Introduction- Today, we are faced with the biggest problem of our time -large size of our population and its unabated high growth rate. Although the National Family Planning Programme was started about six decades back, today ours is the second most populous country in the world next to China. Current population of India (2010) is around 1.15 billion. Family planning is the voluntary pre-pregnancy planning and action of people to prevent ,delay or avoid pregnancy .
In India very high proportion of girls gets married at very young age and immediately are exposed to the risk of bearing children. Many marriages in the country are solemnized well before the legal age.
Many a times women shy away from using contraception mainly because they lack knowledge and are afraid of sterilization; copper T or pills does not suit them; or injection is not available etc; thereby have to carry the burden of unwanted pregnancies or go for abortion which is mainly unsafe, having knowledge of wide range of contraceptive methods helps women to overcome such difficulties. Further, it enable couples to decide when to and whether to have child. Therefore, this paper tries to examine the knowledge and practice of family planning methods among the currently married adolescent women (CMAW) in Rural Rajasthan.
In 1952, the Indian government was one of the first in the world to formulate a national Family Planning Programs. In 2000 contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) among married women was 48.3%. Three out of four users rely on sterilization in India. Overwhelmingly female sterilization accounts for roughly 85% of all modern contraceptive methods used. Less than 7 % of currently married women use the officially sponsored spacing methods (pills, IUD, and condom). The health ministry is now ten largest contributors to family planning, provides 57 percent of contraceptives distributed nationwide, including, to rural and indigenous population previously not served.
Methodology- For the present study National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2) conducted during 1998-99 data has been used. Though NFHS-2 covered about 89,199 ever married women, we have selected only 6,888 currently married women who are 15- 19 years old and currently living with husband. Data have been further filtered as and when required. Percentage distribution, cross tabulation and logistic regression has been applied in the present paper.
Observation and discussion
Knowledge of Various Contraceptive Methods by Place of Residence
India, although, was the first country to introduce family planning program as early as early 1950s, but it is pathetic to know that 12 percent of the currently married adolescent women (CMAW) in India still do not have knowledge of any modern methods of contraception, although it is only 5 percent in urban areas (Table 1). Among CMAW also female sterilization is the most popular method, followed by male sterilization and pill, whereas IUD is still very unpopular followed by condom?
A huge rural-urban differential is noted in knowledge of all the methods of contraception, except sterilization. It has been found that even among the CMAW, knowledge of at least one method (modern or traditional) or at least one modern methods of contraception is pretty high (about 97%), although it is slightly higher for the urban women. However, till now not even 15% of the CMAW have knowledge of all the contraceptive methods, it is even worse in the rural areas.
In urban areas about 60 percent, in rural areas 42 percent and total 45 percent of the CMAW knows all the modern methods of contraception. So far, prevention is the best medicine against dreaded disease HIV/AIDS, and use of condom is one of the means which could provide safety for sexually active population against it and other sexually transmitted diseases. But according to the NFHS-2 data, only 78 percent of CMAW from urban areas, 60 percent from rural areas and about 63 percent in total have knowledge of condom in India.
Table 1: Knowledge of Various Contraceptive Methods by Place of Residence
Don't know any modern method
Don't know any modern
Knows at least one modern method
Knows at least one method
Knows all modern Methods
Knows all Methods
Knows only all modern methods
knows only all traditional methods
Table 2: Knowledge and source of family planning and contraceptives methods among Rural and Urban area
Awareness of contraceptive Method
Source of Information
PHC staff/ Anganwadi
Shows that91.3 percent of the urban and 68.3 percent of the rural wanted to restrict their desired number of children. The demand of children was less pronounced among the urban compared to rural mainly because of their poor economic condition.
Factors which influenced them to adopt family planning was often there economic condition (39.3 percent rural and 63.6 percent of urban), incentives (1.7 percent of rural and 4.0 percent of urban) care of their children rather than having a large family and not been able to need them properly (6.3 percent o f rural and 0.7 percent of urban). Over half (51.3 percent ) of the rural and a third (31.0 percent of the urban couldn't give a specific reply. sometimes eat was a difficult to get a spontaneous response from the tribal due to their low education level and indifferent attitude on issues which were not of their interest.
It can thus be inferred from this study that poor economic condition and associated financial incentives played an important role in influencing the tribal to adopt family planning. Female sterilization was the most commonly accepted method among both the tribal groups. Only 2.4 percent and 1.3 percent of urban and rural respectively, opted for vasectomy the majority opted for tubectomy.
Spacing methods were adopted only by a small proportion of the rural IUD (13.2percent) and oral pill (13.2percent). Only 2.6 percent of the rural used traditional methods such as helps.
Conclusion- lack of awareness, poverty, incentive for undergoing sterilization and convenience were some contributory factor for accepting sterilization than for opting for spacing methods among the tribal under study. Thus, there is a need to promote knowledge and awareness about spacing methods in order to promote their use among thus couple wanting to space children. CMAD since are in reproductive process, they should be encouraged to use contraception not for fertility reduction percent but for better reproductive and child health.
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Dr. Indu Bansal, Head of the Department of Home science, Banasthali University BANASTHALI (RAJASTHAN) INDIA
Shilpi Chauhan (Research Scolar) Department of Human Development, Banasthali University BANASTHALI (RAJASTHAN) INDIA