Need for a Facility for Mentally Challenged Parsi Children and Adults

Below is a letter by our dearest friend and neighbor Dr. Katayun Palia to the Editor of Jame Jamshed. Dr. Palia talks about the need for a residential facility for mentally challenged Parsi children/adults.

 

Dear Ms. Engineer,

This is further to a letter published in your newspaper ("A Tribute to Jimmy Shroff ", Jam-e-Jamshed, March 4, 2012), regarding the need for a residential facility for mentally challenged Parsi children/adults.

As a volunteer working with mentally challenged youngsters, I feel very strongly about the urgent need for such a facillity. The issue deals with a marginalised section of our community that cannot really speak up for itself!

Let each member of our community pause for a moment, and place themselves in the shoes of those who have a mentally challenged child/sibling/relative to care for. Let each one of us, for a moment, live with the stark, gut-wrenching fear that accompanies the thought: "WHAT will happen to my son/daughter/sister/brother, when I am no longer there, when I am too old to look after him/her!"

I want to place before all of you, a recent conversation with a young mentally-challenged Parsi girl living in South Mumbai (name withheld for privacy). This young girl, who has no siblings, lost her mother to illness a few years ago; her father, who was her sole care-giver, passed away a short while ago. Not even comprehending the meaning of the words she used, or their terrible impact on her life, she said to a family friend: "Aunty, tamey jaanoch, hu toh orphan thai gai" ("Aunty, do you know, I have become an orphan").

I think it is time for each one of us to wake up to the urgency of the issue. There are several developmentally-challenged Parsi individuals who already are, or soon may be, in this situation. Let us set aside our "Khaavanu-peevanu" and "masti-majaa" for a while. Let us set aside our apathy and our indifference to "somebody else’s problem, not mine". Let each one of us – ordinary people, and particularly those in a position to make decisions/generate funds – give our hundred percent, and on a priority basis ensure that this facility is set up as soon as possible.

Let us live by this adaptation of Gandhiji’s famous bhajan: A true Zarthosti "toh tene kahiye, je peed paraai jaane re" ("is one who truly shares the pain of his fellow-men")!

Yours truly,

Katayun Palia

If you agree with what she writes, please write in to stress the urgency of this cause, and generate further support. The editors email address is editorjamejamshed@gmail.com

  • MS

    Thanks for sharing!
    Kudos to Katy and others like her who are tirelessly/selflessly fighting for the cause of these children! Let’s take a moment and think about all those things in life for which we are grateful – one of which is having a loving family and healthy kids – and return thanks for them by doing our bit for these disadvantaged (and often neglected) members of our community.
    I urge you to support this noble cause. Please help in any way you can! 
    And thank you in advance for spreading the good word.
    MS

  • MS

    Thanks for sharing!
    Kudos to Katy and others like her who are tirelessly/selflessly fighting for the cause of these children! Let’s take a moment and think about all those things in life for which we are grateful – one of which is having a loving family and healthy kids – and return thanks for them by doing our bit for these disadvantaged (and often neglected) members of our community.
    I urge you to support this noble cause. Please help in any way you can! 
    And thank you in advance for spreading the good word.
    MS

  • MS

    Thanks for sharing!
    Kudos to Katy and others like her who are tirelessly/selflessly fighting for the cause of these special needs children & adults! Let’s take a moment and think about all those things in life for which we are grateful – one of which is having a loving family and healthy kids – and return thanks for them by doing our bit for these disadvantaged (and often neglected) members of our community.
    I urge you to support this noble cause. Please help in any way you can! 
    And thank you in advance for spreading the good word.
    MS

  • MS

    Thanks for sharing!
    Kudos to Katy and others like her who are tirelessly/selflessly fighting for the cause of these special needs children & adults! Let’s take a moment and think about all those things in life for which we are grateful – one of which is having a loving family and healthy kids – and return thanks for them by doing our bit for these disadvantaged (and often neglected) members of our community.
    I urge you to support this noble cause. Please help in any way you can! 
    And thank you in advance for spreading the good word.
    MS

  • Sandhyagajjar

    I could not agree more, Katayun. Especially for a community that prides itself on its ability to look after itself, has denied ‘minority’ status and the privileges attached thereby, looks at a Rs. 50,000 paycheck per month as the least for an above BPL status … Sandhya Gajjar

  • Sandhyagajjar

    I could not agree more, Katayun. Especially for a community that prides itself on its ability to look after itself, has denied ‘minority’ status and the privileges attached thereby, looks at a Rs. 50,000 paycheck per month as the least for an above BPL status … Sandhya Gajjar

  • xyz

    Congratulations for taking up a social cause. Please contact 7 trustees of BPP and especially the sethia trustee who has been wasting  money for rich and famous to be diverted to really poor and needy for such a noble cause. They are just wasting hard earned money on frivolous court cases and other useless expenditure.

  • xyz

    Congratulations for taking up a social cause.

  • Katayun Palia

    I do appreciate the interest that this has generated, and I hope that it serves as a trigger for people to find a solution to this problem – however, I VERY EMPHATICALLY want to state that my focus is on the solution, and that   I do not believe in sarcastic comments, as I genuinely believe they serve no purpose! To all those who wish to help in any way, please focus on positive comments – there has been enough of negativity in our parsi press and I do not at all wish to be a part of it.. please, let’s work WITH each other, and not against each other!!!

