The govt-funded scheme, Jiyo Parsi, comes as a welcome change as every new birth matters for the rapidly declining community
Jyoti Shelar | Mumbai Mirror
At a time when the government is promoting birth control measures, the city got its first set of Parsi twins — a boy and a girl — born last week with the help of a government funded fertility treatment scheme. Jiyo Parsi, the unique initiative of the Central government, comes as a welcome change as every new birth matters for the rapidly declining community in the city.
“Yes, we have got our first set of twins all thanks to the governmentfunded scheme. It is a huge thing for the community,“ said gynaecologist Dr Anahita Pandole, who is also in charge of the ministry of minority affairs scheme Jiyo Parsi, that was announced in September last year.
The government has kept aside Rs 10 crore for four years so that Parsi couples having trouble conceiving can undergo In vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Artificial Insemination (AI) and other fertility treatments and get the money reimbursed under the scheme.
ALL ABOUT JIYO PARSI
Launched by the Government of India’s ministry of minority affairs, Jiyo Parsi scheme offers funding of Rs 10 crore for a span of four years to Parsi couples seeking fertility treatment. It is the first such government funded scheme in the world aimed at increasing the population of a particular community.
“The babies and the mother are doing well. We, as a community, are thankful to the government for their support. We really hope that many more babies will now follow in quick succession,“ said Dr Shernaz Cama, director of Parzor, a project to preserve Parsi Zoroastrian heritage that implements the `Jiyo Parsi’ scheme on behalf of the Centre.
The city’s Parsi population is estimated to be at 40,000 presently. The community also has an extremely worrisome birth and death ratio with merely 200 births compared to 800 deaths annually. The declining numbers have been attributed mainly to late marriages, several choosing to remain single, couples deciding to have only one child, infertility issues and marriages outside the community.
Many countries with low birth rate like Japan, Russia, United King dom and France offer huge incentives to promote childbirth and arrest the declining population. However many people are of a view that it is a difficult task to achieve.
The community is however upbeat about that news of 11 more mothers to have conceived under the `Jiyo Parsi’ scheme and several babies are due to be delivered in the coming weeks.
“It is a wonderful scheme especially for couples who could not afford to fund the fertility treatments on their own,“ said Dadi Mistry, a member of the National Commission of Minorities who represents Parsis. “With complete medical help for the couples, we hope to get many more babies now,“ added Mistry.
Check out www.jiyoparsi.com