India tries cash bonus for birth rate control program

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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.

Source: newyorktimes

 

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7 Responses

  1. Sujay Rao Mandavilli says:


    In addition to this, the government must launch a campaign through radio and tv to explain the importance of family planning to people and the ‘why’s’ of family planning.
    Explain why it is important to the welfare of the nation, sustainable development and the long-term well being of their own region. the government must rope in private channels as well.

  2. Raj says:


    We will know what is Indian population when the census data comes out. India will overtake china sooner than 2030. Sex ratio is getting worst in India, if you visit any Indian village one see more boys than girls, just by looking I feel India has 100-150% more boys than girls in the age group 0-6.

  3. Sujay Rao Mandavilli says:


    Population management is going to be key in the 21st century. it is the biggest weapon against global warming also. The fight against Global warming will be the mother of all battles it will help ensure the
    survival of the human race in the next few millenia.

    Let me address a few concerns:

    (a) The bias against the girl child. Yes. this will be a problem , but only in the short term. Most countries in Europe and Asia with a very low tfr have overcome this problem because women are well-educated

    (b) Ageing: We need to understand the population problem in its entirety by taking all factors into account. This will be a problem in the short-term but can be addressed very easily through immigration, increasing the retirment age, better retirement benfits, health care and schemes like the NREGS may be targetted at older people.

    (c) A smaller population means the younger generation can be targetted better for schemes such as SSA, higher education . These people will become productive assets and in turn suggest innovative solutions for solving the country’s problems.

    (d) In india we have been oscillating between coercion and inaction. Both are wrong. We must launch a campaign to explain the benefits of a smaller population to the country, the region and the world. People will listen. Make population planning adverstising compulsary for x number of minutes on private tv/radio. Make it a part of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.

    (e) Novel Ideas such as acquisiton of land in thinly populated regions of the world through lease by India have been proposed, but these cannot work in the in the immediate term. Can be implemented slowly along with immigration agreements.

    (f) This will reduce the stress on urban areas also.

  4. Sujay Rao Mandavilli says:


    Implement the following Ten point formula immediately. Only this will work.
    1. The central government must set up a coordinator for all high growth states. The coordinator must be appointed by the central government, but will work with state government. District coordinators too must be appointed to prepare action plans and continuously monitor the situation, make modifications, share ideas, success stories and research success stories in India and abroad. Each district can have volunteers. This must be implemented in addition to the ideas stated above. The coordinator must monitor implementation of SSA, PMGSY, NRHM, NREGS as well. This will help greatly because too many good ideas are implemented only in a very small region. Good practices in one region are not implemented elsewhere. This is the biggest roadblock to the family planning program and the biggest failure of central governments. The coordinator will also advise state governments about good practices in other states.
    2. Monetary incentive must be given by both Central and State Governments and there must be a uniform central policy

    A hypothetical scheme would be as follows

    Sterilization after 2 children Rs x
    Sterilization after 2 children (at least 1 girl) Rs 2x
    Sterilization after 2 children (both girls) Rs 3x
    Sterilization after 1 child Rs 4x
    Sterilization after 1 child (girl) Rs 6x

    3. Incentives for the girl child

    Special incentives for the education of the girl child, for higher education etc. This is being implemented by individual state governments but there is no central government policy

    4. Multimedia campaign to spread awareness and explain why population control is important to the county and the region, besides the family. The importance of family planning to the region, to the country and to natural resources must also be explained and we have for too long vacillated between inaction and coercion

    5. Catch them young: To explain the benefits. Incorporate Family planning awareness in the SSA

    6. Make family planning material available through fair price and ration shops in all villages

    7. Roping in leading personalities like film actors and religious leaders to spread the message of family planning

    8. Special package for senior citizens in NREGS. This is very important to rein in population growth

    9. Special package to corporates and other individuals who wish to contribute to family planning initiatives

    10. To encourage adult literacy programs particularly female literacy

    • sk says:


      Great ideas all, but i think it might be better if incentives are restricted to sterilization after max one (girl) child and then next for after one male child. We should disincentivise the second child – unless it’s a girl. So if first is a girl and so is the second, then incentive can be doubled. If second child is a boy, there should be a penalty. Further, there should be a grace period of exactly 3 months from announcement to implementation of the scheme – so you don’t have a sudden spike in birth rate owing to people trying to beat the deadline. Only those who’ve already conceived will be allowed to escape the penalty that should be levied from the second child (if male) onwards. Penalties could include loss of ration card facilities, additional financial levies to be paid annually, conscription of any child over the 1-child limit (if male) into the armed forces at age 17, and even a prison term for the father. In fact, sex determination should be made compulsory after conception and famiies should be tracked for any ‘mishap’ or abortion or even death if it’s a girl child. Any complicity of doctors/others should be punished with rigorous imprisonment of at least 10 years to serve as a deterrent. Of course, there should be no harassment in genuine cases.

      The trouble is, the best of schemes (and I’m not saying this is a great one) fall by the wayside in the chaos and corruption of countries like India. The real solution is compulsory education for all – not just a right to education. Unfortunately, we’re waking up way too little, too late. The sheer base of the population means that even a 1% growth is a huge addition – most of it at the bottom of the pyramid where it can only add to widening the gulf between the rich and the so-called middle class (that couldn’t really care less) on the one hand and those struggling to survive.

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