International Women’s Day: In conversation with Mrs. Purviz R. Shroff, MH
Aunty Ji, as she is popularly known in Hong Kong, has shared a slice of her life journey, which is intriguing as well as inspiring.
Q 1: Tell us something about yourself and also something that most of us do not know.
Mrs Shroff – On the Father’s Day in 1991, the phone rang and I thought it was my son Zarir ringing for his father. But it was my daughter-in-law telling of his death. He lost his life at the age of 36 in a very tragic car accident in Switzerland.
Q 2: How and when your journey in social work has started? Could you please elaborate this journey and your contributions?
Mrs Shroff – I believe that my son led me to Mother’s Choice as I had a vision of him. He said to me be brave and life must go on. Soon after the vision, my dear friends Molly O’Dell and Mohini Gidumal introduced Mother’s Choice to me. I saw my son in the babies’ eyes when they looked at me. I volunteered at Mother’s Choice for over 25 years. Now I am a Patron of the charity.”
Appended the list of charity organization where Mrs Shroff has been associated.
Q 3: What is the biggest compliment you have ever received?
Mrs Shroff – The biggest compliment I have ever received is I am Mother Teresa of Hong Kong. I appreciate that, but I am not nearly as spiritual and holy as her. However, this compliment always reminds me to contribute and do more for those in need.”
Q 4: In your opinion, what young women or men should do if they wish to devote themselves into social services?
Mrs Shroff – Mother Teresa said, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving” and “If you judge people, you have no time to love them”, which coincide with my late husband Rusy’s quote, “To live is to Give and Forgive.” I would like to share these inspiring quotes with all readers.
Q 5: What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women today?
Mrs Shroff – The biggest issue facing women today in India is inequality, especially in education. Educational facilities are unequally distributed among sex, caste, and region, and not encouraging women to become independent. There are other issues such as child bride and sex and harassment of women.
Q 6: which woman inspires/inspired you the most and why?
Mrs Shroff – My numerous life values were learnt from my mother, Hilla Moogat, who was the first ever lady Principal in Bulsar, Gujarat, and she continues to be an inspiration to me.
Over the past many years, Mrs. Purviz R. Shroff, MH has been supporting various organizations which provide community services towards babies, young children and women.
To name a few:
Mother’s Choice, which Mrs. Shroff has been making substantial contribution with all her heart and soul, is a local charity serving the many children without families and pregnant teenagers in Hong Kong. Mrs. Shroff served as a volunteer at this charity for over 25 years. Pumpkins, which Mrs. Shroff affectionately calls the babies, are always dear to her heart.
Call Mira, a hotline service offered by The Zubin Mahtani Gidumal Foundation, is for ethnic minority women and girls who are victims of domestic violence. Mrs. Shroff has been supporting the Foundation since its inception.
She Ventures and Women Empowerment Forum by Kit Kat Events and Marketing have also received massive support from Mrs. Shroff over the years. The events aim to promote, educate and mentor women entrepreneurs in Hong Kong.
Mahatma Gandhi School operated by Jeevan Mitra Educational Society is one of the schools in India receives Mrs. Shroff’s donation every year for their free English education and school uniforms.
Mrs. Shroff and her late husband Rusy M. Shroff, BBS, MBE have set up scholarships and bursaries to support local students studying at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
Scholarships are also set up with Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Educational Trust to support students from the Sikh community to pursue higher studies in colleges and universities.
Born in Calcutta, Mrs. Shroff has never forgotten her motherland, India. Over the past five years, Mrs. Shroff has been the Presenting Sponsor of INDIA BY THE BAY, a week-long festival to promote Indian culture in Hong Kong.
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