This article gives simple solutions to reduce child mortality rate, to reduce maternal mortality rate, to reduce number of malnourished children and to control population.
Controlling population should be done in a very positive way. In democratic country like India, putting strict rules to restrict number of children will not work. With a large ancient history, these types of rules are treated as sin. So this problem has to be handled indirectly. We should make people think on their own to have less number of children.
Let government decide how many children a couple can have. It is two per couple in India. Give maximum benefits for first two children and don’t give any benefits for other children. This process of giving benefits is active from the day pregnancy is confirmed till the child completes 5 years.
The benefits that need to be given to mother and child are as follows:
- For mother, full free medical treatment and nutritious food for complete duration of the pregnancy and 2 years after the delivery.
- Free bus-pass for mother and an escort for complete duration of the pregnancy and 1 year after the delivery.
- For the child, full free medical treatment and nutritious food for first 5 years.
- The registered women get higher priority of medical care at government hospitals.
- Poor women with gynaecological problem can have special treatment for free before pregnancy.
Rules of the policy
- A woman can register maximum two times for this benefit.
- These benefits are applicable only for first two children. If a woman is already having two or more children, she cannot register for these benefits. If a woman has one child, she can take the benefit only for the next child even if she had not utilized the benefit earlier.
- It has to be decided whether to take the benefit for the current child in first 4 months of pregnancy. This is to avoid abortion after sex determination. After registering for this policy, she loses benefits if the pregnancy is aborted unless because of medical problem. If she waits till the sex determination, she cannot register for the benefits for the current child.
- There is special consideration of abortion because of medical problem.
These benefits should be applicable to all women irrespective of their economical status (poor or rich). Rich people may not utilize government benefits but they should be offered. With this offer, middle class women also will be benefitted. The process becomes simple as government need not have extra check for economical status.
Benefits to government/country with this policy enforcement:
- Faster population control. In future, if further population reduction is required, the policy can be made to have single child per couple. People will adopt/accept the policy easily.
- Reduction in number of malnourished children. Children will grow with strong body and mind. When the children go for education, they can learn effectively. Even if they do not go to school, they will be strong enough to earn their food.
- After 20 years, they will be strong young citizens with high productivity. They can take care of their family. Number of poor people reduces and burden on government will also reduce. Otherwise, malnourished children will grow as weak bodies with low productivity and they will live as poor for whole life.
- Poor young women get respect. As all their expenses are taken care by the government, they may get choice of not working in the critical period of pregnancy.
- Though the bus-pass is given for hospital visits and for work, the poor women can utilize that for visiting parents or other places. The poorest women never cross the village in their life time. The free bus-pass gives opportunity for the poorest woman to visit few tourist places along with her husband. The concept of “She taking her husband to tourist places” gives more value and respect for the women.
- Reduction in number of abortions after sex determination that reduces gender discrimination
- Reduction in child mortality rate
- Reduction in maternal mortality rate
After reading about this process, one question comes in everyone’s mind. People are having children without these benefits now. With this process, they will have 2 children with benefits and then they can have more children with their own cost. How can you say that it will control population?
That is how human mind works. If you are used to get benefits for a particular work and on one day the benefits are stopped suddenly, you feel like avoiding the work. Before the benefits were started, you were doing the work faithfully. In-between you have seen the taste of benefits. So you start demanding benefits for your work. That is how corruption has started.
I will give you one example. One day a person called X goes to his relative’s house. After some time, lot of shouting and abuses are heard from outside. X asks relative about that. The relative says that they are college students who daily come and shout here. We don’t want to fight with them that’s why keeping quite. X gets an idea, goes out from other door. He meets those students as if he came from outside. He tells the students, “Thank you for abusing them. I am very angry with them. As I am a known person, I cannot shout at them. From today onwards, I will pay you for shouting at them. You please come daily at this time, shout at them and take money”. He gives 100 rupees to them and leaves. The students are very happy. Next day also he comes and gives them 100 rupees. After 4 days, he comes and tells the students, “Dear friends, I cannot pay you anymore. But I am still angry with them. Please continue shouting at them daily as you were doing earlier”. The students say, “Why should we shout to cool your angry. We will shout only if you pay us. Otherwise we will never come here”. X requests them again “Please do it without money”. The students said, “No” and left from there.
Government can also create similar scenario. It can say, “Children are for the country’s future. That’s why we like to take care of them”. Once people start feeling that they are having children to support the country, they can demand benefits. After enjoying benefits two times, the lack of benefits for third child will show a lot of difference. In parallel, other campaigns will be there to show why having single or double children is better for their family. Poor people feel a major difference between having benefits and not having benefits. Like the fox and sour grapes story, poor people will start thinking why to have more children without benefits now and extra burden later, better to live happily with two children.
To get this result, all benefits should be valuable and accessible to all. Then only they feel the real difference of having benefits.