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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Family planning: Southern states outshine north | Family planning | | Indian Express

Family planning: Southern states outshine north | Family planning | | Indian ExpressNEW DELHI: The southern states have left north far behind in achieving two kids a family target, drawing accolades from law-makers who expressed concerns about country’s population stabilisation plan going haywire.

Lok Sabha debated population for the first time in 33 years and displayed rare unity to stem India’s march to become most populous country in the world as has been predicted by demographers.

Ruling out forced contraception, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad explained in Parliament how the target of achieving Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2:1, which translates into two kids per couple, had fallen flat essentially due to the failure of northern states in containing their average family size.

The population policy of 2000 had envisaged that if the national TFR of 2.1 was achieved, the number of Indians would be stabilised around 2045.

Ghulam Nabi claimed that barring 14 states, mainly from south where Tamil Nadu takes the lead, rest had failed to achieve the target and at current rate the population will not stabilise even by 2070.

Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal, Delhi, Chandigarh and Puducherry have done their job well,

but states such as Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan had failed miserably and the TFR in these states continue to be above four.

The minister sought help from all political parties to make family planning campaign a success as a new population policy was on the anvil.

Suggestions flowed from all corners. Sharad Yadav of the JD(U) who advocated forced contraception did not even hesitate in praising Sanjay Gandhi’s controversial family planning programme during emergency.

Sumitra Mahajan of the BJP argued that development was the best contraceptive and some MPs felt that couple with single or two kids should be given special incentives by the government. The minister claimed that all the discussion over issues like price rise would be rendered useless if population was not curbed.

He outlined his government’s policy and claimed it would be only through awareness.


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