“Centre should frame measures for voluntary compliance”

Stating that by 2030 India’s population will be the highest in the world and cross 170 crore in 2060, a public interest writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court for a direction to the Centre to frame credible and self-sustainable population control measures.

Social activist Avishek Goenka, in his petition, said, “The uneducated who incidentally are also poor, give birth in higher numbers, but do not contribute as a productive resource because they are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty and the same prevents them from accessing the resource of good education, food and health.”

He said: “For standard parameters which reflect the control over population growth, we present a dismal picture. Our undernourished population is swelling, the quantum of poor are going up, health care including sanitation is a shambles, housing shortage is widespread, police force is inadequate, menstruating women cannot afford sanitary napkins, the number of jobless are very high, almost half the population is anaemic, the earnings of majority cannot even infuse the required calories in their bodies among multiple similar instances, reflected well further in the petition.”

The petition presents a strong ground for deploying innovative voluntary measures to check widespread population growth, more importantly among the poor and uneducated, because, “neither as an economy we can afford to raise them for free nor see them living a condemned life of hunger and deprivation. Till the time the resource-deprived families reduced the number of dependents, it will be impossible to come out of the vicious circle of misery.”

He said “It is not that the government is not working on measures aimed at controlling population growth, but there are no war level efforts visible in fighting the greatest threat, which our nation faces. There is a visible lack of initiatives which can help create awareness in population reduction and its resultant benefits. There is no harm in accelerating the pace of achieving intended goals and more if it is possible by involving meagre ready-made resources at one’s disposal. It is criminal to contribute to miseries of mankind by contributing to population growth.”

Mr. Goenka said that the governments might argue that they had been making sincere efforts but if they were not delivering targeted results, then policies had to be reworked and redeployed. The country was under-resourced and poised to become the most populated nation in a decade and it lags behind other nations in containing population growth.

He sought a direction to the Centre to design and deploy effective game changing tools of voluntary compliance to contain population growth and compulsorily request all ministries to incorporate space for family planning message in their print advertisements; also cost of spreading awareness should be considered as Corporate Social Responsibility; a direction to effectively send the message through both government and privately owned print and electronic media.

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