Read this article to learn about the Family Welfare Plan (FPP) in India.
Subject Matter of Family Welfare Plan (FPP):
The Government of India was the first to initiate Family Planning Programme (FPP) in 1952.
Since the introduction of FPP in 1952 to 2000, a substantial improvement has been achieved in the planning of families including their health. Developed nations have stabilized their population around 2000 indicating almost zero population growth.
Africa is presently having the highest rate of growth. Developing nations including Asia although show a decline yet still having high population growth. Stabilization in developing nations is possible only through various family welfare programmes.
Family planning allows couples to decide their family size and also time spacing of their offsprings. Medical science has provided several birth control techniques including mechanical barriers (condoms, intra-uterine devices), chemical methods (pills, spermicides), sterilization (vasectomy, tubectomy) and physical barriers to implantation.
More than a hundred contraceptive methods are on trial. The United Nations Family Planning Agency provided funds to 135 countries. Many of these countries include abortion as a part of the population control programme.
The Indian Context:
In India, the state governments in 2000 were allowed to adopt their own approach to control population explosion. In Kerala, the population has been stabilized with a focus on social justice. It is now comparable to many industrialized nations including USA. Andhra Pradesh has also just achieved the target of zero population growth in 2001. The poor class was encouraged to be sterilized after two children by paying cash incentives, better land, housing, wells and subsidized loans. In contrast Bihar and U.R have shown 2.5% increase in their growth rates.
National Population Policy (NPP), 2000:
The objective of NPP is to achieve a stable population at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental protection.
Salient features of NPP are as follows:
1. Higher age of marriage that is, 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys.
2. Higher female literacy rate.
3. Making primary education free and compulsory.
4. Better health services and reduced infant mortality rate.
5. Promote small family norms to achieve TFR to replacement level.
6. Achieve 100% registration of births, deaths, marriage and pregnancy.
7. Constrain the spread of AIDS.
However, successful family planning programmes and NPP need significant societal changes including social, educational and economic status for women, security, political stability, proper awareness and confidence building along with accessibility and effectively of the birth control measures.
Case Study—A Kerala Model:
Kerala has earned the distinction of lowest birth rate among all the states of India. The main parameters deciding the effectivity of Kerala depends upon the age of marriage for women at 21 years as against an Indian average of 18 years, higher female literacy of 53% (Indian average 13%), greater emphasis on primary education with 60% budget provision for the same (West Bengal 38%), better public distribution system of food among 97% of population, better medical facilities in rural areas and greater success of family planning programmes. The Kerala model has its own success story emphasizing the need of population stabilization in India.