Parzor Foundation and Madison BMB
With Bombay Parsi Punchayat, TISS, Mumbai and Federation of Zoroastrian Anjumans of India
JIYO PARSI Campaign – Phase –II
29thJuly 2017, Mumbai: The Parzor Foundation and Madison BMB along with Bombay Parsi Panchayat, TISS, Mumbai and Federation of Zoroastrian Anjumans of India today launched the “Jiyo Parsi” Phase-II campaign.
The Hon’ble Minister for Minority Affairs Shri. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi presided over a gathering of eminent personalities and released the campaign. Also present on the occasion was the Consul General of Iran, H.E. Masood E Khaleghi and renowned actress Parizad Kolah Marshall who both spoke on the importance of the Launch and Programme.
The Jiyo Parsi Scheme launched on 24th September 2013 is unique, not only in India but to the world.
Here are the ads from Phase II :
What is Jiyo Parsi?
The Jiyo Parsi Scheme is initiated by the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA), Government of India, to reverse the decline in the Parsi population by adopting scientific medical protocols and structured interventions, to stabilize and increase the population of Parsis in India.
The Parzor Foundation along with other Parsi organizations and many reputed doctors across India is working to spread awareness on the sociological, psychological and medical issues which have led to the critical decline in numbers, to make Parsis benefit from the huge advances in ART(Assisted Reproductive Technology) available today.
As India’s population more than tripled in over 60 years, the number of Parsis has reduced by almost 50% and is now less than 57,264 (Census 2011).
This is the First Time in the World that an intervention is being attempted to bring an urban, educated community back from the brink of Demographic extinction. Between September 2013 and today, 101 babies (for Parsis, a blessed number), have been born under the scheme and for many more couples, the Scheme has been ‘Truly a Miracle‘, ‘Our Silver Lining‘, ‘At the End of Every Tunnel there is Light‘. With the full support of the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA), Jiyo Parsi been able to turn despair into delight. ‘Jiyo Parsi appeared in our lives as a ray of hope….., the Jiyo Parsi Counsellor gave us the courage to try one more time, with God’s blessing we are parents of an energetic baby today‘.
These Testimonials are only one part of the story. From infertility to grand-parenting, Jiyo Parsi has become a Movement to bring back the happiness of family, a faith in the future and a firm belief in the resilience of the Parsi Zoroastrian community. We can proudly say that even children declare‘Jiyo Parsi’.
Says Dr. Shernaz Cama, the prime mover of the scheme, “As we enter our next Phase, we look ahead to carry the community with us, old and young, to think outside the box and be the pioneers in reviving a community; let us know that every step we take can make a difference.”
Whilst Phase-I of the campaign, created by Sam Balsara’s Madison focused on awareness of Jiyo Parsi and sensitizing the community and its youngsters to the issues in a tone of voice that ensured virability of the campaign, the current Phase-2 consists of 12 ads and is focused more on trying to persuade young Parsis to get married and have children for a better balance to their own life. Raj Nair, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Madison BMB, the agency behind the creative execution of the campaign says, “After the huge success of the deliberately tongue-in-cheek last print campaign, we have created a new rendition. We have continued to focus on issues especially relevant and meaningful, like togetherness, the importance of family, that having children is joyful and doesn’t come in the way of life at all, that there is no positive outcome to choosing to be alone and so on. The hope is that the issues touched upon will clearly resonate with young Parsi people in a completely positive manner.” Madison BMB has been involved with the project since inception.
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The second phase will be launched on July 29 by the Union Minister of minority affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who will be in Mumbai for it.
After a successful 20 per cent increase in the birth rate in the Parsi community after the launch of Jiyo Parsi scheme, the government of India will be soon launch phase two. The second phase will be launched on July 29 by the Union Minister of minority affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who will be in Mumbai for it.
Launched in 2013-14 as a special scheme for containing population decline of Parsis in India, it comprises two components — the advocacy component and medical component. It provides financial assistance to married Parsi couples for medical treatment under standard medical protocol and also focuses on outreach programmes to generate awareness among the Parsi population for lineage enhancement. The scheme has been implemented with the help of Parzor Foundation, Bombay Parsi Panchayat and local Anjumans across India.
Recently, the scheme celebrated its 101st birth after the launch. “Not all the births happened through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). A number of births took place naturally, without medical intervention after we counselled couples on staying healthy, and addressed issues like diabetes and thyroid,” said Dr Katy Gandevia, programme co-ordinator of the scheme.
In the second scheme, those looking to implement it said they will be focusing more on counselling and advocating people to produce more kids. “In the second scheme we are looking to have creches, and counselling families with only one earning member, as having a large number of dependent family members should not deter having more children,” said Dr Shernaz Cama, director, UNSECO Parzor, which looks to preserve vulnerable human heritage.
“Among Parsis, there are many who are ageing and unmarried, therefore dependent. The elderly often desist their children not to have more kids. What we want to do in the second phase is to reach out to them so that they encourage their kids to have more children,” he added.
This would be part of the advocacy plans like making pastors out of Mobeds. “Parsi priests were also asked to counsel couples like in the Christian community,” said Dr Cama.
