Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Letter: Seven billion people

Letter: Seven billion people
| Tue, 11/08/2011 8:10 PM
A | A | A |

Education is an important part of birth control. Without informing the poor about the importance of a one child policy, the lower social classes will keep on breeding like rabbits. They have practically no money to feed their big families, so how can they be expected to buy birth control pills?

Soeharto was very successful in curbing the population because he sent thousands into the field to educate the poor — especially in rural areas. Free birth control pills were handed out to them for years.  

TV sets were distributed to village heads where TV programs showed the population the importance of birth control. Moreover, the clergy serving religions were urged to inform their congregations about birth control.  

I have not seen anything similar during SBY’s tenure. The population just keeps growing disproportionately. Only giant billboards urging the people to plan small families are put up in a few spots along busy toll roads — so who is going to read those?

Drivers are too busy watching traffic. SBY’s family planning policies are a big failure. So far, nobody is being sent to rural or slum areas. Those working for the Family Planning bureau are just sitting on their butts doing nothing but gossiping and collecting their monthly salaries. Nobody goes into the field anymore to educate the poor, and there are no more free birth control pills and condoms being distributed.

Nowadays, only the educated prefer to have one child, and quite a few young middle class couples have decided to have none — they prefer to travel and see the world rather than spent their incomes on children. Some prefer to take care of their expensive lapdogs instead of having children. But this is just a tiny percentage of the population.

It is not too late to restart Soeharto’s birth control policies in this country.

SBY, why don’t you use his family planning policies instead of only putting up gigantic, useless billboards?

Bogor, West Java

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