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Scrutiny
  
Honeymoon...
...as a birth control measure
27/12/2007

In order to check the escalating population in Satara district, Maharashtra Government had come up with new policy of marriage counseling and family planning for couples. Satara with a population of 3 million, records 25,000 weddings annually. Moreover, about 90% of newlyweds conceive during their first year of marriage. The policy entitles newlyweds to receive “Honeymoon Package” of Rs.5,000 if they delay childbearing for a year, and Rs.7,500 if delayed by two. The newlyweds need to register with the government healthcare centre and will then be provided with marriage counseling, free contraceptives and advice on childcare etc. The registered couples will undergo medical check-ups every three months, to make sure that no unprotected sexual activity is going on. The district authorities targets 20% of the couples to enroll for the scheme which would lead to delaying the birth of 5,000 babies.

This indeed is an innovative and intelligent move. However, what seems to be overlooked is that the problem is not with having a child early but having child often. Along with these monetary incentives, if proper counseling about benefits of small family are provided, then the scheme will be much more effective at the national level too.

By:- B&E
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