Let's make babies

Let's make babies

Thailand's record lowest birth rate in 50 years has prompted the authorities to encourage the public to procreate more. As part of a long-term campaign, Deputy Minister of Public Health, Sathit Pitutecha, recently suggested the Thai Health Promotion Organization ask social media influencers to share their stories about having a loving family when they are ready, how much fun they have raising kids and to basically set a good example.

In a video interview with Spring News, he insisted that these influencers won't be paid for helping out, following harsh criticism over this idea by netizens. His reasoning is that young people who follow these influencers and celebrities would be inspired to start a family because they like to imitate these influencers.

While I can totally understand his concern for having enough workforce to makes sure our society can function properly in the future, with due respect as always, I find his influencer idea a band-aid solution, at best.

First of all, I find the logic behind his idea, for lack of better word, insulting to young Thai adults and very monkey-see-monkey-do.

I sure hope any would-be parents would think things through before deciding to have a kid instead of being inspired to reproduce after seeing how happy their favourite influencer families seem to be through their smartphone screens.

Does he really think young Thai adults are that easily influenced? I sure hope not. Sure people may buy that make-up, check into that hotel, or go to that restaurant that their favourite influencer recommends, but to have a kid so you can imitate your favourite influencer? C'mon, that's far-fetched.

Also, I'm not sure why he equates having a family to setting a good example. Is he saying having kids make you some kind of morally superior than those who don't? There are so many types of relationship these days and not all of them lead to new babies. Even married couples can become DINKs as in "Double Income, No Kids".

Yes, Thai society is possibly facing an imminent issue of workforce shortage and ageing society and we do need new people. However, if the authorities are serious about encouraging Thai couples to propagate, there ought to be more assistance available for the aspiring parents than what's already exists.

To be fair, relevant agencies and ministries have already proposed their part of this procreation campaign, ranging from setting up nursing corners in workplaces, safer schools to govt subsidies to help cover child rearing cost, and I hope that they'll follow through.

However, what I would like to humbly add to the list are: striving for equal access to opportunities in various facets of life for all, single standard of justice and forward thinking governance, to name a few. I think they are essential so would-be parents know that they can bring their off-springs to a more just society, a better Thailand, where everyone has a fighting chance. I'm quite surprised that these goals aren't mentioned in the first place.

Providing hopefulness, which I think is also important as tangible or monetary help, would inspire aspiring parents more than any influencers.

Pornchai Sereemongkonpol

Guru section Editor

Guru section Editor

Email : pornchais@bangkokpost.co.th

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