What We Do
Social & Cultural
Other Charitable Objects
Response to National Issues
Events & Activities
The Parsi Panchayat Charitable, Fund is a 150 years old institution working in manifold areas to enable Parsi Zoroastrians of Baroda from all walks of life to come together for their educational, social and cultural advancement. The Trust is registered with the Charity Commissioner and holds an Income Tax Exemption Certificate under Section 80(G) (V) for donations received by it. The Central Board of Direct Taxes, New Delhi has recently notified the 'Umrigar Agiary' Complex in Fatehgunj and the 'Dokhma Complex' in Vishwamitri as places of public worship of renown throughout the State of Gujarat. All donations for repairs and renovation work for the above to the extent of Rs, 5 lakhs per year will be exempt under Sec. 80(G) 2(b) of the IT Act and the notification is valid till withdrawn.
Our Panchayat is a unique institution which combines within itself all types of activities, religious, social, cultural, educational etc. The Trustees' main objective has always been to work for the welfare of the Vadodara Parsi Panchayat and for the happiness of the entire Community.
Our Dharamshala in Hire Baug, Fatehgunj is well maintained and comfortable and is used by students and visitors who come from outside Vadodara,
The Vadodara Parsi Panchayat was officially registered as a "Trust" on November 13, 1953 with the Charity Commissioner's Office, Vadodara bearing Registration No. C-2. The Trust has a defined set of Rules for its administration.
The Trustees of the Vadodara Parsi Panchayat hold dual responsibility, first as leaders of the community, and second as Trustees of the various funds and properties. Each one knows that as a Trustee, he has to be involved in manifold responsibilities involving him in every big and small decision. This involves several hours of work each week, apart from the Board Meetings at which 2-3 hours are spent.
The Trustees of the Panchayat have to maintain, manage, improve, develop and deal with the properties under their control, which includes the Dokhma, Umrigar Adaran, Dharamshala, the Pirojsha Godrej Hall and the Bai Manekbai P.B, Jeejibhoy Charity Building. They also manage the religious, charitable and other trust funds entrusted to them created for the benefit of the Parsi community, or for some specific purpose (like `Gambhars’). Other problems concerning the Community also requires their attention and action. Fund raising and proper investment of surplus funds are other important activities.
While most of the above activities are left to the Trustees of a progressive Panchayat like ours, their major achievement has been to maintain unity and harmony between all members of the community. The Trustees are always available and open to new ideas. Various Committees to deal with specific issues have been constituted where other members of the Community are involved. This tradition has come down over the years in Vadodara. At the helm of the Panchayat have been its past presidents, who have played a very vital role in the running of the Panchayat affairs. Elections to the Board of Trustees are held every five years.
1. Educational :
Education is a pre-requisite for a fulfilling career. It is our endeavour to ensure that every child of our community gets quality education to enable him/her to compete effectively in this fast paced world. For this purpose, financial aid is provided to needy students and a special Book Bank Scheme loans books to college students.
To encourage students to excel in their studies, a special function is held every year where awards are given to high achievers. This covers students of both schools and colleges and includes Medical, Engineering, Management, Science and Humanities courses. The community gathers in large numbers to felicitate the winners. An eminent person is invited to address the gathering and motivate both parents and students.
The city offers good educational facilities and a number of students from outside the city especially surrounding areas come for higher studies. They are provided comfortable hostel facilities at nominal charges, located near the University campus.
A generous donation from our youth organisation (BUZY) enabled us to initiate a special Talent Search Scheme to identify students with outstanding potential and provide them with financial and other inputs to enable them to excel in their future career.
Aid is also given to other charitable institutions all over India working for the
2. Social & Cultural :
Economically poor families especially the elderly and those with physically/mentally challenged members are provided monthly financial aid to supplement their daily expenses. In addition, household items such as dry rations, linen and clothing material are provided during New Year. This helps families take care of a large part of their essential needs during the year. Upliftment of our community. Thus our aid reaches many more needy persons beyond the limits of our city.
3. Medical Aid :
Economically poor families are provided with medical aid to meet their hospitalization and medical expenses. They also have the opportunity to avail of the services of specified doctors on our panel. A limited amount is spent on medical aid to needy persons from other places as well.
Medical camps such as blood donation, renal failure, detection of diabetic and G6PD (a condition common amongst the Parsi community), vaccination for Hepatitis B etc. are organized from time to time for the entire community and many persons take advantage of such camps.
4. Other Charitable Objects :
In 2008-09 the panchayat spent Rs. 2,67,729/- on other Charitable Objects such as donations to other Panchayats and Institutions. Navroze and other festival expenses, ghambhar expenses etc.
5. Entrepreneurial Activity :
The Parsis are an entrepreneurial community since generations and boast of well-known business houses in the country spanning a wide range of products and services.
However, with increasing competition, a need was felt to and support to new as well as existing entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneurship Development Cell promoted by the Trust consists of experienced people from the world of business, finance, and management to give specialized inputs for business activity. The BUZY donation also provided for Entrepreneurship assistance. Much work remains to be undertaken in this area.
Separate Yellow Pages have been introduced in the 2009 Telephone Directory outlining the entrepreneurial activities of Vadodara Parsis.
6. Youth Activities :
Our youth are the future leaders of our community and nation. Their initiative, energy and leaders: can be channellized for the benefit of the larger community. A youth organisation Baroda Unit Zoroastrian Youth (BUZY) conducts activities as debates, elocution contests, outdoor activities as well as youth meets where youth from all over the country meet to deliberate pertinent issues also hold a matrimonial meet.
BUZY has also assisted the Panchayat in carrying out work such as compilation of the Telephone Directory, the holding of drama etc.
7. Religious :
Religion plays an important role in the life of an individual and community and has an impact on a person's core beliefs and values. The Zoroastrian religion in its ancient and pristine form requires a person to offer prayers daily. Regular worship in an Agiary (Fire Temple) where the holy Fire is installed is important. The trust runs an Adaran with a full-time priest and several qualified mobeds. Worshippers have the opportunity to visit the Adaran throughout the day. In addition, community prayers are held on important days in the year. Facilities for conducting important ceremonies such as Weddings and Navjotes are also provided.
For those with a thirst to know more about our religion, a number of religious books are available in our library, which gives in-depth knowledge about Zoroastrian history, culture and philosophy. Recently, religious classes for the young have been started on alternate Sunday Mornings.
8. Response to National Issues :
National calamities such as earthquakes. wars etc. have ravaged our country from time to tune Our community in Vadodara has risen to the occasion through a collection of donations in cash and kind and remitted them to the concerned authorities. Thus, our target beneficiaries cover a very wide and diversified area.
Over many centuries, our community members have always striven to achieve new highs in nearly every field, be it business, professions or services. However, being a part of the society in which we live, we have also kept the society's and nation's interest at heart and have sought to make useful contributions. It is the endeavour of the Trust through the various activities outlined above, to enable members of our community to continue to achieve excellence in their respective spheres and thereby lead the life of respected and useful citizens to society.