India has a population of approximately 1.38 billion people, to be precise, currently, we stand at a figure of 140 crores (approximation). This makes us the second-most populous country in the world. While these are just facts, we can see them affecting the overall growth of our country. Even after being the second worst-affected country by Coronavirus, we are still on the verge of an overpopulation crisis. While all these factors highlight the significance of family planning, a lot of citizens still sneer at the initiative. So before outlining the ideal family planning programme, let us see why our country’s population needs to be controlled.
We are the second country with the highest population, the first being China. With a 140 crore population, India is the seventh-largest country in the world, while Russia being the top on the list has a population of a mere 14.6 crores. If we compare India’s population to the world capital i.e. The United States of America, the third-largest country in the world; we will find that India has 106.8 crores more people, whereas the population of its counterpart is around 33.2 crores. Just by keeping geography as the only determinant, we can see that there is an uneven distribution of resources in the country. There are more people and fewer amenities, which naturally results in a lower standard of life for those living in penury. If not controlled now, this state of penury will lead to destitution in no time, resulting in increasing death rates. The condition gets worse if we bring into account the socio-political scenario of the country.
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The government had played its part in the promotion of family planning through birth control, the National Family Planning Programme Act of 1952, one of its kind in the world to sponsor birth control in the entire country. Intending to lower fertility rates and decelerate the population, the programme was successfully able to implement the significance of family planning in the minds of the citizens. Although the programme received backlash from the orthodox section, it still managed to instil the idea that population control is a major problem in India that cannot be overlooked. Following the footsteps of the 1952 act on family planning, many successful campaigns and initiatives have been launched by various state and central government departments of India.
Based on the Family Planning Act, which acts as a prototype for all other family planning programmes, the factors that contribute to overpopulation can be classified into three categories namely: Unmet need of Family Planning, Age at Marriage and first childbirth, and Spacing between Births. To combat this, the focus of birth-control initiatives was mainly laid on women. Birth control methods such as male and female contraception, female literacy, and increased participation of women in the Indian workforce have been promoted to bring down the country’s population. The most amusing factor that emerged with such initiatives was the connection between increased female literacy and birth control, the more women were educated, the more there they understood the significance of family planning and practised methods of birth control.
So the most contributing factor towards choosing a family planning program is encouraging female education. If we give women the opportunity to learn and grow, they would take the front wheel in deciding what’s good for them. Apart from this, the two-child policy has been the most effective campaign that has helped in population control. The one-girl child policy is another programme in which the government provides financial support for the education of the single-girl child is another such initiative that helps in family planning.
While all these programmes have done their part in promoting population control, it seems that we are still lagging somewhere. Many NGOs and trust funds under the health ministry of India have taken a different approach, one such organisation is the Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT) which caters to the needs of women and children in different stages of their life. Launched in 1992, HLFPPT Works on the entire spectrum of RMNCH+A (Reproductive, Maternal, New-born, Child & Adolescent Healthcare), HIV Prevention & Control and Primary Healthcare, this non-profit organisation is a Public Sector Unit that works under the Travancore-Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955.