133 C O M M U N I C A T I O N A N D J. S. APTE M O T I V A T I O N...
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C O M M U N I C A T I O N A N D
J. S. APTE
M O T I V A T I O N I N F A M I L Y
P L A N N I N G
Since the advent of Indian Independence, view. T h e functions of a Family Planning
an era of planned development has ushered Centre, if it works on a comprehensive basis
in our country. T h e formation of the —would include sex education, marriage
Planning Commission and its first and the counselling, marriage hygiene, the spacing
subsequent two Five Year Plans are a clear of children and advice on such other
indication of the changed context of measures as may be necessary to promote
circumstances. In the first Five Year the the welfare of families. Advice on inferti-
Planning Commission sanctioned a meagre lity should also be a part of family planning
amount of Rs. 65 lakhs for Family Planning programme.
programme. T h e Government of India
T h e problem of population control and
itself was not very sure about the reactions family planning programme are the two
and attitudes of the Indian people. Hence sides of the same coin. The policy of the
it was a slow and cautious start. In the Government of India regarding population
words of the then Union Health Minister control is well expressed by the Planning
Rajkumari Amrit K a u r , "Sufficient reliable Commission. "The objective of stabilizing
data must be collected and also other the growth of population over a reasonable
relevant information made available before period must be at the very centre of
we launched out on an unchartered sea so planned development.. . in the circumstances
to speak."
of the country family planning has to be
undertaken, not merely as a major
T h e Government of India, viewed the development programme, but as a nation-
Family Planning programme in a larger wide movement which embodies a basic
perspective and from a broader sociological attitude towards a better life for the indi-
angle. T h e Family Planning Research and vidual, the family and the Community."
Programme Committee in its first meeting
held in July 1953 clearly emphasised that
What is the Indian Population Problem ?
the family planning programme should not — T h e population in India is second in the
be conceived in the narrow sense of birth world population and it is seventh in respect
control, or merely spacing of birth of of land area. With an area of only 2.4 per
children. T h e purpose of family planning cent of the total land area of the world,
was to promote, as far as possible, the India has to maintain about 14 per cent of
growth of the family as a unit of Society the total world population. At the time of
in a manner designed to facilitate the fulfil-
the first, though incomplete, census, the
ment of those conditions which were population stood at 254 millions. T h e
necessary for the welfare of this unit from highest rate of growth during a decade was
the social, economic and cultural points of during 1951-61 and the 1961 census recorded

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J. S. APTE
the population as 22 per cent or 2.2 per cent programme was laid from the scratch. The
per annum. A more detailed analysis of the cautious approach and the spade work done
data of the 1961 census has revealed that in the 1st plan period set the family planning
the rate of increase is perhaps about programme on the path of progress. In the
2.4 per cent per annum and the estimated second Five Year Plan a more detailed
population is already around 465 million. It scheme and a much more amount
shows an annual increase of about 10 million. was chalked out and sanctioned. In
The estimated figure in 1976 is around this plan period were started a number of
625 million.
Regional Training Centres in the States and
The 16 States in the country has shown 3 Central Family Planning Centres. There
different demographic trends in 1961 census. was a greater fillip to the training programme,
During the last 10 years the increase ranges mass educational work, service in form of
from over 219 per cent in Assam to 51.1 advice and distribution of contraceptives.
per cent in Uttar Pradesh. The varying There was an appreciable increase in the
population trends in the 16 States are a number of urban and rural clinics. This
function of a variety of factors—social, plan period was the basis of a future 'key'
educational, economic, cultural and ecological programme, a status that was achieved by
and so on. The population problem in India the Family Planning work done during
has to be studied against the background 1951-61. With the new status of 'key'
of the above factors. Even each State has programme in the 3rd Plan the money grant
got a heterogenous situation in its different increased to Rs. 27 crores with a ceiling of
regions—divisions and districts. Hence there Rs. 50 crores. One can interprete the above
cannot be a strictly uniform policy regarding performance in the light of the many family
family planning programme. There has to planning attitude—surveys undertaken during
be a population control programme in each the last few years.
State, but each State needs a different
Findings of the Surveys.—Since attitude
treatment in the light of its agricultural is the beginning of any action or no action,
production, death rates, infant mortality it will be worthwhile to analyse the findings
rates, birth rate, employment pattern, literacy of the Family Planning Attitude Surveys.
and educational standard, cultural back-
Change in a behavioural pattern is brought
ground, migration trends and other allied about at three levels—Cognition, conation
factors.
and action—knowledge, feeling, action.
Impact of Family Planning Programme.
Within the last few years, roughly 28
To educate and motivate people for the family planning attitude surveys and studies
acceptance of family planning method is had been conducted in the different parts
really an uphill task. Since it involves a of the country. These studies are different
fundamental change in behavioural pattern from one another in regard to the question-
of individuals, the pace has to be slow and naire and the method and system in which
hence one cannot expect any spectacular they were carried out. It will be therefore
results immediately after the programme is appropriate not to generalize or compare
put up. An amount of only 15.82 lakhs out the data and basis of the surveys. However,
of the sanctioned amount of Rs. 65 lakhs some broad common facts revealed through
was spent during the 1st plan period. During them are as follows :—
this period a beginning of family planning
1. Villagers feel four children is the
programme was done, ground work for the
ideal size of a family and for

