We in the Zoroastrian community are proud to announce that Farah Pavri of Allendale, New Jersey, has been awarded the Girl Scouts of the USA – Gold Award, the highest award that a scout can receive from this century old institution. However, this is no ordinary story of Parsi achievement, but rather how one person can make a difference and help change the world for the better. Because superheroes are not born, they are made. And Farah’s story is worthy of any Marvel entry.
Article by Zarnosh Nainshad Maneckshaw
When Farah was nine, all she wanted was a dog. Her parents, Yasmin and Cyrus Pavri, had to refuse her. Not because they wanted to, but because Farah’s younger brother, Porus, has severe hemophilia. As one of the precautionary measures for treating his disease, the house had to be maintained in such a way that a dog would not be feasible.
But Farah really wanted a dog. And if she had to save the world to do it, so be it. She thought local, and went global.
In 2018, Farah teamed up with the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, with the goal of providing physical therapy equipment to help people like her brother recover and maintain their health. As Farah herself stated, “people with hemophilia bleed internally, often into joints. Joints that are constant sites of bleeds are called “target joints.” Physical therapy helps strengthen the joints which reduce the amount and frequency of bleeding in target joints.” Unbeknownst to most, physical therapy helps with both alleviating symptoms and recovery.
The King Edward Memorial Hospital is a public hospital which mainly serves impoverished citizens in Mumbai. Like most public hospitals, it is severely underfunded and requires charitable donations to operate.
Farah saw this need and felt compelled to help those afflicted in the same way as her brother. She’d already gone global, so she took it back local. For three consecutive years, Farah has been organizing and running the Allendale Supports Hemophilia Walk. Her donors have been gracious and generous and their numbers extend far past the Parsi community. To date, she (and a small army including happy volunteers and assistance from organizations like the New York City Hemophilia Chapter and National Hemophilia Federation) has raised over $50,000 for the cause. Her efforts have helped to heal countless hemophilia patients in India, an achievement which earned her this prestigious award.
Farah plans to attend college next fall, handing the reigns over to her brother to manage the charity she started. I am pleased to report she finally did get that dog, Rustom. The entire worldwide Parsi community should be extremely proud and humbled not only by the award Farah received, but the road she traveled to earn it.