India’s Population Problem
Fifty years of Independence have brought with them many boons and banes. India has become self-Sufficient in food grain as the result of the Green Revolution. Space age has been ushered in there is a boom in the information technology. On the other hand, India’s population has assumed alarming proportions and India stands next only to China in terms of population growth.
What accounts for this menacing increase, in the population of India? Firstly, the family planning programme has never been able to take on the character of a popular community programme. There was enmasse awareness, building but limited provision of free or low cost family planning devices. Incentive money, probably, hardly ever reaches the groups which are targeted.
The dogmas and conservative outlook and lack of education have inhibited the implementation of family planning in India. The states that have low literacy rates, have high birthrates, like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar whereas states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have lower population growth and a high literacy rate.
Preference for sons over daughters also accounts for the unchecked growth in population, where people continue to give birth to daughters in the hope of a son who alone can bring them salvation or Moksha by performing their last rites.
Population control and economic development go hand in hand. In countries where the quality of life is high, people desire fewer children. For example Sweden. The focus should be on improving the quality of one’s life rather than on increasing the members in the family. There is need to educate women for an educated and aware woman means an educated an small family. Panchayats and other grass-root organizations must be involved in the implementation of family planning programmes for them to be effective.