FAMILY PLANNING AND POPULATION CONTROL
According to 2001 census, our population is about 102.7 crore. Compared to the natural and human resources of the country, India is definitely over populated. Over population is due to rate of increase in human births. Our annual rate growth is 1.9 percent.
Let us analyses the causes which have resulted in huge population in India. Several causes account for this rapid increase. The most important cause is that in India marriage is universal; almost all men and women of marriageable age enter into wedlock. The practice of early marriage gives a longer span for reproductive activity. Also tropical climate makes for early puberty. Grinding poverty is still another factor promoting high birth rate. A poor welcomes further additions to his family as he expects his sons to add to his family earnings. Moreover, people here are so fatalistic that they believe that every mouth brings own luck. Lack of education and ignorance also contribute the same thing. Majority of them have no enjoyment, no recreation expect sex life.
A proper policy for checking further increase in population should be two-fold. First, it should aim at a quick economic development. Second, it should aim at controlling the rate of multiplication of the existing population. In other words, population should slacken its pace to enable production to overtake it. Production must, on its part, take rapid strides not only to overtake population but also to outstrip it.
For this purpose, we should popularize family planning, measures on a massive scale. Family planning clinics must be established in the far-flung villages so as to make medical advice easily available to the ignorant masses. We should also bring vast barren areas under cultivation by the use of improved agricultural techniques. Agricultural land ceilings and other land reforms should be pursued with great vigour. These measure will result in greater agricultural production and consequently, better feeding of our people.
Another suggestion is that by proper planning and suitable fiscal and other state policies, we should affect a large and rapid increase in industrial production. The development of industries will not only bring about a better balance between production and population, but also by urbanization, lower birth-rate. The other suggestions for checking the population are social legislation prohibiting early marriage, improvement in the percentage of literacy and raising the standard of living.
In a tradition-ridden and backward country like India, it is not easy to turn family planning in to a “people’s movement”. Publicity and exhortations may help in removing superstition and ignorance to some extent. But family planning will strike deeps roots only when large sections have a modern and rational approach, and the percentage of literacy and the status of women improve. They will come with efflux of time and further by the social and economic progress.