With an addition of 104 babies, ‘Jiyo Parsi’ scheme enters phase II

Present at the launch, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi assured the Parsi community of financial and moral support from the government

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Geetanjali Minhas | July 31, 2017 | Mumbai


#Parsi   #Jiyo Parsi Scheme  
Representational image
Representational image

The ‘Jiyo Parsi’ scheme, started by the ministry of minority affairs, aims to reverse the decline in the Parsi population in India by adopting scientific medical protocols and structured interventions. 
 
There has been an addition of 104 babies in phase I of the scheme. 
 
On Saturday, the Parzor Foundation, MadisonBM Balong, Bombay Parsi Punchayet, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Federation of Zoroastrian Anjumans of India launched phase II of the initiative.
 
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, union minister of state for minority affairs & parliamentary affairs, assured the Parsi community of financial and moral support from the government.
 
“Parsi community has played a very supportive role in India’s Independence. Be it independence struggle, in the field of industry, science, technology, entertainment, military service, architecture, legal or civil services, people of the country love and respect the community,” he said. 
 
He stressed on the need for awareness through media campaigns to increase the Parsi population. He said that the awareness campaigns can include small clippings of Parsi community’s contribution to the country which can be aired all over the country and abroad.
 
While India’s population has more than tripled in last 60 years, the number of Parsis has reduced by 50 percent. From 1,14,000 in 1941 it  is now less than 57,264 (Census 2011). 
 
There was an almost 18 percent rise in the birth rate (about 200 babies per year) since the launch of the Jiyo Parsi scheme in September 2013.
Masood E Khaleghi, consul general of Iran, said, “Zoroastrians have representations in our parliament; they have freedom and they follow their practices. Our cultures are so intermingled that we cannot separate ourselves from Zoroastrian principles.” 
 
He urged big Parsi corporates like Tata, Godrej and Shapoorji Pallonji to take initiative.
 
The ‘Jiyo Parsi’ scheme has two components: medical assistance and advocacy/counselling.
 
“We want the campaign to be action oriented… The concept of Jiyo Parsi is now widened and not limited to providing subsidy for IVF treatments. We want to make a more holistic programme that enables young Parsi boys and girls to get married and have babies. The campaign has ambitious plans to provide all-around support to young parents to manage and bring up young Parsi children” said Sam Balsara of Madison who has designed the campaign. 
 
Responding to a query, programme coordinator Prof Katy Gandevia said that in phase II of the programme, ‘Jiyo Parsi’ scheme hopes to provide counselling support beyond Mumbai and Pune. “To address concerns of couples on having a second child, the scheme will now hold sessions with families to provide financial help and support systems. We are now trying to involve wealthy Parsi men and women in the programme and asking the government for more financial help so we can reach Parsis in rural areas,” she said. 
 

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