In a desperate attempt to boost their rapidly dwindling population,Parsi leaders in Gujarat have come forward to announce a financial assistance package,including free homes and monetary assistance for education and fertility treatment,to Parsi youngsters who are willing to marry and bear children.
We are unhappy with the decreasing population of Parsis in the world. There are around one lakh Parsis in the world. The annual birth rate is between 250 to 300,while the death rate is 800-1,000. Something should be done as the community,which is in minority,is slowly reaching a point of being reduced to a micro-minority community, said Dinsha Mehta,president of Parsi Panchayat while addressing community members at the historic town of Sanjan in Valsad district on Sunday to celebrate Sanjan Day,when Parsis first landed in India from Iran.
Community leaders who spoke on the occasion urged Parsi youngsters to get married and have two children or more. The Parsi Panchayat offered to take care of the education and monthly expenses of their children and even provide homes to the newly married couples.
After marriage,if the couple gives birth to two children,the Panchayat will give Rs 3,000 per month to the couple till the child attains the age of 18 years. If the couple gives birth to three children,the Panchayat will give Rs 5,000 per month, Mehta added.
Due to the fertility problems among the couples of Parsi community,the Central Government of India has allocated Rs 10 crore to the Parsi Panchayat. The Panchayat will bear medical expenses of the couples who go for fertility treatment, he said.
Retired bank officer Marzban Eruchshaw Wadia (74),who was part of the gathering,sang a song to motivate the youths of the Parsi community to get married and have children. He also distributed compact discs of songs to all the members who attended the function.
Several well-known dignitaries from the Parsi community,like Khurshed Dastur (religious leader of Udwada),Dinsha Mehta (president of Parsi Panchayat),Keki Daruwala (member of minority commission of India) participated in the function. The chief guest was Kunwar Singh Gaekwad (the prince of the Royal Family of Gaekwad,Vadodara).
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