Indian parish offers parents $220 to have 5 kids

September 12, 2011

A parish in India's Kerala state has instituted incentives to encourage families to have more children amid worries that the Catholic population in the area has begun to drop.

St. Vincent De Paul Forane Church in Kalpetta now offers fixed-rate deposits of 10,000 rupees (Cdn$220), held in the name of the fifth child born in a family.

Father Jose Kocharackal, parish vicar, said that by Aug. 31, the church had issued deposits to two families in the parish, adding that part of the Sunday collection is set aside for funding the deposits.

Salu Mecheril, regional coordinator of Sion Prolife Foundation that funds the plan, said the campaign is gaining popularity, with a second parish preparing to adopt it.

The Indian federal government has encouraged residents to make two children the norm for families.