Four illustrious armed forces veterans are joining the fray for the elections of the Bombay Parsi Panchayet.
Here are their bios:
Major General Soli Noshir Pavri
Major General Soli Noshir Pavri, an infantry officer, was commissioned into the KUMAON Regiment in 1971and retired in 2008 after 37 years of distinguished service. A combat experienced officer of the Bangla Desh War of 1971, Kargil Operations and has over a decade of experience in counter terrorist operations across the country and abroad in Sri Lanka. As a Colonel he commanded his battalion against the ULFA insurgents in Assam. As Brigadier he commanded the largest brigade along the Line of Control in high altitude areas of north Kashmir and established one of the highest posts against Pakistan during Kargil Operations. As General Officer he commanded a newly raised Rashtriya Rifles Force in J&K. Responsibilities other than anti terrorist operations and intelligence included, executing legal, discipline and welfare matters.
Was the first to establish an orphanage cum old age home, at a small town called Riasi, for the victims of terrorist activities in J&K.
Between operational postings he has held significant administrative positions. Was Colonel in charge of Administration in J&K, executing projects like housing, civil and military welfare projects, forecasting, budget planning, management and execution of complete logistics for about 20,000 troops, including food, clothing and medical support. He was the Sub Area Commander at Pune, where he was Chairman of the Pune Cantonment Board responsible for the administration, included financial planning, revenue administration, legal matters and management of all defence land in the State. He was later posted to HQ Eastern Command at Kolkata, where he was in charge of all operational, intelligence and training matters of the complete Eastern States.
A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Army War College and alumnus of the National Defence College, New Delhi. Has had the distinction of being posted as the Leader of the Indian Military Observers to the UN mission in Iran. He has been nominated on several delegations abroad. Was decorated with the Yudh Seva Medal for the Kargil Operations and the Ati Vishist Seva Medal for distinguished service, among 16 other campaign stars and medals he has earned including the UN Peace Keeping Medal.
Post retirement he was appointed the Security Adviser to the RBI till July 2012, where he was responsible for all security matters of the Bank and for security policy formulation for all nationalized banks. Was also member of the State Level Security Committees. He continues to be consultant on corporate and banking security.
He has been a good sportsman and is an avid golfer today. He has participated in two international car rallies and supported his Regiment Team in six more.
Married to Jasmine, who retired from the Sir Dorab Tata Trust, they have two daughters and a son, all well settled.
Commodore Medioma Bhada
Commodore Medioma Bhada (Retd), was born and brought up in the pious & religious surroundings of the Belgaum Agiary where his father, Late Ervad Siavaxa Bhadha was the Panthaky. A graduate of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla he was commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1962 and joined the Fleet Air Arm.
He flew the SeaHawk jet-fighter from the aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant and participated in the 1971 Operations in the Bay Of Bengal.
He retired from the Navy in 1994 after a distinguished career spanning 35 years. During this tenure he held very important and coveted assignments like Commanding officer of Naval Air Squadrons, Naval Ships & shore establishments, Faculty of the Defence Services Staff College, Director Naval Air Staff at NHQ, etc.
After retirement he joined the Corporate world where he again held important positions.
He has now settled down at Godrej Baug, with his wife Ruby. He is on the Board of Directors of a few Companies and runs his own business in Facility Management.
He is single-handedly steering the project with the BMC & the State Govt, to erect a Memorial for the Iconic Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant on the heritage precinct of Rampart Row Road.
He is also actively involved with a few NGOs taking up social causes with the concerned authorities and is presently the Vice President of the Mumbai Citizens Group, a registered NGO. He takes active interest in community matters and plays a positive role in its affairs, especially those dealing with the Parsi/Irani youth.
Major General Khurshed Maneck Balsara
Major General Khurshed Maneck Balsara, Sena Medal, Vishishist Seva Medal (Retired) was commissioned into the Naga Regiment of the Infantry on 11 June 1977. He retired on 01 Nov 2014, after a career spanning over 37 years.
He has handled independent and top level executive, administrative and instructional (trainer) appointments involving over 80,000 personnel and multi million rupees of high tech weapons, equipment and material resources.
Son of an Assistant Commissioner of Bombay Police, he did his early schooling at Saint Xavier’s High School, Mumbai. He joined military training at Prince of Wales Military College (later Rashtriya Indian Military College) from 1968 to 1973, National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla from 1973 to 1976 and Indian Military Academy from 1976 to 1977. He has received leadership, management and administrative training at Infantry School, Mhow; Commando School, Belgaum, Army War College, Mhow; Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Centre of United Nations Peace Keeping, Delhi.
Highlights of the General’s career include commanding a battalion (1000 personnel) in active Counter Insurgency Operations, an Infantry Brigade (5000 personnel) in the semi deserts and a Division (35,000 personnel) in High Altitude Area.
The officer has held the prestigious staff appointments to include Military Advisor to the Chief of the Army Staff. He has served as Chief Logistics Officer in the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. He has been an Instructor in the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and Army War College, Mhow. Khurshed has functioned at the highest levels of the military forces and
actively interfaced with Ministry of Defence and multifarious agencies. He has toured, and interacted with Military and Civil Government officials in, countries abroad.
Khurshed was Chief Executive Officer in Eastern Ladakh from 2010 to 2012. He coordinated and implemented rescue and relief military operations during the Cloudburst and Landslide tragedy that occurred in 2010. In 2012- 14, he was responsible for looking after operating, equipping and training to all Indian Army troops (numbering approximately 80,000) in the Central India; and
Southern Peninsula and Western deserts of India. In same avatar, he undertook similar duties during the Cyclone Phalin in East Indian coastal areas including Orissa in the same year.
Khurshed is married to Pari Dara Mistry. They have two daughters Jennifer and Tenaaz. Jennifer is married and Tenaaz is working in an accountancy firm.
Squadron Leader Minoo Wadia
Sqn. Ldr. Minoo Wadia was born and brought up in Mumbai, studied at St. Mary’s school. Excelled in athletics, dramatics, music, was the highest qualified scout with the 16th E. Bombay. Joined the Indian Air Force in 1963, served with distinction in the N.E. sector and NEFA. Later in the Ladakh sector till 1973. Was posted as instructor at the National Defense Academy. Fought in the 1965 and 1971 wars with distingsion. He was awarded the Vayu Sena medal by the Govt. for exceptional devotion to duty. He was transferred on deputation to Air India in 1977 where he was leading major changes focused on aviation safety.
He was founder and president of the Federation of Indian Pilots (a professional body). He was founder and Principal of the Institute of aviation affiliated to the Bombay University. He was India Director of IFALPA(International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations), and has chaired meetings of Asia Pacific regions. He has been instrumental in improving aviation standards nationally and internationally. He was appointed by the govt. on the human engineering panel of the DR&DO. He was on the CII panel on aviation and was coordinator for the world record set for altitude in a hot air balloon.
He has been on the panel of the Tata trust on aviation since about 18 years. He continues to be a consultant on aviation safety and standards.