From Our Correspondent
THE birth rate that has been recorded in Jammu and Kashmir is the highest during the past two decades and stands at 75 per cent.
The growth rate in the population in the militancy-infected areas ranges between 75 per cent to as high as about 95 per cent. This has been possible despite the nearly 50,000 persons killed due to militancy-related violence and migration of a large number of minority families from such areas.
The highest growth rate has been recorded in the border district of Kupwara in Kashmir Valley and which stood at 91.6 per cent.
In other districts of Kashmir Valley, the growth rate has been 73 to 78 per cent in the past 20 years.
However, in many Jammu areas, especially in the Hindu-dominated district of Kathua, the growth rate in the past two decades, viz. 1981-2001, was recorded at just about 42 per cent.
Significantly, the growth rate in the population marked a sharp rise after the family welfare scheme was introduced in the state. Prior to induction of these schemes, the decadal growth rate was never higher than 12 per cent. In between 1951-61, the growth rate in the district of Kupwara was a mere 9.09 per cent. In Srinagar district the growth rate was recorded at 12.52 per cent and in the districts of Pulwama and Anantnag it was only 10.84 per cent.
During this period of 1951-61, in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, it was only 3.5 per cent and 4.78 per cent respectively.
Various reasons are being attributed to this sharp rise in the growth rate. First, the increased medicare facilities; secondly, the propaganda by fundamentalists inciting the people to produce more children. Another reason that is being put forth is the presence of militants, especially the foreigners, who have left behind many fatherless children, before crossing over to Pakistan.