|Space is limited and so is water and air. A country progresses step-by-step, but the fruits of progress are usurped by the ever increasing number of mouths to feed. More hands are also continuously added to the work force, looking for employment. As a result, we are back to square one. The goals for a country's progress, therefore, should not be limited to man-made advancements.
By Manjula Pal
The general perception among politicians is that the moment one talks of family planning, one loses the chair. This mindset needs to change
Come summer vacations and it is travel time. Some visit their family members who are settled abroad due to job commitments and some travel for fun. This writer is also on a vacation, touring some places in the United States.
It is interesting to observe that in this age of globalisation, marked by fast moving commodity goods, branded apparel, branded cosmetics and accessories, the latest electronic gadgets that we usually see in the shopping centers, all have found place in the urban Indian markets. One does not get overwhelmed with the availability of various shopping options in the developed world anymore, as they are all accessible in our country now. The Indian affluent class is now showcasing such goods as status symbols.
The stark difference that is instantaneously felt after reaching this part of the continent is not the man-made materialistic innovations or technological advancements, but the gift of fresh and clean air, potable water, sufficient space for everyone and a lot of greenery, that is bestowed to mankind by default. All of this is found in abundance in the US as in many other developed countries. Sadly, nature’s bounty is diminishing and deteriorating in developing countries like India. Environmental pollution has reached such a limit that, if not checked, man's existence can be at stake.
Space is limited and so is water and air. A country progresses step-by-step, but the fruits of progress are usurped by the ever increasing number of mouths to feed. More hands are also continuously added to the work force, looking for employment. As a result, we are back to square one. The goals for a country's progress, therefore, should not be limited to man-made advancements.
They should also include provisions that will ensure that materialistic growth is not superseded by an unsustainable growth in population. Unfortunately, since Emergency, family planning has been regarded as a dirty word by politicians and the subject is considered to be a hot potato that no one wants to touch, even with a pair of tongs. The general perception with the ruling class is that, the moment one talks of family planning, one loses their chair. This mindset needs to be changed.
The time is ripe to aggressively address the issue, and campaign for the cause of family planning. There’s no reason to shy away from the topic, as a large section of the population appreciates the role of family planning and the benefits of smaller families. The problem lies not in their unwillingness to practice, but in their ignorance and the lack of contraception facilities which can be access easily. There is a need to develop tools for imparting education in the remote areas, the under-developed areas and to provide the required medical facilities that can be delivered at door-steps.
The incumbent Government gives adequate importance to strengthening the federal structure of the country. Thus, district-level establishments can be authorised and empowered to implement innovating methods for promoting family planning programmes. Additional funds should also be released to the districts on basis of their performance. Religious heads, who preach that women should bear more children to counter demographic changes, need to be reprimanded. The media too has a defining role to play by highlighting that the root cause of poverty lies, not with the Government's apathy, but often in the unsustainable size of family units.