The below is a report by Zubin Madon.
In an unprecedented move, the BPP trustees called a brainstorming meeting to discuss the education program for Parsi youth at Jimmy Mistry’s Della Technica. Noted educationists, Parsi Principals & teachers were in attendace. Among them were Ms. Diana D. Marfatia, Ms Silloo Commisariat and Mrs Rati Wadia. Other members of the community, especially the youth were also present.
In a session that lasted over 5 hours, the Principals and teachers shared many ideas on career counselling, parental counselling and special help for children with learning disabilities. Olympic yachtsman Farokh Tarapore talked about the importance of sports as a recreational activity and a career, and stressed on the need for ‘sports counseling’ and offered his services to the community to hone young athletes and guide them in the right direction.
Religious scholar and BPP trustee Khojeste Mistree stressed on the need for cultural/religious education, in order to instill a sense of “Parsi Pride” among the youth. He addressed the issue of “identity crisis” that we face as a community, and how the youth needs to get in touch with its roots, in order to find our lost identity- not just as a religious minority- but also as a distinct ethnic group having a rich cultural heritage.
Noshir Dadhrawala voiced his concerns over the increasing cases of substance abuse among Parsi youth. He called for an approach to tackle the problem. There were many other points raised by the community members. Hoshang Gotla, an active youth volunteer suggested that a “BPP Youth Wing” be set up, that would act as a liaison between the board and the young folks in the community. The idea was met with enthusiasm from the trustees, especially Jimmy Mistry.
All in all, it was a stimulating exchange, and the community members in attendance were happy to see that the BPP board was finally moving beyond housing problems- which has absorbed most of its time and resources since its inception- and addressing other key issues of the community.