Sunday, March 26, 2023

Only two children at home, the policy will make us socially lame


By Priyanka Saurabh

The latest data from the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) shows that India does not need a good policy for children at home. The report says that the improvement of family planning demands is being met by the use of modern contraceptives in rural and urban areas. The decline in the average number of children proves that the country’s population is stable. The total fertility rate (the number of children born per woman) has decreased in 14 of 17 states and is either 2.1 children or less per woman.

Critics argue that India’s population growth will naturally slow down as the country becomes wealthier and more educated. There are already well-documented problems with China’s one-child policy, namely gender imbalances that were already born to the parents of one of their children. Interference with birth rates confronts the future with negative population growth, which most developed countries are trying to reverse. The law related can also be anti-women. Human rights activists argue that the law discriminates against women from birth (through abortion or abortion of female fetuses and infants). A legal ban for two children may force the couple to go for a sex-selective abortion as they have only two ‘attempts’.

Family Planning Services “Individuals and couples can estimate and obtain the desired number and spacing of their children and the time frame of their birth. Family planning in India is largely based on Government of India sponsored efforts. From 1965 to 2009, contraceptive use more than tripled (from 13% of married women in 2009 to 13% in 2009) and fertility rates more than half (2.4 in 1966 to 2.4 in 2012), but higher than the national fertility rate in absolute numbers Lives, causing long-term population growth concerns. India adds 1,000,000 people to its population every 20 days

The United Nations population estimates that by the end of the century the world’s population will reach 11 billion. By 2050, half of the projected growth in the global population will be concentrated in just 9 countries.

It consists of India followed by Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt, and America. By 2031, India will overtake China in population growth. From 2012 to 2019, India has allocated $ 2.8 billion for family planning. According to estimates, the demand for contraceptives in India is 74.3%.

The Government of India has launched Mission Parivar Vikas to increase access to contraceptives and family planning services in the states. New contraceptive options have been added to injections and contraceptives.

A new method of IUCD insertion i.e. pop-Partum IUCD (PPIUCD) has been introduced immediately after delivery. Contraceptive packaging and condom packaging have now been improved and redesigned to increase the demand for these items.

Planning for the delivery of contraceptives by ASHA at the doorstep of beneficiaries, plan to ensure spacing of births, plan for the provision of pregnancy test kits in the ASHA drug kit for use in the community, Family Planning Logistics Management and Information System ( FP-LMIS), dedicated software to ensure the smooth forecasting, procurement and delivery of family planning items at all levels of healthcare facilities, in the event of death, complication and sterilization to customers under the National Family Planning Compensation Scheme Insurance has been introduced.

Due to fatalism and religious belief emphasizing the need to have children in India Birth control measures are not acceptable to people because of their perceived illusory side effects, anesthetic characteristics, etc. Family planning methods are also not as effective. For example, traditional contraceptives are only 50% effective. Patriarchy also leads to more children. The related law can also be anti-women. Women are male carers and childcarers so the woman loses control of her reproductive health and adopts family planning measures.

Amartya Sen in The Missing Woman beautifully presented how economic mobility reduces the total population load but enhances selective reproduction through technology. Women’s education level makes them aware of family planning. Effective contraceptive measures and intrauterine programs specifically target low-income families. For example, America’s Title X Family Program provides information about contraceptive services, supplies, and birth control.

India should learn from the Banjar system of Indonesia. Government efforts should be localized through village family groups. Construction of Family Welfare Assistants to reach remote locations and isolated families like Bangladesh has achieved the lowest fertility rates in South Asia through Family Welfare Assistants. By training village community members, the government can also form village self-help groups. These groups can educate villagers on the available birth control measures. In cities, areas with low-income families should be identified and trained health workers sent to spread awareness on other contraceptive methods.

The main goal of population control programs should be that both men and women should make informed choices. The Government of India needs to evaluate population control targets for the closure of all sterilization camps and the National Health Policy with the Supreme Court.

(Priyanka Saurabh is independent journalist, columnist, research scholar in political science and poetess. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. She can be reached at [email protected])  

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