SATARA, India — While countries like Japan, Canada and Australia hand out "baby bonuses" to encourage people to have children, couples in one part of India are getting cash to do just the opposite.
Rajia and other women like her were attracted by the offer of 5,000 rupees in cash if they stayed childless for two years after their nuptials. If they hold out for another year, they receive an extra 2,500 rupees.
The scheme is voluntary: the only conditions being that the marriage has to be registered with the government and that participants sign a consent form confirming that they are taking part of their own free will.
Over the first two years, couples have to attend compulsory counseling and education classes every three months.
The sessions include family planning advice. Free condoms and the oral contraceptive pill are available. Even abortions can be arranged.