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Saturday, August 13, 2022

    Population Theory Backed Surgeon’s Knife Nipped ‘Padma Shri’ For Assam


    • The Centre conferred Padma Shri honour to Dr Ilias Ali for his distinguished service and epoch making contribution in the field of Medicine-Surgery
    • Ali popularized NSV (No Scalpel Vasectomy), a modern and novel procedure of male sterilization (vasectomy)
    • Fertility rate in Assam was 2.7 per 1000 women in 2007-08. It came down to 2.2 in 2019
    • Dhubri (2.5 fertility rate) beat Bihar (3.4), Uttar Pradesh (3) and Madhya Pradesh (2.9)
    • 55,000 male sterilization cases have been successfully completed since 2008 to 2018


    In 1993, the crusader against population explosion Dr Ilias Ali, who has been conferred with the Padma Shri honour by the President of India for his enormous contribution in the field of Medicine-Surgery in 2019, had started with a formal training on NSV (No Scalpel Vasectomy), a modern and novel procedure of male sterilization (vasectomy).

    Leaving no stone unturned to make people aware about population explosion, he started the miraculous journey way back in 2008. Traversing for miles across Assam, especially to the char-chapari (riverine) areas and tea garden areas by bus, boat, on bullock cart or on foot for many times, he has been promoting the message ‘India can win the battle of grave socioeconomic and environmental problem only by population control’ by popularizing the need of family planning and male sterilization especially in among minority people. With untiring and relentless effort, Dr Ali has successfully broken the long-standing taboo of vasectomy (male sterilization).

    Population Explosion

    “Population explosion is the root cause behind the increase of communalism and communal clashes across the globe, inter-state clashes even the natural calamities in the world. Until and unless the population explosion is controlled, these clashes will grow and will eventually destroy the world,” Dr Ali said.

    Remarkable Decade

    In 2007-08, Dr Ali claimed that the fertility rate in Assam was 2.7 per 1000 women which has dramatically changed and came down to 2.2 as of now. Operations of more than 55,000 male sterilization cases have been successfully completed since 2008 to 2018 in Assam. “It is indeed a good sign in population control which is becoming an alarming concern across the globe. Developed nations in the world are also working in this particular (family planning) matter,” Dr Ali said. In the year 1997-98, only 19 men had undergone vasectomy. The considerable change in male undergoing vasectomy started from January, 2009.

    Citing an example of district-wise fertility rate in the state, Dr Ali said Dhubri, situated at 277.4 kilometres west from Dispur, had a fertility rate of 4.5 in 2009 and now the graph has gone down to a “satisfactory line”. “The present fertility rate of Dhubri is 2.5 and this beat the fertility rate of Bihar (3.4), Uttar Pradesh (3) and Madhya Pradesh (2.9),” Dr Ali stated.

    “Prominent scientist Stephen Hawking said that the world would get destroyed in 100-200 years if population growth rate is not controlled across the globe. So, we have to take the necessary measures in population control and popularise the concept of family planning,” Dr Ali said.

    Dr Ali, who was the founder head of the department, Emergency Medicine, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), added that the Assam government has helped him in his mission to make people aware about family planning since 2009.

    (Fertility Rate: The number    of  live  births   during    a  year   per  1000   female    population aged   15-49   years   at  the  midpoint of the same year.)

    Family Planning in Assam

    Dr Ali shared that the daunting and challenging task was to popularise the concept of family planning among the minority people. “There is a prevailing perception that family planning is a red flag in Islam and it is deviant from the teachings of the Quran and the Hadith. That is the reason for which Muslims are fast multiplying and one day they will outgrow the majority community and this notion is one of the most important factors of disharmony, mistrust and even social unrest in our Indian society,” Dr Ali said.

    “I had to go through the verses of the Holy Quran and the Hadith to make the people understand the need of family planning. To convince the Muslim masses, I alluded to the verses from the Holy Quran and the Hadith and referred to Ajol (coitus interrupts), a practice for family limitation, which was mooted during the days of the Prophet Mohammed,” Dr Ali said.

    Untiringly, Ali has been propagating the message that “Islam is the only religion to have evolved family planning measures since the days of Prophet Mohammed and Islam is not averse to family planning, rather endorses it.”

    Recounting his successful journey, Dr Ali said, “The Muslim community is coming forward with enthusiasm to adopt family planning methods. This has not only has trimmed down the burden of overpopulation but also is helping in rebuilding harmony, trust and brotherhood in the society.”

    In Black & White

    Dr Ali co-authored a book titled Kuri Satikar Mahabyadhi-AIDS on AIDS in Assamese language. Moreover, his remarkable work on population explosion Jana Bisfuranar Pom Khedi in Assamese language has widely been lauded by the intellectuals of the State.



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    First published