“Centre will spread awareness of the benefits of small families”

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday ruled out any coercive policies to stabilise population and said awareness among the people of the benefits of small families was the most effective way to achieve the goal.

Speaking at a function to flag off a run to mark the World Population Day, the Minister said population stabilisation was extremely important, given that India has a share of 17 per cent of the world's population, while it has to make do with a mere 2.5 per cent of global land.

He reiterated that the Central government would try to stabilise the population by making the people aware of the benefits of small families.

“Strict implementation of the laws governing the age of marriage and delayed first child with proper spacing may help in dealing with the population problem.”

Stress on education

Mr. Azad said the craving for male child was another problem, but the spread of education, especially among girls, would help.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit highlighted the need for small families, arguing that uncontrolled population growth might slow down development given the limited resources.

She also called for empowerment of girls and women.

Led by badminton player Saina Nehwal, more than 3,000 children of Delhi schools took part in the run from Vijay Chowk to the India Gate.

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