In India, children signal social status and can be relied on to provide for their parents when they get old. This traditional mindset is slowly beginning to change, especially among the urban population. But 700 million Indians live in rural areas, and they are as traditional as ever.
The traditional understanding of the family could soon become a problem. China - another country with a population of billions - has maintained a one-child policy as part of its population control program for more than 30 years. But India has no such policy - and its population is expected to exceed 1.7 billion by 2050.