New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed concern over “population explosion” in the country, saying it causes new challenges for the coming generations and asserted that the central and state governments should launch measures to deal with the issue.

In his Independence Day speech, the PM said the issue of ever-rising population is a matter of concern and said that a small section of society, which keeps their families small, deserves respect. “What they are doing is also an act of patriotism and it is these people who need to be felicitated,” he said.

This is the first time the PM has raised the issue, even though a section of the BJP has been vocal about the matter. “If the population is educated and healthy, the country too will be educated and healthy,” he said.

He said every family needs to first think if the child it is planning to have will get a good education, food and will be able to lead a life they dream of, for him.

He said state governments and Centre need to come forward and educate people on population explosion.