29 Years
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'Florence Nightingale' & 'Mother Teresa' of the Parsi/Zoroastrian community

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Arnavaz wears her heart on her sleeve and accomplishes every task with a quiet sense of devotion.

Born to parents with limited means, there was no dearth of rich values that were instilled in Arnavaz and her two siblings. From her early childhood, she had a soft, tender heart, which aspired to be of use to the people around her.

Arnavaz was married at the age of 18 years to Jal Minocher Mistry who was running a successful transport business. With the birth of two lovely daughters -Yasmin and Mehroo, the family was complete.

Arnavaz was a doting mother, and spent all her time bringing up her daughters. But during that period she also managed to complete her graduation and a Masters Degree in Social Work. All along she knew that her ultimate goal in life was to cater to the varied needs of the poor.

Having achieved her task as a mother by educating her daughters and instilling the same rich values in them, it was in 1987 that Arnavaz took her first step in the service of the community by working in the Parsi Ward of J.J. Hospital. The ward was an abandoned, desolate out-house, in such a dilapidated condition, that even destitutes were wary of habitation there. Her tireless efforts over the years have today borne the fruits. The ward is now a posh homely place.

Arnavaz's services are not restricted only to the Parsi / Zoroastrian community. She is also involved in various other charitable and social causes. Every single day she is busy taking care of all the under-privileged brethren of the society, which includes Don Bosco Shelter, where she interacts and helps out the street children, Ackworth Leprosy Home which she regularly visits and spends her time with the inmates there, at Jai Vakil School for Children in need of Special Care, she helps out with various projects and interacts with the children, and as a social worker she is also involved in the activities at the Kamla Mehta Blind School, Mumbai.

She is a boon to the needy, old members of the community. If anybody comes to know that there is an abandoned old person with no help from anyone whatsoever, the first person that would be contacted would be Arnavaz Mistry. In no time she'll be at that person's bed-side and would not rest till that person is properly put under the care of a hospital, or an old-age home.

Within the Parsi / Zoroastrian, she is involved with Young Rathestars - an outfit that undertakes welfare activities in cities and interiors of villages, supplying food grains and other utility articles to the deserving community members, Parukh Dharamshalla, a Home for the aged with 100 residents, Dinbai Pattuck Trust where she has been instrumental in spearheading campaign to help students in pursuing education and higher studies, besides arranging for vocational guidance for them. Besides these, she makes her services available to the Masina Hospital and the Parsi General Hospital, Mumbai.

All this philanthropic work explains the total faith reposed in her by the community when they voted her as a Trustee to the office of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet with an overwhelming majority in the year 2008.

For her exceptional contribution to various causes, Arnavaz has been felicitated and awarded by many organizations.

Arnavaz has touched the lives of thousands of people who have needed her help and guidance. She has touched the souls of all those who have come in contact with her.

To her, her work is worship. She is a lady of few words, with qualities of grace and charm, and above all, a soft heart that bleeds for the have-nots.

She is a visionary and a positive thinker.

Her message to the youngsters is: 'One of the greatest motivators the world has ever known is desire. If the desire is strong enough, you will do whatever it takes to achieve it.

First, find what you really, truly want - not what someone else wants for you, not what others think you should want, what YOU want. Then, connect it clearly and unambiguously within yourself to whatever tasks that must be done to achieve it.

You should be driven, disciplined and committed. Just connect your actions with your true desires to achieve success.

But success has no meaning if one becomes egoistic about one's own achievements. 'Respect all your elders, your teachers, your grand-parents and your parents. Do not ever raise your voice when you are speaking to an elder. Always be respectful and courteous to them”.

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