Largely ignored by political parties as a vote bank, the Parsi community in Jamshedpur has reserved their votes for a candidate who can bring a Central government scheme, that promises to save their community, to Jharkhand.
Launched by the previous UPA regime in 2013, Jiyo Parsi – a scheme to revive the dwindling Parsi community in the country – the Modi-led government repackaged and launched the programme with a series of ad campaigns.
Residents of the Parsi colony in Jamshedpur’s Subarnarekha Link Road said that though candidates rarely bother to visit them, they are willing to vote for the one who promises to save the dwindling community.
“I don’t want to comment on any party or leader. However, we support the Jiyo Parsi,” said Karshid S Patel, a teacher with Baug-e-Jamshed school. “It is not everyday a government pulls out a scheme for us.”
“I remember that in the 50’s, Jamshedpur had more than 1,000 Parsi families. Now, there are just 150-200 families. Most are elderly couples,” she said, adding that she was not even sure if there were Parsi families left in Patna, Bihar.
For Varun Gazder, owner of Jamshedpur’s only Parsi restaurant, the scheme itself is not enough. The scheme only addresses a miniscule of the community’s problems, he said, adding that the state government should take more steps for the welfare of the community.
The Parsi colony, which is part of the Jamshedpur West constituency, is poised for a direct fight between the Congress and the BJP in the second phase of polls in Jharkhand on December 2.