Housing: Seeking Justice!
As a 95-year-old member of our Parsi Community in Mumbai, I feel outraged when I see some blatant injustices that have been going on. There is an urgent need for the leaders of our community to address this sorry state of affairs.
Today, it is commonplace to see crorepatis and the super-rich inhabiting Trust Charitable Blocks in Colonies. This is unfortunate. It would be advisable for Trustees to think about whether anything can be done to ensure that the rich and the super-rich do not continue to benefit from flats that were meant for the poor and the middle class. BPP Trustees must do justice and not allow the benefits meant for the poor and middle class Parsis to wrongly be used by the rich, as is rampant today.
Our great ancestors constructed residential colonies or these Charity Baugs for the poor and middle-class members of the community, not the rich. They invested extraordinary amounts of donations to build these Baugs for the benefit of poor and underprivileged Zoroastrians.
Years back, as per my recall, many of the rich were asked to move to higher rent flats and vacate the affordable flats for the middle class. However, since the rents have remained constant now, this distinction has disappeared, and the rich continue to enjoy the benefits meant only for the poor.
It is a matter of concern that the family members of the donors continue to play such an active role in managing the Trust Property, particularly as the Trust Property has been handed over to the BPP. I believe it is high time that BPP Trustees unite and jointly right the wrongs going on. The affluent Wadia Trust collecting crores of Rupees by transfer of flats to the rich and super-rich, must stop. And the available funds should be used for the repairs of buildings and other such requirements.
BPP Trustee Noshir Dadrawala is known for his indepth understanding of charitable trusts and should surely be able to advise on the same. I only hope that what the present Trustees and the family members of the original donors are doing, should not end up in calling for the involvement of the Charity Commissioner or the Income Tax Comm or any other such authorities.
Rich Parsis and Crorepatis do not need or deserve flats in charitable colonies. They anyways have got flats at other places! After they buy the flat in colonies, they spend spend crores of rupees on repairing these flats, thus depriving the poor and middle class Parsis. These middle class Parsis would have to sell off their investments and withdraw their Provident Fund to compete with these rich crorepatis in order to find a house for themselves andtheir families. Many engaged, unmarried couples and families who have too many members staying in one flat – are deprived of flats and it is these cases need to be considered first before choosing to sell flats off the rich Parsis.
By Piroze M. Khan