With an online portal disseminating information about all their activities and projects, Zoroastrains in the city find it easy to stay connected
The Internet has always been appreciated for making the world a smaller place. But even in cities the size of Pune, if one is too involved in the routine means of livelihood, one might remain oblivious to the cultural goings-on close to us. Keeping the Zoroastrian community of Poona updated and the activities that may interest them, the website www.poonazoroastrians.org makes sure that Parsis remain in touch with the happenings within the community.
Started in August 2006 by 32-year-old Mabrin Nanavati and an electronic engineer Kayomarz Gazder, the motive of the website is to get the various Zoroastrian communities on one platform. By featuring around eight organisations among them including the ZYA, the Parsi Panchayat, the Athornan Aid Trust, The Zoroastrian Cooperative Bank Limited, World Zarthusti Chamber Of Commerce-I, the target is well achieved.
Initially though the protal started out as a directory project for the Zoroastrian Youth association (ZYA) to work as an online method to gather information for the new edition of the Poona Zoroastrian Directory. After the completion of the project, Nanavati and Gazder decided to retain the web-project and thanks to the enthusiasm and the participation of many fellow Zoroastrians, the website has grown into a mine of information about Zoroastrian organisations in the city.
Nanavatti and Gazder met each other in 1998 at the ZYA and both believing in the web venture, Gazder did the designing part of the website while Nanavatti assisted in the gathering of information.
The site is regularly updated with information about the community’s activities. The website also chronicles the several organisations, industries and institutes run by and for the members of the Zoroastrian community in Pune. The collection of the news isn’t much of a hassle apparently since it being a close-knit community, the people help each other out. The members in the various institutes registered on the website keep the twosome in the loop about the events and developments and the website posts these events along with a brief history of the organisation.
“The information will facilitate people from the community coming to Pune for the first time as it includes information on housing, youth programmes and entrepreneurship,” says Nanavati. The website has also helped in fostering the relationship between them and the other Zoroastrian organisations, keeping each other updated about the developments. The website also sends out emails to internet users registered to their mailing list and keeps them updated through a newsletter of sorts, about the happenings in the various Zoroastrian institutes.
While initially the website received its funding from the Zoroastrian Youth Association but they now support themselves independently, paying only for the web services.
The two partners of the venture are also looking to build a chat system within the website for easy interaction between the members of the community. The community is currently employing ideas to start a membership for the website and wishes to make the list of the organisations an exhaustive one.