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India Ray Of Hope For Dwindling Parsi Community


Apr 3, 2005

Mumbai: Young Parsis today visit the fire temple in much larger numbers and more often than they did 30 years ago. This may not seem noteworthy to most people, but for Zoroastrians, a community, which is likely to be wiped out in less than 100 years at its present rate of growth, this simple act assumes significance.

Depleting in numbers, the Parsi community has been looking at ways to keep their community alive. Now a new fertility scheme from the government and even speed dating could be the dwindling community's only hope.

Bombay Parsi Panchayat's Fertility Project that was launched five years ago, primarily to bolster the dwindling community’s numbers, have helped in adding smiles to many of the Parsis. So far 526 couples have signed up for the services and the scheme has ensured 218 conceptions and 160 successful deliveries.

The fertility project, headed by Dr Anahita Pandole, counsels Parsi couples and offers free treatment to those who have difficulty in conceiving.

Dr Pandole, consultant obstetrician, Jaslok Hospital said that since the Parsi community is small and depleting in numbers with every passing day, every additional birth is of utmost importance.

Prospects are indeed looking up for the Parsi community with the government agreeing to provide an assistance of Rs 1 crore to this fertility project.

Salman Khursheed, minority affairs minister said the government is doing its best to help the Parsis as they form an important part of the community.

However, the battle continues for the Parsis to save their community and carry on the struggle to save themselves from extinction.
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