FEZANA would like to share a write-up and appeal from the WZO Trust Funds in India. This gives an update of the steps they are taking to coordinate a massive effort to help out Zarathushtis affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. FEZANA has collaborated with WZO Trust Funds India on numerous occassions and we urge our members to donate to this worthy cause. You can donate online or send in checks. Information to do the same is mentioned below. Monies collected will be transferred to India in due course of time.Our dear friend and Chairman of WZO Trust Funds India Dinshaw Tamboly writes…
Dear Donors, Friends, Well Wishers, We, World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust & WZO Trust Funds have begun to plan for relief and rehabilitation that will need to be undertaken for Zoroastrians who have been affected through loss of livelihood due to the Covid Pandemic.
A Write-up cum appeal as below is being sent to donors all over the world with a request to extend support for the many Zoroastrians, who have all been severely affected in different ways.
It is requested that generous support be considered towards this humanitarian of epic proportions. We expect to commence once the lock down has been lifted and travel restrictions have been eased; sometime hopefully my mid-May or perhaps a bit later. We envisage it will take us around 5 months at the very minimum to complete this humongous task and look forward to receiving support. Best wishes,Dinshaw COVID PANDEMIC AND IT’S AFTERMATH;
THE LONG ROAD TOWARDS REHABILITATION.
The world over, people are presently wrestling with the unprecedented implications of the COVID-19 corona virus pandemic. It is a human crisis unlike any experienced earlier.
By way of providing immediate relief during the pandemic, We, The World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust and The WZO Trust Funds have played a reasonably proactive role by supporting from our own funds, Masina Hospital at Mumbai to create isolation facilities, as also recommended to and facilitated overseas donors to support this initiative, and supported the distribution of food packets through volunteers of ‘Pehchaan’ to migrant workers and slum dwellers of Mumbai suffering from hardships.
With the lockdown scheduled to be progressively lifted from mid May onwards, the time is now on hand to planning and focus on providing relief and rehabilitation to Zoroastrians who have been adversely affected economically due to the pandemic.
Given the severity of the pandemic one can foresee that once the lockdown and travel restrictions have been lifted or eased, the focus will have to be on continuing to provide relief, as well as to organize rehabilitation of Zoroastrians who have been severely affected – in cities, towns and villages. The tasks are undoubtedly extremely daunting and will require long term effort and commitment.
When the lockdown has been lifted and travel restrictions eased, it will be necessary to not only continue relief but also to plan rehabilitation strategies, as may be necessary, for Zoroastrians who are facing immense hardships as a result of the pandemic.
Providing relief is a temporary measure, whereas organizing rehabilitation is a distinctly and extremely long process that entails first counselling distressed minds to be optimistic, followed by assessing what would be the most practical and quickest manner of rehabilitating entire families who would have lost their jobs or means of livelihoods and / or suffered from illnesses during the troubled times and finally raising resources from donors that would be used to bring affected families back into the mainstream of society.
To successfully rehabilitate Zoroastrians affected by the pandemic, it will be essential that all hands (volunteers and donors) will need to be on deck, doing what they can do best to alleviate the suffering.
The main impacts of the lock down that will need to be addressed are:
1Arranging food grains packages for Zoroastrians in cities, towns and villages who have suffered economic hardships2Financial difficulties being faced by families of white collar workers having received only half their regular salaries and in many cases no salaries3Financial difficulties being faced by families of blue collar workers not having received salaries as the factories, workshops have all had to shut down.4Financial difficulties being faced by individuals involved in modest Self Employment initiatives such as driving autorickshaws, commercial taxi’s, auto mechanics, stationery shops etc who have been unable to go about their professions.5Full time Mobeds who are not employed by Agiyaries but are daily wage earners many of who presently have no income.
6Supporting agriculturists who have been unable to harvest their standing crops that have decayed on account of non availability of labour force.Dairy Farmers having suffered financial setbacks as milk collected from their livestock’s being unable to reach the processing dairies; difficulty in obtaining feed for their cattle.Poultry farming having come to a standstill as it has not been possible to transport the fully grown fowls to processing units.Brick kilns are an industry having a short 7 month window (December to June); Zoroastrian beneficiaries who have established kilns in their villages have suffered severe financial setback as the migrant labourers have left for their native places leaving half baked and unbaked bricks causing immense hardships.
Total amount of funds required for the entire rehabilitation package as above are estimated to be in the region of Rs.13,200,000 (Rupees thirteen million two hundred thousand or Rupees one crore thirty two lakhs). The time frame for completing the work is estimated to take between four to five months.
Service to our people is the need of the times. We can at best play a proactive role by using all the means available to us in terms of manpower and by raising resources from donors.
We request individuals and institutions from all over the world, having the means and resources, to dig deep into their pockets and donate generously to enable us to undertake rehabilitation of the many Zoroastrians who have suffered untold misery during the pandemicYou can donate online using the link below. Donate to the “COVID-19 INDIA WZOTF APPEAL”
or mail in your checks to
PO BOX 266,
SUNSET BEACH, CA 90742