Pioneering Parsis of Calcutta

Paper Type: 130 gsm Art paper (matt) | Size: 228 mm x 152 mm
Colour & Black & White combined; 74 photographs & 9 illustrations; 192 pages; Hardback
ISBN-13: 978-93-89136-42-5


Pioneering Parsis of Calcutta owes its origin to its author’s passionate desire to learn more about her Parsi heritage by enquiring into the community’s recent history. This initial curiosity turned into a voyage of discovery which changed her perception of her community and awoke in her an intense pride in the Parsi stalwarts of yesteryear. Mehta’s meticulous research reaped rich dividends as she slowly dusted off the cobwebs of history that revealed the pioneering Parsis’ arduous journey to Calcutta, their forward thinking, their broad-minded approach, their willingness to give and to improve the lives of all around them. These extraordinary Parsi men and women played a prominent role in society by taking upon themselves the responsibility of helping one and all regardless of class, caste, creed or colour. Their ability in business and faith in the future was matchless. These early Parsis were not afraid of taking on the establishment and fought publicly to resolve disputes where the orthodox members were unwilling to give the reformists their way.

This book is a treasure trove of facts about the rich Parsi heritage of Kolkata. The nuggets of information and history documented in this book is an effort to preserve the knowledge gained from painstaking research. 

Prochy N Mehta’s work is a labour of love that reveals the past and makes it an open book for the community in Calcutta.

Prochy  N Mehta
Prochy N Mehta

Prochy N Mehta is a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, school leader and topper, and a highly successful sportsperson. She represented West Bengal in hockey and basketball, and India in Masters Athletics. She has won 71 medals at international athletic meets including 52 gold medals. She is the Asian Record holder in the 400 metres and in the Triple Jump in the Women’s 40+ age group. A recipient of the Ladies Study Group Award for contribution to the field of sport and the Federation of Parsi Anjuman of India Award for Sports, Mehta is also the President of the Athletic Coaches Association of Bengal. She is the first female President of the Calcutta Parsee Club. Her father, the late Rusi B. Gimi, an eminent social worker of Calcutta, was a pioneer in outdoor advertising in India. His company Selvel, started in 1945, is now synonymous with out of home advertising. Mehta is actively involved in the business and is a director in several of the companies.