    Katayun Palia

  • Katayun Palia

    I do appreciate the interest that this has generated, and I hope that it serves as a trigger for people to find a solution to this problem – however, I VERY EMPHATICALLY want to state that my focus is on the solution, and that   I do not believe in sarcastic comments, as I genuinely believe they serve no purpose! To all those who wish to help in any way, please focus on positive comments – there has been enough of negativity in our parsi press and I do not at all wish to be a part of it.. please, let’s work WITH each other, and not against each other!!!

    Katayun Palia

  • Piloomani

    Ms.Sandhyagajjar.  Your comments about Rs.50,000/- p.m pay check is uncalled for since you are not belonging to his community your views are totally prejudiced.  These are thousands of Parsis who earn less than Rs.50,000/- p.m yet they do not get any benefits from the BPP or the Govt. in any way.  They suffer silently because reservations and protection is given by the Govt. to persons practising only your religion and those who can destroy properties.  Ever since independence due to selfishness of your community our community members (majority of them who do not have influence) have seen their economic status reduced to bare minimum middle class.  They have maintained some economic status because they do not produce 15 to 20 children as done by your community members who go on producing children and have no sense of responsibility towards their children.  You should take up social issues in your community which only builds utterly extravagant temples and hoards wealth in their temples to propogate the greatness of your religion.  You should use this wealth for social causes.  Only then you should comment about others.

  • Piloomani

    Ms.Sandhyagajjar.  Your comments about Rs.50,000/- p.m pay check is uncalled for since you are not belonging to his community your views are totally prejudiced.  These are thousands of Parsis who earn less than Rs.50,000/- p.m yet they do not get any benefits from the BPP or the Govt. in any way.  They suffer silently because reservations and protection is given by the Govt. to persons practising only your religion and those who can destroy properties.  Ever since independence due to selfishness of your community our community members (majority of them who do not have influence) have seen their economic status reduced to bare minimum middle class.  They have maintained some economic status because they do not produce 15 to 20 children as done by your community members who go on producing children and have no sense of responsibility towards their children.  You should take up social issues in your community which only builds utterly extravagant temples and hoards wealth in their temples to propogate the greatness of your religion.  You should use this wealth for social causes.  Only then you should comment about others.

  • phiroze

    Is there a master plan for such a facility? How does one go about contributing towards this?

  • phiroze

    Is there a master plan for such a facility? How does one go about contributing towards this?

  • vhjokhi

    Dear Friends
    It is indeed encouraging to see that the conscience of some members of our community has been stirred by my dear friend Dr. Katy Palia’s fervent plea for this laudable project. This started as an initiative by Armaity Tirandaz and Aban Mirza and since then my other friends Cyrus Bagwadia, Kashmira Kakalia, Anahita Desai and zal eranee have been actively involved in creating a blue print or master plan for this project. We started this work as we realized that there were quite a few underutilized properties within the community which could be used for this project. We felt that for anybody to be convinced to give us this space, we had to establish the need and scale of the project. We are ready with the same and I will be able to share details with you any of you if u wish. We are now veering round to the view that considering the financial status of our community members who are disabled a secular project may be more suitable and sustainable. We are in touch with many persons who may be of help to us, but we request you to tell contact me either on my e mail id vhjokhi@gmail:disqus
    .com or on tel no 9323351529. If u have any influence with trustees or owners of any space in mumbai like BD Petit Parsee General Hospital, Masina Hospital, Dosibai charitable home for the old, Cama Athornan Madressa, Parsee-lying-in- waiting hospital, Byramjee JeeJeebhoy trust or any other suitable place in  Mumbai, we will be more than willing to share our findingd and try and get this project running.
    Sincerely,
    Dr Vispi H. Jokhi

  • vhjokhi

    Dear Friends
    It is indeed encouraging to see that the conscience of some members of our community has been stirred by my dear friend Dr. Katy Palia’s fervent plea for this laudable project. This started as an initiative by Armaity Tirandaz and Aban Mirza and since then my other friends Cyrus Bagwadia, Kashmira Kakalia, Anahita Desai and zal eranee have been actively involved in creating a blue print or master plan for this project. We started this work as we realized that there were quite a few underutilized properties within the community which could be used for this project. We felt that for anybody to be convinced to give us this space, we had to establish the need and scale of the project. We are ready with the same and I will be able to share details with you any of you if u wish. We are now veering round to the view that considering the financial status of our community members who are disabled a secular project may be more suitable and sustainable. We are in touch with many persons who may be of help to us, but we request you to tell contact me either on my e mail id vhjokhi@gmail:disqus
    .com or on tel no 9323351529. If u have any influence with trustees or owners of any space in mumbai like BD Petit Parsee General Hospital, Masina Hospital, Dosibai charitable home for the old, Cama Athornan Madressa, Parsee-lying-in- waiting hospital, Byramjee JeeJeebhoy trust or any other suitable place in  Mumbai, we will be more than willing to share our findingd and try and get this project running.
    Sincerely,
    Dr Vispi H. Jokhi