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Civil Society Groups Working for Population Control Give Welcome PM's Independence Day Speech

In his speech, PM Modi stressed on creating awareness about the issue of population explosion, a task that has been taken by various groups since 2014.

News18.com

Updated:August 16, 2019, 10:58 PM IST
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Civil Society Groups Working for Population Control Give Welcome PM's Independence Day Speech
On Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the issue of “population explosion” and urged citizens to work towards family planning. (News18)
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New Delhi: During his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the “betahasha jansankhya visphot” (unprecedented population explosion). He linked it with good parenting and expressed gratitude to the members of the society who have been working in good earnestness towards the goal of population control.

In his speech, Modi also stressed on creating awareness about the issue, a task that has been taken by various groups since 2014. News18.com spoke to some of them about the campaigns planned ahead and the how the speech was the validation of their work.

Creating Awareness

The address by PM was met with much enthusiasm by New Delhi-based Taxpayers’ Association of Bharat (TAXAB) and Jansankhya Samadhan Foundation based out of Ghaziabad. While the TAXAB has roped in educational institutes to create awareness on population explosion, the Jansankhya Samadhan is planning a padyatra to take the mission forward.

Dharmendra Dharma, the national general secretary of Jansankhya Samadhan Foundation, said, “We believe in two child policy and have worked extensively in creating awareness since five years. The PM’s address was important. We are now going to hold a campaign from October 11 to 13.”

This is in continuation with their past endeavors. On July 11 this year, the groups sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the district magistrate demanding a law on population control. “We are in touch with people from over 300 districts and have conducted our programs on population control at district level,” he said.

“The PM has linked it to availability of resources. If we see the figures, the population is growing at the pace that it will overtake China if not controlled,” added Dharma.

On the other hand, the TAXAB has started a creative competition in schools on the theme of population control.

Manu Gaur, president of the TAXAB said this is in extension of the work they have been doing in the past. “After the coercive measures taken earlier for population control, the topic was never touched. The PM has linked good parenting with the population explosion, which is an essential part in creating awareness,” he said.

In 2019, the TAXAB drafted the Responsible Parenting Act 2019. It was was used for the private member bill to be introduced by Sanjeev Baliyan and got 125 MPs on board.

Lack of Political Will

The content of the Responsible Parenting Act 2019 drafted by the TAXAB Association has mentioned that with population excess, Article 21 which guarantees protection of lofe an liberty, is not being followed in spirit.

There have been 35 private members bills on population control policy – 15 by the Congress, 8 by the BJP, 5 by the TDP, 2 by AIADMK, one each by TMC, RSP, SP, MNS and RJD.

Gaur drafted the Bill and submitted it to the then speaker Sumitra Mahajan and President Ramnath Kovind.

It has raised questions on the fact that there is no discussion on the amendment proposed by Congress veteran ML Fotedar. “In 1992, the then health and family welfare minister ML Fotedar introduced the Constitution (79th amendment) Bill. The bill laid down that the legislators of either house of Parliament would be disqualified if they had more than two children.”

The idea was rooted in making the legislators the role models. “There has been no discussion on this. But now with the PM speaking from the Red Fort, concerted efforts will be made,” said Gaur.

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