Category Archives: Jiyo Parsi

Jiyo Parsi phase 2 to focus on counselling

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.

Celebration Time!

It’s celebration time again!
JIYO PARSI kids go upto 101.
Congratulations to the outstanding JIYO PARSI team!!
When everyone is saying that the community population is going down and have a defeatist attitude, the JIYO PARSI team oozes confidence!!
Next target is 200…..!!!


Workshop for Priestly Development: Jiyo Parsi

Dear Friends,

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


Vanishing point:The last remaining parsis of Delhi

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.

Family portrait of Dinbai Jal D.B. Irani (extreme left), who was the first Parsi woman entrepreneur in Delhi and owned the Empress Aerated Soda Water factory here during the 1920s

Family portrait of Dinbai Jal D.B. Irani (extreme left), who was the first Parsi woman entrepreneur in Delhi and owned the Empress Aerated Soda Water factory here during the 1920s

“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.

Click Here for the whole story

Winners of Jiyo Parsi Saal Mubarak Competition

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.


Shernaz Cama

1) Aliza Bhatena       Rs 10,000

2) Verzaan Ragina     Rs  5,000

3) Jehan Engineer.      Rs 3,000

~ Bini

‘P’ in Parsi stands for productive

Anand Mahindra says ‘P’ in Parsi stands for productive; wishes the community were ‘more reproductive’
Anand Mahindra lauded Parsis and in a witty tweet said, “The ‘P’ in Parsi stands for Productive. Never have so few achieved so much. Only wish they were more reproductive..Navroz Mubarak.”
mahindraAnand Mahindra is known for his interesting tweets and his this particular praise for the Parsi community has already been retweeted many times. (AP Photo)
On the occasion of the Parsi New Year, Anand Mahindra lauded Parsis and in a witty tweet said, “The ‘P’ in Parsi stands for Productive. Never have so few achieved so much. Only wish they were more reproductive..Navroz Mubarak.” Parsis are known for their business acumen and many famous industrialists in India are Parsis. These include Ratan Tata and Adi Godrej. Anand Mahindra is known for his interesting tweets and his this particular praise for the Parsi community has already been retweeted many times.

Mahindra was not alone in wishing the Parsi community. President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari led the nation in wishing the Parsi community on their new year by recalling their contribution in the nation’s presence. “The Parsi community of India has played a major role in the building of our nation and contributed immensely to development of our country in various spheres, including industry, commerce, trade and education,” President Mukherjee said. “The Navroz festival signifies the coming of the new and passing of the old. Let us spread goodwill on this day and work hard to make our nation united, secure and prosperous,” Mukherjee added. Vice President Ansari said Navroz reflects the spirit of fraternity and compassion. “May this auspicious occasion bring amity, prosperity and happiness in our lives,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers also tweeted their best wishes. “Navroz Mubarak to the Parsi community. May there be an abundance of happiness, success & good health in this coming year,” PM Modi tweeted. “#NavrozMubarak to all my Parsi sisters & brothers. Wishing for a Joyous year with good health!,” said M Venkaiah Naidu. BJP President Amit Shah tweeted, “Greetings to all Parsi brothers and sisters on the occasion of Navroz. Wishing a very happy, healthy & prosperous year ahead.”

Census 2011 Parsi demographic decline

Dear Friends, Capture

I have just received the Census results of 2011 and while we expected the 10 percent decline , it is sad to see a 20 percent decline . From 69,401 we are now 57,000 only.

It is for this reason that Parzor had approached the Ministry of Minority Affairs ,many years ago ,for a Scheme to help the Parsi Zoroastrian community from demographic extinction . The Planning Commission had been briefed by us, but it was only  in 2013 that MOMA kindly supported the Jiyo Parsi programme.

We have had , as predicted by ICMR, two thirds of the births of this Programme through Advocacy by efforts ,both of our dedicated team at TISS , Dr Katy Gandevia , Pearl Mistry and Binaifer Sahukar ,as well as the great pro bono ad campaign of Madison BMB which went viral across the world.

To this we add the medical component , led by the totally dedicated Dr Anahita Pandole of Jaslok hospital , the interventions of other caring doctors at the B.D Sarvajainik hospital in Navsari , others in Surat , as well as Hyderabad and several cities . With the help of surrogacy , supported over the limit fixed by MOMA , we have 2 healthy children. The total today is 71 births , with 3 happening recently on a single day in July 2016 .

We , as a country and community , need to help this team and take the Parzor MOMA message to every couple as well as young Zoroastrians . Wherever we have had Workshops , on parenting, child management , grand-parenting , marriage counselling , we have had so many questions and anxieties raised and then resolved , to the best of our teams abilities . This shows that there is a deep psychological change needed in mind sets.

We now have 2 films on Jiyo Parsi , one short for general viewing, and one which touches on delicate and detailed medical issues .  We need Anjumans to invite us for longer sessions where we can work with for several days , in depth with the community .

We have good things happening : couples and only children declaring on video , after seeing the Ads and hearing our Counsellors , that they are determined to break this mindset and have a second child. We have celebrated the first birthdays of our JP children and even a few second birthdays .

But with the Census results out we all have to work much harder and encourage as well as support and help our young to find partners , encourage a balance between personal life fulfilment and successful professional work . Most importantly we must collectively and consciously realise the urgency of taking responsibility to save a precious world heritage from disappearing .

Let us all re commit ourselves to this task so that at the next Census we can look forward to better news and higher numbers.

With best wishes ,
Dr Shernaz Cama
Director, UNESCO Parzor
Parzor Foundation

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