Organization - Parzor Foundation For Preservation of Vulnerable Human Heritage

Parzor Foundation For Preservation of Vulnerable Human Heritage
Basic Information
English Parzor Foundation For Preservation of Vulnerable Human Heritage
Local language
Country India
Category UNESCO-Accredited NGO
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Performing Arts
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe
Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Research
Education and Training
Established year 2002

Parzor Foundation works with Vulnerable Heritage particularly of the Parsi Zoroastrians in order to identify, record and document as well as bring knowledge about this ancient Heritage of Humanity into the public domain.

It works with the Govt. of India as well as UNESCO to focus on the traditional knowledge, art and craft forms, rituals and culture of these peoples. It has worked globally in collaborations with institutes of excellence, museums and universities to promote this knowledge. It uses modern technology and shares globally the research that it collects.

It also provides intervention into the demographic situation of the Parsis through a two pronged strategy of medical intervention and advocacy in the Ministry of Minority Affairs sponsored Jiyo Parsi Programme.


Parzor is a non-profit organization that follows the principles of UNESCO. Proceeds from the sale of books, microfilms, audio-visuals, crafts etc are put back to further its long – term objectives.

The Parzor Project developed into the Parzor Foundation which facilitates social and scientific research with special focus on Parsi culture, working on institutions and universities across the globe. Its aim is to create awareness about Zoroastrian culture.

The Foundation encourages research on India’s multicultural diversity showcasing as well as facilitating research and exchange of information between scholars and institutions in India and abroad. Documentation is done with audio-visual recordings. Researchers who approach us through the website or from academic institutions are invited to explore an area, developing this into a programme of research. The Foundation freely share their documentation, films and photographs with academic and media centres; in turn they would provide the Foundation with further knowledge and thus awareness develops.

Since its inception, Parzor has worked towards creating awareness of India’s diversity and Zoroastrian community’s contribution to history, philosophy, craft and ecology. It facilitates exchange between the community and scholars both in India and abroad through academic conferences, publications and intercultural studies. All of this has been achieved mainly by volunteers working for the cause.

Major Activities

Revitalisation of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Parzor stresses the need to revitalize traditions in danger of being lost and attempts to preserve continuity of culture. In 2009, the UN General Assembly recognized Nowruz as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and established 21st March as the International Day of Nowruz.

Intercultural Studies

The Foundation encourages studies in the fields of lifestyle, crafts, literature and art as well as religion and ritual. Researchers work both at Delhi and Navsari archives as well as travel across India during their field work. Parzor is already part of the Fulbright Programme and multiple projects on intercultural studies are envisaged.

Arts and Crafts

Influences from Iranian, Chinese, Indian and European come together in Parsi arts and crafts. Motifs like rooster, fish, the Tree of Life and the butterfly, signifying plentitude and joy, taken from trans-Asian mythology, are made use of with distinct embroidery or embossing skills. Parsi jewellery also reflects multicultural influences. Parzor has been working to revive these craft traditions and enhance the skill of Indian craftspersons. Not only are embroidery techniques taught at workshops in Mumbai and Gujarat, the Foundation also encourage and assist researchers in their study of unique traditions and art forms.

Religion and Priesthood

The study, recording and understanding of the Zoroastrian Bronze Age rituals is being undertaken with the support of priests. A series of books “The Collected Works of Dr. Firoze Kotwal” is in progress. Multimedia documentation of ceremonies has been an integral part during the recording of rare rituals and practices. Parzor has published Threads of Continuity and Joyous Flame. 

Performing Arts

Parzor supports researchers who study the contribution of minority community to the performing arts of India. The Parzor archives cover a century’s worth of theatre scripts donated by the Calcutta Parsi Amateur Dramatic Club. These scripts have been made available to both to researchers well as drama companies. With the support of Sangeet Natak Akademi, these are being digitized and restored.

Archival Heritage

Parzor has succeeded in creating awareness about the Meherjirana Library and also facilitated the creation of a major microfilming and restoration programme on site. The new Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust Annexe of the library contains a conservation laboratory, living space for scholars and a conference room.An international conference has highlighted the treasures of the Meherjirana Library.

Parzor maintains Photographic Archives which has a rare collection of visual documentation. Parzor archival research has contributed to films like In War and Peace – The Life of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw MC, as well as the bestselling book documenting the life of India’s first photo journalist, India in Focus:Camera Chronicles of Homai Vyarawal.  Shanno Khurana’s Sufi Raah, a rare collection of classical tappas also being produced by Parzor.

Health and Demographics

The community’s medical and demographic concerns have led to the creation of a Health and Demographic module – The Predicaments of Progress, to examine its medical paradoxes.

Ecology and Conservation

For the UNESCO Award of ‘Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Parzor worked on the Candidature File –Asha the Law of Harmony: A study of Environmental Consciousness in Zoroastrian Rituals and Navroze.

Revival Programme and Return to Roots

The Return to Roots programme- a youth initiative to Return, Reconnect and Revive their cultural roots –attempts to bridge gaps between the Zoroastrian diasporas and their ancestral communities in India and Iran.

Parzor Crafts

Craft Revival is a vital programme carried out by Parzor Crafts, drawing upon community practitioners of Parsi embroidery and textile experts from across India.

The Jiyo Parsi Programme

Contact Information (Organization)
Address Parzor Foundation, F-17, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi-110016
Tel 011- 26513560 / 41626248

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