If rising population is a big issue all over the world and cause of concern for many in India, it is the other way around in case of Andhra Pradesh. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday rued that the population growth rate in his State was decreasing as the affluent parents were content to have only one child. “While rich people are stopping at one children, the poor people have larger families”, he said.
Naidu, who himself has only one son, said on Friday that decreasing population was not in the larger interest of the State. “This would lead to an uneven growth”, he said adding that the strategy should changed form population control to population growth. He was addressing a meeting on “nutrition for the children” in Vijayawada on Friday, jointly organised by the State Government and UNICEF to create awareness.
Pointing out that the current population of the state stood at 4.95 crore, Naidu said, “it is not growing. It is either stagnant or declining”. On the corrective measures Naidu said that the Government was tracking the eligible couples and closely monitoring the indicators. Pregnant women were being encouraged to go for institutional deliveries.
AP's population growth rate, which was 13.86 per cent in 2001 came down to 10.98 per cent in 2011 and officials say the trend suggest it will come down further. Falling population growth rate had been a favourite topic for Chandrababu Naidu for quiet some time and he had seen the big and young population of India as a big plus point and a strength for the country and its productivity.
In this context he has advocated many times that the families should have more number of children which runs directly in to the face of the official policy of encouraging smaller families, preferably with one or two kids. Referring to the problems countries like Japan and China were facing because of the increase population of aged, Naidu said that now these countries were encouraging families to have more children. “We should do the same”, he said.
Expressing concern over the malnutrition among the children, he said that his government was striving to make Andhra Pradesh free of Malnutrition within a decade. He wanted the elected representatives to pay attention to this problem.