Overpopulation in India
India remains the second highly populated nation globally and is displaying signs of clinching the number one position in 35 years. Population counts stood at 1,087,000,000 persons in 2007 and currently it is estimated to be 1. 17 billion. Although occupying a mere 2. 4 percent of total global land size, India holds in excess of 15 percent of the global population . The population is projected to stand at 1. 55 billion by 2045 and 1. 8 billion as at 2050. Population figures are estimated to reach 2 billion by the close of the 21st century if current fertility levels are not tamed (Kurtz, 2004).
Current population growth levels stand at 22 million persons per year. The number of boys under five years of age totals 62 million. During the 1900s, India experienced some demographic changeover. At the dawn of the century, occasional famines, famines and widespread diseases ensured sufficiently high mortality levels to parallel the soaring birth levels. From 1911 to 1920, death and birth rates virtually were at par; balancing at 48 deaths and 48 deaths for each one thousand population. Rising influence of preventive and curative medication, particularly mass vaccinations, ushered in some stable mortality rate reduction.
As at the middle of the 1900s, birth rates were estimated to have reduced to 28 for every one thousand persons and mortality rates to 10 for every 1000 (Hellen, 2003, p. 18). Huge population surges are accompanied by increasing population density. India had 77 citizens for each square kilometer in 1901; 216 individuals for each square kilometer in 1981 and 267 individuals for each square kilometer signifying a close to 25% surge from 1981 figures. The mean population density of India is more than for other countries having similar size.
Urban regions and primarily agricultural zones record the greatest population density figures. The past fifty years witnessed a quick population increase as a result of medical progress and huge increases in farm production caused by the green revolution. About 70 percent of residents live within rural localities; however, recent years have witnessed increased rural-urban migration and thus a remarkable rise in urban populations. The administration is highly worried by the number of citizens in the country and hence has channeled huge a lot of resources towards battling such growth (Hellen, 2003, p. 25).
The administration sees such efforts to be the best for tackling soaring poverty levels. Poverty levels at present stands at 35%. The modes employed by the administration to curb such an issue have however, fuelled concerns. Soaring population can destroy a country as well as occasion world imbalance thus causing unstable global economics and peace. If India’s surpasses china’s population as envisaged, overpopulation is bound to usher in fresh issues. India normally sustains its citizens through pure drinking water, shelter, education health care and food and additional human requirements availability.
Overpopulation will introduce a strain upon existent resources. Such a strain will impair life quality through reduced access to food and pure water. This consequently results to deteriorated living environments and hence occasioning pandemics and epidemics. The beginning of the 1990s witnessed huge population expansion within southern and central Indian cities. Close to 20 cities in these two zones witnessed growth levels of in excess of 100% from 1981 to 1991. Regions that received huge refugee numbers too witnessed substantial demographic dynamics.
Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Burma refugees substantially contributed towards population surges within their destination locations (http://www. ehponline. org/docs/1996/104-3/focusindia. html). The population of India reached the 1 billion mark in May 2000 thus placing India alongside china to be the sole countries having in excess of 1 billion citizens. However, India has a smaller land area as compared to china. On average, India gets 42,000 new born babies per day. The United Nations has issued warnings of extensive water and food shortages if such growth levels are not curtailed (Timer, 2008).
Since India’s population density parallels that of Japan, various scientists have suggested that the poverty in India is as a result of underdevelopment as opposed to overpopulation. Usually overpopulation is erroneously thought to bring in poverty. However, starvation or poverty emanates from persistent wars, improper organization, negligence, and corrupt and inept governments as opposed to overpopulation. India remains indeed overpopulated; however, it has a huge land mass. Therefore population density is the key element here as opposed to mere numbers.
Comparison of India with countries like Japan, South Korea, Israel, and Netherlands as regards proportions of cultivable land and population density figures offers insight as to the real cause of poverty in India. With the exception of India, the other nations exhibit progressive and rapid development. The countries include: South Korea (17. 18% land, 491 persons); Netherlands (26. 71% land, 395 persons); Japan (12. 91% land, 337 persons); India (54. 40%, 328 persons) and Israel (16. 39%, 302 persons).
It remains apparent that several nations, despite having huge population densities, are exhibiting positive development figures as compared to India. Such nations are not experiencing starvation despite having minimal proportions of cultivable land. On the contrary, they are experiencing success through utilizing modern technologies. In excess of 50% of the land in India could be utilized for crop farming. This would be unrivaled worldwide since India remains the sole nation with such huge proportions of cultivable land.
Close to all progress strides made by India from independence have been impacted on negatively by the rising population. The production of foodstuffs has increased four-fold, however numerous citizens experience hunger; literacy levels have gone up, but the aggregate population of uneducated persons has also gone up (Hellen, 2003, p. 43). Less than 50% of all school-age children in India get access to schools. From 1947 to 1991, the population of India grew by over 200%. India in 1952 became the initial Third World nation to start a government-funded family planning program and formal records indicate some achievements.
