11 July : The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad has stressed population stabilization. Speaking at a function to observe the World Population Day in New Delhi today, he said that the benefits of developments are being negated by the ever rising population. Reminding that India which has just 2.5% of the global land has about 17% of the world population, Shri Azad said there is a need to refocus on population control in a concerted way. He said that delayed marriage and suitable gap between two children should be highlighted as the possible solution for the growing population. He pointed out that while coercion is not acceptable for promoting family planning, there is need for universal acceptance of the small family norms irrespective of the caste and religion. “Population control is in everybody’s interest and should be promoted from every available forum”, emphasized the Minister.
Stating that the growing population is the root cause of several national problems including poverty, unemployment, rising prices of essential items and law and order. Problems like Naxalism is a reflection of this mismatch between population and resources. The Minster highlighted the role of ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) in educating the rural people and said that the next World Population Day should be observed at every village, block and district level to make it a mass movement.
The Minister of State for Helath and Family Welfare, Shri Dinesh Trivedi said that demography is India’s favour as most of the Indian population is young in comparison to other countries. But to take advantage of this situation, there is a need to promote education and awareness. Health Minister of Delhi Dr Kiran Walia lamented the rising trend of sex selection even among the affluent and educated sections of society. She called for strict implementation of the law to check this practice.
The former Union Minister and Member of Parliament Dr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh described the rising population as one of the most critical problem and suggested awareness, partnership and availability of population control services alongwith strict vigilance and transparency as key to tackle this problem. Lok Sabha MP Shri Sandeep Dikshit suggested change in attitudes of service providers and bureaucracy.
The Executive Director of JSK Shri Amarjeet Sinha said that there is a huge unmet demand for services in the most problematic states of Bihar, UP, Jharkhand Orissa and Chhattisgarh. There is a need that these services are provided to the people at their door-steps.
The programme organized by the Ministry of health and Family Welfare and Jansankhya Sthirta Kosh honoured Rekha Kalindi a student of class iii who refused to marry at the age of 10. The Minister hailed Rekha as brand ambassador for the cause. The couples from the backward and tribal districts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa were also facilitated as role model for family planning. These couples were also recipients of Prerna Award.