For all those deeply concerned about the decline in the population of the Parsi Zoroastrian community, here is some good news. Under the government-supported Jiyo Parsi scheme to boost community numbers, 22 children have been added to the minuscule population.
Union minister of minority affairs Najma Heptullah made the announcement at an Indo-Arab Society programme at Islam Gymkhana on Wednesday.
“I am glad to announce that 22 children have been added to the total count of Parsis under the Jiyo Parsi scheme,” she said. “We are counting every newborn Parsi child. There are just 69,000 Parsis in the country and it is very important that the Parsi population is increased.”
She said Parsis were very close to her heart as she would meet a lot of them when she lived in the city till a few years ago.She said her husband had many Parsi friends.
Heptullah, while delivering a lecture on the importance of minorities, recalled the vast contribution of Parsis in the fields of education and industry.
She reiterated the BJP government’s “commitment” to ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ and said that participation of Muslims in the growth of the country was being encouraged through various sche- mes such as Nayee Roshni and Hamari Dharohar.
She mentioned a Bhandup madrassa where children were imparted skills along with religious education. Inaugurated in 1954 by Pandit Nehru, the Indo-Arab Society has played a stellar role in the city’s socio-cultural life, said its president Zainuddin Bandukwala. Heptullah is a former president of the society.