There’s a recent article on India’s population slowing down based on fertility rate studies. There are views expressed that finally we can heave a sigh of relief.
That study is based on only the fertility rate – which is the new production of babies. The truth and the fact is that we have already crossed the thresholds of healthy population rate multiple times as compared to the world standards (around 850 people per sq.km.). We already know that we are over-populated. Don’t we see that in the public places – people swarming with no respect to each others’ space and property? When was the last time when anyone who’s coming in front of you, considered your presence, slowed down, and let you walk, in India? We are 1.3 billion in number – 17% of world’s population!
Our agricultural lands are decreasing – because of unavailability of labour (movement to cities), water sources are draining out – because of new storage points not being planned, our air and environment are getting more polluted – not to mention about the new manufacturing oriented development agenda.
If you look at the map in the above article, you will see that the fertility rates themselves are on the higher side in the central Indian states. This is in addition to the already dangerous levels of population in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. Literacy levels are low in these states, and they move to other states for labour. In fact, they generate babies for labour.
So, nothing for consolation. We need to act to take the message of dangers of over-population to the rural through grass-root workers of NGOs and social enterpreneurship companies – provide economic well-being and thus preventing them from generating babies for labour, and the message to adopt instead of generating new babies in cities.
And this has to done in a feverish scale. And bring down the child birth rate (incorrect to call it as fertility rate) to around 1 in the states mentioned above. Only then, we can breath, no pun intended.