Mumbai News: 'With Merit, You Can Succeed Everywhere,' Says BJP's Parsi Cell Convenor

Mumbai News: 'With Merit, You Can Succeed Everywhere,' Says BJP's Parsi Cell Convenor

Kekobad, who is in the media and entertainment industry, said that the Cell will work with the community to solve issues regarding safety and cleanliness in areas with a significant population of the community

Manoj RamakrishnanUpdated: Sunday, January 07, 2024, 09:39 PM IST
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Khusroo Kekobad with BJP MLA Ashish Shelar | FPJ

Mumbai: Khusroo Kekobad, a resident of Tardeo, has recently been appointed by the BJP as the convenor of the Mumbai Parsi Cell, the party’s first such initiative to court the city’s Parsi-Zoroastrians. Though the community forms a minuscule proportion of Mumbai’s population, the city has the largest concentration of Parsi-Zoroastrians in the world. Kekobad, who is in the media and entertainment industry, said that the Cell will work with the community to solve issues regarding safety and cleanliness in areas with a significant population of the community. As the date of major civic, state, and national elections draw close, the party also said that they will be carrying out a membership drive targeting Parsi-Zoroastrians. He has written a book on safety in the events and entertainment industry.

How does the Cell hope to work with Parsi-Zoroastrians?

We plan chai-pe-charcha with local government bodies, cyber fraud safety awareness programmes for senior citizens, educational events on the safety of senior citizens, raising awareness about the legislative provisions regarding the legal rights of senior citizens, medical camps, and fire safety sessions. We will be appointing interested Parsi and Irani Zoroastrian individuals all over the city to facilitate the smooth functioning of the BJP Mumbai Parsi Cell. Ashish Shelarji (BJP MLA) will be spearheading and guiding the Parsi Cell at all times.

Parsis have set up schools and several institutions for higher education. However, most members do not care about reservations in educational institutions and jobs. What are your views on this?

The community feels that with merit you can succeed everywhere. All types of education are open to everyone. Yes, there are issues of unemployment like everyone. For instance, there may be too many engineers and some will have to migrate abroad, but these issues are not unique to the community.

There is a perception that young people from the community are increasingly going abroad because of a lack of opportunities in the country.

Modi’s push towards investment is creating job openings across sectors. If the jobs are not in Mumbai, they are available in Gujarat and Hyderabad. India is growing at a fast pace.

The community is not a significant vote bank for political parties. That can be a problem in getting your voice heard in a country where communities organise themselves as vote banks.

We are not that insignificant. In Mumbai, many of the baugs (Parsi colonies) have several hundred families and these votes matter in the local elections.

Because of its low birth-rate and high rate of migration, the community has a disproportionate number of people who are senior citizens. What are the peculiar problems that arise because of this demography?

I think most people who have retired after decades of work still want to work. The challenge is to create jobs for these people. There are jobs in gymkhanas and other places, but more opportunities are needed.

The problems faced by the Parsi-Zoroastrians are different from those of other groups. The issues are not about housing, jobs, and income. The major problem is population decline.

Yes, the Parsis are a self-contained community as far as housing, jobs and many other issues are concerned. The Jiyo Parsi project is an example of how the government has created schemes specifically for the community. The objective of the scheme, which was launched in 2013-14, is to arrest the population decline of the Parsi community. The scheme has been trying to reverse the population decline and stabilise the community’s population. The scheme has helped 403 births till December 2022.

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