Flagging off a run for population stabilisation on World Population Day, Azad said stability of the population was extremely important for India as it shares 17 per cent of the world's population even though it has only 2.5 per cent of the land.
He said the government will promote population stabilisation by making people aware about the benefit of small families. "Strict implementation of laws about age of marriage and delayed first child with proper spacing may help in dealing with population problem," he said
However, the minister completely ruled out coercion in the efforts for population stabilisation. He said craving for male child is another problem and stressed that the spread of education especially among girls will help a great deal.
Speaking on the occasion, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit emphasised the need for small families as resources were limited. "Uncontrolled population may result in slower development," she said.
Around 3,000 children, led by badminton ace Saina Nehwal, from various Delhi schools at Vijay Chowk and ran till India Gate as part of the programme. As per the last census conducted in 2001, India's population was just over 1 billion.