India is an over-populated country. Its population is fast multiplying at an alarming rate. According to the provisional figures announced as a result of the 2011 census, India’s population is 130 crores. It may double again by the turn of the century at the present growth rate. Many have expressed concern overpopulation problem in India.
Thus we see that the population problem has become one of the most serious problems of our country because whatever progress is being made every year is eaten up by the increasing population. India ranks only second to China in population in the world.
There are many reasons for the population explosion in India. Eighty per cent of the Indian live in rural areas who are very backward and superstitious. They believe too much in their fate. They follow the policy that God who has given the births will also make provision for their feeding. The villagers also believe in the policy that the more the children the better it will be for them because they will help them in the agricultural operations.
In India by and large masses have no other source of entertainment except indulging in sex. Certain communities also have some religious fears against the methods of family planning. Then there is also the inherent desire in every Indian family to have a male child. It so happens that sometimes in the hope of getting a male child a number of daughters are born. There is a widely held belief that without a son the family lineage will come to an end.
The prevalent system of child marriages among the Indians is also responsible for the large-sized families. Of course, the Government has now raised the marriage age of girls to 18 years and of boys to 21 years. In spite of the great need for family planning in India, this programme was not given much importance until 1975 before the emergency. Although family planning as an official programme was adopted in 1952 yet it was not implemented effectively all these years.
Of course, now family planning has been taken seriously by both the government and the people. The government has announced for those persons who undergo sterilisation. The family planning programme now aims at reducing the annual birth rate from about 39 per thousand in 1969 to 25 by 1983-84.
The concept of a small family which is now being propagated by the Government is not only good for the nation but it is also good for the children and the parents, because if every family has a small size then they can bring up their children in a better way. They can feed them better and give them a better education. A small family is also essential for the health of the mother, the children as well as for the society as a whole.
In reality, India is every year adding to itself a population equal to that of Australia. It means that every year the burden on the nation increases more and more. For this reason, our Government has given the slogan that every family should have only two children and in no case more than three.
It is said that the government should not use the coercive methods for the implementation of the family planning programme. Instead of this should use the persuasive methods to popularise this programme. But if the people do not want the government to enforce compulsory measures in this regard, they should voluntarily keep the number of children to the maximum limit of two.
The importance of family planning in our country cannot be minimised. If our country has to become strong and prosperous then the increasing population of our country will have to be controlled. Until and unless the people voluntarily adopt the methods of family planning neither poverty can be banished from our country, not can the standard of living of the people be raised. We have to build a strong country by exploiting population problem in India.