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Planning of Family Planning in India

While surfing news channels on TV or viewing some documentary I usually find some poor people being shown. A typical family of poor people will be always shown with one mother, holding one child in hand and a bunch of kids surrounding the mother. Whatever be the show, time, channel or location, this is what a picture generally depicts.

I often wonder here, if the family is poor, is unable to feed the kids or afford their education, why are there so many kids in that family. It is a simple case of you don't go about getting things for yourself, that you cannot afford. And here, when I see 3 or 4 or 5 children to the same couple, I am astonished. Man, your economic condition is not feasible for one child and you are raising 5. The result. All 5 will eat one time of the day. I say, if you could have 2 kids then is it not possible that those 2 kids could have eaten twice a day.

Even in my travels, I have noticed this. Poor families tend to have a larger flock of children. A lot of material I have read and watched on TV has also pointed to the same thing. What may be the reason for that? Maybe they don't really know about family planning? Or more importantly about birth control measures, like condoms, pills for abortion or I pills or birth control pills. Perhaps they just don't afford it or perhaps they like large families.

Of course, it is a private family matter to have kids and decide on their number. But, on the society scene, look at the Maoists and their doings. Primary cause for popularity of their enterprise is that poor people don't have enough land to live on. They want land. But when you have such large families, you shall always have more claimants for land. Plus, we are having shortage of essential commodities and goods, so we got to keep our population in check.

I asked on my facebook profile about friends' opinion on the matter. Keerti, a friend of mine pointed out and I quote " education is the major Problem.....:(". I feel, she has hit the bull's eye here. If we look at it, majority of the rural women in India, who are poor also scale too low on the literacy rate. A well educated person would know better of having how many kids and the impact the society has to brace.

Perhaps the boldest and some may say the best move by Central government ever to control population was during emergency in the late 70's. You get hold of a man, perform a surgical procedure and he won't be a father ever. Due to press censorship of those times, not much is known about it. But several stories confirming this fact have tumbled out over the period of time. One guy was just married and he had that vasectomy done forcefully.

This daring idea was of the son of Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India. Sanjay Gandhi had family planning amongst one of his priorities and since emergency was their, no one could do anything about anything. The Prime Minister had all government institutions from Judiciary to Parliament in her pockets and sycophancy was at its peak. This gave rise to competition amongst officials as to who will outnumber whom in this game of vasectomy. Perhaps that is the reason for a new wedded guy with no child getting forced into it.

Today their is no such pressure on people and making aware to people about it to people does not seem to be high on the government's agenda. Condoms, that are distributed for free are more part of the AIDS campaign than anything else.

Much more needs to be done on that front. For, many poor people will not figure on the census scale. We never even know the proper data and facts. One of the steps can be, to make sure that all public representatives elected or contesting elections, from the Panchayat elections to the Lok Sabha elections should not have more than 2 kids. Leaders have to be role - model in themselves. Education, like Keerti's point I mentioned above is necessary too. We need well educated, well informed citizens who understand the problem well and do something about it.

Population is one problem that can be sorted best by people in their bedrooms. But a vigorous campaign should be planned out and executed well. Like the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, popularized by the Vajpayee government in 2000's. Taxes, I feel should be imposed on anyone producing more than 3 children (or 4 or 2, depending on what the figure can be reached by consensus). I have not studied or researched the one child policy, prevalent in China, but read tid - bits and heard about it. So, that should be researched thoroughly, inspirations should be drawn (that literally means, eliminate the negatives, pick up the brightest ideas and delve on the conclusions) to make up our very own policy. Hum do Hamare do (We two, ours two) is no longer going to work in the New India. Also, adoption should be made easier and better. People should be advised an encouraged to adopt instead of giving birth to children.

Do leave a comment on what you think as the effective cure of family planning in India.


tamanna said…
hmmm...agree strongly with the education part...
but for example, a couple has one child, and has triplets the next time, when they were planning for the second one, they for sure won't like paying the taxes...
Yes, forcing things might do the trick, for Indians are a bunch of people who at times have to be forced to do the sensible thing, they simply won't do it themselves, but at the same time its better if they choose to have lesser kids by their own free will...and that can be achieved by education alone!
Also, the mental set up that needs to be changed for adoption will come with education only...
Awesome piece of writing

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