Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad became a votary of rapid electrification of villages in India, on Saturday, but for a different reason - to curb population growth by ensuring access to television.
"Electricity in our villages can help control population growth. Electricity will lead to television in houses, which will lead to population control. When there is no light, people get engaged in the process of population growth," he said while addressing a function on World Population Day.
"Don't think that I am saying this in a lighter vein. I am serious. TV will have a great impact. It's a great medium to tackle the problem," he added.
"When light will reach (villages), 80 per cent of population growth can be reduced through TV," he said, adding that the current United Progressive Alliance (UPA) central government is working to ensure greater rural electrification. He also exhorted media and TV channels to provide quality materials and highlight positive news.
The minister said that population growth needs to be controlled as it will have positive impact on "all Indians". "It is the duty of all MPs, ministries and of all individuals to help in curbing the population growth," he said adding that India contributes to 17 per cent of the global population but the land area of our country is just 2.5 per cent of the total land available in the world.
"We need to think that more children means more problems," Azad said.
India with over a billion people is second only to China in terms of sheer number of people and experts believe if the current trend of growth continues, then the country may surpass China by 2030.