The challenges posed by growing population of India cannot be overestimated. Within India, the states of UP, Bihar, MP and Rajasthan add most to India’s population. Despite all efforts on the part of the Government and non Government agencies the desired outcome towards population stabilization is still a challenging task in the states like UP and Bihar. Therefore, mass media has always been instrumental as an effective means of mass awakening. It can bring about desirable change in the behavioral pattern of the community through its strategic intervention.
Jagran Pehel in association with Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh initiated a series of workshops titled, "Population Stabilization and the Role of Media" in districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The cities were Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi and Agra. Our objective was to create an enabling environment and discuss population issues with various stakeholders, like journalist, CSO's and bureaucrats; and to sensitize and encourage journalists to write on such issues. These workshops not only provided a common platform for mutual learning, but will also found ways in which each stakeholder can work towards population stabilization.
Workshop at Lucknow, 9th January 2009
The workshop was attended by various dignitaries like Mr. Anant Mishra, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of UP; Ms. Shailaja Chandra, Executive Director JSK and various media representatives from media houses like BBC News, Amar Ujala, Asian Age, India Today and many more. The workshop saw enthusiastic participation and serious commitments from policy makers. Mr. Anant Mishra assured for all support for effective implementation of JSK’s Prerna Schemes in the state.
Workshop at Patna, 17th February 2009
Health Minister of Bihar, Mr. Nand Kishore Yadav; Mr. Sunil Gupta, Director Dainik Jagran; Mr. Mathew Joseph, Regional Director PSI; journalist and other notable people participated. The workshop saw a high participation from other media houses as well. Group activities like enactment of a scene on issue of population stabilisation popular methods of family planning, preparation of radio talks etc made journalist to participate and put forward their point of view. Many suggestions, like, identifying local role models and reporting them in media, conducting comparative study and inclusion of a regular column in newspaper for development issues were made in the workshop.
Workshop at Ranchi, 5th February 2010
Some of distinguished guest were Dr. D.K Tiwari, I.A.S., Principal Secretary, Govt. of Jharkhand; Dr. Anjali Das, Director in Chief, Health and Family Welfare, Jharkhand; Mr. Gopigopal Kishnan, President, World Health Partners, Delhi and media journalists. Stressing on the need for addressing regional imbalance within the state, Dr. Tiwari announced the following strategies to be will undertaken in the course of next 3 years:
Initiating a Family Planning Task Force, comprising of government, private and development sector representatives.
Government will conduct a workshop with the task force at state and district levels regularly
A coordinator will be appointed specially for this.
Along with involving private sector, government will train village level functionaries for quality service providing.
Services centers will be regularized, and government will ensure sufficient budget. Community health care providers like Sahiya/ANMs; private sector, media and others will be involved through different incentives.
Workshop at Agra, 13th March 2010
A collective of distinguished guests present in the workshop were Mr. Ramshankar, M.P, Agra; Dr.Rajendra Singh, MLA and media representatives. Some of the key issues that were discussed during this workshop were situation analysis of population stabilization in UP, myths and realities of population, gender dimensions in population stabilisation etc. At the end journalists were encouraged to start a campaign on population stabilisation and continue to contribute to social development.