To promote marriages within community and arrest the decline in population, the Parsi community in the state has decided to hold a two-day matrimonial meet at Bardoli. The meet has been organised to mark 125 years of Bardoli Agiyari (Fire temple).
The organisers expect 145 young Parsis, including 65 girls, from across the state to take part in the meet which will be held on November 21 and 22. A few of the participants are likely to arrive from Mumbai and Pune, too.
“The event has been organised to commemorate 125 years of our Fire temple in Bardoli. It is also aimed at encouraging young people to marry within the community to tackle population crisis. The Parsi population has dropped to 69,000 in 2001 from 1,14,000 in 1941,” Bardoli Jarthosti Anjuman trustee and honorary secretary Parvez Mehta said.
The maximum age for a candidate to register for the meet is 38 years.
“We have arranged for counselling sessions for youngsters which will help them take a decision. We target to materialise maximum marriage through this event,” Mehta said.
Parsis: A notified national minority
The community is one of the five notified national minorities. A National Commission for Minorities (NCM) report has recommended that the community should reverse the trend of late marriages or no marriages.
The NCM report also highlights the average birth rate in the community which has dipped significantly in the recent years.
From 223 births in 2001, it came down to 174 in 2006. Till August 2007, the total number of births in the community was just 99.
“No marriage is the highest among the Parsis, especially among Parsi females,” the study reveals. ]
The survey had also pointed out a large number of Parsis are aged. Thirty per cent of the total population are above 50, while the number of adolescents and children remained just around 12 per cent.