Dadar’s 37-year-old Mancherji Edulji Joshi Dharmagnan Class conducted under the auspices of the Mancherji Edulji Joshi Memorial Trust, celebrated its Annual Day on 29th January, 2017 at JB Vachha High School Hall, Dadar. The event, which was organised by the talented young students of the Dharmagnan Class, was presided over by Chief Guest and ex-student, Rehan Bharucha.
The evening, compered by Jehan Bajan and Janine Khajotia, commenced with a Hum Bandagi and a hilarious interlude about the current generation’s inability to read Gujarati and saying prayers from the English Khordeh Avesta. This was followed by two songs sung by the students, venerating Ahura Mazda and the need for our community to live harmoniously, trained by Shernaz Talati, Hufrish Bamji and Havovi Karanjia.
The guests were welcomed by Zerxis Bajan and Zeus Bhathena spoke about the activities of the Dharmagnan Classes, established in 1980 by Late Er. Rustomjee Noshirwan Panthaki, ex-Principal of Dadar Athornan Institute, at the suggestion of Mithoo Jesia. Er. Rustomjee dedicated himself to teaching, training and rearing young Zoroastrians how to believe in, adhere to the Scriptures of and practice only the Mazdayasni Zarthoshti religion. Since 1982, Er. Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia has been diligently imparting this holistic way of life, combining work with fun and imbuing religion by way of quizzes, games and skits, to a continuously increasing number of students, today numbering about 80, with Mithoo Jesia encouraging and guiding them in their activities and taking care of all aspects and responsibilities of the Dharmagnan Class. Annual Days also share an insightful audio-visual play portraying historical and moral subjects, written and directed by Mithoo Jesia.
Next, Naiesha Ukaji introduced Chief Guest Rehan Bharucha, speaking of his schooling at the Dadar Parsee Youth Assembly High School and his proficiency as a remedial educator, working with children who have learning difficulties and an event coordinator who combines his teaching skills with performing arts. He is currently Director of events at Aditya Birla Integrated School for Children with learning difficulties and psychological problems. He has twice lead school contingents to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest Art Festival. Recalling his days at the Institute, Rehan said, “It was a place where I learnt more about my religion and about our culture and traditions. To a certain extent, believing in God is believing in yourself, to do the right thing always, no matter what the consequences are. By being a good Zoroastrian, it becomes simple to be a good human being!”
Next was the prize distribution ceremony with Rehan distributing prizes to students excelling in prayers, religious knowledge, class participation and class book maintenance. The Best Students of the Year Award was shared by Hormazd Karanjia and Zerxis Bajan. Team Ahura was adjudged the Best Team. The vote of thanks was proposed by Hormazd Karanjia and Paurush Kerawala, followed by a Shahnameh recital by Mazdaa and Mafrin Davar. A hilarious skit. ‘How To Be A Good Zoroastrian’, written and directed by Jennifer Daruwalla, followed.
Er. Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia and Mithoo Jesia were felicitated with floral presentations. Mithoo Jesia thanked Er. Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia for ably managing the Classes since the past three decades. She also appealed to the parents to enrol their children in the class. The function ended with Chhaiye Hame Zarthoshti and the National Anthem. The sound for the programme was provided by Mazda Audio Video Labs and Rehan Bharucha covered the photography for the programme.