About 68 percent of the population lived in rural areas in 1994, a decrease of 7 percent since 1970.In contrast, the number of people living in urban areas has risen substantially, resulting in an urban growth rate of 4.6 percent between 19.Efforts to improve maternal and child health were coupled with education campaigns.Because of local mores concerning modesty, the government avoided explicit reference to contraceptive devices and instead focused its public education efforts on encouraging couples to limit their family size to two children.Community participation had finally became a cornerstone of the government's policy, and it was hoped that contraceptive use would rise dramatically. In preparing the Sixth Five-Year Plan (1983-88), the government projected a national population of 147 million in the year 2000 if the growth rate were to be a constant at 2.8 percent per year, and of 134 million if the rate were to decline to the desired 2.1 percent per year by then.
In 1980 the Population Division, formerly under the direction of a minister of state, was renamed the Population Welfare Division and transferred to the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development.
Thus population planning was a dual effort led by the Family Planning Association and the public sector.
In the mid-1960s, the Ministry of Health initiated a program in which intrauterine devices (IUDs) were promoted.
In an attempt to control the population problem, the government introduced several new programs.
First, the Continuous Motivation System Programme, which employed young urban women to visit rural areas, was initiated. Based on the premise that greater availability would increase use, shopkeepers throughout the country stocked birth control pills and condoms. The unmarried urban women had little understanding of the lives of the rural women they were to motivate, and shopkeepers kept the contraceptives out of sight because it was considered mannerless to display them in an obvious way.
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Three years later, the government began to fund the association and noted the need to reduce population growth in its First Five-Year Plan (1955-60).