Zo Child Day for Zorastrian children only!

Organised by Vispy Kapadia, the event saw over 2,600 children from India and abroad participate in the event

The fourth Zo Child Day, which took place recently at Shanmukhananda Hall, saw 2,600 Zoroastrian children from all over India (and some even from around the world) converge in what was possibly the largest gathering of Parsi school children. Organized annually by marital arts expert Kyoshi Vispi Kapadia, Zo Child Day is one of the most awaited events in the Parsi calendar. And this time, the event saw a massive turnout by children and well known dignitaries from different walks of life from the community.

The event is the brainchild of Kapadia and his wife Shiraz and they along with trustees, Parvez Dotiwalla, Zenobia Daroga and Perin Bagli, started the ‘Zoroastrian Children’s Foundation’ (ZCF), a foundation dedicated to children a few years ago. And the Zo Child Day is just one of the events that happen during the year when children celebrate the day devoted entirely to them! The travel, food, stay (for children living out of the city) and the gifts are all free of cost to the children, who come from places like Surat, Navsari, Pune, Udwada, Dubai, USA, New Zealand, Switzerland and London. The Zo Child Day is open to students from Std II to Std XII.
“Organising an event like this is tremendously challenging – physically, mentally and financially. We start planning six months before the actual event because I make sure that each and every child is well taken care of. Outstation children are taken to Esselworld after the event is over, where they’re treated to a day of fun and frolic and then sent home in the night,” says Kapadia.

This time around, the event was kick started with a flag hoisting ceremony (yes, the ZCF even has its own flag!), a police march, followed by religious songs. This was followed by the felicitation of Bombay Parsi Panchayat (BPP) trustees as well as the felicitation of eminent Parsis like Sam Variava, Dr. K. B. Grant, Hafeez Contractor and Jimmy Jesia. “During the Zo Child Day, we ensure that children are appreciated for their talents other than academics. This time 14 children (out of a 100 nominations) were felicitated for ballet, swimming, body building, music, shooting and karate among other categories.

“I feel there is too much bickering happening in our community and I wouldn’t want the future generation to be a part of that. Let them grow up in a community, which is unselfish and untainted. When I entered the hall this time, the sound of hundreds of children applauding and screaming with excitement was palpable. We make sure that the day is not only fun, we teach them a lot about religion as well,” says Kapadia.

So this time around, the Zo Child Day saw skits, dances and plays by children from different schools, demonstration of the kusti prayers, talks by Vada Dasturji Khurshedji K. Dastur on the importance of prayers, by Dr. Ashish Contractor on good health and on Zoroastrian values by Noshir Dadrewalla. “Right now I’m still getting feedback from people and I’ve made it my resolve to make the Zo Child Day bigger and better every year so that it is put on the calendar as a day in honour of the children of our community,” says Kapadia proudly. The planning for this year’s Zo Child Day will start in a couple of months.

Original article here