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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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Being a nature’s friend…

What would be your take on being a Nature’s friend?

There are so many themes that are talked about today on Nature or the environment, but to me it’s about protecting and nurturing the wonderful planet that we have been given. It’s a privelege to be in this algae-bluish-green rock that’s 2 stones away from the sun, breathing the fresh air, thriving and frolicking in this awesome earth!

But, for our conveniences and comfort, we have almost destroyed this planet in the past 3 decades in so many ways. Especially, the last two decades has seen the individualism rise to its peak – with people looking for individual comfort, diverging from the landscape of the past of few well-to-do and many minions. Well, that’s fine, only if we didn’t have this many heads! Especially, in India, the 1.3 billion!

Once a person is here in this earth as a human being, you cannot ask them to limit their aspirations – be a miser on their wishes, earn less money and live within the means – all these advices are not going to bear fruit – in this age of technology enablement, democracy and freedom. The only other option is not to bring in more and more human beings to this planet. We all have that choice as individuals, and if we really care about the Nature, that’s the best way of being the Nature’s friend!

Let me explain in more detail with some statistics – with data – for the folks who are not convinced of this.

Out of the 7 billion population of the world, 1.3 billion are in India!  That’s 17% of world’s population living in 2% of the world’s land! You will very well agree that every human being need the basics of – air, water, food, space to live, education and job. Let me just take these basic 6 parameters without going into other extended parameters like energy, aspirations, travel and entertainment. Now, let’s look at where we stand in each of the 6 basic parameters:

Air

There’s oxygen depletion happening in earth, and they say that by 2025, we will have 40% less oxygen. Can you imagine breathing 7 times a minute instead of the regular 12 times a minute?

Water

Several business stalwarts are beating their chest that they have invested on water resources since the next world war is going to be on water! Fair enough if you want to be an autocrat who want to rule and control large masses of people, but if you want to be a sensible human being, you would rather contribute to creating awareness about containing the no. of people such that we all have water to drink. Water conservationists talk about conserving every drop of water from the tap, saving every water resource, etc. That’s all fine, but if the no. of human beings keep on increasing, how are they going to find land to live and water to use? They will encroach lakes, and thus bring down the amount of water available, in addition to consuming more & more water!

Food

No doubt India has done well on agriculture, but of late, we have lost our traditional grains and millets, and also looking for imports of wheat from foreign countries! This could be because of mismanagement, but the point is if we mismanaging with the existing levels of population itself, how will we able to manage more? We should be ashamed to that the sons and daughters of our agricultural workers do not even eat a single good meal everyday. As it stands, this scenario does not support ‘Nature’.

Space to live

Needless to say – the more no. of more human beings – more demand for living space – lakes, foothills, riversides enroached and houses built – and we cry foul and blame God when earthquakes, floods and natural disasters kill people – as happened in Uttaranchal recently. Well, is it the Nature’s fault ?

Education

70% of India lives in villages, and we all know the story of rural education. No intervention is helping because of the sheer no. of children that need be educated. Quality is already suffering, and in addition, if we have more and more babies, who is going to educate them? Let’s not forget that uneducated, unskilled people are a burden to the nation than being assets. If they are not educated, how will they be sensible enough to take care of ‘Nature’ ?

Job

Our workforce population between the age of 22 and 60 is going to increase from 575 million to 810 million in the span of next 15 years. This is without counting the babies that might come by in the next 2 decades. How are we going to give job opportunities to them, and what will happen to the ‘Nature’ while we build office and factory infrastructure for these people?

As it stands, we are looking at a very gloomy, bleak picture at Nature and its resources. We have leveraged to the maximum extent possible, wherein the demand can never be met with the supplies. It’s time that we need to reduce our demands by containing the no. of people – abstaining from having babies for the next two decades, and every one of us working in whatever ways possible to spread the message and making personal decisions in life – to be single, to marry but not to generate babies, but may be adopt, etc.

Government policies can be enforced to reward familes without children or families that totally adopt children, and not give the financial benefits for the families that generate babies. India, being a democratic country, will take many years for the people to accept any government initiated measures – and economic carrot being the prime motivator that could work in this market driven picture. We cannot enforce things on people, and we have known by experience that it does not work. Only way is to create awareness.

