8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress: London calling! Spotlight on Youth Organisers
Article by Zeena Batliwalla, Treasurer 8WZYC
With the 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress (8WZYC) 2023 being hosted by the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE) in the United Kingdom (UK) in Summer 2023, a dedicated team of youth volunteers have already commenced early groundwork to start planning and organising this momentous event. As part of a series of articles, we will be sharing the insights and visions of our 8WZYC organising team.
My name is Zeena Batliwalla (nee Maravala) and I am taking on the role as the Treasurer for the 8WZYC. I am currently a Manager at KPMG in the Audit Technical Programmes Team, developing and delivering technical training to the Audit business. I graduated in 2015 with a degree in Financial Mathematics with Professional Practice and completed my Chartered Accountancy in 2018 with ICAEW. Outside of work,I love spending time with my family, watching Bollywood movies and (trying to!) complete crosswords.
I have always loved being a Zarthusthi and take pride in our beautiful and everlasting faith. I vividly remember one of my very first trips to Mumbai as a young girl, visiting Bikhaji Behramji’s Kuo, and the warm and homely feeling, being surrounded by countless Zoroastrians on Ava Roj. I loved that feeling, so much so that I dreamt of getting married in an Atash Behram in the future. My dream came true in December 2018 and by the grace of God, that feeling was recreated. I wish to share that same feeling on the stage at the 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress!
For me, being a Zoroastrian in the UK is a privilege. It means I can be a melting pot within myself – from learning how to cook my favourite dishes with instructions from my Mum and Mother-in-Law to debating with my Dad and Father-in-Law about why we lost that last round of Hokum! Having family all over the world, means that I can combine the Eastern and Western practices of our culture and religion whilst still feeling close to my roots – something that I believe all our youth overseas strive to do and what we endeavour to bring to this Youth Congress.
When I heard that this 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress was to be hosted by ZTFE in the United Kingdom, I was inspired to get involved to showcase with pride what London has to offer to our global Zoroastrian community! I am thrilled to be part of this monumental event and look forward to welcoming our amazing Zoroastrian Youth from across the globe.
As the Treasurer for the Congress, my main responsibilities include creating a master budget and ensuring this is adhered to by all. I am the first point of contact for approving any expenditure and keeping a general (but stringent!) check on whether our incoming donations match our outgoing plans.
At this stage of the Congress organisation, I have been busy crunching numbers and working with all the sub committees to ensure that we are planning for an affordable and inclusive experience for all participants. I have been heavily involved in negotiations with potential venues and I am extremely excited for what we have in store for 2023! I will also be working closely with the Entertainment Committee to ensure we have an extremely attractive, diversified and interesting set of events lined up and my hope is that this Congress will truly be memorable.
A great thing about being part of the 8WZYC committee is that I have the opportunity to get to know fellow young Zoroastrians. I am able to see what each individual brings to the team as well as their passion and enthusiasm for our Zoroastrian community, which is something I am incredibly proud of. This has already been such a wonderful experience and I cannot wait for what’s to come in the lead up to 2023!