The mastermind behind this was a lady called Shirinbai Dadabhai
Collector who wrote a series of articles in the Parsi Sansar
in 1910, for starting a Mandal.
The constitution was drawn up for KZBM with the help of Mr Jamshed
Nusserwanji Mehta, Mr Ardeshir Mama and Dastur Dr Maneckjee
N Dhalla giving us the mission statement, of Seva & Sakhavat
, meaning service and charity, which is of paramount importance
to us even today. The Founder Members were: Goolbai Nusserwanjee
Mehta, Soonamai Poochajee Bomanjee Jeejeebhoy, Dinbanoo Rustomjee
H J Rustomjee, Mithibai Doosabhai Ralli, Cooverbai Maneckji
Dhalla, Maniheh Hormasji Mehta, Bachubai Nusserwanjee Sethna,
Alamai Fardonjee Challa, Dastorjee Maneckji Nusserwanjee Dhalla,
Jamshedjee Nusserwanjee Mehta, Hormusji P Byramjee and Cowasjee
KZBM was the sister organisation to the Young Men's Zoroastrian
Association, established a year earlier.
President: Mrs Goolbai N Mehta
Vice President: Cooverbai M Dhalla
Secretaries: Bhicaiji Kabraji and Mithibai Ralli
Treasurer: Manijeh H Mehta
They ran this organisation from the upper floor of H J Rustomji
Home, [Presently H J Rustomji Bagh, popularly known as Cowasjee
Foundation, Shahrah-e-Iraq Rd]. The floor was rented to KZBM
for 50 years @ Rs7 per month and then later for Rs14. [Goolbai
Mehta served as President for only a year due to her death in
Mr Jehangir R Punthakey in his booklet The Karachi Zoroastrian
Calendar, printed in 1919, wrote 'With the establishment of
this Mandal, the income of poor Parsi women has improved considerably
and to a great extent idleness has decreased'. From inception
the needy were supplied with medicines, taught sewing, embroidery
and other skills enabling them to have extra income. Annual
cooking and elocution competitions were held amongst members.
Records show there were 140 members in 1919.
The aims were:
educate Zarthusti ladies.
develop neighbourly feelings amongst the ladies
teach poor ladies sewing, embroidery and other skills,
enable them to support themselves with honesty and
impress upon the members the aims and sanctity of
Goolbai Nusserwanji Mehta
Mrs Soonamai Phochaji Jijibhoy
Mrs Soonabai Ardeshir Mama
Mrs Manijeh Hommie Mehta
Mrs Aloomai Minocher Dinshaw
Mrs Najumai Faredun Dinshaw
Mrs Mucca Rustom Cowasjee
Mrs Mehra Cyrus Minwalla
Mrs Perviz Viraf Daroga
1914 - 1919
1920 - 1926
1927 - 1954
1955 - 1978 [February]
1978 - 1980
1981 - 1988
1989 - 1991 [February]
1991 - 1994
Specific sub-committees were formed in 1956 which stand to this
day. They are in order of commencement:
Welfare [This was known as Poor Welfare, but since 1995
the word "poor" has been dropped]
Mr Sohrab Hommie Mehta built and donated the present building
which is located in the Sohrab Katrak Park, Parsi Colony, to
the Mandal, in memory of his mother Manijeh Hommie Mehta which
was inaugurated on 14 October, 1962. It was also the occasion
of KZBMs Golden Jubilee.
On the occasion of our diamond jubilee, in 1968, we commenced
giving loan scholarships for students wishing to go abroad for
Higher Education. A booklet was printed giving the student full
information of all Zarathushti Trusts who support the promotion
of education. Further editions were made in 1985 and 1994. To
date 68 students have been assisted by KZBM to study abroad,
all of whom have repaid their interest free loan, that is the
individuals who have completed their course.
October 1995, KZBM started a Business Loan Facility Scheme.
To date we have assisted 6 individuals, who repay their interest
free loan, monthly. Two individuals have finished repayment.
April 1998, KZBMs constitution was brought in sync with the
21st century. The proposals were given and accepted by the General
Body and have been approved by the Social Welfare Department,
Sindh, on November 20, 1998.
1998, A Book Society was formed, triggered by the fact we received
a large donation of books from the Karachi American School.
The community has rallied round as always and donated a fine
selection, ranging from Mad Magazines and Mills & Boons to collector's
items such as biographies of Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill.
All books are colour coded for easy selection and the Society
is manned by volunteers every day of the week. A PC with a laser
printer was also donated to the Society by Union Texas, for
the use of members. We have 53 paying members, and all school
going children and senior citizens of over 75 years are gratis.
We continue to give monetary monthly assistance, at present
to 46 individuals, and a further 25 persons are assisted occasionally.
Medical monthly assistance to 30 persons and also assist any
person who needs a one time assistance for their illness and/or
surgery. We have bi-yearly sales to assist our community to
sell their wares and also take part annually at the BWA Christmas
Bazaar and the Friends of APWA Bazaar being a member of this
association. We are paying the fees of 14 school going children
and though we do not approve of tuitions, we have no alternative
but to assist 8 children. Three students fees are paid by KZBM
who are studying at college in Pakistan. 11 postgraduate students
are at present studying abroad, having taken a loan scholarship
which will be repaid once the course is finished. There are
over 90 school going children in the Child Welfare group, the
youngest being in class I, where they learn arts and crafts,
educational games and competitions, field trips, indoor and
outdoor games, cookery and have two annual parties. They are
given courses in English Language, French, computers, plumbing
and electricity. We also send them to The Sunday School for
Little Zarathushtis. These children come from all walks of life
and are not only the indigent.
There is a monthly programme for the full community to take
advantage of. They are both varied and interesting, at a minimum
We conduct workshops, send our youth to take part in Zarathushti
Congresses, youth to take part in sports, assist in National
fund raising schemes, and network globally with our Zarathushti
organisations. Besides giving remuneration to the indigent,
we take them out, give them moral support wherever needed, give
clothing to the elderly and children, household linen, and food
hampers averaging four times a year. We pay the medical bills
of indigent patients of the Parsi General Hospital and donate
linen once a year to the hospital. We are playing an active
role in networking with the rest of the community especially
in North America.
We have microfilmed all our minute books, Special and Annual
General Meetings, original letters of donors who set up specified
funds in KZBM and other documents that form our history.
KZBM has a record of managing committee minute books and annual
reports from the year 1923 to present date. We are unaware if
any reports were printed prior to this.
Parsi population of Sindh in 1911 was 2,411 out of which 2,202
were living in Karachi. On 14 March, 1999 there are 2,379 living
in Karachi and 2,565 in the whole of Pakistan.
As mentioned earlier, in 1919 KZBM had 140 members compared
to the present - on July 1 1998 - there are 691 members of KZBM
out of which 56 are ordinary members paying an annual fee of
Rs12. Patron members are 15, paying a one time amount of Rs500,
and the balance are life members having paid a fee of Rs200.
The membership fees are the same since inception.