Parsis to get govt stimulus for raising their numbers
Under the minorities’ bonanza plan, couples to get Rs 5 lakh for infertility treatment
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 21
Ahead of elections, the Congress-led UPA government is all set to unveil a bonanza for the minorities with the launch of two unique schemes this Monday. The first, “Jiyo Parsi”, will pay the infertility treatment bill of the Parsi community to help them raise its dwindling numbers.
The second, “Seekho aur Kamao” will bear the cost of imparting skills to the youth (14 to 35 years) of all five centrally notified minorities (Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Parsis) at the rate of Rs 25,000 per beneficiary. Both schemes will be 100 per cent centrally funded and will run through the 12th Plan period.
“Jiyo Parsi” is the first of its kind scheme in the world where a government will intervene to stabilise the population of a listed minority whose numbers have fallen from 1.14 lakh in 1941 to 65,000 today.
A Ministry of Minority Affairs note justifies the idea. “Only one Parsi family in nine today has a child below 10 years. Total fertility rate of the community has plummeted below 1 meaning an average Parsi woman in her child bearing age has less than 1 child; 31% Parsis are over 60 years and more than 30% are not married.
There is need for the government to arrest the declining population of Parsis,” it says. This scheme will be open only to Parsi married couples of child bearing age who want medical assistance for infertility treatment. They are free to seek assisted reproductive technologies, including in vitro fertilisation and intra cytoplasmic sperm injections, which will be paid for. Parsi adults and adolescents wishing detection for diseases resulting in infertility will also get money.
While Parsi married couples will be covered up to Rs 5 lakh per couple or the actual treatment cost whichever is less, Parsi boys and girls (up to 30 years of age) suffering from treatable clinical problems resulting in infertility will get assistance up to Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively. Rs 20 crore have been earmarked for the scheme this fiscal.
Asked why an affluent community like the Parsis should get Central funding for infertility treatment, the ministry points out: “Many Parsi families are from the lower economic strata and can’t afford infertility treatment. Even middle class couples can’t afford repeated treatment cycles.” At the heart of the scheme is evidence that 90% modern-day infertility is treatable.
The scheme will operate through hospitals the Minorities Ministry empanels in consultation with the Health Ministry. Officials, however, caution, “It’s not about endless funding of infertility treatment cycles. Majority cases with curable infertility will be paid for.”
Under the “Seekho aur Kamao” scheme, the Centre will pay Rs 25,000 per minority youth (aged 14 to 35) to acquire soft, technical, traditional and life skills. NGOs, companies with experience in imparting skills can apply to the Centre and operate the scheme. Such companies will get 5% of the project cost as incentive for successful operation. The scheme will ensure job guarantee for minority youth.
Jiyo Parsi: The community concern
- ‘Jiyo Parsi’ is the first-of-its-kind scheme where a government will intervene to stabilise the population of a listed minority.
- This scheme will be open only to married Parsi couples of child bearing age who want medical assistance for infertility treatment.
- They are free to seek assisted reproductive technologies, including in vitro fertilisation.
- Adolescent Parsis will get Rs 25,000 each for infertility screening.
Learn & earn
The Centre will pay Rs 25,000 per youth (aged 14 to 35) belonging to five centrally notified minorities (Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Parsis) for acquiring soft, technical, traditional and life skills
ZOROASTRIAN EXHIBITION IN LONDON
THE EVERLASTING FLAME
ZOROASTRIANISM IN HISTORY AND IMAGINATION.
A Visual of one of the oldest world religion
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
| When :
||11OCTOBER -14 DECEMBER 2013
Fresh Roti Paratha and Murtabak Evening
Chalo pachu khava............
We have arranged for one of the best guys in town "Casuarina Paratha" to prepare & serve fresh Roti Paratha and Murtabak.
So come on all and spend the evening with us.
||Zoroastrian House @ 81 Desker Road
| When :
||28th September 2013
||$10 /- per head for unlimited Roti Parathas (Plain, Egg, Onion, Cheese) and Murtabak (Chicken, Mutton) . Kids under 5 years free.
RSVP : Please send in your RSVP by 24th September 2013.
Note: For those who are attending the Pink Robbin Walk, please note that this event is after the walk and we will wait for you all.
Annual Farvardin Mahino, Farvardin Roj Jashan in memory of the souls of our dear departed
The jashan will be held, as always,
at: The Parsi Cemetery at Cho Chua Kang (directions given below)
on: Thursday, 5th September 2013
at: 10.00 a.m.
Directions to the venue:
Junction of Choa Chu Kang Road and Jalan Bahar.
Coming From PIE
1. Take the exit to Jalan Bahar and turn Right after the exit
2. Drive down the Jalan Bahar and look out for a right turning just before the traffic light junction with Choa Chu Kang with a sign saying Parsi Cemetery, Jewish Cemetery.
3. If you miss this turning then go up to the traffic light and turn right and drive down slowly along Choa Chu Kang Road keeping to the right till a small right turn comes which goes into the cemetery ground and will lead straight to the Parsi Cemetery next to the Jewish Cemetery.
Good Evening Ladies, Gentlemen and kids. Navroz Mubarak and wishing you all a great year ahead.
Let me start with an update on our activities. Our own PZAS continues its good efforts in conducting various social, cultural and religious activities within the community. Our members have also continued to keep a visible presence of our small community on the larger social platform in Singapore.
