Mizoram church to dole out cash for having more babies: Rs 4k for fourth, Rs 5k for fifth and so on…

A state in the second most populous country of the world is worried about falling birth rate among its ethnic majority and encouraging baby boom, even with cash incentives.

Written by Kallol Dey | Shillong | Updated: January 11, 2018 1:03 pm
Mizoram church to pay people to have more babies The low birth rate among the dominant Mizo tribe has become a matter of concern not only for the Mizo organizations but also for the churches. (Representational Image)

A local church in Christian predominant state of Mizoram has announced cash incentives for couples who have four or more babies. The Lunglei Bazar Veng Baptist Church has recently announced Rs 4,000 for the fourth baby, Rs 5000 for the fifth and so on.

Secretary of the Bazar Veng Baptist Church, which has announced the cash incentives, also confirmed that his church has decided not to fix any upper ceiling. Going by the church’s policy, the more babies are born, the more cash reward will be doled out.

The low birth rate among the dominant Mizo tribe has become a matter of concern not only for the Mizo organizations but also for the churches. “We encourage more children,” Lalramleina Pachuau, senior executive member of the Mizoram Synod of Presbyterian Church of India, said when contacted over phone. He clarified though that the Presbyterian Church has decided not to announce any cash incentives. Pachuau says that while the population of Mizos is already less, the birth rate is further decreasing.

According to the 2011 Census, the population density of Mizoram is 52 persons per square kilometre, the second lowest in the country, after Arunachal Pradesh. According to Mizoram’s statistical handbook, the aggregate population growth in the current decade has been 23.48 per cent while in the earlier decade it was 29.18 per cent.

Churches of various denominations in Mizoram, including the Catholic Church, agree to this policy, though some may not say it out loud, said Pachuau. He informed that the rate of stillbirth has been on the rise in certain areas, especially Mizoram’s south. “We do not know the exact reasons but the health department is investigating,” he said.

Is there any ceiling for the number of children in a family? Pachuau says, “No, we have not fixed any such number. The population of Mizos is dwindling, and we encourage couples to have more children.”

The fourth National Family Health Survey conducted between January 2015 and December 2016 revealed that the infant mortality rate in Mizoram went up from 34 in 2006 to 40 in 2016, an increase of almost 18 per cent.

Church plays a significant and powerful role in all aspects of Mizo life. The majority (87 per cent) of Mizos are Christians in various denominations, predominantly Presbyterian. The all-powerful Presbyterian Church and the Baptist Church of Mizoram have repeatedly appealed to its members to have more babies.

According to sources, the birthrate in the state’s urban areas where the dominant Mizo tribe settles is relatively low compared to the rural areas where ethnic minorities like Chakmas and Brus reside.

Zoramthanga, former chief minister of Mizoram, during his tenure, had extended maternity benefits for the birth of up to four children against only two in other states. He too voiced concern about the small size of the state’s population, particularly that of Mizos.

For all the latest North East India News, download Indian Express App

  1. Dash B
    Jan 10, 2018 at 11:34 pm
    Xtianity and islam are abrahamic cults. Those who do not follow rhem are valled kafirs,nonbelievers,sinners etc. Both convert people through money,rape,force etc. Northeast is a paradise of missionaroes. Tribal culture has been wiped out there but they want more. Lets not forget that NSCN,Bodo groups who want secesion are christian terrorist groups. Their mission is to divide India . increasing muslim and xtian population is a big thteat to India's unity.
    1. sam chenkual
      Jan 11, 2018 at 11:20 am
      I think radical hinduism is more threaful than both.
      1. E thuthang
        Jan 18, 2018 at 5:38 pm
        You sure not know about Christian, so your opinion is invalid...
      2. Vemanna R
        Jan 10, 2018 at 8:42 pm
        Who can drill atleast an iota of sense into these mindless people?
        1. Anmol
          Jan 10, 2018 at 6:15 pm
          I feel religious organisation should stay away from such things.
          1. Parth Garg
            Jan 10, 2018 at 4:20 pm
            Does the church promises to feed and educate these extra children for the rest of their lives?
            1. No To Klein
              Jan 10, 2018 at 6:36 pm
              Like all religious organisations, this is to boost their numbers and offerings ( to god of course) which will fund the lifestyles of religious ‘leaders’. Nobody cares about what happens to the children. Sad that people in 21st century still fall for religious ‘leaders’ crap
            2. suresh VRG
              Jan 10, 2018 at 3:57 pm
              This corrupt and anti-national Church must be closed down immediately and the Padre Sahibs who infest it must be deported . The ones who have more than 2 children must be stripped of their citizenship, voting rights and property Such a backward thinking deserves stringent punishment so that others do not have the right to even think of these evil methods of increasing their population.SHAME DISGRACEFUL !!!!
              1. No To Klein
                Jan 10, 2018 at 6:40 pm
                There are several states where fertility rate of 2.1 or less (less than replacement population) has been achieved without resort to such radical and stupid methods. It is just education and some incentives. Educate children to be able to objectively criticise concept of god and religious organisations and we could see benefit in a generation or two
              2. Load More Comments