We really need to reposition our family planning strategy to reach our population stabilization goals. The fact is there’s a huge unmet need for contraception in India. There’s a huge demand and 18 per cent fertility is due to this unmet need. There’s no reason why a woman should have a child just because she does not have access to contraceptives. Access must be improved. Another major contributor to population is the population momentum caused by couple in reproductive age having children. This can’t be fully controlled. So we need to help such couples delay the first child birth and space children better. For that to happen, temporary methods have to be made available to advance fertility. To address the third issue of wanted fertility, we need better healthcare facilities so that newborns survive. In 2011, let us also remember that literacy is the best contraception and work towards the goal of literacy.
Executive Director, Population Foundation of India
Source – The Tribune, January 20, 2011 http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110120/edit.htm#6