The late 1940s and early 1950s were decisive years for India, leaders were busy charting the country’s economic policies,growth, on the people’s reproductive health.These policies led to the establishment of the Family Planning Association of India in 1949. In 1951, the government launched a series of action programmes and plans called ‘Family Planning’. Later, in 1997, the government initiated the Reproductive and Child Health Care programmes that focused on creating and spreading awareness about various reproduction-related aspects such as contraception and infertility.
Rural India still don’t have access to information relating to sex and reproduction. Experts associated with family planning have also realised that today’s youngsters depend on the Internet as well as other sources including movies, friends and magazines to learn about sex-related aspects which may or may not be reliable. Therefore, these experts are advocating the need for sex education in schools. Experts also believe that people, especially adolescents, should be sensitised to hygienic sexual practices such as cleaning one’s genitals, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, adolescence and related mental and bodily changes, which in turn will ensure a reproductively healthy society.
Another strategy to improve reproductive health is by educating couples as well as individuals of marriageable age about birth-control options, gender equality, pre- and post-pregnancy care, child care and breast feeding. Such education will also decrease maternal as well as infant mortality rates and limit the size of families.In fact, the government had created a strategic plan for 2005-2009 that had five action areas, namely, access, advocacy, adolescents, AIDS and abortion.
Providing expert medical care and assistance to people on wide-ranging issues including pregnancy and delivery, STDs, abortions, menstrual problems and infertility is another step taken by the government. Apart from setting up research centres, the government is also establishing hospitals and medical centres, especially in the rural areas, to provide an impetus to medically-assisted deliveries as well as to provide post-natal medical care. This will help bring down maternal and infant mortality rates as well as encourage couples to have smaller families. The government is also conducting mass immunisation programmes to bring down the infant mortality rate. Government has banned amniocentesis, a foetal sex-determination test. In this manner, the government has initiated a lot of programmes and plans to build a reproductively healthy India.