India: The Loop Way

The grey-haired spinster waved a delicate, S-shaped twist of plastic at her audience of newsmen in New Delhi last week and announced triumphantly: "It's foolproof." What Dr. Sushila Nayar, India's Health Minister, held aloft was a contraceptive device. She was opening Family Planning Week, the start of a new government campaign against the nation's severest problem: overpopulation.

The problem is everywhere to behold—in fly-filled villages, along dusty bullock paths, in the dismal density of city tenements—millions of people trapped in desperate squalor. In the hope of ending all this, India has struggled...

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