Proper public health plans and education will go a long way in controlling the growth of the population, according to Ramachandra Kamath, Professor in the Department of Public Health, Manipal University.

He was speaking at a function here on Monday to mark World Population Day organised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, the State Government Employees Association and the Government Girls Pre-University College.

Countries such as China and India have high populations. The Government of China has been discouraging parents from having more than on child. But in India, people were being educated about the consequences of a high population.

Birth rate

Twenty-nine children are born every minute in India. “Awareness about the problems that arise from a high population should be created among students from the high school level,” he said.

Men have a vital role to play in family planning while women should be free to decide on the number of children they should have. The sex ratio should always be in favour of women. If not, it was a sign of danger, he said.

Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat N. Rajashekhar said that it was essential to provide proper education to students on the negative consequences of a high population growth rate.

Nearly 836 million people in the country were living on an income of just Rs. 25 a day. This meant that nearly 77 per cent of people in the country were living below the poverty line, Mr. Rajashekar said.

President of the zilla panchayat Gladys Almeida, Chairman of the zilla panchayat Standing Committee on Education and Health B.K. Hegde and president of the Udupi City Municipal Council Herga Dinakar Shetty were present.

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