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`Curbing population boom a challenge'

Special Correspondent

Need to achieve targets fixed under national policy, says Panabaka Lakshmi



SHARING VIEWS: Panabaka Lakshmi, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, with Hugo Estrella, Centre For Inquiry, Italy, during the national seminar on population explosion in Hyderabad on Sunday. — Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

HYDERABAD: Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Panabaka Lakshmi has called upon the civil society groups to join the Government's efforts to achieve the targets fixed under the National Population Policy for population stabilisation.

India's population would touch 1.19 billion by 2011 and 1.4 billion by 2026 and it was set to overtake China as the most populous nation in a few decades.

Designing effective and appropriate strategies to address the problem of population growth was, therefore, an important challenge, she said.

Inaugurating a seminar on "Population Explosion" organised by the Indian Peasants' Forum in association with Centre For Inquiry - India (CFI) here on Sunday, she said that though the overall demographic profile of the country had improved, its pace and distribution were found to be slow and uneven.

The Government had taken several steps including the launch of national rural health mission to provide accessible, accountable and effective primary health care to the poorand vulnerable sections.

The goals of the mission included population stabilisation, gender and demographic balance and to improve availability of integrated primary health care services.

False claims

CFI-Italy representative Hugo Estrella said that population explosion was linked to sustainability and lack of long term planning was leading to growth in the population.

Fast growing economies like India could never claim to be rich as long as people died of starvation, he said.

Social activist Chandana Chakrabarthi said India that had less than 3 per cent earth space was home to 15.7 per cent of global population. While there were 400 million people in the 0-18 age group, over 53 per cent of those below five years of age were malnourished.

CFI-India chairman N. Innaiah was present.

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