World Population Day
Today the international community observes World Population Day. What is the significance of this day? The world population increases day by day. It was 2.5 billion in 1950 and increased to 7 billion in 2011. In India at the time independence, it was 30 crores as the National Poet Bharati observed in one of his poems increased to 110 crores today. What if the population increases? Population affects various developmental activities of a Nation. The planning and budget of a Nation depends upon the population of that Nation. The fall and raise of a particular political system is also the after effects of population. The quality of education, protecting culture and heritage, public distribution, and even issuance of an identity card depend on population. If a Nation wants to provide medical facilities to its citizens, first it has to calculate the population then decides the number of Doctors it needs. If India wants to provide a true medical facility to its people, it needs at least one doctor to every 500 people, if we comprise to a satisfied proportion then also it may need one doctor to every 1000 people. Then it may need 11 lac Doctors for the purpose. The Nation has to plan in such a way that it gets 11 lac doctors in a reasonable period. At present 6 to 6.5 lacs doctors are available in India. Then India needs to increase its doctors’ population at least twice in number as per present need. To achieve this target, the Nation ought to increase the number of medical colleges, faculties, hospitals, number of seats in every college etc. This was necessitated because of abnormal increase in the population. The case is the same in every issue. The overpopulation augments the problems that a Nation faces. Population increase may lead to poverty and the poverty leads to unsocial and anti-social activities such as stealing, cheating etc. This may lead to low-governance and even to non-governance. The success of governance of a Nation depends on the size of population. Even in a family, we face a problem of adjustment in accommodating more number of members where the facilities are available to a less number of members. The same is the case with a Nation also. One can observe the success of less populated Nations. At the same time one can also observe the success of overpopulated Nation by its tireless efforts and labour. This is the difference in achieving success between less populated and overpopulated Nations. Everything goes on the high side in the overpopulated Nation due to its high demand. The secret of quality in private educational institutions lies in this aspect only. They cater to the need of the elite and haves, whereas the public educational institutions cater to the need of poor, middle class, mass and have-nots. In other words, the private institutions care for the less-populated class whereas the public institutions care for the overpopulated. This is also one of the major reasons that Government institutions fail to maintain quality, whereas the private institutions maintain high quality. Thus, non-adaptation of family planning leads to overpopulation. Another reason for the increase in population is the decrease in mortality rate which is an achievement on the part of scientific development indeed, but it accelerated the problem of overpopulation. According to UN report this decrease in mortality accelerated population from 1 billion in 1810 to 7 billion in 2012. The UN agency, United Nations Population Fund known as UNFPA (as it was previously United Nations Fund for Population Activities) increasingly devotes resources to country-led efforts, placing emphasis on country-focused and country-led implementation to achieve improved results, at the same time addressing mutual accountability and strengthening harmonization and alignment. This population increase is on the increasing proportion in all the age groups. For example, at present 16 million teenage girls give birth every year, but they do not even have a choice to plan their pregnancy. This is the most vulnerable aspect of population increase. That is why the World Population Day 2013 focused on Adolescent Pregnancy. Out of 600 million girls in the world, about 500 million live in developing countries. They are the face and shaper of present and future of a particular Nation. Their opportunities and choices in their adolescence make them to face their adulthood empowered and active citizens. Further, in developing countries about 16 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth every year and complications during pregnancy and delivery are the main cause of death in that age group. To prevent this kind of death, almost all the Nations enforced the law by increasing the marriage age to 18 for girls of course except few Islamic and other orthodox Nations. 222 million women in the world want to prevent pregnancy and need contraception. However, in Yemen, Afghanistan, and much of Saharan Africa the women continue to have an average of 5 children or even more than that. In India also the same is the case with orthodox families, where there is no restriction in number of children. If this trend continues the world population would be expected to touch 11 billion in the mid century. If the population adopts Family Planning along with maternal and child care, we can prevent 53 million unintended pregnancies and 250000 women death during pregnancy. Use of condoms and contraceptives will prevent infections transmitted through sexual intercourses. In India, every year 45 children are born for every 1000 people. The world population agencies are striving hard to achieve the mission of reducing population from the expected 11 billion in 2050 to somewhere 8 or 9 billion. These efforts will yield results only when the people at the grass root level understand the seriousness of the issue crossing their religious affiliations and orthodox mentality. Further, we must try the age old tradition inscribed in our scriptures for the better control of population. Our ancient scriptures talk about giving birth to children. They categorically say that the first child is Virtue Born (Dharmaja) and the other children are Sex or Desire Born (Kaamaja). Hence, in those days the couple felt ashamed to have a second child as that will be known as Sex-Desire-Born. Further, there are certain days prescribed for intercourse, that also prevented frequent pregnancy and they gave scope for the women and even to men the choice of having pregnancy. These ancient norms are not followed seriously, then population control is impossible or hard-possible to achieve. More the involvement of people is more the success rate in controlling population and achieving development.
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