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Indian mindset is responsible for population growth

In one hand, we are talking about over growing population and on the other hand, India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is declining. It is now 2.2 per woman, nearing the replacement rate of 2.1, according to the latest government data. The total fertility rate has more than halved in both urban and rural areas, falling even below the replacement level in the former where it is 1.7, down from 4.1 in 1971. In rural areas, TFR has fallen from 5.4 to 2.4 during the same period. For rural areas, it varies from 1.6 in Delhi and Tamil Nadu to 3.3 in Bihar. For urban areas, the variation is from 1.1 in Himachal Pradesh to 2.4 in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Of the 22 states, only six have a TFR of 2 or more in urban areas. There are 10 states where TFR is below 2 in rural regions.

Whereas other reports maintain that India may have successfully curbed its high fertility rate, but it still has a long way to go in overcoming the population crisis.

The number of children born per woman in the country still lies in the range of 2.1-4, according to a United Nations (UN) report. This puts India in the intermediate-fertility group of countries in which around 40% of the world population lives.

Thinking about main reason/s for India’s population explosion, we should first consider demographic transition theory. According to these theory, demographics of any society is related to economic development of society. Any society passes through 3 stages of demographics. Societies, which are underdeveloped and technologically backward experience, low population growth rate (PGR). These societies show high birth as well as death rates (BR & DR) due low literacy, health and family planning facilities. But as gap between BR and DR is very low and hence PGR is low. Third stage of demographics is experienced in highly developed societies. This stage is also characterised by low PGR . But the reason for this low PGR is low BR & DR owing to high literacy and availability of health facilities. The societies, which are developing show, decline in death rate owing to good medical facilities, nutrition, communication and transport (patients or doctors reaching on time) and overall development. But BR being a socio-cultural phenomenon requires more time to change its pattern (here decline). Owing to low DR but high BR such societies show high PGR what we later call as population explosion.

There is no point in blaming one particular community for population growth. Indian mindset is still that ‘WE MUST HAVE A SON’. And, in order to get a Son, sometimes, some families keep having babies. 3–4–5–6 until they get SON. Some religious leaders ask followers to have more kids. They brainwash the mind that if you have more kids, they will multiply your income when they grow.

Even if they do not get proper education, they will multiply income by doing odd jobs. The poor soul became a victim of such religious leaders. Polygamy and ban of contraceptive due to religious belief also play an important role here.

Illiteracy is a major problem in India. As the literacy rate is low, people don’t know the side effects of having more children neither they thought of huge impact on economy and agriculture on India. Lack of Sex Education in youth is another serious issue in India, almost every individual (90%) who feels ashamed of talking about this. They hesitate to buy condom from medical store, and pills have some side effects.

Today, we have ten people in one family, tomorrow, they are bound to grow in double. Why call it explosion? It is just an increase. It is the inability of the government, to optimise the usage of manpower, which makes us to say, explosion. Our inability passes the blame on the increasing numbers. Every person is blessed with two hands, one hand to serve the person concerned, and the other to work for others. The productivity of an individual will always be more than he can consume. It is the duty of the government to provide suitable environment for every person, so that he can produce more. Without improving the job opportunity, we simply blame the population increase. Many are leaving the country and settle elsewhere. The countries, which are accommodating these people, realise, that the increases in their numbers are beneficial to them. They give importance to productivity, and not for numbers. Make use of the manpower, scientifically and profitably, instead blaming the increasing numbers. Overpopulation is an undesirable condition where the number of existing human population exceeds the carrying capacity of earth. Overpopulation is caused by number of factors. Reduced mortality rate, better medical facilities, depletion of precious resources are few of the causes that results in overpopulation. It is possible for a sparsely populated area to become densely populated if it is not able to sustain life. At the root of overpopulation is the difference between the overall birth rate and death rate in populations. If the number of children born each year equals the number of adults that die, then the population will stabilise. Talking about overpopulation shows that while there are many factors that can increase the death rate for short periods of time, the ones that increase the birth rate do so over a long period of time. The discovery of agriculture by our ancestors was one factor that provided them with the ability to sustain their nutrition without hunting. This created the first imbalance between the two rates.

The conclusion is that, having large population is a problem for India but it cannot be termed as the root cause of all problems because if managed properly it is a valuable resource too whereas corruption is like a virus which doesn’t help in anyway and rather corrodes our country.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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