Details for Reform Option "Devi Rupak Yojana, Haryana"
The Population in Haryana has been steadily increasing from 1 crore (10,000,000) in 1971 to 1.6 crore (16,000,000) in 1991 and 2.1 crore (21,000,000) in 2001. At the same time, sex ratios are declining from 867 females (per 1000 males) in 1997, to 865 in 1991, and 861 in 2001, one of the lowest in the country.
In order to stabilise the population and tackle the skewed sex ratio in the state, an incentive scheme has been introduced wherein parents are encouraged to undergo sterilisation following the birth of one male or two female children.
A monthly pension is paid from the date of undergoing a terminal method of contraception (vasectomy or tubectomy) and is promised for 20 years.
The incentive amount is INR 500 if the couple have just one child and it is a girl. If they have one child and it is a boy then the amount is reduced to INR 200 . This amount is also offered to couples who have just had their second child giving them two girls.
This scheme is applicable only for people who are not income tax payees and the money is credited to the couple’s joint-account in the post office. The husband and wife should also be aged less than 45 and 40 years respectively on the date of adoption of the scheme.
The scheme, which was started in September 2002, was revised in November 2003 to make it simpler and more acceptable to the community.
Initially, the couple had to undergo the vasectomy or tubectomy immediately following birth - now they are allowed to wait until the child is 5 years old.
The original scheme was segregated into two categories:
i) couples married before 25 September 2002 had to register their intent to take up the scheme before 26 January 2003 to be eligible; and
ii) couples married on or after 25 September 2002 had to register and state that their first child would not be born before they had been married for two years or that their second child would not be born until two years after the birth of their first daughter.
These requirements made the scheme too complicated and now all couples below the age of 45 (men) and 40 (women) are covered, irrespective of their date of marriage and are permitted to wait until their child is 5.
Also under the initial scheme, if the beneficiary underwent recanalisation (a reverse of the tubectomy or vasectomy), they would have to refund the entire amount along with interest of 9% per annum. Under the revised scheme, if the child dies and the beneficiary undergoes recanalisation, the benefit will be stopped but past benefits will not be recovered.
A number of Information Education Communication (IEC) activities were conducted to promote the scheme including wall paintings and messages on public buses, newspaper advertisements, puppet shows, street plays, posters and pamphlets.
A total of 181 cases were registered under the scheme in the year 2002-03 which increased to 426 after the scheme was amended (until October 2004).
A district-wide survey on socio-economic status was conducted in both the years 2002-03 and 2003-04. Both found that the majority of those who adopted the scheme after the birth of the first male child worked in agriculture, had an annual income between INR 10,000-30,000 and practised Hinduism.
The age of men who accepted was between 25 and 34 in both years of the scheme, but the age of women fell from 25 to 34 years in the first year (2002-03) to between 15 and 24 years in 2003-04.
The budget provision for the year 2002-03 was INR 15 lakhs and for the year 2003-04 was increased to INR 26 lakhs.
Haryana since September 2002, with revisions introduced in November 2003.
A maximum of six months. Haryana was able to do this in two months.
Currently politically backed: State scheme announced by the chief minister.
Relies on political will: Could be discontinued on change of government.
IEC - needs to be publicised so that persons below the poverty line (BPL) who are often illiterate, know the scheme exists.
Who needs to be consulted
State and district level officials.
Good if the political will exists in the form of budget allocation, especially on change of government.
Chances of Replication
Good. Any state could adapt the scheme once provision of funds is ensured.
Punjab is planning to replicate this scheme (Further information available from Director, Health & Family Welfare, Government of Punjab,
Parivar Kalyan Bhawan
Ph.No. 0172- 2600455).
Other states have implemented similar schemes: In Tamil Nadu, women who undergo tubectomies after two girl children are issued bonds of INR 15,000 for each child which can be claimed only after the girls have passed class X.
There is some concern that now Haryana has had to extend its scheme to allow parents with one girl child to try for a second child, the object of population control is defeated. To control the population explosion in the state, statisticians say parents need to be limited to one child only.
Sara Joseph, Researcher, ECTA, New Delhi, October 2004.