On Tuesday, the Sports Minister of Mizoram Robert Romawia Royte, distributed Rs 2.5 lakh and mementoes to 17 parents boasting of having the highest number of children in his constituency of Aizawl East-II.
The minister who is locally known as “RRR”,declared a cash incentive of Rs 1 lakh
to living parents with the highest number of children within his constituency earlier in June on Father’s Day.
However, this initiative was taken to encourage population growth among the demographically small Mizo communities.
Prizes for who bore the highest number of childrens
Robert Romawia Royte gave away the 1st prize to Ngurauvi, a widow from Tuithiang locality, who has 15 children, including 7 sons the prize includes a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh and a citation.
Another widow from Chhinga Veng locality, Lianthangi who has 13 children, bagged the 2nd prize which carried Rs 30,000 and a citation. Two women and a man, who have 12 children each, were rewarded the 3rd prize carrying Rs 20,000 each and citations.
Moreover, consolation prizes of Rs 5,000 and citations were given to 12 parents, who have eight children each.
Infertility rate a matter of concern
Speaking to PTI, Royte said the infertility rate and the decreasing growth rate have become a serious concern for Mizo population.
However, census diagrams show that in 2011 the state’s population stood at 10.97 lakh, an increase of 23.48 per cent over the previous census held in 2001. Mizoram’s population had last boomed in the period 1971-1981 when the decadal growth had hit a high of 48.55 % and seen the population touching nearly half a million people.
2 child policy unacceptable in Mizoram
The sports minister justifying his stand said that Mizoram is far below the optimum number of people to attain development in various fields.
“It is unacceptable and illogical to follow a two-child norm in a state like Mizoram where the density of population is only 52 persons per square kilometre against over 600 persons in other states,” he told PTI.
However, Some states like Uttar Pradesh and Assam have announced a two-child norm policy in order to curb population growth.
He said Mizoram has a population density of 52 persons per square kilometre and it needs at least 94 plus persons per square kilometre to compete with the national average. Some 87% of Mizoram’s population is of indigenous Mizo tribals.
“The low population figures here suggest that a uniform norm for the whole nation is detrimental to certain regions and communities,” he further said.