A Lifetime of Service – with Mrs. Purviz Shroff
As the Permanent Managing Director of Ruttonjee Estates Continuation Limited, President cum Board Member of the Hong Kong Tuberculosis, Chest and Heart Diseases Association, and a long-time supporter of Mother’s Choice, Mrs Purviz Shroff has been living an incredibly busy life.
Not only is she a dedicated supporter (financially and otherwise) of Indian arts, businesses and events in Hong Kong, her commitment to helping the socially underprivileged groups of the community is commendable. She was the recipient of the Medal of Honor (M.H.) by the HKSAR Government for her outstanding and dedicated community and charitable services in 2018, and she received the Excellence Award from The India Association of Hong Kong in 2014.
Mrs. Shroff came to Hong Kong in the 1970s after getting married to Mr. Rusy M. Shroff, BBS, MBE. Over the past many years, the husband and wife duo have donated multimillion-dollar sums to services for the elderly, youth, children, chronic patients, people with disability and underprivileged communities in Hong Kong, China, India and throughout the world. Their efforts sustain and reinforce the lasting philanthropic values of the Ruttonjees, a Parsee family who left India in 1884 to make Hong Kong their home.
Mr. Shroff passed away in November 2017, three months after celebrating his centennial birthday. But still, Mrs Shroff carries on their legacy as a firm pillar of support for our community here in Hong Kong.
We sat with Mrs Shroff to know more about the woman behind the name.
My Rusy once said, “I have prospered here in a way, and I feel, I must do something for the needy people of Hong Kong. I feel a sense of satisfaction that I have done something for the place I love and its people.” Somehow, it has been our mission to continue the philanthropic legacy of the Ruttonjees, a household name in Hong Kong.
You have been one of the longest, and most loving patrons of Mother’s Choice, a local charity serving the needs of pregnant and helpless teenagers, and unwanted children. How have the needs of such children and women in Hong Kong changed over the last decade?
The vision of Mother’s Choice is to see every child in a loving family.
Over the decades, it has been uplifting to see that people are getting more openminded in helping pregnant teenagers as well as adopting babies and fostering children.
Mother’s Choice has done a magnificent job since the 1980s.
As a very active member and former president of the Indian Women’s Club, what are some of the charities closest to your heart that the club has supported over the years?
I can’t recall the exact names of the charities. We have helped some charities which offer services for the kids and young ladies who are living in remote areas in India. Being able to empower them in some ways is what we are very proud of.
In your opinion, what kind of assistance does the marginalised Indian community here benefit from the most?
For the young generation, education is of paramount importance. Apart from English, I suggest them to learn Cantonese or Mandarin. They need to recognise that they are part of Hong Kong. With better education, they can join the think tank to make a difference for their fraternity.
From cricket matches to dances, to fashion shows, trade fairs and pop up markets, you have financially supported almost every kind of event held by the Indian community here in Hong Kong. What have been some of your favourite events to attend over the years?
Being a person of Indian origin, I like the annual cultural festival “India By the Bay” very much as it introduces precious Indian cultures to the people of Hong Kong.
Apart from the work that keeps you busy, what are some of the things you enjoy doing in your free time?
Again, being an Indian, I like meditation and yoga very much, which help refresh my mind and increase my muscle strength and flexibility.
I love to watch Indian programmes on Zee TV, especially SaReGaMaPa. Sometimes, I play board games and solve puzzles to keep my mind alert.
You are an inspiration to so many; please tell us about some of the people who inspire you?
Most of my life values were learnt from my mother (Mrs. Hilla Moogat). She was the first lady Principal in Bulsar, Gujarat, and she continues to be an inspiration to me.
What are some of the values most dear to you, that help you live a content life?
My Rusy always said, “To live is to give and forgive.”
Quit complaining. Let go of your unhappy past. When one door closes, another opens.
Any special message for our readers as they usher in the festival of lights?
During these challenging times around the globe, may the gleaming diyas of Diwali bring us health, joy and blessings.