Journal Of The The K R Cama Oriental Institute

Special Issue 

Papers Presented at the National Seminar on 

“The Contribution Made By The Parsis To The Development Of Different Aspects of Education In The 19th And 20th Centuries In Western India”

17th And 18th Jaunary 2009

Volume – II

The K R Cama Oriental Institute had organised a two day National Seminar on “The Contribution made by the Parsis to the development of different aspects of Education in the 19th and 20th Centuries in Western India”, which was held on 17th and 18th January 2009. The Institute is publishing the proceedings of the seminar in two volumes of the journal. Volume I contained the papers presented at the first session and some of the papers presented at the second session of the seminar.

Volume II consists of the papers presented by Dr Shubhada S Pandya, Dr Abhidha Dhumatkar, Ervad Dr Rooyintan P Peer, Ervad Dr Ramiyar P Karanjia, Mrs Shehernaz Nalwalla, Mrs Kate Currawalla, Dr Ms Roda B Billimoria, Mr Sharath Ahuja, Ms Vrunda Pathare.


Dr Shubhada S Pandya completed her MBBS degree from the Grant Medical College, University of Mumbai in 1962. She was trained in Clinical Neurophysiology in the USA and UK. She was the Research Officer in the US Government funded Project on “Nerve Lesions in Leprosy” under the well-known Leprosy Reconstructive Surgeon, the late Dr Noshir Antia and the Neuropathologist, the late Dr Darab Dastur. She worked later as a Clinical Neurophysiologist from 1975-1999, at the Bombay Hospital. She completed her PhD degree in History on the topic “Leprosy in Bombay Presidency 1840-1897: Perceptions and Approaches to its Control” in 2002. She has been associated with the Acworth Leprosy Hospital Research Society since 1971 and is currently helping to set up a Museum on the History of Leprosy at the Acworth Leprosy Hospital, Mumbai.

Dr Abhidha Suresh Dhumatkar completed her MA degree in History from the Institute of Distance Education, University of Mumbai in 1993. In 1994 she completed her BEd from the Surajba College of Education, University of Mumbai. Her M Phil dissertation which was completed in 1998, is on “Professor Balaji Prabhakar Modak and Spread of Science in Maharashtra in the nineteenth century.” In 2008 she was awarded the PhD degree for her dissertation on “Spread of Science in Maharashtra: Colonial policy and Indian response 1880-1947.” She has been a Lecturer in History at the Sathaye College, Mumbai since July 2008. Abhidha’s article “Forgotten Propagator of Science, Kolhapur’s Balaji Prabhakar Modak” published in the Economic and Political Weekly has been prescribed as study material for History for the MA Part II, University of Mumbai. A linguist Abhidha knows Konkani, Marathi, Sanskrit, Bengali, Hindi, French, German, Arabic and Persian.

Ervad Dr Rooyintan P Peer – Former lecturer in Avesta and Pahlavi at the Sir J J Zarthosthi Madressa and former director of Avestan Studies at Pune’s Vedic Samshodhanan Mandala. Ervad Dr Peer earned his PhD degree in Avesta and Pahlavi from the University of Bombay in 1980. He was also the former Principal of the M F Cama Athornan Institute. He has presented papers at national and international seminars and conferences related to the Iranian languages, the Gathas, and the Zoroastrian religion. He has also presented papers at the annual national Seminars conducted by the Department of Sanskrit of the University of Mumbai. His scholastic work is in addition to his duties as a practising Zoroastrian priest.

Ervad Dr Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia, is the Principal of the Dadar Athornan Institute since 1995. He obtained his PhD degree in Avesta-Pahlavi from the University of Mumbai 1993. He delivers lectures and conducts seminars on Zoroastrianism, spirituality and Iranian history all over the world. He is a motivational speaker who talks on matters relating to children, youth and adults. He has authored numerous books and papers and has been a research scholar at several prestigious Universities including the Universities of Heidelberg in Germany, Uppsala in Sweden and Zurich in Switzerland.

Mrs Shehernaz R Nalwalla completed her MA degree from the University of Mumbai, specialising in Greek Philosophy. She is presently a Lecturer in Philosophy at the Wilson College, Mumbai. Her present areas of interest include Bioethics, Environmental Ethics and Comparative Religions.

Mrs Kate Currawalla graduated from the St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, with a degree in English Literature and a Post Graduate Diploma in Mass Communications. As a free-lance journalist and short film-maker, she was a regular contributor to several reputed media channels, including the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and Doordarshan. She has been involved with children with Learning Disabilities since 1991, when her two sons were diagnosed as dyslexic. In 1996, she became the Founder President of the Maharashtra Dyslexia Association, a citizen sector organisation that promotes the rights of children with Learning Disabilities to an appropriate education within the mainstream, and a pioneer in the field. In 2003, she was elected a Fellow of the Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a Washington based Foundation, that promotes innovative entrepreneurship in the voluntary sector world-wide.

Dr Ms Roda B Billimoria Honorary Managing Trustee of the Sir Shapurji Billimoria Foundation holds MA degrees from India, Australia and Sweden and has a PhD degree. Her higher studies have integrated special and general education, which is viewed in a broad spectrum of equal opportunities for all, notwithstanding the abilities or inabilities of individuals in any given society. She has had the benefit of undertaking research in educational policy for integration and gaining knowledge and experience in prestigious universities from Sweden, Australia and the USA. Her work in India includes teaching at the Postgraduate Department of Education, SNDT Women’s University and a wealth of practical demonstration of her skills at the Special Care Centre, Mumbai and the B M Institute, Ahmedabad. In 1998, she has put into effect her vision of integrated education by giving all children access to the best that education can offer through the establishment of the Sir Shapurji Billimoria Foundation.

Mr Sharath Ahuja had his early education in the Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Bangalore, obtained his B.Sc. Degree from the S.J.R. College of Arts and Science, Bangalore and his M.Sc. Degree in Industrial Chemistry from the Alagappa University, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu. He also obtained a Diploma in Journalism from the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s College of Mass Communication, Bangalore. He joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in 1980 in the Regional Instrumentation Centre and has also worked in the Departments of Metallurgy, Organic Chemistry and the Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics. He helped set up the Archives (since renamed the Archives and Publications Cell) of the Institute in 2008, where he held the position as Coordinator until his voluntary retirement from the service of the Institute in 2015. Mr. Ahuja has several scientific publications to his credit in national and international journals. His areas of research included, Chemical Sensors and Solar Photo-catalytic Degradation of Organic Pollutants. He writes free lance on science and technology subjects both for the print media and now on the digital platform.

Ms Vrunda Pathare is presently working as an Archivist and heading the Godrej Archives, Mumbai. She completed her MA degree in History from the University of Mumbai and started her career as a Research Assistant to Mr Sadashiv Gorakshkar. She also completed her training in Records Management from the National Archives of India, New Delhi. During 2004-2005 she received the INDAL Fellowship of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai for a Research Project on “Commencement of Petroleum Trade and related Legislations in Colonial India with special reference to Bombay Presidency.” She has published a number of articles in academic journals of repute. Having specialised in different aspects of archives, Vrunda has been delivering lectures and making presentations at seminars and conferences on various aspects of heritage preservation.