Among the sops includes a monthly financial assistance of Rs 1500 starting from the fourth child and to all future kids of a family
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM — Amid the controversy over the measures to curb population growth in Uttar Pradesh, a Catholic Church diocese in central Kerala has announced a welfare scheme for families with five or more children.
The Syro Malabar Church Pala diocese has announced sops for all families in their diocese if they have five or more children and this would be applicable to couples who have been married after 2000, reports IANS.
This was announced by the Pala bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt while taking part in an online meeting organised by him. Posters have come out which explain the details.
Among the sops that have been offered in the poster, which reads: “Year of the Family, Live the joy of God’s love includes a monthly scholarship of Rs 1500, starting from the fourth child and to all future kids of a family, will be given education with scholarship at the church-run St Joseph’s College of Engineering and Technology, besides free medical facility for every child after the fourth will be offered at the church-run hospital”.
The announcement of the scheme, meanwhile, has evoked some sharp reactions from the public with a section of them terming it as a deliberate attempt to raise the community’s strength. The Church authorities, however, have sought to dismiss the allegations and held that they did not want to respond to such irresponsible remarks.
An earlier attempt by the Kerala government to bring out the Kerala Women’s Code Bill 2011, which sought to penalise families violating the two-child norm, had created a furore in the State with various religious organisations, including the Catholic Church, protesting against it, reports The Hindu.
Later in 2019, a pastoral letter issued by the Changanassery Archdiocese suggested that the share of the Christian population in Kerala had dwindled over the years, creating an “alarming situation” for the community in the State.
“During the formation of Kerala, Christians were the second-largest community in the State. But now, the community is only 18.38% of the State’s total population. In recent years, the birth rate in the Christian community has decreased to 14%,” read the letter, issued by Archbishop Mar Joseph.
(With agency inputs)