PT: How are the preparations for ‘IUU 2017’ going?
Dasturji Khurshed: The preparations are going great. We have already received over one thousand five hundred registrations from across the globe and the numbers are increasing daily. For now we are focusing on arranging the various entertainment programs, performances, speakers and panellists for various discussions and intellectual speeches. We are also in talks with Team Wizcraft about the various themes for IUU 2017and how we could collaborate to make it grand.
PT: Tell us about how the idea for IUU germinated in the first place?
Dasturji Khurshed: This was Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision. He wanted to see a place of harmony, peace, tolerance and what better platform than having a center exclusively known for Parsis- a community that resonates with the above values. He also wanted to promote the Zoroastrian culture not just across India, but globally. It was his dream to organise an event where Zoroastrians could get together, unite and celebrate and at the same time, bring awareness about this small community and its people.
PT: What are the special elements that Parsis can expect in IUU 2017?
Dasturji Khurshed: This year, we are planning to revolve the Utsav around a particular theme and send out a message. We have conceptualised the theme as the ‘Threads of Continuity’ and are working to connect every aspect and element at the venue of the Utsav with this idea. Apart from fascinating ideas about the theme pouring in from team Wizcraft, we have decided to have all the stalls on the ground connect like a continuous chain with threads. There will also be a selfie-spot with this theme as the center of attraction, at the venue.
PT: How have you eased the lodging and commuting for Parsis during the Utsav?
Dasturji Khurshed: We have arranged for local transport which includes rickshaws and buses that will ferry members to and fro from particular spots at Daman, Vapi and Udvada station. To avail these services, you need to compulsorily display your identity card, which you receive on registration. Only registered members can avail of these transport services with their identity cards as proof. With regard to lodging, the table attached herewith, mentions details of various hotels that could be contacted for lodging during the fest. However the bookings are on first come, first serve bases and need to be made by interested community members themselves.
PT: How different or bigger will IUU 2017 be from IUU 2015?
Dasturji Khurshed: It’s Definitely Going To Be Better! IUU 2015 was the birth of this Utsav, where we got to learn a lot, and this year we are going to implement what we have learnt from our experiences and improvise to the fullest, to make ‘IUU 2017’ a grand affair.
PT: How is the Gujarat government supplementing its support towards the development of ‘Udvada Gam’?
Dasturji Khurshed: Almost all the infrastructure like electricity, roads, water connections are complete. The work on Udvada platform is currently in progress and will surely be completed before the event. The police station near our Zoroastrian Information Center is fully functional and the installation of CCTV and WiFi is underway.
PT: What outcome do you hope to garner with IUU 2017?
Dasturji Khurshed: Through Iranshah Udvada Utsav, we hope to have more youngsters come and meet each other and may be find their ideal life partners. Also, let’s not forget that a community that prays together, stay together! The main aim is to bring faith into our youngsters for our Iranshah, our culture, our traditions and to awaken them towards a brighter future for our community. We have always noticed a divide between Parsis in Mumbai and elsewhere. Through this platform we hope to bridge this gap and bring ‘all of us’ together. Currently, there are so many problems that our community is facing, but events like these help us Zoroastrians come together to strengthen the fabric of unity within us, rather than succumbing to these issues.
PT: What message would you like to share with those attending IUU 2017?
Dasturji Khurshed: You are all in for a grand time as our planning and organisation has been done with precision. You are requested to kindly cooperate with us and our volunteers to ensure that you have a fabulous time and turn the event into an even greater success than last year!