– Teams: Empowering Mobeds And WZO Trusts –
October 24, 2020 was indeed a dark day, not just due to the ongoing Pandemic, but because on this day, the 14-year-old, shining star of our Mobedi clan – Er. Zahan Meherzad Turel, suffered severe (48.5%) burn injuries whilst performing the ‘boi’ ceremony at Goti Adarian, Surat.
After being administered basic treatment, Zahan was rushed to Mumbai’s Masina Hospital, where he was administered treatment for an extended period of time and thereafter discharged on January 4, 2021. Fortunately, Er. Zahan Turel received excellent treatment at the Burns Unit of Masina Hospital and is well on his way to recovery.
This mishap would not be the first such grisly incident that our Mobeds have to contend with, when tending to our revered fires. It is beyond imagination that even today, our Mobeds continue to perform religious ceremonies without a modicum of protection.
The incident triggered intense discussions amongst the core group of Team Empowering Mobeds (a joint initiative of WZO Trust Funds and Athornan Mandal). After proactive discussions, where various options were considered, it was finally decided to have ‘Jamas, Padan and Hand Pockets (for Boiwala Mobeds to wear, when inside the kebla) made from fire retardant fabric that would provide reasonable safety to our Mobeds when performing religious ceremonies.
Over the last few months, experiments were undertaken to test fire retardant fabrics that would provide safety to Mobeds, in case of embers landing on their ‘Jamas, Padan and Hand Pockets’. Trials have been conducted, where Mobed volunteers have worn Jamas made of different fabrics of thickness, comparable to existing Jamas (on which the fire-retardant process would be later added) to test comfort levels. Well-wisher Mr. Viraf Sohrabji Mehta, who was keenly interested in the project, coordinated the exercise with Ms. Firoza Karani, Director of Casablanca Apparels Pvt. Ltd., a well-known garment manufacturing unit established in 1993, in having samples made and trials done, for which we are most grateful to both.
An order for the manufacturing of 800 sets each of ‘Jamas’ and ‘Padans’ and 200 sets of ‘Hand pockets’ has been placed with Casablanca Apparels Pvt. Ltd. As fire-retardant fabric is not available off the shelves, Casablanca Apparels have placed an order with Arvind Mills, Ltd., to produce the minimum quantity required. The fire-retardant fabric is expected to be ready by mid-June 2021, and the final product will be ready for distribution around mid to end July, 2021. A set each will be offered gratis to practicing Mobeds for their use, should they be interested.
After the fabric has been manufactured, appropriate certificates of the fabric having Fire-Retardant properties will be obtained from Arvind Mills, the manufacturers of the fabric, as well as Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), an international inspection agency that inspects Apparels, Machinery, Medicines etc, before shipments.
High Priests – Dasturji Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal, Dasturji Khurshed K. Dastoor, Dasturji Keki P. Ravji Meherjirana, Senior Mobed – Aspandiar Dadachanji, have all been informed about the initiative and their approval received.
After using the initial set, if Mobeds are satisfied in all respects, it will be for them, or their Agiary Trustees / Panthaki’s to procure additional sets from the manufacturers against payment. A suitable system will be put into place that will make it convenient to procure future supplies.
The ever-generous Trustees of Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao have committed to provide funding for this initiative through WZO Trust Funds, which will facilitate the initial production from fire retardant fabric of 800 Jamas, 800 Padans and 200 pairs of Hand Pockets.
Mobeds, Panthakies and Trustees of Agiarys wishing to accept sets of Jamas, Padans and Hand Pockets, made from fire retardant fabric, are requested to contact and coordinate with:
Er. Hormuz A. Dadachanji, D. E. Mithaiwala Agiary, Opp Grant Road Station (West), Mumbai 400007
Contact Number: (+91) 9820493813
It is clearly understood, implicitly agreed to and accepted by the Mobeds using attire made from Fire Retardant fabric, that the initiative taken by Empowering Mobeds & WZO Trusts and funded by Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao, has been undertaken solely with the intent of providing safety to our Mobeds. Empowering Mobeds, WZO Trusts or The Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao, their Trustees and members, will under no circumstances, be held responsible or liable should the product malfunction / is found ineffective / does not offer protection / or causes any other complications. It is also reiterated that The Trustees / Members of Empowering Mobeds, WZO Trusts or The Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hong Kong, Canton & Macao have no commercial / pecuniary benefit from this project.
(Kindly Note: Photographs were taken whilst trying on the material made of basic cloth on which the fire-retardant process later will be applied.)