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NGOs call for more childbirth

Aizawl, July 11: Contrary to the government’s call for stronger population control on World Population Day, churches and NGOs here have called for more childbirth to stop a “demographic disaster” from happening.

Mizo Zirlai Pawl, a student body, held its federal council meeting today, with one of its resolutions calling for more births. They felt the Centre should implement its policy in accordance with the requirements of each state.

Mizoram’s total population is about 11 lakh (2011), with the birth rate going down every year, while the national population has crossed the 1.21-billion mark with a birth rate of 51 births every minute. The population density in the state is 52 per sq km as compared to 324 per sq km at the national level.

The two biggest churches in the state — the Presbyterian Church of Mizoram and the Baptist Church of Mizoram — have a long-standing policy that encourages families to nurture more children than the ideal norm of a “two children per family”, provided it is not detrimental to the mother-to-be’s health.

“This is what we teach our people. But the ultimate decision belongs to the individuals,” said Rev. Lalhmingthanga, director of the Presbyterian Church family counselling centre.

Mizoram is one of the states where the national population control policy has been the most successful. The state received many awards, including the National Family Welfare Award.

The total number of children (0-6 years) in the state is 1,65,536 out of which 81,571 are girls and 83,965 are boys which accounts for only 15.17 per cent of the total population and shows a decline from 16.2 per cent just a year earlier.