Jiyo Parsi, the ad campaign launched on Monday to ‘save’ the dwindling Parsi population, is backed by a study carried by Parzor foundation and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
The study points out that ehe community in India is declining in absolute numbers since 1941, prompting various initiatives to create awareness and address the issue.
The study conducted by the National Commission of Minorities and the joint studies conducted by the Parzor Foundation and Tata Institute of Social Sciences identified late and non-marriages, fertility decline, emigration, marriages outside the community, and separation and divorces as important causes.
One of every five Parsi Indian males and one out of 10 Indian Parsi females are unmarried by over 50 years of age. The average age among the Parsi women is 27 years and the men about 31 years. Only one in nine families has a child below the age of 10, found the study.
Although figures from Census 2011 are not yet available for the community, the population of Parsis declined from 114,000 in 1941 to 69,001 in 2001 according to Census 2001 data. It has been recorded that only 40,000 Parsis are left in Mumbai “Population of Parsis is declining by around 10 per cent every decennial census,” said Dr Shernaz Cama, director of the UNESCO PARZOR Project, which is implementing the Jiyo Parsi scheme.
A TISS professor, who was part of the seven-year study, said, “We expected elderly members of the community to oppose the campaign but found many youngsters were offended by it.”
Cama said, “I just want to ask these youngsters who are they angry at — us, the advertisements or they are thinking about them selves?”