India is the world’s second most populated country after china having almost 1.2 billion people. The problems associated with population explosion have been major concern for health and government authorities for many years. Some of the success, which might look negligible owing to huge population, was achieved through sterilization programs, large scale education and awareness about family planning. Recently a major step to control birth rates was initiated by Maharashtra government in Satara that will not only provide education about the birth control to newlyweds, but also give cash incentives.
Cash incentives for Birthrate control
A pilot program was initiated in Satara with the motive of reducing population growth by challenging deeply ingrained rural customs. The campaign educates people to curtail teenage weddings, as well as promote the “honeymoon package” of cash bonuses to encourage newlyweds for the use of contraceptives so that couples wait to start a family.
Experts say that in rural areas women wed at a very younger age and extend their family quick, under the pressure of their family members. Some parents have more babies until they have baby boy, as some families still believe that having boy can retain the roots of the family. This growth pattern exacerbates poverty and prompts what demographers call “population momentum” by bunching children together.
Children per family ratio
India averages about 2.6 children per family which is far below if compared what it was a half century ago, yet still above the rate of 2.1...
that would stabilize the population according to experts. Many states in India who have higher income and education levels are already near or below an average of two children per family. Yet the poorest and most populous states, especially Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, average almost four children per family and have some of the lowest levels of female literacy.
India populated with youngsters
With almost 1.2 billion people, India is inexplicably young. Almost half the Indian population is younger than 25. This “demographic dividend” is one reason some economists predict that India could surpass China in economic growth rates within five years. India will have a young, vast work force while a rapidly aging China will face the burden of supporting an older population.
This is the wise and required step taken by the Maharashtra government to curb the growing birthrate. I hope other state governments, specifically Uttar Pradesh and Bihar also initiate such campaigns soon, to not only educate people, but give them cash incentives for having maximum success rates in controlling surpassed child birth. Government will have to be careful as to avoid misuse of the money budgeted for such programs.