Slower growth rate will place less strain on natural resources

Participation of women in family planning and population control plans of the Government is vital for initiatives to succeed, according to A. Tamilarasi, Minister for Adi Dravidar Welfare.

Inaugurating a seminar organised at Sri Meenakshi Government College for Women here on Wednesday by the Department of Health to mark World Population Day, she said that creation of awareness among women would ensure that the message reached a wider group.

The World Population Day is an annual event observed on July 11 as it was on this date in 1987 that planet's population breached the 500-crore mark. This event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme to create awareness of global population issues and its adverse impact.

Negative impact

The world population swelled to 600 crore in 1999, 609 crore in 2009 and is estimated to reach 900 crore by 2050. Hence it is imperative, she said, that the negative impact of high population growth on development was highlighted.

The Minister said that India's population reached 100 crore in 2007 and stood at 117 crore now with Tamil Nadu's population being 6.7 crore and Madurai accommodating over 25 lakh people.

The State has been effectively implementing family control measures, which was reflected in its low maternal and mortality rates.

Ms. Tamilarasi said that a slower growth rate in population would significantly place lesser strain on natural resources besides reducing the financial burden of the family.

Strain on resources

Speaking earlier, C. Kamaraj, Collector, said that India was among the first country to implement a population control and family planning measures.

It accounted for nearly one-sixth of the world's population and this places a tremendous strain on land, water and other natural resources besides resulting in high unemployment.

M. Panchanathan, Joint Director, Medical and Rural Health Services and Family Welfare, said that while a sum of Rs. 10 lakh was allotted to the first family planning programme during first Five Year Plan for 1951 – 55, its budget had increased multi-fold to more than Rs. 20 crore nation wide.

Prizes given

The Minister also gave away prizes for competitions held on the World Population Day held at the school and college level. K. Esakkimuthu, Chairman, North Zone and A. Palanichamy, Deputy Director of Health Services, were present.

Earlier in the day, Mayor G. Thenmozhi flagged off a World Population Day rally from the Corporation Elango Higher Secondary School at Shenoy Nagar to the Meenakshi college.

Hundreds of college students and Corporation Health Workers took part.

Keywords: family planning

More In: Madurai