Social Scientist. v 1, no. 1 (Aug 1972) p. 39.


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D BANERJJ

Strategy for Family Planning Retrospect and Prospect

ANALYSIS of the family planning activities in India during the past two decades reveals a very sad state of affairs. It is sad not only because the objective of "bringing down the birth rate to 25 as soon as possible95 is still far, far away ; it is very sad also because it reveals how arbitrary, uninformed and unimaginative has been the nature of decision-making at the highest level of the organisation and how the lapses in decision-making got compounded by a succession of blunders by successive decision-makers.

The first major commitment was to have family planning clinics, the so-called clinic approach, following the pattern set by the Planned Parenthood movement. When it was "discovered55, after a lapse of more than five years, that the clinic approach did not work, the decision-makers got deeply inspired by the agricultural extension methods initiated by the Land Grant Universities of the United States. Thus was born an elaborate programme which adopted an "extension approach55. This approach gave a very high place to "human dignity55 and "democratic values55.

Soon, however, the concern about human dignity and demo-



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