How can the marginalised in India be more educated in family planning?

By Dr Baljit Singh

Parents want their children to go to school, acquire higher education, and have a good job. Going abroad is a bonus, which has faster positive externalities, and a quicker developmental process of the family, region and the nation. That is, the private benefit of education spills over to others—the benefit goes beyond the individual. For example, an educated person earns better and can support his family and relatives well. He also passes his knowledge and experience to his children. The three pillars—cultivation, construction, and creativity—are means to ends.

Personal incentives and knowledge

Some degree of knowledge, perhaps more in some cases, makes us adaptive. It improves the welfare of everyone through better earnings and motivational progress. Societies where a minimum threshold ‘living income’ is present, the art of music, math, science, and technology can progress. On the other hand, people on marginal income look forward to a better living status. We have seen women progressing through processes of formal education and employment that empowers them to make decisions on family matters, thus progressing in the field of economics, science and arts.

The family planning and welfare centres will keep using advertising to expound on the benefits of a small family size. And the socio-economic institutions shall work on basic structural changes facilitating employment, income, and progress. People respond to individual incentives that come to them in forms of employment and income.

The question of career

The career-oriented women in the developing countries are balancing the household, and the outdoor work environments together. The need to optimise their time is their empowered skill. It is a self-interest theory, whereby, we promptly look into a business that matters to us. Film stars have no time. Late marriage, and having fewer children is their natural response. Women nowadays pursue higher education. It empowers them to decide when to marry and on the family size. Men are also seen to be organising themselves towards diversifying their income source, and career promotions. Sometimes we do not have time for the family members even on the weekend. When both men and women are at work, abstinence works as a family planning measure. In other words, more work means that a couple has no time for sexual engagement. Also, high-income consumers work for better education for their children, including health care. People allocate their time to two broad categories: Work and leisure. When people get employment, there is no preference for leisure. In other words, the opportunity cost of leisure increases, causing individuals to work. It improves their living standards, and low fertility shall be a natural response. Having more children means the wages forgone.

Small family: A rational response

An educated couple does not require much education in family planning. They can access the planning and welfare services when the time comes. In olden days, there were family sizes of 10 to 11 children. Through education, employment, and better health of existing children, and increased enrollment of children,  the average family size has decreased to two or three children. A better income reward for people on a marginal income is important so that they can send their children to schools. Through education, the next generation can create better forms of employment and empower themselves with better decision-making on family matters.

Family planning units

Family planning units will become less authentic in the presence of socio-economic policies that raises income opportunities for people living a marginal life. Instead of demanding contraceptives, people demand education and employment. A delayed marriage is a natural response, yet we would not like a couple to delay marriage, to avoid late family start and birth complications as a result of late pregnancies. Moreover, legislation similar to China’s ‘One-child policy’ brings down family planning units. The goal of this policy was to help poor couples raise their living standards, along with overcoming unemployment and poverty. A restricted migration policy in countries is in place in many developed countries of the world.


In the wake of most women going to work, and husbands not having work, especially in the developed countries, husbands look after their children. It is a new concept emerging in the nuclear family system. Childcare facility will also become expensive in the wake of women’s employment if parents go to work. Therefore, fewer children is a natural choice.

Internet services to villages

Nowadays, it is much easier to go abroad due to globalised communication. Mobile phones, email, and information on foreign studies and career prospects have led to an increased number of students and workers going abroad. If we create educational opportunities, especially in areas where people live a marginalised life, children going to school will themselves prepare for better opportunities in the region and abroad. Foreign companies are creating opportunities in the developing countries. The new technology is creating a new form of employment.

Preparedness is the key

In this period of making careers, most parents want their children to attend better schools. In India, parents who are highly competitive and want their children to be successful, have natural instincts towards preparing their children right from the beginning. Parents put on English rhymes and stories on television at home. Their ears get used to the English language. They learn scientific processes, geography, math, science, and history better just by watching television programs. Even in India, a grade-two student can use computers and mobile phones effectively because of the environment. Children learn English in three months. They will certainly be able to learn Hindi and their native language. Parents feel good when their children speak English. These children will not have any complexes when they face the actual progressive world and they will be ready to contribute in the international arena of global education, health, and scientific procedures. This strategy of preparedness—providing a conducive environment towards better education and career, and adopting family planning—would be their natural choice. Structural changes are very important before we facilitate family planning adoption. Nevertheless, the family planning unit shall continue their part of work.

Effects of education

For a small family norm, we need to create facilities for formal education in marginal communities. Investments in agriculture can improve employment, income, and food in the marginal communities.

The state must impose minimum wages sufficient for a better life. The poverty line that requires some rupees is not sufficient for a household to live. Where do we get money from to increase their low-wages? Universities are imposing ceilings on promotions for a given amount of routine work. It is a self-monitoring and self-initiated interventions. Imposing taxes on high-income does not ensure that the income of low-paid worker shall receive better income. By cutting taxes there will be a bigger national output, but less equally divided. There are certainly high-paid and low-paid jobs. People on low incomes have no means to come out of low paid jobs. Thus, a productive employment is imperative.

Instead of working in factories children should be going to school. Social change can not come without education. Children, men, and women also need a good education on the undesirable effects of smoking, drinking, and gambling on body and mind. It would save them a lot of money they need to spend on productive activities. It will minimise hospitalizations, and workers turn to productive in better commodities produced for themselves. Once this thinking processes of going to school and making carers begin, family planning shall be a natural response.

A combination of agents

It is important to club village population living far away so that they can reap the fruits of scale economies. A better residence with water supply and sanitation, a nearby school, a medical facility, a shopping mall, shall open up new forms of employment needed by those on a marginal income. If not this generation, then the next one is ready to support themselves in a desirable production network, that does not destroy their body and mind. The small family size norm shall follow. Abstinence is the part of the busy men and women. Moreover, collaborating with local non-profits in localities to create awareness in exchange for endowments from the government count as a viable solution. All economic agents work together. Any imbalance in any part the economy will destabilise the goals and objectives, including that of the family planning unit. A local healthcare unit with staff understanding what motivates a person to the adoption of family planning and welfare programs would make work easier. Nevertheless, their income support would help towards understanding benefits of a small family size. Foreign agencies such as USAID (The US Agency for Development Programs) are required to address people who are marginalised socially and economically towards creative employment and hurdles of a large family. The basis of the talk with people needing progress is one to one.

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