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Population control can solve many problems: Azad

New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) Stating that population stabilisation can solve many problems, union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Tuesday called upon social and religious institutions to support the cause.

“People’s representatives and religious and social leaders can play an extremely important role in influencing public opinion and bring about effective behaviour change,” Azad said addressing a conference of Asian Population Association.

“Medical science can provide the technical solution to facilitate the processes (of population stabalisation) but the initiative has to come from the behavioural side,” he said.

“Effective behaviour change for delayed marriage, giving girls opportunity to study, having small families, giving up son preference and ensuring space between two children are issues (that are) more social than medical,” he said.

The minister emphasized that high population growth adversely affected growth.
“Population has an intricate link with other issues related to development and the demographic profile has an impact on every developmental initiative,” he said.

“High population growth adversely impacts the quality of ordinary citizens. The sheer pressure of numbers and limited resources like land leads to widespread displacement of people forcing them to migrate in search of livelihood,” he said.

He added that population related issues should be seen in totality with issues like maternal mortality and health. He stressed upon granting more funds for family planning.

“Global funding for family planning as percentage of all population assistance has fallen from 55 percent in 1995 to 5 percent in 2005,” he said, adding that it indicated a policy neglect.
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