Newlyweds in India Paid to Not Get Pregnant

Aug 23, 2010
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.
As the Indian population rises, more money will be needed for schools and other resources. (Photo: STR New/Reuters)

The district government in Satara, India, has created a special honeymoon package for newlyweds.

The gift includes a congrats on their marriage and the equivalent to $106.

There is one little catch.

According to The New York Times, for couples to receive the package they must agree not to have a child for at least two years.

In India, the population is at about 1.2 billion and is likely to surpass China as the most populous country in the world. Nearly half the population is under the age of 25.

The aim of the honeymoon package is to curb the country's high birthrate. The pilot program appears to be working, but it has a long, long way to go.

Currently, 2,366 couples are enrolled. (To put that number in perspective, a new baby is born in India every 1.25 seconds. A single day contains 86,400 seconds.)

Sunita Laxman Jadhav, an auxiliary nurse making house calls to offer new brides the honeymoon package, told The New York Times that, aside from lowering the number of annual births, waiting would help couples save money and finish school.

Family pressures often compel Indian brides to have children early after marriage. On one house visit, Ms. Jadhav and Dr. Archana Khade spoke with a 20-year-old bride who was on birth control and wanted to wait to conceive. When asked if her in-laws would be happy if she waited, she was silent.

Another new bride put her needs first:

Reshma Yogesh Sawand, 25, hopes to save money and move to a bigger city. She and her husband want to have one child when the time is right. She says, “If I have just one, I can take better care of it.”

Show Comments ()

More on TakePart

Project Katrina: A Decade of Resilience in New Orleans