Fact check: Truth about 50,000 births in Faisalabad in 10 days
Social media had been abuzz about a recent report that some 50,000 births had been reported in Faisalabad within just ten days. While the news sparked several memes and generated a national debate about the activities in Faisalabad, the truth is very different.
Recently, the Punjab government launched a drive to register births across the province. The drive was conducted in 10 divisions and 37 districts across the province.
The review also offered residents a chance to register births that either did not occur in hospitals or were not registered there.
After the exercise, the government released the data for the number of births in the province. The government registered some 262,959 children across the province during the drive.
Of these, 126,717 were girls, and 136,242 were boys.
The data showed that, indeed, some 50,184 children were registered in the Faisalabad division during the 10-day drive. The division includes districts of Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang and Chiniot.
Of the 50,184 children registered in the division, some 25,134 children are registered in the Faisalabad district, 10,739 children in Chiniot, 9,465 in Jhang and 4,846 children in Toba Tek Singh.
Following Faisalabad Division, Multan registered some 43,822 children, while 36,850 were registered in Dera Ghazi Khan.
Rawalpindi had the lowest number of registrations, with only 9,362 children.
Who did the drive target?
According to the Faisalabad Local Government Assistant Director Ahsanullah, who supervised the drive in Faisalabad, the drive was conducted on the directions of the Punjab Local Government Secretary.
“The special drive was conducted across the province to register the maximum number of children ahead of the upcoming census,” he said, adding that it would offer a more accurate indicator of the province’s population.
The drive was not just aimed at registering children born within the duration of the drive.
Rather, officials and gynaecologists explained, the drive was meant for those parents who had failed to register their children.
Why was a drive needed?
They explained that, as per the rules, couples must register their newborns within 60 days of birth.
Any registrations completed within this period are subject to standard fees.
After the initial 60 days go by, children can be registered up to seven years of age, but for a penalty. The penalty is counted per the number of days over the initial 60 days.
If a child is older than seven years, then they are registered after obtaining a special decree from the court.
The special drive, thus, offered an amnesty to parents whose children were seven years of age or younger and had not been registered.
They were subsequently encouraged to register their children under the drive and attain legal status.