Friday, December 21, 2018

The Parzor Foundation and Madison BMB in collaboration with the Bombay Parsi Punchayat, TISS, Mumbai and Federation of Zoroastrian Anjumans of India proudly launch three new Jiyo Parsi initiatives

·       Jiyo Parsi Care
·       Jiyo Phase III Campaign
·       Jiyo Parsi Calendar

Mumbai, 20th December 2018:The Parzor Foundation and Madison BMB along with Bombay Parsi Panchayat, TISS, Mumbai and Federation of Zoroastrian Anjumans of India today launched three new “Jiyo Parsi” initiatives amongst a gathering of eminent personalities.

It is a well-known fact that the population of Parsis have been declining rapidly,what with 8 deaths for every 2 births and today stands at a mere 57,000 in India. Alarmed at this decline, the Government of India several years ago took the initiative and galvanized the Parsee Community in taking some action. Various initiatives have been taken since 2013, like launch of Jiyo Parsi press campaign, an advocacy campaign, a counselling service and financial assistance for ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) for Parsis. With these initiatives, there is now near 100% awareness amongst the community about the demographic issue it faces. Directly 172 Parsi babies have been born under the Jiyo Parsi Scheme. Probably hundreds of other young couples have been persuaded to have a child or a second child.

The Jiyo Parsi team today launched 3 new initiatives.  Speaking on the occasion Chief Guest, Nauheed Cyrusi stressed the importance of both the Medical and Advocacy components of the Programme and was delighted at the concept of Jiyo Parsi Care. This, she stated, makes it a Programme connected with every aspect of community life and provides hope for the future.

In the Panel Discussion entitled 'Not Just Milk and Sugar', there were three prominent Speakers.
·       Anton Zykov, Oxon, Scholar of Zoroastrianism, conducting seminal research on Parsi Gujarati under a grant from the European Research Council. Deeply concerned with the preservation of the Parsi Zoroastrian community, he has been a Senior Scholar at SOAS and the University of Berlin while also doing volunteer work with Doctors Without Borders.

·        Lara Balsara, Executive Director, Madison World Diversified Communication Group, ranked as The 50 Most Influential Women in Media in India by Impact, and Jiyo Parsi's perfect Role Model, who lives what she has created in the Jiyo Parsi Campaigns, as a mother of two young children and a renowned professional.

·       Kaiyan K Mistree, Head of New Business and Markets, Isprava. An architect who has moved into new technologies and sustainability, a passionate sailor and Role Model for the community by pioneering the Parzor Return to Roots Diaspora Programme with his wife Shireen. He is the proud father of a little girl.

The three new initiatives are:

1.    JIYO PARSI CARE: With a view of removing many of the impediments that come in the way of Parsi couples having at least two children, 3 attractive schemes have been launched.

Scheme 1-Creche and Child Care Support: Couples with joint annual income of less than Rs. 15 Lakhs will now get support of Rs. 4,000/- per month per child till the child is 8 years old.

Scheme 2-Senior Citizen Honorarium for Child Care: Capable senior citizens who take on the responsibility of looking after young children of the community will get an honorarium of Rs. 3,000/- per child until the children are 10 years old.

Scheme 3- Support to couples to encourage elderly dependants who stay with them: Rs. 4,000/- per month per elder residing with the couple to help the couple either start a family or to have second or third child. Family income should be less than Rs. 10 lakhs per annum, to be eligible for this.

It is sincerely hoped with the launch of these generous schemes, many of impediments that come in the way of Parsis getting married or having children will go away and this would encourage more Parsis to get married and have babies.

2.    JIYO PARSI PHASE III CAMPAIGN: The first phase of Campaign launched in 2013, sought to sensitize Parsis about the gravity of the problem and it did this in a humorous, tongue-in-cheek manner. This was arguably the first time in the world that an advertising campaign was launched to increase the size of community. The campaign went viral, was widely written in press and accomplished its task.

The Phase II Campaign took on an aggressive task and highlighted the not so pleasant consequences of not getting married or having at least two children; conversely stressing the happiness that family life could provide especially as one advances in age.

Jiyo Parsi Phase III Campaign, being launched today, uses an important insight: Most young Parsis tend to be awkward initiating a conversation on the subject of matrimony and therefore tend to become tongue tied at the first meeting. Campaign 3 revolves around tackling this impediment, in a sweet and funny manner by suggesting Ice Breakers or conversation starters, using terms from food and culture that are synonymous with Parsi lives. Our communication offers a gentle nudge to young Parsis to encourage them towards family lives.

Dr. Shernaz Cama, President of the Parzor Foundation and the driving force behind the Jiyo Parsi movement says, “The Parsi community is ever grateful to the Government of India for recognising the declining population and coming forward with financial help. With the launch of Jiyo Parsi Care, Jiyo Parsi now offers a complete service for young people offering counselling, advocacy, persuasion and financial help and support in both having a baby and looking after the baby and their family elders.
Says Sam Balsara, Chairman, Madison World, the Agency that has been associated with Jiyo Parsi since inception and conceptualised the idea for it, “This is arguably the most satisfying project and campaign that I have been associated with in my life. It has been my pleasure to lend my professional expertise, acquired over decades to my community.
Raj Nair, CEO and CCO of Madison BMB, says, “The Jiyo Parsi campaigns have always focussed on reviving the Parsi community by encouraging marriage, children; family values and togetherness. Finding life partners and having children is by no means simple, so the attempt is to help with whatever’s required, whether witty, cheeky conversation starters and/or ART. With a desktop calendar we hope our communication serves as a daily reminder.
JIYO PARSI CALENDAR: Also launched on the occasion was the first Jiyo Parsi Calendar, 2019 which will be widely distributed amongst young Parsis. It is hoped that the messages on each page of the calendar would play their role in gently persuading young Parsis towards happy family lives.

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