In reversal of population control offer, Kerala diocese offers sops to promote big Christian families

At a time when population control measures in places like Uttar Pradesh and Lakshadweep are widely debated, a diocese in Kerala is offering services like monthly assistance, educational facilities and medical care to families with five children or more.

Concerns about dwindling population have prompted the Eparchy of Pala in Kottayam under the Syro Malabar Catholic Church to make bids part of the Year of the Family campaign proclaimed by Pope Francis.

According to messages disseminated by the diocese via social media, couples married after the year 2000 and having more than five children will receive monthly financial assistance of Rs. 1,500 through the family apostolate of the diocese.

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The fourth child and children born thereafter can study at St. Joseph’s College of Engineering and Technology in Pala with scholarship. Free medical care will be provided from the fourth child onwards at the Mar Sleeva Medicity in Pala, the brochure circulated on social media said.

Family apostolate director Fr Joseph Kuttiankal told DH that an online meeting of seniors held on Sunday decided to offer assistance to families based on the Year of the Family campaign. proclaimed by Pope Francis. The declining population of the community has been a cause for concern for some time. Additionally, many large families were facing financial hardship due to the Covid lockdown. That is why the aids were announced.

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He also said that currently most families have two children. Only some families had more than three or more children.

According to the 2011 census, Christians constituted 18.38% of the population of Kerala, while Hindus constituted 54.72% and Muslims 26.56%.