Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday cautioned that development challenges will become more difficult to resolve as the population increases.
Naidu stressed the need for family planning and asked political parties and public representatives to focus on this vital issue and educate the people.
He was addressing a gathering virtually after releasing two reports: ‘Status of Sex Ratio at Birth in India’ and ‘Elderly Population in India: Status and Support Systems’, brought out by the Indian Association of Parliamentarians for Population and Development (IAPPD) in the national capital.
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Lauding the IAPPD for its focus on population and development, Naidu said: “We must all recognise the connection between population and development” and referred to the projections made by experts that India’s population is expected to grow to 1.52 billion by 2036 (up by 25 per cent with reference to 2011).
Referring to the delivery of basic services, he said the country was facing many challenges with 20 per cent of the population below the poverty line and an equal proportion being illiterate.
Calling for the revival of India’s age-old joint family system, the Vice President said, “Our family system must serve as a model for other countries to emulate.”
Naidu called for equipping the elderly population with new age skills so that they may lead fuller professional lives and keep contributing to nation building.
Expressing concern that India has been grappling with a skewed sex ratio for a long time, Naidu said that the sex ratio was a silent emergency and had serious consequences that will adversely affect the stability of our society.
He said “We must also ensure adequate reservation for women in the Parliament and all state legislatures and appeal to all the political parties to arrive at a consensus at the earliest on this important issue.”
“Country’s progress will be hampered if women are not empowered politically,” Naidu added. (IANS)