BZJC, Athornan Mandal Hold Bahman Mah Jasan

On 9th July, 2017, Bombay Zoroastrian Jashan Committee (BZJC) and Athornan Mandal held their annual Bahman Mahino Jasan at Albless Baug, performed by Er. Farshogar Madon, Er. Homyar Masani, Er. Pervez Madon and Er. Shazaad Arjani of Soonaiji Hirji Agiary. Trustees of the Bombay Zoroastrian Jashan Committee, Kersi Commissariat and wife Zarine, and Saroosh Dinshaw were present, along with Chairman of the Athornan Mandal, Er. Nadir Modi, President of Athornan Mandal, Vada Dasturji Khurshedji Dastoor, Vice-President of the Athornan Mandal and Keynote Speaker, Er. Aspandiyar Dadachanji, Trustees of the Athornan Mandal, Er. Dr. Parvez Bajan, Hoshie Sinor and Er. Cyrus Unwalla, Treasurer and Secretary of the Athornan Mandal, Er. Vispi Dastur and Jt. Secretary Er. Cyrus Darbari were also present, along with Er. Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia and Er. Kersi Karanjia. In attendance were students of Dadar Athornan Madressa, Alexandra Girls’ English Institution, Lady Engineer High School, Girton High School, Columbia School, Bai RFB Pandey Girls’ High School, and BJPC Institution.

Compere, Zarine Commissariat, welcomed the audience saying, “The Athornan Mandal was established in 1915 to ameliorate and improve the condition of Mobeds, to solve the problems of the priesthood and provide guidance to the community in religious and ecclesiastical matters. Its lasting contribution to the community is the Athornan Boarding Madressa set up in 1919 that provides education, boarding, lodging and all other facilities to the students free of cost. Over the last eighteen years, the Athornan Mandal, and the WZO, has been financially aiding full time priests.” In the financial year 2016-2017, Rupees 18, 13,200/- were given as compensation to sixty-seven priests.

Saroosh Dinshaw felicitated Vada Dasturji Khurshed, while Er. Nadir Modi felicitated Er. Aspandiyar Dadachanji. Zarine Commissariat traced Vada Dastur Khurshed’s achievements and applauded his leadership. Er. Nadir Modi recalled working with Vada Dasturji in Udvada years back, saying, “Since that time it has been my good fortune to work with Vada Dasturji Saheb and I noticed that he has a will power of steel. Once he determines something, it goes through.” Er. Modi praised Vada Dasturji’s abilities to walk with powerful people, yet keep the common touch, to talk with crowds. He presented him a trophy and a congratulatory message.

Acknowledging his colleagues and friends from the Athornan Mandal and the audience, Vada Dasturji Saheb said, “I’m so touched and honoured by all of you. On this Minority Commission, I represent the Parsi community but take into consideration all the six Minority communities allotted to us and address any violation of human rights.” He spoke of the various educational scholarships allotted for Pre-Matric, Post-Matric and Post-Graduation students allotted to the Minority Communities, subject to a family’s annual income not exceeding Rupees One Lakh. He thanked the Parsi community for their love and support but regretted the lack of leadership in our community and the negative impression about our community. He praised Er. Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia and Er. Dr. Pervez Bajan, under whose leadership and guidance many students have become Yozdathregars and are serving our agiaries and Atash Behrams, and received a standing ovation for his spirited talk on unity.

Zarine Commissariat introduced Er. Aspandiyar Dadachanji who educated the gathering about the power and benefits of prayer. National level ICSE topper, Farzan Bharucha was awarded by the Bombay Zoroastrian Jashan Committee and Athornan Mandal. Er. Cyrus Darbari praised Vada Dasturji saying, “Dasturji is the first among the galaxy of High Priests of the Zoroastrian community to have been nominated to the National Minorities Commission. It was his prompt intervention with the concerned authorities that prevented the setting up of an industrial plant close to Pak Iranshah, protecting its sanctity. The success of the Iranshah Udvada Utsav hosting three thousand Parsis and dignitaries was no mean achievement.” He concluded saying that by criticizing Dasturji Saheb’s efforts, his critics are highlighting his achievements. Zarine Commissariat proposed a vote of thanks, followed by renditions of ‘Chhaiye Hame Zarthoshti’ and the National Anthem, and lunch catered by Ketayun Khambatta.

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