Dr Farah Shroff

Dr Farah M Shroff, PhD
Principal Investigator, Interviewer and Team Lead


A proud Zarthusti, Dr Farah M Shroff, PhD, has a longstanding research interest in participatory action research which is initiated and led from within communities. Dr Shroff has carried out studies that use arts-based, qualitative and creative methodologies.
She teaches in the Department of Family Practice and the School of Population and Public Health in the UBC Faculty of Medicine and is a member of the Women’s Health Research Institute.  A public health researcher and educator, the emphasis in her research is on visioning and developing Health for All. Her main areas of research are holistic health, health services research and community development within a social justice framework.  Her research is predicated on the notion that all people, regardless of ability to pay, have a right to health and health services. She has an ongoing interest in the role of global social movements in creating better conditions for health. She also has a longstanding interest in Ayurveda, yoga, meditation and other forms of health promotion and disease prevention and is the public health expert at Radio Canada.

Her book, The New Midwifery: Reflections on Renaissance and Regulation, an edited collection, was published in 1997. Since then, Dr. Shroff has written about innovations/transformations in health care, palliative care, women’s health, sexuality, HIV/AIDS, health policy, nursing issues, registered massage therapy, international health and more. She also writes poetry and literary reviews.

Dr Shroff has a longstanding commitment to global health status improvements and has worked in Nigeria, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Thailand and many other countries.  She founded Maternal and Infant Health Canada, an organization that works with partners to improve the health of mothers and children in India and other countries in the Global South using a public health lens, primarily focusing on research and education. She is currently working on various research projects: a policy project about reducing maternal mortality rates in the South World; teaching public health and politics; yoga and wellbeing; working class women and mental health promotion and others. As a member of the People’s Health Movement, the India Mahila Association, the Zoroastrian Society of British Columbia and other organizations, she enjoys working in communities to bring about greater cohesiveness, human rights and joy.  For many years she has worked in elected positions at the provincial and local levels to support sustainable, high quality public education. She was awarded the Spirit of Trent Award from one of her alma maters, Trent University, for contributions to society and an award for uplifting women’s rights from the World Women’s Leadership Congress and Awards.

Besides research and teaching, Dr Shroff is a teacher of yoga, dance, self-defence and other movement arts. She lives on the land of the Musqueam nation in Vancouver with her husband Roozbeh and their two boys, Zubin and Arman, where they enjoy time in the forest, beach and mountains.

Vera Mistry, BSc

– Participated in virtually all aspects of the study including recruitment, writing,
assisted with the Ethics Application, carried out literature searches and more





Vera has graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Biology and a Minor in Psychology. She has been an active member of the Zoroastrian Society of British Columbia within the Interfaith Committee along with participating in other community projects. She works part-time as a Community Counselor, supporting varying people with disabilities throughout their day. Her passions include volunteering her time within the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver as well as with multiple other organizations. In her free time, she enjoys throwing dinner parties, recreating high tea, and baking delicacies. She is happily married to the love of her life, Kaiwan. Vera looks up to her mom and aims to become a nurse, just like her. Spending time with family is one of Vera’s most cherished past-times.

Nazneen Kasad

Nazneen Kasad, BA

Research Associate
– Co-writing the papers and website content






Nazneen graduated from Simon Fraser University with a degree in Criminology and Psychology, specializing in Police studies. Nazneen has been an active member of the Zoroastrian community for many years. She has volunteered at numerous community events and has assisted on various planning committees for Zoroastrian congresses. Nazneen works for the federal government in processing refugee claims. She loves her work! She also enjoys playing softball and going to the gym in her spare time. Travel, spending time with friends and family, cooking, hiking and other fun activities fill her days.

Darius Dharsi

Research Assistant
– Co-writing and editing the papers





Darius is currently completing a BA Honours in South Asian Language and Culture at the University of British Columbia. Passionate about Zoroastrianism and Iranian Studies he plans to specialize in these fields for his post-graduate studies. He is an active member of the Zoroastrian Society of British Columbia and his love and passion for his faith and community inspired him to create the Zoroastrian Student Association at UBC. This provides a representative body for Zoroastrian students, alumni, and faculty at the University of British Columbia and a medium through which they can connect, socialize and remain connected to their roots.

Zara Contractor

Zara Contractor, MA


– Helped to create the website





Equipped with a Masters of Applied Arts in Design from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada, Zara’s practice is rooted in ‘Design for Social Impact’, both in the commercial and non-profit sectors. She naturally gravitates towards storytelling, and tends to draw a narrative thread through her work, be it illustration, photography or graphic design.

Manpreet Bassi, MD


– Loaded videos and other interviews onto Drive,

– Organized Data Storage and other Technical Matters




Dr. Manpreet Basi completed her medical studies abroad and since then, has been carrying out research and community work in Vancouver. Her passions include helping people, being in nature, cooking and photography. She has enjoyed being part of the ZXX project and has found that this has really opened her eyes to the status of women in the Parsi and Zarthusti communities.

Zia Batliwalla


– Helped transcribe some interviews





Zia is a proud mother of 3 and wife to Darius. A recent immigrant to Canada from Dubai, Zia was educated in Switzerland in Hotel Management, Certified by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, UK and a Certified Master Trainer.
She enjoyed a long and flourishing career of over 18 years in the hotel industry where she headed the Training and Development function for the InterContinetal Hotel Dubai and led the Human Resources team at the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai as their Director. After moving to Vancouver in 2016, she has studied Employment Law at BCIT and gained her CPHR designation for Human Resource Professionals.
An avid reader, she also enjoy cooking, taking walks and volunteering at her daugther’s school, the girls guides and is on the IEC-BC and HRMA Joint Advisory Council for Intergrating Highly Skilled Immigrants into the Candian workforce.
She is currently working on a Benefits project at the City of Vancouver and is also preparing to launch a social enterprise that aims to help mothers and care givers who had to take a career break, get back to work.



This study was supported by a grant from the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America that was administered by the Zoroastrian Society of British Columbia.