After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-10 pandemic, this year HPY (Holiday Program for Youth) is back to hold its in-person sessions, amidst much excitement from our young adults. PT Reporter, Razvin Namdarian, brings you a glimpse of the inaugural function of ‘HPY 2022’.
The Alexandra Girl’s English Institution was a hub of activity on the morning of 22nd May, 2022. Excited Zoroastrian students from across Mumbai and outside, impatiently awaited HPY’s inaugural event in the school’s auditorium. Of HPY 2022’s 128 participants (67 girls and 61 boys), 98 are from Mumbai and the rest from Ahmedabad, Goa, Pune, Valsad and Dadara and Nagar Haveli. This year, due to the delay in the completion of the ICSE board exams, HPY extended for two weeks instead of the usual month-long duration. The enthusiasm remained palpable, nevertheless.
HPY 2022 started off on an auspicious note with Er. Firdaus Pavri invoking Lord Ahura Mazda’s blessings. A resounding applause greeted HPY Mentor and the lady behind its sustained success – Diana Marfatia, as she introduced the dignitaries on the dais. “HPY is now in its 35th year, which means that it has touched the lives of a whole generation and today it is one of the most effective and successful programs for the youth. An idea that was germinated by the late Mrs. Mehroo Bengali in 1987 has grown into what HPY is today, where leadership, training, sports, fashion, literary arts and other activities integrate seamlessly,” she said, as she thanked stalwarts from different fields who had selflessly shared their time, knowledge and experience with the youth, providing them career guidance and motivation.
Parinaz Cooper, a student who had appeared for the 2020 Board exams, was introduced as one of the exemplary performers of the on-line HPY 2021 (which clubbed two academic batches of students – 2020 and 2021). She shared how despite HPY went on-line for two weeks, it was packed with a spectrum of activities that participants enjoyed and benefitted from thoroughly.
In an inspiring speech given by BPP Trustee, Noshir Dadrawala, who chaired the function, he shared how he was only in his mid-20s when HPY was conceived, and as a BPP Trustee he was very proud that this was BPP’s flagship program that was invested in the future, as the youth are the ‘trustees of our posterity’. “This program fosters leadership and friendship. You are potential leaders and should keep your aspirations,” he said, going on to share his ‘Mantra of the 3 ‘C’s of leadership, outlined as ‘Competence, Courage and Compassion’. He encouraged the youth to be ‘purpose-driven rather than position-driven’. “Have pride and put your stamp of excellence in what you do. Be persistent, and see failure as a learning curve,” he motivated.
He introduced Guest of Honour – Jehaan Nicholson, Nuclear Scientist, an alumnus of HPY, who heads an R&D firm in Pune. Recounting his HPY days, Jehaan said HPY was a great opportunity to make new friends. “It gives you an all-round development. Take me for instance, I was an introvert prior to joining HPY. Moreover, it exposes you to new career paths. Do what you want in life, don’t be disheartened and when needed ask for advice from your parents and near ones. Above all, believe in yourself even if the whole world doesn’t,” he advised.
Advising the youth, Chief Guest, Dr. Malcolm Homavazir, Director – Internal Quality Assurance Cell, Atlas Skill Tech University, said, “In life we are all juggling with three balls, two are made of rubber and the third is made of crystal. The rubber balls represent work and family and friends, if you drop these, they will bounce back. But the crystal one represents health and while it is the easiest one to compromise, it is very difficult to regain. Don’t chase money… fall in love with the process of what you are doing. Create your own identity, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
The event was seamlessly coordinated and managed by the HPY Organising Committee, all ex-HPY alumni themselves. A vote of thanks was given to the dignitaries and to all for their efforts in bringing alive HPY 2022 – including BPP CEO – Mr. Sarkari and Deputy BPP CEO – Shehnaz Khambatta; Bakhtawar Dastoor – Managing Committee of the Alexandra Girls English Institution and the Principal – Michelle Madeira; Committee Members of the Sir Ness Wadia Memorial Pavilion; caterer – Khorzad Bhesadia; Hormuz and Farhad Cooper of Samsons, for the sound system; photographer – Arish Patel; Huzan Forbes for digital support and design; Raika Guzder for HPY song lyrics’ and Hormuz Ragina and Peshotan Kapadia for composing its music.
Even as the strains of the HPY song lingered on in the auditorium, there’s no doubt that these fresh young minds have surrendered to and are spellbound by ‘the magic that is HPY.’
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