Vispi Irani is a Bharucha Baug resident and an avid volleyball enthusiast. Professionally he works as a Director at Ahura Constructions, a Stocks Consultant with Kotak Securities, providing consultancy services globally.
PT: What inspired you into taking this noble action during the floods?
Vipsi: During the 2005 floods in Mumbai, my 6-year-old son was stranded in his school bus and there was no one to help him during a time when help was needed most. When I’d reached the school bus, the water levels had risen to an extent that was unsafe for my child to make his way back. Hence this time, I realised that someone could be stranded similarly and I immediately started spreading the word within our community, so that I could help anyone in distress.
It felt great to help a fellow Zarthosti in need and as soon as Vispi told me about his idea of spreading the message to help our community members during the floods, I felt it was only fair to help those who were stranded. Havovi, a young Parsi girl from South Mumbai, was new to the locality and having been stranded in a flooded area, had nowhere to go. Having been able to help her and doing my bit to contribute to a helpful cause, made me feel that a lot more people should come forward within the community during such times and help each other.
PT: Tell us more about how you went about this lovely initiative…
Vispi: The idea was to volunteer and be of help to Parsis. Before the situation could get any worse, the message was spread across WhatsApp groups stating that anyone around Andheri needing assistance in the form of food, clothing and shelter was free to get in touch with me. Another friend, Farrokh Kolah, who too was available and helping me during this, got a call from Mrs. Muladwalla that her daughter was stranded in Andheri and on contacting her daughter Havovi, she gave me a vivid description of where she was stuck and that her bus was partially flooded. We went searching for her on the bike and being a local guy, I knew the most viable route to take. While assisting a few commuters on our way, we started calling out her name in various buses that we came across and that eventually led us to her. After helping her out from the floods, Farrokh escorted her to Bharucha Baug, whereas I stayed back to help others who were stranded, dropping them off to Santacruz and other nearby areas. Meanwhile, Havovi was staying at my in-laws in Bhaurcha Baug and they made her feel at home. After the rains subsided we made sure that Havovi reached home safely.
I saw Vispi and Farrokh helping a co-commuter who was stranded in my bus. They helped many other commuters to walk in the gushing waters, before reaching my bus which I had boarded hoping to get to a friend’s place. After guiding Farrokh Kolah to escort me to the residence of his in-laws in Bharucha Baug, he left immediately to continue assisting the others stranded. I thank Vispi Irani and Farrokh Kolah for helping me in this time of crisis.
PT: What message would you like to share with the community?
Vispi: I believe our community is small, peaceful and fun loving. I would love to see it that way, instead of seeing a divide amongst the community members. I don’t think that I have done anything great as I just felt that Havovi, who like my son, was stranded in an unknown environment and was in need of help, in such a case it was my duty to respond. I know a lot of fellow Zoroastrians residing in Parsi colonies, who can make a group and actively participate during such calamities when help is needed. In this way we can help, at least our fellow Zoroastrians who are stranded near our respective areas.
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