Unexpected threats and Natural Disasters can be taken care of by 3Ps & 3Hs

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Needo –introspection on World Population Day July 11 : By Prof. M.M . Goel

The challenges faced today by international organizations and national governments including India are caused by overpopulation which calls for needo –introspection on World Population Day on July 11, 2023. The fear of unexpected threats and natural disasters can be taken care of by proper, practical and productive (3P) use of hands, hearts and heads (3H) constituting real education of the entire citizenry.

The United Nations (UN) World Population Day (WPD) was instituted in 1989 as an outgrowth of the Day of Five Billion, marked on July 11, 1987. Since then, it is annually observed on July 11 to reaffirm the human right to plan for a family. WPD 2023 focuses on how to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls and put the brakes on COVID-19 as revealed by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).To increase public awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning for family welfare and development including gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human development, we need to observe WPD with commitment to control population which is the cause of causes for various ills around the World.

The UN authorized the event as a vehicle to build an awareness of population issues and the impact they have on development and the environment. Since then, with UNFPA encouragement, governments, non-governmental organizations, institutions and individuals organize various educational activities to celebrate the annual event. The logo of the UN is often associated with marketing and promotional material for WPD events. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centred on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in colours such as blue against a yellow background.

In the Malthusian sense, overpopulation is a kind of situation that exists in India because its population is increasing more rapidly than its supply of food. The rate of growth of the population is greater than the rate of growth of food production. The problems of overpopulation are food problem, malnutrition, famines, diseases, decline in per capita income, inadequate agricultural production, poor standard of living and above all unemployment.

The world population is currently estimated to be 8 billion. The world population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Bubonic Plague, Great Famine and the Hundred Years’ Wars in 1350, when it was about 300 million. The highest rates of growth—increases above 1.8% per year—were seen briefly during the 1950s, and for a longer period during the 1960s and 1970s; the growth rate peaked at 2.2% in 1963 and declined to 1.1% by 2009. Annual births have reduced to 140 million since their peak at 173 million in the late 1990s, and are expected to remain constant, while deaths number 57 million per year and are expected to increase to 80 million per year by 2040. Current projections show a continued increase of population (but a steady decline in the population growth rate) with the population expected to reach between 7.5 and 10.5 billion in the year 2050.

There is no data on the Indian population available for the 16th census due in 2021 caused by covid but we have reached number one in population with 7th in size in the world. According to UN projections, the current population of India in 2023 is 1,428,627,663, a 0.81% increase from 2022. The population of India in 2022 was 1,417,173,173, a 0.68% increase from 2021. The population of India in 2021 was 1,407,563,842, a 0.8% increase from 2020.

The measures for population control are necessary but not sufficient. Over-emphasis on female participation and softness on male is not in good taste. To make it sufficient, there is an urgent need for sex education among all with the Rhythmic Method of population control which is the duty of the parents to tell their children for all times to come. It possesses the potential to do wonders. There is a strong case for making bearing and rearing a child costly. We need to adopt a suitable pricing policy for birth, death, marriage and pregnancy registration which can act as a source of financing family welfare programme (FWP) in a big way.

FWP deserve to be given the status of basic infrastructural activity for making it human resource development (HRD) activity in the strict sense. We will fetch the fortune of the demographic dividend being claimed by the data of the 2001 census consisting of 58.2 per cent of people in the age group (15-60 years) – the productive age group for work and is likely to increase in 2026 as 68.4 per cent. The actual realization of the demographic dividend cannot be thought of without a concrete plan of action. This calls for the awakening of youth for the education and training mandated in National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. To emerge as a knowledge economy, we must accept the implementation challenges of NEP with commitment and honesty of purpose. Every boy and girl is seeking opportunities to join school, college, university and professional institution. To humanize and harmonize society, we need to remove built-in inequalities rooted in the caste system by learning from South Korea sharing common Independence Day with us and has become an international donor within the shortest period of time from aid seeking nation. One of the factors for this spectacular performance is the most harmonized casteless society. To be ready to reduce the risks of overpopulation, we need to recruit, retrain in relationship, the human resources with retention and respect (9 Rs of HRM) in family welfare programs.

To sum up, needo-continue honest efforts to decrease the growth rate of the population. The time has come to be serious on the population issues to act strongly to control the growth of the population for sustainable development. Needo-happiness, needo-prosperity, needo-education and needo-health of future generations depend on us being street SMART (simple, moral, action-oriented, responsive and transparent) in controlling population so that future generations are able to sustainably use resources that exist in present times.

*The writer is former Vice-Chancellor known as Propounder Needonomics School of Thought and superannuated from Kurukshetra University.

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