Population First, a communications initiative for human development, is now online. Rajashree Birla, Director, Aditya Birla Group and the prime mover behind the Birla Group’s welfare and development initiatives inaugurated the web site www.populationfirst.org in Mumbai. It is a unique website about population and health issues.
www.populationfirst.org marks new efforts to build advocacy on population-related issues by collating a wealth of information. Sections like Government Watch host material issued by the government, its plans, policies, papers, articles, and answers to questions in Parliament on issues related to health and population.
The site was launched during the first joint meeting of the trustees and advisory council of Population First, chaired by Dr. J. J. Irani, former M.D. of the Tata Iron & Steel Company Limited (TISCO) and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet, Government of India.
“We believe that easy availability of information will itself raise issues and awareness on health and population as concerned citizens, journalists, researchers, students and others debate the allocation of resources and the priorities of governments over time”, says S. V. Sista, Founder and Executive Trustee of Population First.
The most important fact of the site is that it seeks to explain the framework within which population issues need to be addressed. An article titled ‘The Basics’ explains how and why population is not merely a question of numbers but truly a development issue. The section on Terms and Definitions further lends the learning and advocacy edge to the site by explaining terms used by demographers and often seen in census related reports.