Centre roots for smaller families, campaigns soon
With more half of India's 25 million children born to women under 24 years, the Centre plans to have campaigns to encourage young people to have smaller families. HT reports.india Updated: Jul 12, 2013 02:00 IST
With more half of India's 25 million children born to women under 24 years, the Centre plans to have campaigns to encourage young people to have smaller families.
The country's current population is around 1.27 billion, which is almost equal to the combined populations of the US, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan.
India, incidentally, witnesses around 25 million children being born to women under 24 years in age. Education of children, especially girls, plays a major role in preventing early marriages and teenage pregnancies.
"It is time we invested in our youth. There is an intimate connection between women's education and the desire to have children. There is data to support this claim," said Anuradha Gupta, additional secretary, Union ministry of health.
Globally, 16 million adolescent girls get pregnant every year, out of which 2 million are below 14 years in age. "It is a case of children giving birth to children. We need to make extra efforts to create awareness among this age group," added Gupta, speaking at the 'National Dialogue for Population Stabilisation for Better Tomorrow'.
"In the next 15 years, India's population will exceed that of China, making it the most populous country in the world. India accounts for only 2.4% of the world's surface area. Yet it supports 17.5% of the world's population," said health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Nearly 2.5 crore women deliver babies in India every year, out of which 1.25 crore births take place in government-run hospitals.
"Improving access to quality contraceptives and effective family planning services is the need of the hour. The government needs to introduce voucher schemes, social franchising or social marketing to ensure the desired results," said Frederika Meijer, country representative, UNFPA.