Although the winds of compulsory sterilization are blowing over many parts of the country, in Bihar State this extreme measure has been advised against for the present. The major reason is that medical facilities in the rural areas of Bihar are very meager. Though smallpox has been nearly eradicated, such epidemics as polio, malaria, and kalazar still haunt several areas. The infant mortality rate in Bihar is 140 per 1,000. “We cannot enforce compulsory sterilization,” says a deputy director of family planning, “unless the poor are guaranteed that their two or three children will have a normal life expectancy.” So, before thinking of using compulsion “we will have to take responsibility of protecting children at least up to the age of five from fatal diseases. Also, we should provide sufficient nutrition to both the children and the mothers in the poor families.”
The bureaucracy is wont to explain failures in terms of inadequacy of power. ...
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $35 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.