India launched a nation wide Family Planning Programmed in 1952. India is the first country in the world to launch such a programme. A separate department of Family Planning was created in 1966 in the ministry of health. In 1977, the Janata Government formulated a new population policy ruling out compulsion. The acceptance of the programme was made purely voluntary. Also the Janata government named the FP dept. as Department of Family Welfare. The allocation for these programmes was just 0.1 crore in First Five year plan. It has increased to 3256 crores in the seventh plan.

Family Welfare Programme

It is a Centrally sponsored programme. For this, the states receive 100 per cent assistance from Central Government. The current policy is to promote family planning on the basis of volun­tary and informed acceptance with full community participation. The emphasis is on a 2 child family. Also, the emphasis is on spacing methods along with terminal methods, The services are taken to every doorstep in order to motivate families to accept the small family norm

Goals of the Programme:


Family welfare programme has laid down the following long term goals to be achieved by the year 2000 AD:

1. Reduction of birth rate from 29 per 1000 (in 1992) to 21 by 2000 AD

2. Reduction of death rate from 10 (in 1992) to 9 per 1000.

3. Raising couple protection rate from 43.3 (in 1990) to 60 per cent.


4. Reduction in average family size from 4.2 (in 1990) to 2.3.

5. Decrease in Infant mortality rate from 79 (in 1992) to less than 60 per 1000 live births.

o. Reduction of Net Reproduction Rate from 1.48 (in 1981) to 1.

Eligible couples, target couples and couple protection rate:


Family Welfare Programme can be successful only when it reaches those who are eligible and also those who are the targets.

Eligible couples: An eligible couple is a currently married cou­ple, the wife being in the reproductive age group i.e. 15 to 45 year. It is estimated that there are 150 to 180 eligible couples per 1000 population in India. Presently, there are about 144 million eligible couples in India. These couples are in need of family planning services.

Eligible couples are approached by Health Workers by house to house visit in PHC area. Motivation is also done at dispensaries, clinics and hospitals. They are given contraceptives free of cost. Also sterilizations are done free of cost

Target couples: They are couples who have had 2 to 3 living children. Family planning was largely directed to such couples. The definition of target couple has been gradually enlarged to include families with one child or even newly married couple. The aim is to develop acceptance of the idea of family planning from the earliest possible stage.


Couple protection rate (CPR)

It is defined as the percentage of eligible couples effectively protected against child birth by one or other methods of family planning. CPR is an indicator of the prevalence of contraceptive practice in the community. The long term demographic goal is to achieve couple protection rate of 60 per cent by the year 2000 AD.

Strategies of Family Welfare Programme (FWP)

1. Integration with health services: Family welfare programme (FWP) has been integrated with other health services instead of being a separate service.


2. Integration with maternity and child health: FWP has been integrated with maternity and child health (MCH). Public are moti­vated for post delivery sterilization, abortion and use of contracep­tives.

3. Concentration in rural areas: FWP are concentrated more in rural areas at the level of subentries and primary health centers. This is in addition to hospitals at district, state and central levels.

4. Literacy: There is a direct correlation between illiteracy and fertility. So stress and priority is given for girl’s education. Fertility rate among educated females is low.

5. Breast feeding: Breast feeding is encouraged. It is estimated that about 5 million births per annum can be prevented through breast feeding.


6. Raising the age for marriage: Under the child marriage re­straint bill (1978), the age of marriage has been raised to 21 years for males and 18 years for females. This has some impact on fertility.

7. Minimum needs programme: It was launched in the Fifth Five Year Plan with an aim to raise the economical standards. Fertility is low in higher income groups. So fertility rate can be lowered by increasing economical standards.

8. Incentives: Monetary incentives have been given in family planning programmes, especially for poor classes. But these incen­tives have not been very effective. So the programme must be on voluntary basis.

9. Mass media: Motivation through radio, television, cinemas, news papers, puppet shows and folk dances is an important aspect of this programme.