The urban people can adopt. The rural can stop generating babies for labour, while their economic wellbeing can be taken care by social enterpreneurship, NGOs and government measures.

If we all put our heart and soul on this, this can really work, and we will be doing a very big favour to the Nature by being a sensible race that nurture this planet and not destroy it for its selfish needs.

Otherwise, any amount of trees planted is not going to help. Any amount of water conservation is not going to help. And any amount of pollution control is not going to help. Because, we have exceeded the threshold of those measures being helpful and being scalable.

Please send your comments to populationvision2050@gmail.com

 

 

 


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And so he starts thinking…

It was a hot day in mid March. I was travelling in a train from Bangalore to Chennai.

I was in a non-AC reserved compartment. I take books with me to kill time, but books also fail me at times, as it gets too boring to sit at a place for long.  Though I stare out and let my thoughts wander – and it usually lets the time fly away – I sometimes still feel bored.

I have always thought about the no. of people travelling in the Bangalore-Chennai sector, especially between Vaniyambadi and Chennai. It’s a whole lot. In spite of 7 trains a day, even the reserved compartments are full of standing people who  have not reserved their seats.  I see people cursing those who travel unreserved in reserved compartments, and the ticket inspector. But what they miss out is – how many people can the ticket inspector drive away from the reserved compartments, and for how many days?  It’s simply not possible. Also, the problem is not of irresponsibility, but of demand. It takes half the time and money to travel in train than in the buses, and hence people just hop-in into the reserved compartments and travel.

I have had my share of arguments and discussions with RTSO (the research wing that designs the railway compartments). I have argued with them that they should design non-AC double-decker coaches, so that common man can travel in them and the demand can be met.  They can’t keep adding coaches to the trains, as already 6 to 7 coaches of a train like Lalbagh stand outside the platform in a station like Arakkonam. Their answer is that they can’t increase the height of the coaches because they have to re-adjust the electric poles that supply power to the engine, so they are lowering the ground level of the compartment, in which case, dust will come in if the coach has open windows, and hence they can design only AC coaches! Makes sense. So, the railways are doing their bit. So, where is the problem?

I went towards a door to stand and gaze out, and there’s this person who was sitting near the door. We start talking about various things. He says he is from Ambur and works in a petrol supply company. I bring up the crowd issue, and how people just hop in the trains in whatever compartments they could find nearby. He agrees it’s a problem, but says he does that all the time as it’s convenient for him.

I ask him, ‘But you know, how can railways cater for such a huge crowd? Not just railways, we need to provide food, water, electricity, land, jobs etc to all the people. So, why give birth more and more, while there are existing children which need caring and shelter?’. He winces. Probably the background and culture he is coming from is for more and more babies, or against adoption. But he sees the point. He laments ‘Who thinks about all those?’. But then I can see a change in his attitude. I am sure I had made him think. I’m happy that I happened to stumble upon one person who happens to live where there’s dense population, and made him think too.

Many more minds to think. Adoption could be a cure to our population disease. Especially in cities and towns where it is feasible.  If we need to experience being a parent for a loved one, why not adopt ?

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Wasting food….

How would you feel – if you meticulously study from your 5 years of age to your college, and then just thrown out of the circulation without recognition?

That’s exactly the same when you throw & waste the food that’s put on your plate.
The food has come all the way from earth, taking in resources like water, labour & sweat, grew for 3-4 months, got transported from the village to a processing center, and then to your city, reached the shop, and you bought it. And how wise is it for you to just dump it in the trash just because you can’t eat it? If you can’t eat it, why do you allow it to be put in your plate in the first place? Or why did you ask for that extra second serving when you well know that you cannot complete it, and your stomach is full? Think !

We have a whole lot of people who don’t have one good food a day, and here we are wasting food in our own homes, not to mention the marriage halls and big show-off functions. I saw idlis and vadas (tasty) ones getting wasted in one of the institutions which expressly discourages wasting food ! Now, that’s sad. I am going to talk to the Principal and let him know.

At all levels, starting from buying the groceries, to cooking, to having the food in the plate, think twice, thrice & four times, whether you really need it. With the kind of population we have in India, we are going to have problems buying carrot (not caret!). And when that happens, you will feel the pinch! We need to change !