C O M M U N I C A T I O N AND MOTIVATION IN FAMILY P L A N N I N G
135
urbanites three is the proper number.
Husband's consent is a pre-requisitive
2. In both areas—rural a n d urban—
to such actions.
3-4 years' spacing is considered 12. There is no organised religious or
desirable between one child and the
social opposition to family planning
birth of another.
in rural areas.
3. Family planning knowledge and the
These survey findings broadly indicate
willingness of people to learn about that there is a fairly favourable background
methods have a close relationship with
for the family planning work. T h e main
the educational standards, age and problem is to spread the message of planned
the number of children. Caste or parenthood to the millions of people living
religion does not m u c h affect the in the nook and corner of this vast sub-
family planning programme.
continent with the maximum rate and with
4. Among the currently married females greater effectivity. Here one has to con-
of the reproductive age group (15 to sider the Communication process with regard
45) family planning knowledge to family planning.
varies between 1 0 % a n d 2 0 % of
CommunicationCrux of a Social Change
women in the rural areas and between
Programme.—Social Welfare programme
2 0 % and 3 0 % to women in urban requires the continuous co-operation of the
areas.
people for whom the programme is m e a n t
5. Roughly 70 per cent of women with and Administrators who want to execute
35 years or more and with four or and implement the programme and an
more children are willing to know effective communicating media to carry the
and learn about family planning.
message of programme to the people. Unless
6. T h e mother-in-law is no source of there is an identity of purpose, oneness of
opposition, nor does the father-in-law ideas, common objectives, no programme
interfere.
of development will succeed. This is possible
7. Villagers cannot afford to purchase only when the significant role of the
the family planning methods, they Communicator is properly a n d adequately
and fully understood. In t h e words of
want the contraceptives should be Dr. J. Paul Leagans, "The world has never
made available to them free of cost. seen a time when the role of the Commu-
8. There is a problem of the type of nicator has been as important as it is today
contraceptive, which villagers can This is so because the world has never seen
use conveniently and effectively.
a time when there was so much to know,
9. Village women are rather reluctant to so much people need to know, and so many
attend t h e far off clinics and exclu-
who want to know so m u c h and so quickly."
sively devoted to family planning work
as they feel shy of being seen by
T h e word 'Communication' is derived
other women.
from the Latin 'Communis' meaning
10. Family Planning in villages is gene-
common. T h e goal and objective of com-
rally understood to mean complete munication is to establish a commonness
stoppage of childbirth.
between the source a n d the destination, the
11. M a n is the dominant partner in the sender a n d the receiver a n d applied to
villages particularly a n d women, family planning programme between the
therefore, cannot take any initiative workers and the people for whom the
in favour of family planning. message of planned parenthood is directed.

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J. S. A P T E
T h e responsibility and the major be interviewed by female workers on this
share of execution and implementation personal and delicate subject, while rural
of the family planning programme in women do not want their entry to Family
I n d i a were taken by the Family Plann-
Planning clinic to be seen by other women.
ing clinics in urban areas and the Reluctance and shyness prevent them to
primary Health Centres in rural areas. T h e visit the Family Planning clinics. T h e future
clinics and the Primary Health Centres did role of the clinics in the Family Planning
both the educational and service types of programme has been well p u t in the
work. They have, by their very nature, got Report for 1962-63. " T h e "Clinic approach"
limitations and inadequacies, as the Report could be expected to reach only a rela-
for 1962-63 has well put it, (page 2 7 ) . tively small fraction of the people, and
" T h e extension education wing of the could not be expected to make much impact
programme has not yet been fully developed on the birth rates. Ultimately clinics would
and greatest dependence so far has had to be viewed as a "Second echelon" resource,
be put on developing educational activities for providing special services," p. 5.
in the clinic setting, or through home visit
Group Acceptance in Family Planning
interviews. T h e r e are serious limitations Programme.—Change begins in the minds of
inherent in the nature of these activities. men. Any change to become a behavioural
T h e population able to be reached is very social pattern must precede a thorough
limited. It is known for example, that psychological transformation. This is a slow,
usually about 90 per cent of the primary gradual process. It goes through various
Health Centre Clinic clientele comes from stages of acceptance—acceptance by a few
a few miles' radius and even the clientele individuals, group's acceptance and mass
represents only a small fraction of the acceptance.
people needing service in that immediate
Family Planning Communication at the
area. Also, the educational effort in a clinic individual—one-to-one—level has a very
situation tends to be one-way, person to-
limited role to play in our country, since
person information-giving, a method of the problem has to be tackled in a bigger
relatively low efficiency. Finally, the over scale in lesser time. Mass Communication
crowded clinics and heavy routine work load media like cinema, poster, radio, newspaper
limits the time available for even this type etc. can pass on the message to the public
of instruction." T h e attitude-survey findings that is 'remote, unseen'. An information
and the above report amply prove that passed on and a message received should be
people are more motivated about family able to produce the relevant action in the
planning than what they are communicated recipients. It is very difficult to know
about the methods of planned parenthood. whether a particular mass-communication
A few of the urban people residing near the technique has produced the desired result.
Family Planning clinics do not even know T h e role of mass communication as disse-
about the existence of the Family Planning minators of information is certainly of much
clinics and the services they offer. Coupled importance and value in family planning
with this situation are the two factors— programmes, but for acceptance of a parti-
female bias of the clinic-setting and the sign cular behavioural pattern, we have to
board—as Family Planning Clinic—which consider the group and its role. ' Darwin
discourage men and women to attend the Cartwright and Ronald Lippitt have well
clinic. Rural men also do not like to described the functions of Groups. "Groups

