To boost numbers, Parsis to get free infertility treatment
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To check the dwindling Parsi population, the minority affairs ministry on Monday launched a four-year scheme which includes free infertility treatment for eligible members of the community.
According to the scheme, for which Rs 10 crore has been sanctioned under the 12th FiveYear Plan, Parsi organisations like the Bombay Parsi Panchayat, Parzor Foundation and local Anjumans will also be roped in to reach out to the community on the need to marry, refrain from family planning etc. No income bar has been set for availing of the free infertility treatment, and couples who already have a child will also be eligible.
"On the one hand, the country is trying to bring down the population... And here's one community which has made immense contributions but is slowly losing out because of a variety of reasons," said Minority Affairs Minister K Rehman Khan.
According to the 2001 census, there are just 69,601 Parsis in India. The scheme will focus on Mumbai and Gujarat, which account for the bulk of the population.