ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Bodies in Poverty

Family Planning and Poverty Removal in India

Sayantani Sur ( is a doctoral fellow at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata.


How and when did family planning become a blanket term for population control as well as poverty alleviation in India? How did contraception emerge as an economic virtue in family planning discourse, instead of a corporeal one? This paper interrogates whether poverty was the reigning theme in family planning, or the body, as the state—especially during the Emergency—moved from indirect interventions on the bodies of the poor through sterilisation programmes, incentives and disincentives, to the elimination of the poor themselves by demolishing their homes. When material poverty flowed into bodily poverty and transformed into an identity, Garibi Hatao became Garib Hatao.

I would like to thank the anonymous referee for the insightful comments and suggestions. Special thanks to Prachi Deshpande and Manabi Majumdar for their invaluable contribution in shaping this article.

Updated On : 16th Oct, 2017


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