Messages and Views

Message of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh

The population of Uttar Pradesh was about 5 crores at the turn of the century and is about 17 crores now. Today we are adding more than a crore of people every three years to our already over-crowded state. Unless we take effective steps, the population of UP will reach 44 crores in the year 2051. This is unsustainable and will bring to nought all developmental efforts and come in the way of meeting the aspirations of the people for a better quality of life.

In March 2000, when the Government of Uttar Pradesh started the process of developing a population policy, I had desired that this policy should aim to help people achieve their desired family size, bring about reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates, which are unacceptably high in UP, and streamline reproductive and child health services. I also felt the need to incorporate measures to facilitate the improvement in the status of women which is possible by providing avenues for education of girls and by concerted efforts to increase the age at marriage. One of the reasons why people in UP have large families is the lack of services, which in turn is due to inadequate resource allocation for health and family planning. To address this mammoth gap, we need to improve the efficiency of programme management, have effective inter-departmental coordination and also utilize other resources from the private sector like NGOs, co-operatives, corporate bodies and the private medical community. However, ultimately our efforts will be successful only if we can ensure people's participation through community involvement with the key role being played by the panchayats. Only by converting family planning into a people's movement can we see our dream of making every child and family healthy come true.

However, any policy is only as good as its implementation. Thus special emphasis has been laid on this aspect and a strong monitoring structure has been proposed. This will ensure that the design, implementation and monitoring of the family planning programme is in congruence with the needs of people in different regions of the state.

We are introducing this population policy in Uttar Pradesh on the occasion of the World Population Day with the hope that its adoption will contribute to building a modern Uttar Pradesh with an enhanced standard of living for its people.

Message of Minister of Family Welfare, Uttar Pradesh

With a view to control the rapidly increasing population of the state, the state Government has evolved a population policy. The main objective of the policy is to bring down the total fertility rate to 2.1 by the year 2016, as well as, to meet the economic and social development needs. The population policy of the State is based on the basic principles contained in the National Population Policy declared by the Government of India in March, 2000. Expected improvement in the quality of life and development have not come through due to increasing population and the resultant pressure on natural resources. These aspects have been taken care of in the population policy.

The population policy would ensure community participation, enhancement in the marriageable age of women, empowerment of women, active participation of panchayats, government as well as non-government organisations, voluntary organisations, co-operatives and organised sector, private hospitals and nursing home etc. With a view to provide protection to the health of mothers and children, level of access and quality of services would be raised with regard to proper care of pregnant women, provision for safe delivery and child health. Participation of males would be increased in family planning programmes.

In order to have commitment and responsibility of the Government and community at every level 'State Population and Development Commission' would be set up under the chairmanship of Hon'ble Chief Minister, besides setting up the 'Population Stabilising Committee' under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary. Similarly, Health and Family Welfare Committees would be set up at the district level to strengthen the inter-departmental co-ordination, and also improve access and quality of services to enhance the participation and accountability of people to the programme.

I am confident that with the implementation of the population policy, the economic and social development of the state and stability of population would gather the required momentum.

Message of Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh

I am delighted that the Government of Uttar Pradesh has formulated a population policy for the state with a goal of reaching replacement level fertility by the year 2016. This is very timely because though in the last few years there have been some positive trends in Uttar Pradesh related to decrease in fertility, increase in contraceptive prevalence and the utilization of private sector for reproductive and child health services, these efforts need to be consolidated, up-scaled and focussed, to have wider impacts.

It is noteworthy that a participatory process has been followed in the development of this policy. A three-day workshop was held in Lucknow in March, 2000, in which more than 100 experts from all over the country, programme managers from the public and private sectors, representatives of international donor agencies and of different state governments gathered together to share experiences. Twenty nine papers were presented in this workshop and various issues were identified which the Government of Uttar Pradesh needs to tackle to achieve population stabilization. Further, a dialogue was established with prominent citizens not working in the reproductive and child health sector and their views, along with those of media representatives were also taken. On the basis of this collection of data and experiences, an expert group drafted the population policy document. Consultations were held with the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Secretaries of various developmental departments like education, women & child development, rural development, cooperatives, urban development and social welfare of the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The inputs of NGOs were also taken. The feedback received at various stages has been invaluable in making this policy an effective instrument for shaping the course of action for the coming years.

I would like to place on record my deep appreciation to various experts who participated in the exercise of formulating the Uttar Pradesh Population Policy. I would specially like to thank the members of the group set-up by the Government of Uttar Pradesh for drafting this policy. This group was chaired by Mr. V.K. Dewan, Principal Secretary, Medical Health & Family Welfare, Government of Uttar Pradesh. Ms. Aradhana Johri, Executive Director, SIFPSA, Dr. Bachchi Lal, Director General, Family Welfare, Dr. G. Narayana, Director, The POLICY Project, Mr. J.S. Deepak, Consultant, The POLICY Project, Dr. P.M. Kulkarni, Professor, Bharatiyar University and Dr. K. Srinivasan, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India were active members of the group.

I am of the firm view that any policy is only as good as its implementation. The detailed system of monitoring and review that has been laid out lends hope that this policy will be implemented with due diligence. This would be of vital importance, as I believe that only if Uttar Pradesh is able to achieve population stabilization at the earliest, can we provide a good quality of life to its people.

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