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September 07, 1979 - Image 135

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-07

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India birth control

a shambles

NEW DELHI, India (AP)-India's
birth control program remains in
disarray in much of the country two
years after the collapse of a major
compulsory sterilization effort.
During the 1975-77 national emergen-
cy declared by then-Prime Minister In-
dira Gandhi, hundreds of thousands of
males, some in their teens and
childless, others in their 60s, were
ounded up by police and forcibly
The popular uproar that resulted
helped topple Mrs. Gandhi in the 1977
ection and set back the official birth
control target by five years.
"Because of the emergency, there.
as a complete cold storage of the
ssue," said one, family planning
Experts predict that India's
pulation, now more than 635 million,
ill top the billion mark by the lear 2000
the current trend continues.

NARAIN WAS dropped from the
Cabinet after a falling out with Desai a.
year ago. After six months without a
minister; Rabi Ray was named. He has
retained the portfolio in caretaker
Prime Minister Charan Singh's new
There has been an improvement un-
der Ray, but mainly in southern and
eastern states where few forced
sterilizations occurred during the
emergency. In such heavily populated
northern states at Uttar Pradesh with
more than 101 million persons, family
planning remains a politically taboo
"Rabi Ray is a sensible person,"
commented Rami Chhabra, an official
of the privately funded Family Plan-
ning Foundation. "But you need some
dynamism attached to the program,
some charisma . . . because the birth
control issue has become heavily

"The only way to enforce family
planning programs is be legalzied com-
pulsion and by example," wrote
Khushwant Singh, editor of New Delhi
"Pass a law that no one is to have

more than three children, then enforce
the law on members of our central and
state legislatures, government officials
and business executives.
"After that, wield the sterilization
knife on the poor," added Singh.

Report challenges
unnecessary reports

'With 21 million births and 9 million deaths an-
ually, this improverished Asian country each year
as to feed an added 13 million people equivalent to
4ustralia's entire population.'
vIE M M M E .. "{ "RE .:t Ec;y x'+:::? { cII'r," ;'"1,>;'{ t ;'^g5:a:.>{;; ;i "":i:X':;

ministration report said Wednesday
that President Carter's war on federal
paperwork has slowed, and that he soon
will order elimination of reports that
can't be proven useful.
The report by the president's Office
of Management and Budget said an
executive order, already drafted, will
require that all new reports required by
the executive branch of the federal
government be evaluated after two
years and automatically terminated
unless shown to be useful. Existing
reports will be evaluated every five
THE REPORT also says the ad-
ministration is tenting a new computer
index designed to keep the government
from requiring new reports to gather
information it already has.
Such a new system would be designed
to keep track of the millions of items of
information collected by various arms
of the government, with the idea of
preventing one agency from asking for
information already collected by
Stanley Morris, OMB's anti-paper-
work chief, stressed in an interview

that the computer system would not ac-
tually contain all the government's in-
formation, the sort of "Big Brother"
machine feared by privacy advocates.
It would be.instead a catalogue of in-
formation held by various arms of the
AS REPORTED by The Associated
Press last May, the report says
progress in cutting paperwork has
slowed and that new regulatory
requirements are threatening to rever-
se the trend.
"As closely as we can measure it, by
the beginning of 1979 Americans were
spending almost 15 per cent less time
filling out federal forms than they were
in January 1977" when Carter took of-
fice, the report says.
The cut amounts to 125 million hours,
the equivalent of more than half an
hour saved each year for every
American. Among the examples of
reduced paperwork cited was sim-
plification of the "short form" federal
income tax return, which was cut from
25 lines to 15.
But most of the progress came in the
first months of the administration, and
little has been made in the last year or
so, it said.

The Michigan Doily-Friday, September 7, 179-Page 7-B
Tkia FaiE
36-31 0 S.SteSt

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+ i 1

With 21 million births and 9 million
deAiths annually, this impoverished
Asian country eachtyear has to feed an
added 13 million people-equivalent to
Australia's entire population.
ALTHOUGH A critical issue, the
population problem attracted less
public attention in the past year than a
Hindu religious campaign against cow-
slaughter and cricket tournaments with
the West Indies and Pakistan.
After Mrs. Gandhi's fall, Prime
Minister Morarji Desails government
back-peddled birth control, still a
politically explosive issue .in the nor-
thern, Hindu-speaking belt where coer-
ced sterilization were most numerous.
The program's name was changed
from "family planning" to "family
relfare," considered less offensive,
and Desai's health minister, Raj
Narain, declared abstinence from sex a
better method than modern birth con-
trol devices.
He branded sterilization a "concept
lien to India."
Unsurprisingly, the number of
racetomies for males a nd tubectomies
females fell in 1977-78 to only about 10
r cent of the 8 million performed un-
e Mrs. Gandhi's program the year,

Aside from the reputation it picked up
during the emergency, the program
foundered in northern states because of
beliefs that vasectomies render men
impotent and that poor families need
children to generate more income.
Relatively successful states, such as
Gujarat and Orissa, have by passed
male reluctance and made their
programs more women orien-
ted-promoting inter-uterine devices,
tubectomies and the pill.
Most difficult is persuading im-
poverished rural families to limit the
number of children. The government,
under Health Minister Ray, recomends,
"Delay the first child, space the second
and stop the third."
BUT A RECENT study cited by the
Family Planning Foundation said far-
ming families need an average of four
to five children just to keep them sup-
plied with water and firewood. As early
as 7 or 8 years of age, children go out to
work as goatherds or domestic help.
"We have to break this concept by
convincing parents that children have a
right to a childhood," Mrs. Chhabra
Some Indians believe that com-
pulsory sterilization is the only solution
in a society where a majority of the
population is illiterate.

Judge approves Black
English instruction plan

(Continued from Page 1)
used with such a small group to show
Powell added that Joiner did not ap-
prove most of the modifications to the
$42,000 plan which were made by
lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case.
"There were a number of decisions -
which bordered on the decision-making
process," Powell said, adding that

these types of decisions were normally
made by the board.
Although the board originally voted
to appeal Joiner's decision, School
Board President Kathleen Dannemiller
called for a second vote to be taken
when it appeared the board may have
violated portions of the state Open
Meetings Act. The board voted not to
appeal the case.

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