi for your great achievement at these Harvey Awards and we wish you all the success in your life with MONTEA. This is your first step out of the cradle and we wish you create footsteps for the younger generation to come in this field and carve a new digital age for the future.”


Dr. Harvey Weber, The Chairman and Co-Founder of “The Harvey Excellence Council” said, “We have no words for what we saw before 30 minutes with the display of MONTEA. I can just say, that Ms. Monaz V Gandhi deserves to be the youngest achiever and for decades to come, she will be remembered as the creator of the First Indian Teaching Robot that will be a new companion for the kids who have desires to learn. Just as we have laptops, tablets, mobiles at present where students watch videos and learn, after a few years, students will buy a portable MONTEA to teach them the concepts of theories and practical usage and make learning real fun for the students and kids. Congratulations Ms. Monaz! We are proud that we witnessed your creation on this great stage and we wish you a successful career ahead with MONTEA and other projects in your lineup.”.


SystemX Research Centre is the world’s Digital Innovation Centre which researches on transforming medical systems with software defined machines and solutions that include high end and precise quantum computing and artificial intelligence making them connected, responsive and predictive. SystemX shares this innovative knowledge with medical industry giants enabling them to form high quality medical instrumentation which works for the benefit of the patients.



Ms. Zenia Khan Akhtar

SystemX Research Centre – PR Department

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