Parsi head priest encourages community to donate organs

A statement by one of the high priests in Parsi community has created a buzz of sorts. Khurshed Dastur, one of the high priests in Udvada Fire Temple in Gujarat has openly asked the members of the community to adopt a positive approach to organ donation.

Though liberal members of the community have never had an issue with it, many Parsis have not been forthcoming.

Khurshed Dastur made the public call when the community observed Sanjan Day, the day on which Parsis, who fled Persia(former Iran) fearing religious persecution after Islamisation of that country, landed on the Gujarat coast in India, circa 716-960 AD.

“There have been instances when people have not donated their organs due to inhibitions. There have been cases when the members of the community have felt that if an eye is donated, the soul of the dead person may not be able to see. There have also been instances (though not very often) when a religious head has encouraged organ donation. Dastur’s statement will help remove inhibitions and doubts. We welcome this statement,: said Vispy Wadia, member, Association of Revival of Zoroastrianism (ARZ), a reformist body in the community.

“There have been instances in the 1920s when the Parsi community had issues with vaccination too. After an awareness was undertaken, members of the community began accepting doses of vaccination. While liberals have never had any problems, the statement made by Khurshed Dastur, one of the high priests in Udvada Fire Temple, will help a great deal in our small minority community understanding the issue better and begin donating organs,” said Jehangir Patel, editor of Parsianna, a Parsi community magazine. When dna tried contacting Dastur, he did not answer calls.

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