From the Editors Desk

Be Parsi, Buy Parsi – An Atma-nirbhar Community!

Dear Readers,

Even as we welcome and brace ourselves for the outpouring of our Rain-gods, the overcast skies add only marginally to the gloom that the pandemic has set in. In addition to having claimed innumerable lives across the world, COVID-19 has emerged as the modern-day nemesis of small / local businesses, with an increasing potential to further diminish the small players. 

Daily, on social media platforms, we hear of heart-breaking announcements about small businesses winding up, even as expert economists and analysts warn that the Indian economy could witness a level of bankruptcy never seen before. It’s impossible for small businesses to survive without any income for months due to the lockdown, followed by its cautioned re-opening, at less-than-half capacity. 

Needless to mention, a large number of our community members and their businesses have taken a huge hit – with employees being laid-off and businesses having to shut-down. However, it is heartening to see the embers of our enterprising spirit still glowing bright. Even through the period of the lockdown, a number of individuals and local Parsi businesses have employed social media – WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. – to market their products and services online. 

Though primarily seen as a survival measure to continue earning a livelihood, this initiative has not just given them the opportunity to earn money in these challenging times, but has also laid the foundation of new, digital trends, with the conversion of businesses from the traditional brick-and-mortar to the current online e-business format. And this is the point, where you and I can play a crucial role in bringing success to their efforts and ensuring their business continuity. 

First, let’s take the effort to seek out Parsi groups and individuals – there’s a large number of these especially on WhatsApp and Facebook – which provide essential and non-essential products and services. Those who feel like this could be a step-down from your typical Delhi Darbar’s biryani or Hidesign/Caprese handbags or Urban Company’s services, will be in for a pleasant surprise! The past few months have seen a delightful deluge of highly gifted home-cooks offering gastronomical delights as also other talented professionals providing a number of high-quality products and services. It will not be too difficult to seek them out via the bawa network. 

Next, commit to genuinely purchasing these products/services yourselves, if only just once to try these out. There’s no doubt you will be back for more! And finally, do your bit and spread the word about our ‘Parsi-preneurs’ (Parsi entrepreneurs) and their outfits and products, as far and wide as possible. This isn’t a suggestion to abandon non-Parsi products, it is simply a request to nurture a preference for the well-deserved Parsi products and services, during this economically crucial time. As challenging as these times are, our history serves proof that Parsis are nothing if not known to rise out of the most catastrophic conditions and reach even greater heights! 

But for that, we must yet again come together and resolve, as a community, to encourage, support and promote our community members and their ventures. Taking a leaf out of our PM’s book, let’s build an ‘Atma-nirbhar community’ en route to building an ‘Atma-nirbhar’ nation! Be Parsi, Buy Parsi!

Have a lovely weekend!

– Anahita

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