From its 1947 independence, fertility levels have been reduced from 6 births for every child-bearing woman to 3. 5. This decline was greater within India’s south states owing to higher education and literacy rates. Such states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala have fertility rates under 2 children for every woman. The “Hindi belt” large northern states, which hold close to 40% of the Indian population, (Uttar Pradesh- 188 million and Bihar – 93 million persons) presently, have fertility levels of 4. 3 children for every woman. However, such figures stood at 5. 63 in 1998 (http://india_resource.
tripod. com/population. html). The social disparity found in India has brought in very varied demographic circumstances such as soaring fertility levels within the ‘Hindi belt’ and Kerala’s beneath-replacement fertility. However, efforts at boosting family planning for impoverished citizens experienced some hindrances within the 1970s upon the introduction of a government-funded group sterilization drive. Such a drive saw the paying or duping of illiterate persons to undergo fallopian tubes elimination or vasectomies (http://www. indiaeyewitness. com/Channels/Issues. asp?
category=Population%20Control. The strategy has since changed towards educating females, upgrading their position, as well as offering improved medical care. Non-profitable organizations visit rural regions handing out condoms as well as holding dialogues regarding birth management; however sex instructions are not part of school curricula. Enormous issues have resulted from the huge population in India. Some of these problems are related to of aggravated by overpopulation. India experiences problems in securing adequate clean drinking water, effluent release and sewage management
(http://www. ehponline. org/docs/1996/104-3/focusindia. html). There is also rampant natural water and land resource depletion. This is coupled with heightened atmospheric pollution levels, soil pollution as well as sound pollution. This has resulted in air composition alterations which are precursors to global warming. Numerous flora and fauna species have been rendered extinct owing to declining tropical forest habitats as a result of poor cultivation methods. Mineral exploitation is endangering natural assets, forests as well as the ecology in general.
This has necessitated the importation of power resources and thus placing a persistent pressure for increased importation to avoid money devaluation. Over-exploitation of natural assets has contributed towards natural calamities that are exhibiting increasing devastation and frequency. India is also ensnared in the “Malthusian snare” whereby population expansion exceeds financial growth. This has rendered the nation incapable of providing proper living standards for majority of the citizens owing to absence of required infrastructural or economic bases.
Permanent cultivable land loss and heightened desertification are also evident thus endangering water and food supply to the rising population. As at 1960, productive land figures stood at 0. 21 hectares for every citizen. By 1999, this figure had declined to almost 0. 10 hectare (Dey, 2004). High child and infant mortality has been recorded in India owing to extreme poverty. There also many cases of small birth weights owing to lack of adequate resources by mothers to cater for successful pregnancies.
Reduced life expectation is another phenomenon. Currently India’s life expectancy levels stand at sixty two years. Enhanced agricultural tools and broadened access to automatic thrashers and tractors has resulted in minimal growth as regards utilization of farming labor. Because a major portion of Indian population expansion occurs among persons with minimal job skills, the nation is faced with the threat of being flooded with entirely illiterate or insufficiently educated youngsters within an inactive or even contracting career market.
Social impacts of such a scenario are simply overwhelming as is evident in slum regions of India’s cities. An increasing number of slum children are being thrust into wage employment since the parents are unable to cater for their families. Youthful adults and rural youth from impoverished and frantic villages move into cities to battle with existent unskilled employee pools for minimal service –sector vacancies. Remunerations are downgraded and ultimately could just reach near-starvation points in disregard of slashing of per-capita social expenditure metropolis budgets (Hoevel, 2008).
In the event that social expenditure is awarded some allocations, very little funds are really channeled to the impoverished. With surging numbers, the negotiation powers of such desperately impoverished slum residents declines up to the level whereby they are unable to influence the actions of corrupt administrators who deny them benefits from the small number of government-run schemes. Such a scenario played itself out throughout the Orissa tempest and in the course of other famine occurrences.
The disadvantaged are routinely offered a small proportion of their dues within food-for-work plans. Desperate persons can consent to toil for below the requirements for survival since they lack the energy to struggle over wages. . Numerous Indian citizens have immigrated into first world nations. This has stripped India of existing minimal skills pool. Increased Cases of haemorrhagic fevers plus other communicable diseases have been witnessed as a result of overcrowding, inadequate pure drinking water and sanitation and inaccessibility of existing health resources.
2001 survey figures showed that about 26. 1% (221 million) Indians resided within urban zones. Huge numbers of Indian city dwellers reside in slum establishments. Unhealthy living environments for numerous citizens are the norm due to depletion of water sources, release of untreated sewage and poor solid refuse disposal. Water sources are experiencing depletion rates two times their replenishment (https://www. cia. gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in. html). Conflicts owing to minimal resources are a common occurrence.
Extreme competition for India’s natural reserves has led to conflicts between Indian states, families and communities. Malnutrition, starvation or meager diets resulting into poor health and nutritional-deficiency diseases, for instance, rickets are on the rise. Close to half of all children in India are experiencing malnourishment despite the medical care structures having pulled life expectancies from forty in 1950 to sixty three. However, under 50% of child deliveries get the attention of trained medical personnel and hence maternal death remains high (Dey, 2004).
