UNESCO New Delhi, acting as a catalyst, initiated the Parzor Project for the Preservation and Promotion of Parsi Zoroastrian Culture and Heritage in 1999.

Parzor Foundation

The Parzor Project developed into the Parzor Foundation which facilitates social and scientific research with special focus on Parsi culture, working with Institutions and Universities across the globe. Its aim is to create awareness about the miniscule Zoroastrian minority. It covers issues ranging from art, history and manuscript protection to preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the form of songs, language and dialect, theatre, dance and religious practices. It produces books, films and craft material in Parsi embroidery for encouraging knowledge about the community. Parzor organizes and takes part in National and International conferences related to Zoroastrian culture and Indian heritage.

The Parzor Foundation was set up as a Registered Society under the Societies Registration Act XI of 1860 in August 2002. It has received Tax Exemption under 80G & 12 A in January 2003. It is a non – profit organization following the principles and aims of UNESCO. Proceeds from the sale of books, microfilms, audio-visuals are put back to further its long term objectives.

Health and demographics is a major area of study.

his small community needs medical attention and demographic study, related to its decline. Only 1 Parsi family in 9 has a child below the age of 10. The numbers are far below replacement level with a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of .88 and a vast ageing population. 45% of adult males and 38 % of adult females are never married. These medical and demographic concerns have led to the creation of a Health and Demographic Module The Predicaments of Progress, to examine the medical paradoxes faced by this tiny community. Parzor worked with TISS, Bombay Hospital, South Gujarat University, Cancer Research Institute, FUREC to examine the demographic, medical and sociological issues facing the Parsis. These have been published and provide pointers to other communities leading to medical research, as well as the relationship between socio-psychological situations and the Health of a Community.

The Jiyo Parsi Programme has been created by the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA) with guidance from Parzor, TISS and other Institutions concerned with sociological issues in India today. Recognizing the data collected through the Parzor TISS Studies on Youth, The Elderly, The Family, Genetic and other Medical Studies conducted with Bombay Hospital, South Gujarat University and CRI, Mumbai, the Government has created through MOMA a special programme to enable a Parsi revival. While there are medical issues of low fertility in the community, these are closely linked with attitudinal and psycho-sociological issues. Hence the Jiyo Parsi Programme has two major areas of work.

Advocacy

The Advocacy section aims to work across India to create awareness within the community and particularly in individual families about the importance of choosing a partner at a correct age, encourages marriage and bearing children at the right time. As Prof. Shalini Bharat of TISS has stated in her Study of the Parsi Family ‘Two Children are good for the community, but better still for You’.

Trained counselors working with TISS will travel to all the Parsi areas of Mumbai, specially the Baughs and bring audio visual documentation, counselling techniques and assistance in person. This activity will spread across India; we look for support from all Anjumans and Punchayats across the country.

Medical Assistance for reproduction

This will be supervised by the Committee set up by MOMA and will assist as per the Jiyo Parsi Programme norms for treatment in cases where it is necessary. You can contact our medical doctors and social workers at their addresses and phone numbers provided on this site.

Thus you see that Parzor has been working for 15 years to create awareness of a Bronze Age community which still survives. It is also spreading knowledge both about India’s multicultural diversity and the Zoroastrian community’s contribution to world history, thought, craft and ecology. It facilitates exchange of ideas and technology between the community and scholars both in India and abroad. We ask the community and its well-wishers to help us in the large projects we have undertaken to help the Parsi Zoroastrian community flourish in this new millennium.

If you would like to know more about our work visit us at www.unescoparzor.com, see some of our work with youth at zororoots.org and contact us at shernazcama@hotmail.com or parzorfoundation@gmail.com.
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