Navroze low key for lone Parsi family in East Maharashtra

Chandrapur: Even as their community members celebrated ‘Navroze’ in Mumbai on Monday with fervour, the new year was not that boisterous for ‘Gundevias’, the only Parsi family residing in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts in East Maharashtra.

Mahiyar Gundevia (65), who lives with his wife Minnie in his ancestral home at their farm in Rajura, said his has been the only family residing here since 1987 as about 7-8 Parsi families in Ballarpur and Chandrapur in 1970’s migrated to Nagpur and Mumbai.

“We are the lone Parsi family probably in Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondia and Bhandara districts in Vidarbha region,” said Mahiyar, adding that the nearest fire temple is located only in Nagpur, which has nearly 700 Parsis.

Mahiyar, a member of the District Minority Cell, said that meetings are not taking place regularly at the collector’s office since long.

“There is no ‘tower of silence’, where last rites of a Parsi are performed, except two cemeteries, one each at Chandrapur and Rajura, which are in neglected conditions. The administration has constructed a road through the cemetery ignoring the official records which marks the area as one reserved for the burial ground,” laments Mahiyar.

While their eldest daughter Priyanka working as an engineer in Mumbai and the youngest Dilnaz doing her MS in software engineering in US, the elderly couple have no plans to migrate and count three German Shepherds as their best companions and caretakers.