ZWAS (Zoroastrian Women’s Assembly Of Surat) has been keeping all our Surtis all charged up with its delightful sequence of events lined up. In August 2019, a Prayer Competition was organised at Pak Kadim Atashbehram, where the children exhibited their religious fervour with great devotion and dedication. The Prayer competition was judged by Er. Navroz Pandol and Rukshana Bharda. The winners of the competition were Meherzad Shroff (Age 3-5 years); Kayra Sanjana (Age 6-8 years) and Farmaan Dastoor (Age 9-12 years). A Fancy Dress Competition followed, judged by Tanaz Dadinatha and Zinobia Mistry. The winners were Jezaan Daruwala (Age 3-5 years); Yazdaan Kharadi (Age 6-9 years); and Zidaan Kharadi (Age 10-13 years). Both events were ably compered by Daizy Patel and Pearl Khandadia.
On August 16th, 2019, Surat’s Sanjeev Kumar Auditorium witnessed ZWAS’ beauties in their colourful Garas gather for a number of good reasons – to install their new president and team of office bearers, to release the sixth edition of ‘The New Parsee Directory of Surat, 2019’ and enjoy New Year’s eve. The event was graced by Chief Guest, Surat’s Mayor, Dr. Jagdish Patel. Installing officer, President of Surat Parsi Panchayat, Jamshed Dotivala, installed the new team and enlightened them towards their duties. The new office bearers of ZWAS 2019-2022 include President – Delnaz Katpitia; Secretary – Firozi Karanjia; Jt. Secretary – Nilufer Bavaadam; Treasurer – Dilnaz Besania; and Vice President – Aafrin Patrawala; with new Chairpersons – Zinobia Dotivala (Programme Committee); Gulshan Master (Social Work Committee); and the Advisory Committee comprising Vira Karanjia, Perin Karanjia, Gulshan Chiniwala, Keshmira Palia and Pearl Wadia.
The Immediate Past President, Mahtab Variava, addressed the audience, thanking friends, family and all members for their support during her term. Chief Guest, Mayor Dr. Jagdish Patel appreciated the contribution of the Parsis in the well-being of Surat and India. The new President, Delnaz Katpitia gave her acceptance speech, followed by Mahazarin Variava who thanked and felicitated ZWAS trustees – Maharukh Chichgar and Piloo Bhathena.
The new directory was then released by Dr. Jagdish Patel. It includes the names, ages, address, and mobile numbers of all Zoroastrians of Surat including the residents of the Parsi Infirmary and residents of Girls and Boys Orphanages. A page has been reserved for Parsis engaged in small-time home industry, as also information of blood donors during emergencies. The Directory also includes insightful articles by religious scholars Rohin Karanjia and Rusi Besania, Gujarati theater’s comedy king – Yazdi Karanjia; a tribute to ZWAS by Jimmy Kharadi; ZWAS reports and activities; and importantly, the Age Composition of Surat’s Zoroastrians (from 1994 at four-year intervals). ZWAS thanks the encouragement and support of Vada Dasturji of Iranshah Udvada – Khurshed Dastoor and Dr. Shernaz Cama who heads Jiyo Parsi and represents UNESCO; as also generous friends and supporters for their help.
Perin Karanjia proposed the vote of thanks. The entertainment program, ‘Mega Masti’ followed, celebrating Parsi New Year Eve, kicking off with ZWAS members performing the Parsee Garbo wearing the traditional Garas, alongside great entertainment including skits performed by the legendary Yazdi Karanjia and his team; fabulous dance performances and talented, soothing singing renditions. The event was brilliantly organized by Firozi Karanjia and multi-talented Maharukh Chichgar.