Empowering Mobeds Workshop: Moving Online

On 13th May, 2018 a large number of Mobeds and their families gathered at the Dadar Athornan Institute to attend the ‘Empowering Mobeds Workshop’. The workshop was jointly organized by the Athornan Mandal-WZO Trust Funds mobed welfare scheme, and comprised a five-hour session divided into three with various speakers from all walks of life, emphasizing on the importance of going online or embracing digitalization, and its pros and cons.

The 1st session saw Dinshaw Tamboly welcoming the audience, followed by an invocation prayer by Er. Kaizad Karkaria. Vada Dasturji of Udvada, Dasturji Khurshed Dastur welcomed all and stressed on taking advantage of the technology and spread the right messages on social media. Vada Dasturji encouraged the mobeds by telling them that not to be detracted by other people pulling them down for their writing and it was time for mobeds to openly share their ideas. He also supported the thought of a Behdin boy becoming a Navar, provided he knew all the 72 chapters of the Yasna. He felt if a mobed could become a scientist or a doctor, even a doctor or scientist could become a mobed. He expressed concern about the Community’s mindset which is to degress instead of progress.

The next speaker, Er. Cyrus Darbari, secretary of Dadar Athornan Mandal, requested mobeds not to forward messages which are not concerned/verified by the online audiences – for eg., tree cutting in Navsari or Varasyaji not keeping well in Udvada. Instead the mobeds should spread the stories of Yejasne mobeds, Barasnu, Pavi ceremony etc. Er. Darayes Katrak, next, highlighted the worship of Dadar Ahuramazda through fire, sharing how collectively praying the humbandagi of 2 Yatha and 1 Ashem is more powerful in an Agiary. Er. Hormuz Dadachanji said that as a priest the message has a double effect on social media. The mobeds could digitally record the prayers and send it to people who want to learn them. Pearl Mistry of Jiyo Parsi shared with the mobeds the concern of the dwindling Parsi population, citing than an advocacy to influence the mindset of the community is required, and requested the mobeds to spread the positive messages of Jiyo Parsi online.

The first session ended with a tea break. The second started with Shernaaz Engineer speaking about how initiating and informing young Zoroastrians about the religion is the job of priests. Er. Dr. Mazda Turel was the next speaker using visuals to express gender differences in the brain and about the concept of humour – and how humour is a great coping mechanism. Dr. Kersi Chavda reminded the mobeds about the pitfalls of social media, while it connected people and was fun. So focus on the positives and communications over it should be done with positive emotions.

Berjis Shroff spoke on IT security, starting with simple things as passwords, and not to believe everything on social media without confirming. Rayomand Patell presented the history of ancient Iran and coming to India, saying today the time has come for us to journey through cyberspace and that we should set out as warriors of light. Today one’s voice is heard throughout the world through various platforms, so one shoud reach out, shape and guide the community through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., Google +, Linked In. That was end of the 2nd Session with a LUNCH break.

The 3rd session began with Er. Shehrezad Pavri showing a short film on World Zoroastrian Youth Leaders Forum 2018, which he was invited and he made the most of it as a mobed and he asked the other mobeds to ‘Jiyo Mobed’. Er. Firdaus Pavri, an entrepeneur and a muti-faceted personality, inspite of being a mobed, requested other mobeds to keep abreast and live up with the latest gadgetry and technology. He said the internet provides a galaxy of information on our prayers, bringing more meaning to our praying. He asked other mobeds to use social media to their advantage and write the right content, so that they have many good followers over the net. He thanked WZO and efforts of Dinshaw Tamboli for keeping our Agiaries in good shape. Er. Jehan Darbari spoke on the power of social media to keep everyone informed of their efforts, participation and achievements. He urged mobeds to actively participate in the new digital revolution and use it to their benefit and to the benefit of all in our community.

Delphi Wadia then took an extensive interactive session with the mobeds on Presentation skills. She spoke about the pros and cons of using social media, covering topics like ‘Fear of speaking’, ‘Verbal and Non-Verbal communication’, and ‘Connecting with the audience’ and provided guidance and useful insights into enhancing social etiquettes. The session ended at 4:30 with a word of thanks given to all present, including the press for covering the event.

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