Arnavaz Mistry welcomes and shelters our immobile poor Parsi bretheren who have no home of their home nor any one to take care of them says Dr. SHERNAZ BAJI AVARI.
Amidst the serene verdant setting of the sprawling J.J.Hospital stands the Parsi Ward where all facilities like food, medicines, clothing, toiletries etc. are provided to the poorest of the poor without charging a single paise and where cleanliness and camaraderie between the inmates is maintained.
We have heard of Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa but only a few in our community know that there is one existing here amidst us – Arnavaz Mistry who has taken people from the road and looks after them sincerely, dedicatedly and morally at this Institution tirelessly for the last 31 years which is completely maintained and supervised by her from the J.J. Charities and the Trust of her late husband Jal M. Mistry Memorial Foundation as also from Donors and Charitable Institutions. Every Tuesdays and Fridays Arnavaz visits the Ward, the whole day. “J.J. is my house, the inmates are like my brothers and sisters” says Arnavaz who addresses each one of them by their first names and also knows their history. She goes out of her way to serve them anything which they would crave for! However she laments that the near and dear ones of these inmates seldom come to visit them or inquire about their well being which is indeed shameful. There has even been a patient who has stayed for 15 years without being charged a single penny.
The inmates are provided with entertainment by means of T.V. programmes, occasional musical programmes and visits to the Fire Temple. There are 8 rooms – 4 for gents and 4 for ladies. Besides there are 8 Sisters taking care from morning to night. Physiotherapist come thrice a week to keep them mobile. A few years back when Arnavaz was the Trustee of the Bombay Parsi Punchaet she had invited me to visit her J. J. Institution and see for myself how clean and well-kept this Institution was. Somehow I was not able to go then but this time I made it a point to visit her there and oh boy she certainly deserves all the kudos from our community.
It doesn’t end here. Arnavaz is also dedicated to other Institutions. She is the President of Dadar Young Rathestars where she teaches English. She also visits the Jai Vakil Foundation where mainly Parsi children are taught their religious rituals and Kasti prayers. In whatever way she can, Arnavaz helps the Ackworth Leprosy Home for the last 30 years, as well as the Parekh Dharamsala at Khareghat Colony where she is almost worshipped. She is also associated with the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of India (ZTFI).
Arnavaz is no more a Trustee now (she had won the then election with a huge margin), she continues to do the good work day in and day out with Dadar Ahura Mazda’s blessings bestowed upon her. Afterall as they say, “Helping hands are better than praying lips”.
Humble, dignified, stately and gracious, Arnavaz belies her 70 years. It’s a remarkable sterling job which she continues to carry on for the benefit of the community.
MULTIFARIOUS ACTIVITIES OF THE BOMBAY PARSI PUNCHAYET
- Provides economical housing and rent subsidies to the deserving
- Manages the sacred Doongerwadi estate in Mumbai
- Provides relief to the underprivileged members of the community
- Supports the pursuit of education at all levels in India and abroad
- Extends financial support towards medical expenses
- To augment our population aid given for Second Child onwards
- Monetary assistance for Day Care of Children
- Holiday Programme for Youth (HPY) – BPP’s Flagship Project
- Runs and fully finances the full-fledged Fertility Clinic
- Distributes kusti wool and sells kustis
- Conducts Matrimonial Meets
- Operates a Career Guidance Programme
- Maintains War Memorial at Khareghat Colony as well as Memorial Column, Dharamshalla and Time Capsule at Sanjan
CONTROLS AND ADMINISTERS
- Seth Pestonji F. Davar Charitable Trust in Mumbai
- Bai Soonabai & Seth Behramji H. Sorabji Parsi Student Hostel at Gamadia Colony, Mumbai
- R. H. Patuck Education Trust in Mumbai
- Old Age Home – F.S. Parukh Dharamshalla at Khareghat Colony, Mumbai
- The Godavara Daremeher in Mumbai
- The Shapoorji Fakirji Jokhi Agiary at Godrej Baug
- The Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy Zarthoshti Madressa in Mumbai
- The F.D. Alpaiwalla Museum in Mumbai
- The Lady Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Health Unit at Gamadia Colony, Tardeo
- The Bai Navajbai Bamji Sanatorium and the Bamji Chawl at Navsari
- Sir J.J. College of Commerce in Mumbai
- Zoroastrian Venture Capital Co. Pvt. Ltd.
- Zoroastrian Investments Corporation Pvt. Ltd. Centre for Promotion of Entrepreneurship
- Liaison Committee