Those working for the programme said they will be asking the government to increase the share for advocacy and counselling instead of limiting the budget to just medical treatment. The government had initially set aside Rs 10 crore.
For many years we have been discussing the importance of giving respect to our Priests and enabling them to become Pastors to the Parsi community, as are the Catholic Priests as well as the Sikh Granthis. Jiyo Parsi has realized that without a strong ethical background in Zoroastrianism, our community is suffering. This is seen in some cases, in community rates of depression, in neglect of our Priests, our Elders, even our children, as we head towards an increasingly self centered society.
Jiyo Parsi therefore has worked with experts from Masina Hospital and other Counseling centres and our senior Priests, to create a special programme for our Priesthood which will be conducted in Mumbai as per the advertisement issued in the Jame Jamshed yesterday. This is attached herewith for your quick perusal. We need you as the Leaders of the community and important voices to encourage priests from your Anjumans and Baugs to come, with their wives, on a fully reimbursed Workshop and travel to and at Mumbai on Saturday 13th May 2017. We need a good response and the importance of this needs to be understood by our clergy and community.
If this is successful, the Priests will be trained in a Series of Workshops, as per their willingness to:
Become eloquent speakers
Communicate values and ideas
Deal with Youth and their problems
Be Effective leaders who can stand up for Zoroastrian values.
Showcase their great talents gained during their priestly training
Become advocates for their own improved conditions
Personality development skills
Emotional development and their own marriage issues
To provide solace at times of grief
To Become Pastors to their community in each Agiary and Atash Behram.
These are only some of the planned events. A Certificate of Participation will be given and if the programme is successful we can even workout more interlinking with High Priests and greater exposure through universities and Academic institutions.
We request you to send as many Mobeds for this initial workshop with the idea that it is a method of self improvement and development. The Priests have been asking for correct interventions and interface with the Parsi and larger community. This is a carefully worked out chance for them. It would be sad if they missed it.Looking forward to your support and your spreading the word quickly.
With warm regards,
Dr. Shernaz Cama
Delhi’s Parsi community is by far the smallest minority group residing in the city. According to the 2011 Census report, the number of Parsis in the national capital is now down to three figures, which has caused great concern among those campaigning to preserve the cultural heritage and collective identity of India’s Parsis, writes Srija Naskar.
“Our demographic studies, which were done with Dorabji Tata Trust’s funding, have shown that we are a community which has a 0.88 replacement-level fertility for two. You need 2.1 for survival, you need 3 for progressing. In the last census, we were 0.88, now we are lower than that. I have just received the census results of 2011, and while we expected a 10% decline, it is sad to see that there has been a 20% decline. From 69,601, we are now only 57,264. We are so below the 100,000 figure, that we have been clubbed with the ‘others’ category in census reports,” says Cama.
The Parzor Foundation had approached the Ministry of Minority Affairs to develop a scheme that would address such grave issues as rampant drug abuse within the Parsi community, alarmingly low fertility rates caused by late or no marriages, problems of immigration, intermarriage and divorce. It was only in September 2013 that the Union Government passed this scheme under its Jiyo Parsi programme. Three years on, although the recently released census 2011 figures are disheartening, there is more awareness about these issues than ever before. “Demographically we are an ageing community. So the latest census report is basically a reflection of what we have been discussing for years now: 200 births to 800 deaths on an average, that has afflicted the community. The 20 % decline was bound to happen because the majority of the people in the community all over the country belong between 50-60 years, who would very naturally in a few years’ time pass away and the numbers will dwindle. That is where the Jiyo Parsi (JP) programme becomes important because JP aims to get the birth numbers going up, bridge the gap between the birth and death ratio by changing mindsets through advocacy programmes,” says Pearl Mistry, counselor of JP. Mistry became a part of JP in June 2014 and gives an outline of the campaigns that have been undertaken over the years: “Our target is the youth in the community, with who we conduct workshops on parenting in which we encourage parents to opt for more than one kid. I was one of the first few Parsis in Bombay to break this tradition. I am a mother of three children. I also specialize in counseling programmes for the youth, encourage routine health check ups by assuring medical reimbursements to families when they register with JP for continued treatment on infertility, etc. You have to realise that IVF is a major taboo even among educated middle class Parsis. We have been promoting these campaigns through rigorous advertisements and press releases.”
Today JP is a household name in Bombay, organizing workshops, community programmes, in Parsi ghettos like Jogeshwari, Andheri, Dadar, Colaba, to name just a few. They have also been conducting outstation programmes in Gujarat, Secunderabad and Hyderabad, where Parsis form the second largest population after Bombay.
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Here are the winners names, prize money and collage of winners pictures of the Jiyo Parsi Saal Mubarak Competition .
We would be grateful if you gave some publicity to this 2nd Competition of Jiyo Parsi which was to encourage children to express their idea of the New Year and hopes for the community .
The Prizes were kindly sponsored by Mr Dinshaw Tamboly.
1) Aliza Bhatena Rs 10,000
2) Verzaan Ragina Rs 5,000
3) Jehan Engineer. Rs 3,000
Jiyo Parsi is a Community based programme supported by the Government of India. Each Parsi Zoroastrian needs to know about it in detail.
The Parsi are a small Indian community in danger of extinction but India’s government is trying everything to stop the population decline.