ISLAMABAD (APP) - Federal Minister for Population Welfare Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that the ministry would introduce special initiatives for reducing population growth, fertility rate and increase in contraceptive prevalence rate. Talking to private TV channel she said the government is keen to implement its policies on population welfare on priority basis in the neglected areas of the country. The minister said that the ministry will create awareness and take step to improve communication between masses and welfare centers. To a question he said the formulation of the Youth Policy is merely the beginning of a journey. The policy will facilitate the young generation for playing their proactive role in dealing with contemporary challenges and policy formulation processes. She said it is now the collective responsibility of both government and the civil society to join forces to ensure a holistic youth policy action plan that would effectively address the prevalent condition of pervasive social apathy, which has undermined youth's confidence in terms of improving their social and political environment through organised civic engagements and initiatives. The Ministry of Population Welfare will send religious scholars abroad so that they could have a fresh look at the successful population welfare policies adopted by Muslim countries. The group brought back different case studies, which are being translated into Urdu language. Each member of these groups will hold orientation sessions at provincial level. Similar sessions will be held at district and union council level. The scholars who will be sent abroad will belong to the four provinces, FATA, FANA, AJK and Northern Areas, she explained. She said religious groups enjoy a lot of clout in society and unfortunately many of them considered that family planning was against the teachings of religion. She said it was generally perceived that population welfare was just associated with family planning. Its real concept was that family planning was only a segment of population welfare, she said, adding, population welfare extends to development, education, health, jobs and poverty reduction plans. She said the ministry could only fulfil its ambitious objectives in coordination with health, education and other ministries.She said a major policy revision was needed for a targeted focus on civil society and rural population for better implementation of population welfare policies. She said the ministry had planned to introduce family planning as a separate subject in schools as part of its efforts to raise awareness. The ministry officials would hold discussions with Education Ministry for inclusion of the subject in the curriculum, the Minister added.