Authored by Ms. Chehak Bhatia, Panchkula, Haryana.
India being second on the list of countries with a high population, one can’t help but think out loud that our country needs to further open its doors to family planning. In a country with a population of over 1.3 billion citizens, educating people about family planning, sexual and reproductive health is very important. Don’t we all agree?
But the sad truth is, these issues are still a taboo in our country. Family planning goes way beyond the understanding of “hum do, humare do”. The Government of India, over the years, has encouraged family planning through various policies such as the, “Government family planning, 1952”, “Family Welfare Programme, 2011” and last but not the least, its commitment to the “Family Planning, 2020 (FP2020)”. But as reality stands today, there is still a huge void to be filled in order to reach out to every strata of the society, especially the young population.
Youth being the “shoulders” of our country, and India being in the middle of the “youth bulge”, it is extremely important for them to understand the concept of family planning and sexual and reproductive health. And in all of this, the quality of information delivered plays the most important role. For example, while explaining the concept of Family Planning and sexual and reproductive health, talking about the need for comprehensive sexuality education and life skills to begin with, would be more beneficial than giving just an overview, especially to young people. These will help build the foundation for leading fulfilling lives.
Not every person in our vast country has the access to the correct information related to family planning and sexual and reproductive health. Be it the information related to contraceptive methods, menstrual hygiene, or the physiological changes experienced by girls or boys. In such a situation, incomplete, misguided or no access to information at all can be dangerous, and at times even fatal.
The understanding of family planning and sexual and reproductive health comes from correct information provided by an authentic source. Therefore, we cannot let the internet become the primary source of information for the youth of this nation.