In a country where the government has for long advocated "Hum Do Hamare Do" -- the slogan aimed at reinforcing the message of family planning -- Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu appealed to the people of his state to have more children, or at least take the responsibility to give birth to at least one child.
Mr Naidu, who is the chief of the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh, said it is necessary to create awareness to encourage people to have more children.
"These days youngsters don't want to marry. Even if they agree to marry, they don't want to have children. That is a dangerous trend,'' he said and added that India's pride is its family system and we need to safeguard it.
"We have to say it again and again and make people aware," the TDP chief said in Amaravati today.
There was a time when Andhra Pradesh had surprised the country by successfully implementing the family planning programme when in just 10 years, the fertility rate, or TFR as it is called, was halved.
This is not the first time Mr Naidu is advising people of his state to have more children. He had suggested this in 2015 as well.
Addressing a self-help group of women, Mr Naidu said that "China, Japan and many countries in Europe are facing the problem of no population growth".
"Right now, India is in a comfortable position, but it can become a problem in the future as birth rate is lower than the death rate nowadays," the Andhra leader claimed.
Mr Naidu pointed out that earlier, those with more than two children were barred from contesting the panchayat elections in the state but "now we want to encourage people to have more children".
"So we have taken a policy decision that even if you have four children, it is okay", he added.
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