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Just don’t miss the woods
Stabilising population growth requires a more holistic approach

One-sixth of world’s population lives in India; and with its current growth rate, it is poised to overtake China by 2040. Its present population of 1.2 billion is a more than threefold increase from 361 million in 1951 – and with a density of 789 persons per square mile, which is one of the highest in the world – it is clear that India’s population control program is a failure from the roots.

While one thought process says that population is actually India’s strength (as more people buying products would mean more GDP), the fallacy of this philosophy is unresolved where the majority of our population (400 million plus) lives below the poverty line, unable to procure subsistence food, leave alone purchase any product. To that effect, India is one of the first nations to launch an official family planning program in 1951, but over 5 decades have passed without substantive success.

Out of 171 million married couples, only 87 million have some sort of awareness regarding contraceptive methods. An interesting Population Council research reveals the obvious that contraceptive usage is linked to age (8% of adolescent girls, and a massive 67% among women aged 35-39 years showed usage) and to education (43% illiterates use contraceptives vis-à-vis 57% of women with high school education). Even India’s National Population Policy (NPP) declared in March 2000, which offered supplies and quality services like information and counseling on choice of contraceptive methods, fails to address the physical and social milieu that surrounds a poor household and its women.

Unfortunately, population control has even exited popular political humdrum. When was the last time you heard a politician ranting away in his electoral agenda that he would control India’s population? Clearly, nobody’s fighting the population problem... Nobody wants to...

By:- Sayan Ghosh

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