Our monthly functions since March include the second anniversary celebration of our Zoroastrian House where we got Noshir Dadrawala, an eminent speaker on our religion and culture to come over from India and speak to us over 2 days. This was a function accompanied by a ghambhar cooked by our own members. Over 150 members attended these functions.
Our other monthly functions including social functions like bowling and potluck, continue. We are trying our best to think up activities which would be interesting across age groups, for new and old members. Our final aim is to have maximum participation.
Zoroastrian House continues to serve its purpose well. We continue to have our prayers there every Sunday at 11 am and on every Behram Roj evening. Here I would like to thank our Ervard Percy Khambhata for keeping "the flame alive". Dr. Pesi Chacha has also been consistently there taking care of our Behram Roj prayers. Where we need to do more work, is in the use of ZH for other cultural and social activities. We would be most happy to encourage any member with the right ideas and energy to take an initiative on this front.
Our committee has been working harder than usual as we have unfortunately lost one committee member (Homeyar Mobedji) who has moved back to Mumbai and are possibly losing another for a similar reason. Hence we have added one more member to the committee, Khursheed Choksi. A warm welcome to Khursheed.
I would also like to mention that we have got the responsibility to hold the next World Zoroastrian Congress in Singapore in the year 2017. This is a big responsibility and some of us have started working for it from now. Russi will be talking more about it later.
Finally this year we have started a project which we have been talking about for some time. This project primarily, is an endeavor to recognize some of the stalwarts of PZAS over the years. These are members who have selflessly contributed to our community in Singapore and have maintained our presence within the larger Singapore society. This is also an effort to know more about the older generation of Parsis in Singapore, their stories, their memories and their experiences. Finally, this is an effort to create linkages between our past, our present and our future. In this regard we would like to felicitate and thank Nargis and Phiroze Medhora. Thank you Nargis and Phil for all that you have done for us over the years.
We will soon have Pesi and Russi talking more about them and taking us down the memory lane with them.
Ladies and Gentlemen thank you and Navroz Mubarak to you again. Majhaa, maasti and tandoorasti to all"
The Marshalls keep the Parsi flame alive in Kozhikode
By Sucheth P R | ENS - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
Published: 24th August 2013 11:56 AM
Last Updated: 24th August 2013 11:56 AM
Read more here
Darius Marshall at his workshop Automotto on Vellayil Road in Kozhikode
Though Marshalls, the lone family of Kozhikode keeping the lineage of the Parsi tradition, seems to have embraced the rhythm of Malabari culture, they remain intact in Zoroastrian beliefs and customs.
Fluent in regional tongue one can hardly distinguish Darius P Marshall or his sons Zubin and Farzan from the local people here apart from their slightly alien physique.
Born to parents from Bharuch and Kutch Darius P Marshall is now the proud owner of a flourishing automobile workshop ‘Auto Motto’ on Vellayil Road near the beach in Kozhikode. With large number of imported automated machines the Marshalls’ service station caters to customers from across the state.
The work shop owner who receives the vehicles with much enthusiasm himself, diagnoses them before handing them over to the workers. Elaborating on the machines and tools at the workshop mostly imported from various European countries, firm and confidant Marshall was not ready to leave aside the air of seriousness. Amidst the talks on Parsi life in Kerala, he shared the pride of having hosted a ritualistic ceremony for all the six Parsi families spread across Kannur, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Mangalore.
What happened to the 299 other Parsi families who were once part of Kozhikode? Marshalls have a quick answer: Most of them left the place in search of greener pastures. “Nowadays our people in Mumbai and other cities hesitate to shift to Kozhikode,” they say. He added that the traditional Parsi rituals are slightly altered in Kozhikode to suit the local needs. “We cannot perform many rituals being followed by our community in cities such as Mumbai or Chennai where we are a sizable community. The ‘Tower of Silence’, where the body of the dead is kept on a tower for vultures, is not viable in Kozhikode. Here we bury the dead on the compound of the Fire Temple ‘Anjuman Baguh’ at SM Street. Bodies of the dead Parsis from all over Kerala and Mangalore are brought here for burial,” he says.
Heralding the legacy of Parsi business doyens such as Tata and Godrej, the Parsis who arrived in Kozhikode in the mid 19th century also eyed at the commercial and industrial prospects of the region. Marshall says the first group arrived here in 1851 to set up a coir factory to supply products to the East India Company. The bungalow of Dr Kobab Muga Sett, who had a degree in medicine from London and believed to be the highest qualified doctor in Malabar then, is the present Mayor Bhavan. Deep in the memories of Marshall are the heroic deeds of Coverjees, the most renowned Parsi family in Kozhikode of seven brothers who remained bachelors.
The thread ceremony which initiates one into to the Parsi faith is usually performed between the ages from nine to 11. No gender difference is followed in the ritual. The baniyan cloth ‘sudre’ and silk thread ‘kusti’ are worn round the waist of a boy or girl,” Darius says. Fire brought from Udvada in Gujarat, the renowned pilgrimage centre for Zorastrians world over, is kept at the Parsi Fire temples everywhere. “Here we don’t’ keep the fire burning round the clock. We will light the sandal wood fire whenever we visit the Fire Temple on SM Road. Usually we visit the Anjuman Baguh on Sundays. The admission to temple is open only to Parsis. Nowadays, apart from the Marshalls the Air India pilots and air hostesses who belong to Parsi community are the other visitors to the Fire Temple in Kozhikode.