Jiyo Parsi adds schemes to boost child care

Offers financial assistance to couples, honorarium for senior citizens

Mumbai: The Jiyo Parsi initiative on Thursday launched Jiyo Parsi Care with three schemes to remove impediments that come in the way of Parsi couples from bearing at least two children. The schemes include a crèche and child care support for couples within a certain income bracket, an honorarium for senior citizens for child care, and a financial support to couples who have elderly dependents living with them.

The schemes are part of the third phase of the initiative, which started in 2013, providing assisted reproductive technology to Parsi couples wishing to have a child. For the third phase, Jiyo Parsi has secured a ₹12 crore grant from the Central government.

Couples with a joint annual income of less than ₹15 lakh will get ₹4,000 per month for each child, until the child is eight years old.

Similarly, couples having a family income of less than ₹10 lakh per annum will get ₹4,000 per senior citizen to look after them. Shernaz Cama, president, Parazor Foundation, a project to preserve Parsi Zoroastrian heritage that implements Jiyo Parsi on behalf of the government, said the scheme aims to help couples support their parents. “The Parsi community, studies have found, has among the highest total dependency ratio in the world,” she said.

But perhaps the most unique scheme is the honorarium. Senior citizens who take up the responsibility of looking after young children will get ₹3,000 a month per child until the children are 10 years old. Ms. Cama said the scheme, called intergenerational care, has been implemented in Scandinavian countries and England. “We thought to give old people a purpose, especially those who have never been married and don’t have children. They can pass on their values to children. Parents will feel at rest that their children are being looked after by a community elder,” she said.

The new schemes will be supplemented with an advertising campaign, which will focus on family care with pick-up lines for youths who find it awkward to initiate a conversation on matrimony. Sam Balsara, chairman, Madison World, which is executing the campaign, said they have also made a calendar which will be distributed for free. “We thought a calendar would be a good reminder for 365 days,” he said.

Jiyo Parsi aims to increase the Parsi population, which stands at 57,000. As many as 172 babies have been born under its schemes since 2013.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 1:56:15 AM |

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