Pathanamthitta: Within a week of the Syro-Malabar Church announcing sops for families with five or more children, the Syro-Malankara Church has come up with even better offers.
While the Pala Diocese had reached out to families with five or more children, the Diocese of Pathanamthitta belonging to the Syro-Malankara Church has appealed to those with four or more offsprings.
In a release signed by Rev Dr Samuel Mar Irenios, the Bishop of Pathanamthitta, the diocese has said that there was a need to increase the population in the district, where “more than 25 percent of the population is senior citizens”.
The Church has promised all support to members of the Pathanamthitta Diocese who were married after 2000 and desire to have a big family.
The following are the offers announced by the Diocese.
- Families with four or more children will be given Rs 2,000 per month
- Financial support, if needed, for the delivery of the fourth child.
.- Members of such families will be prioritised for jobs and school admissions at institutions belonging to the church.
- The services of a priest and a nun will be provided to aid their spiritual needs.
- The head of the diocese will spend time with the families at an annual get-together.
Interestingly, the Church has claimed that the population decline in Pathanamthitta district was worse than in China, which is “suffering from its wrong birth-control policies”.
The Church has also listed a set of figures to substantiate its claim that there was a need for increasing the district's population. According to the Diocese, while 859 persons live per sq km in the state, the corresponding number for Pathanamthitta was only 453. Besides, between 2001 and 2011, “the district has witnessed a 3.12 percent drop in population”.
“Nearly 20% of the houses in the district remain shut and we have also lost two constituencies as a result of the drop in population,” the Diocese noted.