Haji Akram Ali is a private employee residing in Falaknuma area of Old City for the last many years. One of the six siblings, three brothers and three sisters, it was ten years ago that he got married.

Unlike his large family of brothers and sisters, Mr. Akram has only two sons, aged nine and six years respectively.

“I plan to provide them good education and better opportunities. I have no secure means of income and hence have decided to limit my family,” says the SSC drop out.

His story reflects the feeling and mindset of scores of young Muslim men who are now planning small families for various reasons. As against large families among some Muslims, many now prefer to restrict the number of children to about two to three.

“The change is the result of awareness about the benefit of small families in the people,” says Abdul Sayeed, a businessman from Charminar.

Mr. Sayeed (39) has only one child and plans to limit his family to four members. “I decided to have a small family and bring up my children in a proper way considering the rising cost of living,” he says.

Irrespective of the social status of the people, many are planning to have smaller families. According to doctors working in this part of the city, it is mostly a collective decision and attribute it to the rising educational standards in the community.

Social workers working in the old city feel that the changing trend is an indication of growing awareness levels among the people about small families. “Most of the people prefer small families as they intend to give them a good upbringing,” says a social worker.

“This doesn’t mean that I do not believe in the fact that Allah provides sustenance for every one. I do not want to struggle against the odds and deny the best to my children,” he says.

More In: Hyderabad