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#India to beat #China in #Population by 2022; Child #Adoption process getting simpler

Life is a mixed bag.

Last week, two significant headlines hit the news. The first is about the estimate that the India Population is going to exceed China by 2022which is a bad news, as we had expected it to happen by 2028 earlier.  The other is about the child adoption process in India is getting faster, easier and transparentwhich is a good news, as more people including NRIs can adopt in a simpler way moving forward.

One is a problem, and other is a potential solution. While some even neglect to think that the child adoption is a potential solution to the population problem (and say that adoption is emotional, the child and parent should connect well, one cannot adopt ANY child, etc, which are all reasonable), many consider it as a viable solution.  Here is an example of a parent who thinks so.

The Central Adoption Resource Agency has created a database of children that are waiting for adoption, and it has linked the adoption agencies to the database.  This way quick access to children to be adopted is available to the agencies.  Potential parents can now register online for them to be considered.  The guidance will be effective by August 2015, is what the post says.

With these updates, the urban folks of India now have a choice.  We have written several blogs before encouraging urban parents to adopt and why.  Several things have changed from the past, and attitude of the young generation is changing too.  With limited resources that India has, population has to be kept under strict check, and adoption is one way out – to give life to an existing child rather than creating another which will add additional burden to the country – burden may be a strong word, but yes, that’s how it is – with population increasing 1.6% in India every year!


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Is #Sterilization the solution to #India #Population?

This article was posted in Reuters yesterday, and it talks about how sterilization is the major means of India population control.

It’s really sad to hear that even in the days of Information Technology, social networks, smart phones, cloud, and reach-ability to the masses, to the rural masses in particular through startup apps., these kind of measures are required.

India technology evangelists and entrepreneurs should invest in making awareness creation solutions to not to have babies.  Most of the work will be done mentally, when we plant these ideas of other options available rather than to have babies, and physical measures like sterilization will come down.

If you look at India broadly, 70% is rural and 30% is urban/semi-urban.  Solutions like ‘Make In India’ which are destined to boost the Indian economy, should focus on the rural areas where the unemployment is the most, and generate job opportunities, such that people don’t generate babies for labour.

And the urban folks have the adoption option.  The Ministry of Women and Child Development, India under the able leadership of Mrs. Menaka Gandhi, is streamlining the CARA process and making adoption easy and hassle-free.  If only people can reject the stigma surrounding ‘It’s not MY child!’, things will be a lot better.

So, good work is being done, but we need to invest in data gathering, sharing and awareness creation.  Will the India tech. entrepreneurs take note?


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The value of family and life – #India #Population

I write about India Population. And it’s a very unpopular topic.

Sometimes you need the steel heart to read the personal attacks that emanate from people who think that their rights are being violated when asked to consider not to give birth to children.

Here are some of the feedback received from very well known members of the community:

‘You look like you have lived your life well. How can you ask us to not to have babies? I am an unmarried woman in my twenties, and I want to have my family’.

‘Have you ever given birth and raised children?’

The first comment is because they fear the system/government will prohibit having babies.

The second comment is tricky.  If I answer ‘Yes, I have had children’, then they will blast me ‘You advice something for the world, and you do things differently. Hypocrite!’  If I answer ‘No, I have not had children’, then they will blast me ‘See? How will you know the value of having a family? You should never advice!’

Let’s look at it objectively.

The moment your child gets out into the streets of India, they become one in the 2.72 billion people. And the family safety net that you provide is lost.  In the streets, today, people don’t even see each others faces and smile at strangers. They are all driven by their own missions of getting to office and coming back. So, the ‘value’ that you are talking about in your ‘own’ child just vanishes in the society.

More so with these huge numbers of people. As the numbers increase, tolerance to fellow human beings will naturally reduce. All the push-pulls that happen in the public transport, and the politics that happen at the work places will increase as there are more number of people, because, everyone has to take care of their survival.

If you are not objective, and take care of managing the no. of people that this nation can hold (by the way, we are 17.5% of world’s population in 2% of world’s land!), then nature will be cruel.  By nature, I don’t mean just the land, water, air, etc, but also all the life forms including human.

Our nation has been a very tolerant one in general. ‘Please adjust’ has been our mantra. But that will break with a population growth of 1.6% every year, as per the latest reports. People will start being cruel to each other. Like buying illegal software through an IRCTC official and booking 36 tickets at once illegally!

Just take a look around, and see if we really more children. How are we going to educate and give jobs to all these population? What about drinking water, food, space to live? For God’s sake, how about experiencing the pleasantness of life with some space instead of always being jam-packed?

