Parsi groups to form trust to fund agiaries, poor members

In a meeting held last week, office bearers of various Parsi groups decided that a new trust, Global council of Zoroastrians Trust, will be formed to facilitate funding from community members living abroad for upkeep of agiaries and for educating and alleviating poverty among fellow Parsi-Zoroastrian and Irani members.

The development comes after a deal, wherein a Hong Kong-based couple had expressed willingness to provide funds to revive the Parsee General Hospital (PGH) at Cumballa Hill, was called off last year.

Yazdi Desai, chairperson of Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) — the caretaker of Parsi properties in the city, said two representatives from five countries, including North America, Singapore and Canada, would be on the board of the new trust.

“To facilitate funding from other countries, we will have Indian members manage funds, because as per the rules it cannot be completely managed by people who are not citizens of the country,” said Desai.

Desai said a charter on the same was prepared at a Global Working Group (GWG) meeting held on Tuesday, and added the trust would be formed in another three months.

Currently, due to the declining population of the community, there are various pockets in the country where only a few members of the community are alive. These funds will be utilised to maintain those places as well.

“The project will bring together the people of the community for a good cause. In addition, it will also ensure that some of the agiaries, which have few people visiting them, have funds for their upkeep. If there are community members who are willing to fund, it is a step in the right direction,” said Ramiyar Karanjia, principal, Dadar Athornan Institute, a Zoroastrian seminary in Mumbai.

However, a section of the community has opposed the decision to form the new trust, saying it would liquidate Parsi properties in the city.

Published on Hindustan Times