Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Go forth and multiply in Punchayet flats


By: Alisha Coelho for Mid_Day

Bombay Parsi Punchayet hopes its new scheme to give priority in housing allocation to engaged couples with a wedding date will bear fruit

In a desperate attempt to boost numbers and save the community from impending extinction, the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) will give first priority in housing allocation to Parsi couples who are engaged and have fixed a date for their nuptials.
The move reflects a concerted attempt at providing financial incentives to encourage procreation, unlike the run-of-the-mill awareness programmes that were the norm in the past.

1,200 waiting
"Couples who are engaged and have a marriage date will jump up the waiting list," said BPP chairman Dr Dinshaw Mehta.

As of now, over 1,200 people are waiting for flats to be allocated. "Our intention is to encourage them to have children and what could be more important for starting a family than having a roof over your head?" pointed out Dr Mehta.
The BPP has around 5,000 flats under its helm and will add approximately 2,000 more.
Third child
This is however not the only measure that the punchayet has taken this year.
"We’ve also increased the monthly stipend triple-fold to every couple who has a third child, from the existing Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000. The increased stipend comes into effect for children born after April.
We believe it will help bring up the child better and so far, there have been seven applications for the scheme," added Mehta.
Punchayet member Arnavaz Mistry also said that a stipend was now introduced for couples with two children.
"We have also introduced a stipend of Rs 1,000 to every Parsi couple with a second child.
It may seem like a small amount, but we’re hoping that more are encouraged to have children and we are more than willing to contribute towards the family’s well being," she said.
Parsis in Mumbai
Parsis waiting list to be allocated homes