If one really values life and family, they will understand it’s being cruel to everyone to add more. And probably adopt children who have no one to care for.

Someone said ‘There will come a time when the government will start asking to produce babies’. That would be a golden day to live when we are all joyful, and want to make copies of ourselves.

But right now, we are over-crowded and miserable. Let’s stop!


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Let there be no illusions! #India’s #population is still at dangerous levels.

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.

No.

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.


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Delhi, may be it’s time for – We two, adopt two!

Congratulations! Delhi is the 2nd most populous city in the world! Sounds as though we are lifting some trophy in the World Olympics Championship! Not!  The bomb had already ticked a lot, and it now exploded! Now it’s time for the triage. Looky looky here!

That article talks about two things: (1) Condoms & sex education, (2) migration from other places.

Do you actually believe that a person living in a large city is unaware of the consequences of unprotected sex?  If yes, do we know what percentage?  Or should we take an SMS poll to figure out that number?

Yet, average people are bogged down by the mental challenges of handling their family, friends and circle for not having a kid. If they are really up to not having a biological baby, there are multiple options available: (a) stay single, (b) get married but decide not to have kids, (c) get married, but adopt instead of having biological children (in fact, the office of CARA, the department for adoption enablement under Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, is right there in Delhi!)

Migration from other places because of lack of opportunities, jobs, and sheer ambition to make it big in a city are also important reasons. While the state governments have to take care of the basic amenities in the rural and towns, and provide moderate growth opportunities, so that people don’t move to the cities, it’s the people who are in the cities who have lots of opportunities to do something about containing the India population.

Why do I say that? Because urban people are mostly (hopefully) educated; they have access to information; they have independence to think through and make personal choices like not having kids; and they have means to adopt children if they wish to, from orphanages and homes,and give them a home.

Delhi Government cannot keep building metro over metro, double-decker metro, underground triple-decker monorail, etc. It’s the urban people who need to take responsibility, if they want to live well in a city state, which is around 1500 sq.km in size (including NCR), but has around 25 million in population. That’s roughly 16700 persons per sq.km, while the healthy population density for India is 197 persons per sq.km.

Remember, it’s not ‘We two, Ours two’ anymore. It’s ‘We Two, Adopt Two’ time!

YOU, yes YOU! Please think about it, and act, or rather not act in the wrong direction!

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Moves to curb delays in India child adoption

Recently, the Central Minister of India, who takes care of child adoption area, announced a series of decisions to streamline the child adoption process in India.

It is a very good step, coming at a very appropriate time, for three different reasons. One, children in the adoption homes are not being able to find prospective adoption parents because of several hindrances and likewise, prospective parents were not able to adopt soon because of the same issues.  There is also the question of people who want to adopt, so that they don’t add more to India’s burgeoning population by the way giving biological birth to a child.  In all these three aspects, the measures announced are welcome.

It was announced that statutory status to CARA will be announced. This is good because it increases accountability for results, and also gives power for the department bureaucrats to take swift actions.

It was announced that no child will remain in an adoption home for more than 100 days.  This will make the home accountable for finding a suitable parent for the child as soon as possible. Courts and Chief justices have been asked to minimize the delays in issuance of court orders for children to be enabled to be adopted.

The best part is the warning for the specialized adoption agencies to be blacklisted, if they don’t keep and update their databases about children ready to be adopted and the numbers up to date!  This is very important, and several people have complained that the information about child availability is not being made available by the homes at the first place, and even if it’s available, it’s out of date, and when they physically go to the center, they get the reply that children are not available for adoption.

CARA was also told to ask the Child Welfare Committees to enable issuance of ‘legally free’ certificates for the children that are ready to be adopted.  This is also welcome, as the process will be fastened.

Adoption statistics at the CARA website shows that only 3924 children have been adopted through the agency in 2013-14.  This is a very small number compared to the number of children who are without homes living in cities, and the country’s population of 1.3 billion. This clearly shows that somewhere things are not going right.  May be a structural and process change is needed in CARA. More hands and heads are required both in the policy-making levels, as well as the support stuff in the offices who handles parents requests and process them.  One potential parent observed that the phone calls to CARA are not answered most of the times, and emails are not being replied.  Enough staffing (as it is the central agency which handles requests from all-over India), and monitoring of the processes are very much required.

Hope the Indian Central Government follows up with the decisions announced and streamline the processes and removes the structural obstacles.