Mumbai Samachar Article: WZO's charity: Money power is used to tinker with religion

WZO's charity

There is no reason for anyone to be jealous of the WZO as alleged by them in their response in Jame Jamshed of 18/3/2001 as also in Bombay Samachar of Sunday 25/3/2001 Parsi Tari Arsi column p.20 "WZO's Evasive Response".

Their actions and their words show their intent. With a well oiled public relations machinery they publicise their charity and when it stops they are silent. Over the centuries so many Parsi sethias donated to charity and built institutions but rarely they sought personal glory and honour the way WZO and its leaders have been doing. They talk of transparency and accountability but when cornered attempt to wriggle out by stating that the views expressed were 'personal' views. One can understand it is human nature to seek the limelight but when money power is used to tinker with religion the way the WZO does so skilfully and subtly it is time for the community to wake up and be alert.

1. If you have seen the video film screened by WZO at some of their functions about Gujarat relief, they show a well and a pumpset with the inscription donated by Khorshed and Mahendra Sodhi and the couple sitting next to the well.

2. If you scrutinise their list of about 150 mobeds(who were being given a subsidy of Rs.1,000/- per month as mentioned in Mr. Tamboly's election manifesto in 1996 and which has been discontinued since the past few years) you find the names include Dasturji Kekobad Firozji of Udvada, the panthaki of Andheri agiary, the mobeds of RustomFramna agiary, Dadar as also other wellpatronised agiaries. This scheme was discontinued and the recipients were told that the flow of donations has stopped. A new scheme was started along with Athornan Mandal for young priests. Probably the WZO realised that elderly priests will not yield to their dictates, but the younger recipients could be coaxed to tow the line.

3. Parsidom last year carried a xerox copy of a Deutsche Bank cheque issued out of WZO Rural Housing Project for Rs. Four lakhs in favour of Mr. R. A. Dhondy dated 10th March 2000. One wonders what the editor of a newspaper has to do with rural housing!

4. Dorab Mistry, President ZTFE at an inter region meeting to discuss about formation of a world body held in the BPP board room in January 2000 had said that the WZO does not disclose or print its annual accounts on a world-wide basis. The annual report and accounts are printed only for WZO U. K. which has only about 300 members.The income from subscription and other income is limited. How then could WZO provide Rs. 60 lakhs for their new office premises in Mumbai? He went on to say that over the years the WZO collected money for Gujarat relief which subsequently was transferred to a Gujarat relief and building account and from which the WZO must have provided funds for their office premises. Mr. Rustom Tirandaz was also present at this meeting along with other trustees. So were representative of the Press but this was not reported in the Press.

As regards Kurus' observations about the progeny of mixed marriages, if you go the Dossibai Kotwal boys' orphanage at Navsari or the Choksi Rural Girls' home at Navsari or the Parsi orphanages at Surat you will find a vast majority of the students having features that do not indicate pure Parsi lineage. But this has been going on for several decades, for which, in all fairness, I feel the WZO is not responsible.

Marzban Giara.

kurus wrote:

i have always been sceptical of WZO's plans in advancing financial help to the 'poor zarathostis' in rural gujarat and in helping them cultivate their land and in building wells for them. how is it believable that only parsis in these regions, and no other community people, have been discriminated against by the government in not providing any help for agriculture or farming? how do you believe that those of other communities dont have irrigation problems, they dont have problems with land fertility and only 'parsi' farmers have developed these problems? it begs a very very serious question as to who are these people being helped by the WZO??? are they parsis, or are they the adivasis who do subsistence farming?

is anybody checking as to who is being helped by the WZO? are they parsis and not dubraas and/or descendants of mixed blood? is it not being overlooked in in good faith and being left to the integrity and sincerity of the WZO, of all ???

sincerely yours


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