Vijay Chowk on Rajpath in New Delhi is usually a quiet spot on a Sunday morning.
But on 11th July 2010, it was transformed. Gathered here were 3000 adolescent girls and boys from schools across Delhi to participate in a Run for Population Stabilisation to observe World Population Day 2010. The event was organized by JSK in partnership with the Delhi Government.
Flagging them off was the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad and the Chief Minister of Delhi NCT, Shrimati Sheila Dikshit. Also present on the occasion was the Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Shri S. Gandhiselvan, Minister of Health government of Delhi NCT, Shrimati Kiran Walia and Minister of Education, government of Delhi NCT, Shri Arvinder Singh and Chief Secretary government of NCT, Shri Rakesh Mehta.
Empowerment of women is critical for achieving population stabilisation. With this in mind it was an appropriate moment to felicitate India’s young woman achiever and World No. 2 in Badminton, Saina Nehwal at the occasion by the Union Health Minister and the CM of Delhi NCT.
The sight of thousands of children wearing World Population Day T Shirts and caps and waving flags with population stabilisation messages as they ran down Rajpath was an inspiring sight. It brought home the message of population stabilisation and benefits of a small family. Each child was presented with a bag containing a coffee mug with FW slogan, a booklet on Population Stabilisation and food items sponsored by Horliks, Pepsico and Himalayan Water company.
The event received wide publicity in the Indian press and TV channels. WPD 2010 was organized on a massive scale not in air conditioned meeting halls but using myriad opportunities to advocate on the issue among different audiences and reaching out to the largest numbers possible in Delhi and in the high fertility states.
Media is an important partner in all development activities. JSK collaborated with NDTV, India’s prominent TV channel to highlight the issue among viewers across the country.
On 11th July 2010, ‘We The People’ and ‘Humlog’ two high profile audience shows on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India discussed issues on population stabilisation on prime time. This was preceded by week long promos and factoids on the issue on both the channels.
Sponsorship for both shows was made possible by the collaboration of SBI and Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India.
As part of JSK’s advocacy with the print media, articles appeared in the mainstream press on population issues –Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Dainik Jagran and Tribune.
Reaching out to create awareness on the need for population stabilisation among elected representatives in the high fertility states is essential. With this in mind, JSK commissioned Mr Vinod Dua, leading journalist and media person to produce a 22 minute advocacy film on Population Stabilisation. The film ‘ Har jaan mayne rakhti hai’ was screened by NDTV India and by ETV networks in UP, Bihar, MP and Rajasthan on 11th July 2010.
Building awareness on benefits of a small family among the community in the 6 high fertility states is critical. To reach out to them, JSK collaborated with the Song & Drama Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to hold 2000 folk song, theatre and other folk entertainment shows in selected high fertility districts in the states on issues such as child marriage, delaying age at first birth and spacing of children. These were launched on 11th July in all states and were completed in 2 phases by 14th August 2010.
Adolescents are the future adults and their awareness about population issues will determine India’s population in the coming decades. Reaching out to them especially in the high fertility states was considered essential.
In partnership with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, JSK organized competitive events on Population Stabilisation such as debate, painting and photography in 322 KVS schools in states of UP, Bihar, MP, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Orissa, Delhi and Chhattisgarh. Approximately 3 lakh children were reached through this effort.
Similar competitions were organized in partnership with DPS Society in 220 schools in UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, MP, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. DPS schools in the states acted as nodal points for holding the competitions. Approximately 45,000 children were reached through this partnership.
Similar competitions were also organized in all higher secondary schools in Bihar in partnership with the State Education Department reaching almost 25 lakh students.
All medical colleges in Bihar in partnership with JSK held debate competitions on Population Stabilisation.
Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) Bhubaneswar in partnership with JSK organized an inter university debate competition in Bhubaneswar on Population Stabilisation. There were 60 participants from across the state.
JSK partnered with the Delhi Public Schools Society to organize a National Debate and Quiz competition on Population Stabilisation for schools from the 6 high fertility states. 20 zonal teams participated in the national debate finals and 6 zonal teams representing each state participated in the national quiz finals held at DPS R. K. Puram, New Delhi on 20th August 2010. Shri Dinesh Trivedi, the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, gave away the prizes to the winning teams and participants.
In order to build greater awareness on population and health JSK has developed an online quiz on population, reproductive, sexual health and rights aimed primarily at adolescents and general public.
Advocacy panels highlighting population issues were printed and distributed to 522 schools for display at prominent places in schools in the high fertility states. These are sponsored by the State Bank of India.
In order to build a consensus on issues and plan the way forward, JSK in partnership with Ranbaxy Science Foundation, organized a Round Table Conference on the issue of ‘Population, Health and Development’ on 13th July 2010 that was held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The conference was well attended by representatives from civil society, FICCI and health professionals. The proceedings will be released as a monograph published by Ranbaxy Science Foundation later this year.
JSK has developed exhibition panels on population issues. In collaboration with the State Bank of India it is displaying these panels in select Delhi Metro trains and Bus Shelters for 3 months starting July 2010.
JSK in partnership with GAIL has repaired and once again installed the Population Clock at AIIMS, New Delhi.
JSK along with NRHM released a print advertisement commemorating World Population Day 2010 on 11th July across the country
World Population Day 2010 marked the beginning of concerted efforts to highlight population stabilisation once again in the country.