Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Minister 'removes' 2-child norm

Minister 'removes' 2-child norm

Author: Maulshree Seth
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: January 7, 2007
URL: http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=216390

Introduction: Family planning minister asks Muslim women to produce as many healthy kids as they want, says Mulayam govt will pay Rs 1,400 per child

In a statement that shocked even officials of the state Health Department, Ahmad Hasan, the family planning minister of Uttar Pradesh, today announced that Muslim women can produce as many healthy children as they want, and that the state government would give Rs 1,400 to take care of each child.

Hasan made the statement while addressing a gathering today, after a Pulse Polio awareness rally was taken out by Muslim women in the Old City on eve of the next phase of Pulse polio drive, starting on Sunday.

The support extended by the minister, though, had one condition: "You (Muslim women) can produce as many healthy children as you can afford and I am there to support you. But do come out and support us in need (read upcoming state Assembly elections). We will make all your dreams come true in the next five years."

Hasan said the Congress government had advocated the two-child policy but the Samajwadi Party government would help them in all possible way to have more children. "Congress ki sarkar ne do bachhon ke bad rok laga di thhi, par hum samajhte hain ki yeh apka faisla hai (Congress government had put the two-child norm in place but we feel it's your decision to put a cap on your family)," Hasan said. "So, you can produce as many healthy children as you want."

Though the statement shocked and surprised even the women at the gathering, they applauded the minister the moment he announced that the government would give Rs 1,400 for every child.

Hasan also put the onus of the increasing number of polio cases in the state on the Centre and said the state health Department could not pursue the Pulse Polio programme as it desired due to the Centre's negligence.

Meanwhile, making evident that the Assembly polls are round the corner, Hasan went on with his announcements: "You give us land on rent of Rs 5,000 and we will give you hospital wherever you want. You select the doctors, we will appoint them at Rs 10,000."

Interestingly, while Hasan and the Health officials claimed a good response, Newsline found that the younger lot of women with children was lured to the rally with promises of money, while the elder ones were told that they would get pension. Many women from different localities of the Old City confirmed the fact, though Health Department officials refuted these charges.

"There was an announcement in our area that we will be paid money if we come here, and that's why I am here with my one-year-old daughter. I also called other women from the locality," said Shanno of Chowk area. Asked about the polio drop, she said her daughter, Sheher, was not administered the drop.

The elderly women, meanwhile, could be seen with ration cards in hand. "We were told that they would give us pension if we participated in the rally," said Munnavar Jahan, from Kashmiri Mohalla in the Old City.

But Dr S K Srivastava, director general, Medical and Health, said: "No such bait was given, neither did we make any promises. They have all come here willingly,"

Meanwhile, the Health officials present at the meeting preferred to not comment on the minister's statement about childbirth.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements