“Judging by the estimates of the current census, the state’s population will go to 104 million people from 91.3 million. Of this additional population of 12.7 million, nearly three million babies will be result of unwanted and unplanned pregnancy,” said Devendra Kothari of the Rajiv Gandhi Population Mission of the Rajasthan government.
Kothari, a professor of Population Programme Management, quoted the 2011 census to point out that only 50 percent women in the state used modern contraceptive methods with most of them from the urban population.
“Most women in rural areas still use traditional and unscientific contraceptive methods which are not effective. As a result, they get pregnant when either they have not planned or they did not want pregnancy,” said Kothari.
He said the government needed to spread awareness about modern contraceptive methods and should use its resources in an optimum way to enable the population to have access to effective contraception.
He also said nine districts of the state, including East Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura, lagged far behind other districts in all census parameters.
“While the percentage of safe deliveries in Kolkata stood at 90 percent, the same in these nine districts ranged between 30 percent and 50 percent. Nearly two-thirds of the state, of which a major chunk is from these districts, do not have access to piped water,” added Kothari.
Speaking at a programme organised by Unicef here, he said these districts were also poorly served with wash facilities, LPG and electricity.