COMMUNICATION AND MOTIVATION IN FAMILY P L A N N I N G
137
exist; they are inevitable and ubiquitous;
Family Planning in a Community Develop-
they mobilize powerful forces having pro-
ment Scheme.—The goal of Community
found effects upon individuals; these effects Development Scheme is to arouse the
may be good or bad, and through a interest, initiative and enthusiasm of the
knowledge of group dynamics there lies the Community Development Block area about
possibility of maximizing their good value." their felt needs and common problems of
life. Family Planning programme has to be
Ever)' individual is a member of a number
considered as one of the entire C D . activity
of groups, family, professional group, interest and programme. Agriculture, Education,
group, informal group. These various groups
Animal Husbandry, Industries, Sanitation—
have got a sanction behind them and they all these are directed with the villager's life
hold a powerful influence upon the actions and family planning has to be integrated
and activities of individual members. Any with them and the Extension Education
new behavioural pattern requires a group's approach which is used for carrying out the
acceptance before it becomes stable and C.D. activity can also be used profitably for
accepted by the individuals. W h a t can a promotion of family planning in a Commu-
group do is aptly expressed by Lt. Col. B. L. nity Development area. Since people's
Raina, Director, Family Planning, Govern-
participation is the crux of the Community
ment of India, in his report for 1962-63. Development programme, family planning
" T h e power inherent in a group itself to also should become a people's programme
bring about change in deeply rooted with Government participation in form of
practices, among the members of the group, financial grants, technical personnel. To
is greater than the influence of individual achieve this, the extension approach with
institution by outsiders." T h e group's the help of group pressure should locate the
acceptance is brought about at three levels natural and indigenous leadership among the
of motivation—willingness to know, willing-
rural population. These leaders should be
ness to feel and willingness to act in the total
encouraged to establish the small family
process of group acceptance.
norm among their different sub-groups. They
will be the communicators of Family
T h e ultimate goal of family planning planning message, disseminating basic infor-
programme is to motivate people to accept mation regarding family planning and
family planning as a way of life for Economic
methods. They will have a sense of parti-
security of the family. Educational oppor-
cipation in the family planning programme.
tunities and health guarantee for children, The leaders and lay men should be
enrichment of the total personality of involved in all stages of the programme—
husband and wife. T h e promotion of family
e.g. in case of orientation training c a m p —
planning programmes involves discussion of from programme planning to programme
such personal and delicate subjects as sex, implementation.
marriage, attitudes towards husband, wife,
children and family and dissemination of
Mass communication media should have
information on planned parenthood, concept a closer relation with the values, aspirations
of planning in general and its relation to and ideals of a community. A lot of effort
individual, family and society and nation. through research studies of communication
Family Planning, has therefore, to be linked action has to be taken to find out the
with a Community Welfare Programme and language, and picture symbols associated with
it should not be treated as an isolated entity. the values of a child, a mother, a marriage

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J. S. A P T E
and family. Folk-dramas, folk-songs and Action has to be done with an inter-
other forms of community recreation should disciplinary approach—a research team
be written in such a style and manner that consisting of a sociologist, cultural anthro-
the message of family planning will be pologist, a social worker and an artist.
conveyed to the audience in a subtle and
indirect fashion. As Daniel Katz says
Last, but not the least, communication
"Language is symbolic in nature, it can only and motivation in Family Planning has to
evoke meanings in the recipient if the be done with emphasis on health of the
recipient has experiences corresponding to mother and children and a means for total
the symbol T h e individual lives in a family welfare. T h e individual and the
private world of his own perception, community should not be given a darker,
emotion a n d thought Language itself, grimmer picture of population growth of
even if exact and precise is a very limited frightening figures of birth-rates, instead they
device for producing common understanding should be convinced about the wider
when it has no basis in common experience."
meaning and objective of a fuller, richer and
Research in Family Planning Communication
happier life.