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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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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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Towards an incredible India !

My passion is inclusiveness.

We all talk about making India a super-power. A super-power, in my terms, is NOT the one which behaves like a street rogue, threatens other countries, follows a divide-and-rule policy, and sell weapons against each other.

A super-power is one, which has love in its heart, has so much to offer through its citizens, a nation with abundance, and willing to help through diplomacy and philanthropy.  A super-power is one which can show that little bit of fire in times of need, when a rat’s tail becomes longer than its body and wags.  As you can see, India has many of these traits already built-in. It’s ready to take on, with its majority young population of 1.2 billion, which is almost 19 percent of the world’s population, just that we need to build a few things to make that happen.

Famines and foreign invasions created a havoc in the country. In 1947, the average life expectancy was 26 years in India. We didn’t have proper food, clothing, shelter and nothing to look forward to. In 2013, today, that’s not the case. We are in a stage, where medical, technological and engineering advances have been imported, and our average life expectancy is 63 years. We are doing okay with food production. But, still there are several major gaps.

While the 30% of the India’s population that live in cities and major towns enjoy the fruits of economic well-being, 70% still live in villages and depend on agriculture. These 70% live in poverty conditions (if not ‘extreme’ as per the government wordings), don’t have a single good food a day, divided by languages in education, thus cannot go work or do higher studies in another state or a foreign country, and reproduce for generating labour force for the family for income. This is insane.

Our laws are out-dated and tax regime is in shambles.

We have enough political parties to satisfy each and everyone’s egos, now it’s time to look at what really needs to be done to make this country a super-power.

We had been clerks and accountants and xxx-dars for the British government. We maintained files and offices and provided transportation arrangements for the British officers. We are not doing anything new these days. We have not matured to respect various professions, and still look out for the job that gives the highest salary.

People from central Indian states like Bihar, West Bengal, Chattisgarh travel to other states in trains to find jobs in real estate sector in states like Kerala – leaving behind their agricultural lands, family and culture. Are we really thriving?

So, let’s look at the solutions.

As a nation, we need to make significant progress in rural (remember, 70%) primary education where the ability of the students to study, wonder and ask questions to broaden their perspectives. This will generate the next generation scientists, mathematicians, geologists, historians and any other field experts, who can wonder and awe the vast expanse of this universe and make significant advances in these fields.  Isha Vidhya (http://www.facebook.com/ishavidhya , http://www.ishavidhya.org) an NGO, works tireless on educating the rural children of India through its English medium schools with integrated computer education for the most economically backward children. Take a look at their website, their methodology of education, their management and other details.

We need leaders who inspire leaders in every field, not just politics.  We need entrepreneurs who take social problems and convert them into viable businesses. We need people who question status-quo, and suggest improvements. We need people who can take initiative in suggesting modifications to the outdated law and enable it to take it to the parliament (long shot, yes, can we do it? Of course yes, just need a bunch of committed people).

And yes, we have enough people. All it takes are hearts. Only if you could spare yourself and work on what is required to be done within your circle of influence (and you need to keep expanding this circle of influence), we can make this country shine and become a super-power. If we don’t, we don’t have the right to blame it on politicians and bureaucracy and corruption. Not anymore. It’s on us. Let’s make it happen !

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