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Jiyo Parsi Scheme

  • 22 Oct 2019
  • 3 min read
  • The Ministry of Minority Affairs initiated the Jiyo Parsi Scheme in 2013 to check the declining Parsi population.
  • The main objective of the scheme was to arrest the declining trend of the Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions, in order to stabilize their population and thereby increasing the population of Parsis in India.
  • The scheme comprises of three components:
    • Advocacy Component that includes workshops, advertisement campaigns to create awareness, etc.,
    • Health of the Community Component which covers Childcare and Creche support, assistance to elderly, etc.
    • Medical Component includes financial assistance for the detection and treatment of infertility, fertility treatment, etc.
  • The scheme also offers cash assistance to encourage Parsi couples to have children. The scheme is applicable to all couples, irrespective of their financial status.
    • This has resulted in 214 births over the last five years through assisted reproductive techniques (ART).
    • This is a 100% Central Sector Scheme.

Parsi Community

  • Parsi community follow Zoroastrianism, which is one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions. It was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) in ancient Iran around the 6th-7th century.
  • Zoroastrians believe in one God called Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord) who created the world. Their holy scripture is called the Avesta.
  • Zoroastrians worship communally in a Fire Temple or Agiary. Zoroastrians are not fire-worshippers but believe that the elements are pure and that fire represents God's light or wisdom.
  • March 21, Nowruz (also spelled as Navroz), the Iranian New Year is celebrated in India by the Parsi community.
  • Zoroastrians are split into two groups: the Iranians and the Parsis.
  • The followers of the religion who exiled from Iran in the 7th century AD arrived in Gujarat region of India.
  • According to the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs, the population of Parsis has declined from about 114,000 in 1941 to 57,264 in 2011.
    • While India’s population more than tripled in over 60 years, the number of Parsi has reduced by almost 50% (Census 2011).
    • Maharashtra has the highest Parsi population in the country followed by Gujarat.
  • Infertility and late marriages are among the main reasons for the rapid decline in the Parsi population.
    • According to the foundation, 30% of the Parsi population has never married.
  • Zoroastrians (Parsis) are among the six religious communities notified as minority communities by the Union Government. The other five are: Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains.

Source: HT

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