Concerned about the dwindling Parsi population in the country, the ministry of minority affairs is trying to come up with a concoction to reverse the trend.
Minister Salman Khurshid said that they are soon going to meet Parsi leaders in Mumbai to figure out a plan to stop the extinction of the culturally rich community.
The current Parsi population in India is about 69,601 (33,949
males and 35,652 females) compared to 76,382 (37,736 males and 38,646 females) during the 1991 census. According to the 2001 census, the child-woman ratio, which is a key indicator of fertility, is 578 per 1,000 in India. Among the Parsis it was 85 per 1,000.
The 2001 census report called for an urgent intervention. The report said that fertility improvement initiatives rather than fertility control measures adopted by the community so far are possibly the need of the hour.
“It is expected that this loud and clear message from 2001 census awakens the country and the Parsi community from the deep slumber it is possibly in and have a beneficial effect,” it added.
The ministry, while making it clear about their no-interference policy in the religious and community matters, said they are working out plans which may include providing them financial help for healthcare. This support could also be for fertility-related treatments.
“Besides population, the Parsi community has been coming to the government with various other problem, including cremation, shortage of priests, property disputes, etc,” said Vivek Malhotra, secretary, ministry of minority affairs.
“There are also concerns about their children not getting admissions in schools and not enough people being left to take care of their properties.”
However, a few of the community members believe there is no reason to panic. “Our community is not destined to be obliterated from the face of earth,” said Khushru Panthaki, principal of MS Cama Athorna Institute.
“We have to encourage marriages within the community. Alien elements will destroy the genetic characteristic of our community.”
Zarathushtis Without Borders
Opportunities to serve in India
At the third and final session of the Fifth Coming Together Roundtable held in conjuction with the Ninth World Zoroastrian Congress held in December 2009 in Dubai, UAE, an impassioned plea was made by Jehangir Bharucha of Seattle, USA to promote worldwide exchange programs for Zarathushti youth. Jehangir shared how such an exchange program had proved to be a life transforming experience in his own life.
Roshni Kasad, currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of California in Berkeley served for a year teaching school children in village Patan, Gujarat with “Indicorps — Service for the Soul” and highly recommends opportunities available to serve made possible through this network headquartered in Ahmedabad, India.
To engage, details are provided below. Deadline for applications for fellowships this summer, is 1st March 2010 http://apply.indicorps.org/ .
In keeping with its long term vision of encouraging youth to become world citizens, FEZANA provides partial financial support to youth in North America who volunteer their time in serving abroad. Interested individuals looking for such support can contact Shara Godiwalla email@example.com, with a summary of their planned project, a letter from the hosting agency confirming acceptance for the service period and are expected to submit a written report to the Federation at the completion of their tour of duty.
The forwarded newsletter “Community for Change” gives an idea of what the opportunities to serve are all about.
A short report on the “Coming Together Roundtable” meeting held at Dubai on 27th, 30th & 31st December 2009
by Roshan Rivetna
A rather momentous legacy of the Dubai Congress, which may have been underplayed in the glitz and glamour of that magnificent event, was the consensual agreement from leaders of the World Zarathushti community to “Come Together and Work Together” at a common forum – the Coming Together Roundtable (CTR). Through three sessions during the Congress and numerous informal meetings, elected leaders of the four major Zoroastrian regions – Iran, India, UK/Europe and North America, that represent 90% of the world’s Zarathushti population, consensually agreed to assume ownership and responsibility, and set future direction, for this forum. In time, representatives from the smaller pockets, in Middle East, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, would be worked into the structure.
Breakfast meeting of Regional leaders. Clockwise from left, Paurush Jila (UK), Khodayar Attaie, Dr. Esfandiar Ekhtiyari and Mehraban Hemavandy (Iran), Rohinton Rivetna (coordinator), Dorab Mistry (UK), Firdosh Mehta and Bomi Patel (North America), and Khojeste Mistry and Dinshaw Mehta (India).
The Official Youth Group of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP)
ZYNG aims to:
• Connect the Parsi Irani Zoroastrian Youth of Mumbai
• Provide the Youth of the community with a voice and an identity
• Inspire the Youth to be a force within our community
• To unite them under the common aim of social, cultural and religious interaction
ZYNG’s social events and social service programs intend to build a sustainable youth movement for the Parsi Irani Zoroastrian Youth. ZYNG will provide:
• Fun and exciting events that increase interaction
• Hands-on training and professional development
• Leadership opportunities
• Social service programs aimed at addressing the needs of the less fortunate in our community.
ZYNG will function under the auspices of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) & will function as an apolitical group.
The ZYNG Team is dedicated to raising awareness, encouraging participation and getting YOU involved with your community.
Indian Govt plans to woo Overseas Indians to be partners in economic growth
Assurances for protecting investment and private property will be given
By: ASHOK B SHARMA on: Wed 23 of Dec, 2009 13:34 UTC
New Delhi, Dec 23 : At the beginning of the year 2010, the Indian government has planned to woo its diaspora spread across to globe into the mainstream of its emerging economy. A three-day redesigned gala event – 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas – is being organised by the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with the Delhi government and the Confederation of Indian Industry from January 7.
We look forward to your participation at the 3 sessions of the “Coming Together Roundtable”:
Session 1: Sunday, December 27, 2009, from 9 am to 3 pm at the Crowne Plaza hotel.
Session 2: Wednesday Dec 30th, 10 am to 11:00 am at the Crowne Plaza, Room 3.
Session 3: Thursday Dec 31st, 8:30 to 9:30 am at the Crowne Plaza, Room 1
Attached is a Powerpoint file showing the Agenda for each of the three sessions, and the list of Items/Projects to be discussed. Additional items may be added upon request from the floor.
AAUW – Advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research
Since 1881, AAUW (formerly known as the American Association of University Women) has been the nation’s leading voice promoting education and equity for women and girls. We have a nationwide network of nearly 100,000 members, 1,000 branches, and 500 college/university institution partners.
Each year AAUW provides millions of dollars in fellowships, grants, and awards for outstanding women around the globe and for community action projects. AAUW also funds pioneering research on women, girls, and education.
Support women doctoral candidates completing dissertations and scholars seeking funds for postdoctoral research leave or for preparing completed research for publication. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. One-year postdoctoral research leave fellowships, dissertation fellowships, and summer/short-term research publication grants are offered.