Poverty and inflation and consequently reduced assets formation rates are rampant in India. The proportion of poor persons in India has witnessed a steady increase over the past one hundred years. India’s per capita figures amounts to US$425. The Number of Indians living under the global poverty benchmark is 400 million or 40% of the total population. Such persons earn below Rs. 10 every day, translating into yearly earnings of Rs. 3650 (US$80). India boasts of having 17 percent of global population, 1. 4 percent of global GDP, 2. 2% of total global land mass and a mere 0.
6% of global trade. Therefore, 99. 4% of global commerce and 98. 6% of global GDP is not held by India (Kurtz, 2004). In the event that GDP expands by six percent per annum, as was the case from 2000-1, per capita figures do not also experience a comparable growth. Per capita figures decline owing to annual population expansion, inflation and additional issues. Thus the ultimate per capita expansion is much smaller. Crime rates in India are very high as a result of drug alliances plus heightened theft as citizens steal in order to continue to exist.
Huge numbers of impoverished and jobless persons manifest their furious discontent in numerous ways when sturdy social associations, which stand for the concerns of impoverished persons and assist in developing an increasingly just and human society, are absent. The slums of India are major centers of societal anarchy. Several residents turn to violent or trivial crime while others vent out their aggravation through volcanic and sudden social dissatisfaction explosions. Infrastructure, such as mass transportation, community medical systems and highways are usually over-utilized
(http://www. wakeupcall. org/employment/population_bomb. php). For numerous Indians, extreme struggling is involved in even acquiring basic survival requirements. Resource scarcity impacts negatively upon the disadvantaged and the impoverished. The impoverished are routinely subjected to exploitation by wealthy persons and prominent politicians. Despite the fact that middle class persons also face scarcities, the vulnerable and the impoverished are the people who experience more suffering. Many elites in India are reluctant to agitate for a sober population regulation.
This is mainly because such elites have taken advantage of such persistent low-priced labor. However, such endless mainly unskilled and cheap labor supply has grave unrecorded financial implications. It harshly restricts demand-growth and relegates Indian firms to manufacturing inferior, low-value added commodities. This ultimately places Indian firms at huge competitive demerits as opposed to advantages (https://www. cia. gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in. html). Modern production draws bigger profits if labor output gets extremely multiplied.
India’s low-priced labor always cannot compete with high tech mechanized processes. Firms that excessively depend upon human labor generally generate reduced rates and are proving un-remunerative. High profits are derived from firms engaging strictly properly-educated and extremely well-trained workers. The extent of globally marketing products of low-priced labor is fairly minimal. A demoralized and poorly-trained labor force may not be substituted for merely by importing machinery and tools (Hoevel, 2008). Usage of contemporary machinery and their maintenance needs particular expertise not automatically acquired.
With low-priced labor, the need for devices and inputs that save labor increases little by little. This implies that adoption of advanced quality tools and machinery both within industries or domestically does not occur or is slow-paced. In case hiring labor is more affordable that purchasing labor-saving implements, switchover will be hard to effect. However, because human efforts can hardly ever match the accuracy and precision exhibited by properly-designed computer-managed electronic machinery, Indian commodity quality is uncompetitive globally
(http://www. docstoc. com/docs/447760/Indian-Population-Policy). Low-priced labor supply also suggests a limited consumption market. Well-paid workers can afford to purchase more commodities manufactures by firms. This results in heightened demand and thus fuels fresh investment as well as fresh industrial expansion opportunities. However, in case remuneration is low to only permit persons to barely eat, even consumer commodity markets shrinks or stagnates. Thus industries have to consistently face demand-recessions.
India must thus urgently tackle its increasing population without the lackadaisical approach and prejudices witnessed before. The issue should be handled by the community welfare department, all state as well as non-governmental organizations and progressive unions and associations. As at present, family planning schemes in India have achieved only marginal success since such schemes have not holistically handled the problem. Few solid inducements to make poor persons maintain small families have been undertaken.
Little emphasis has been channeled towards the enforcement of some livable lowest wage, so as to a void early engaging of children into employment. Minimal attention has been directed to pledging decent education or employment for poor persons who implement family planning modes and limit their child delivery rates. Minimal emphasis has been channeled towards the requirement for pensions for the aged, disability and health-care insurance in order to make poor persons sense adequate security and thus to avoid the inclination to get more offspring as some future insurance (http://www.
indianchild. com/population_of_india. htm). India’s plan on population should be founded upon solid measures that assist in resolving the population issue and also aid poor persons to enhance their lifestyles in meaningful and tangible modes. Therefore, the film and television industries should responsibly create value structures that reward little families and as well makes community jointly accountable for supporting poor persons if they implement socially conscientious measures. Ridiculing or blaming poor persons and rejecting their democratic liberties is not helpful.
A careless or some escapist attitude will not help either. India’s development-conscious society ought to particularly ensure that this concern is adequately and seriously addressed. A socially beneficial and ethical stance should be adopted in implementing this. For a long time, several Indians have regarded the overpopulation issue as being a bourgeoisie as opposed to a class issue. Such views have disregarded the relationship between big families and child employment or the blink between reduced collective negotiation powers for workers and big families (Timer, 2008).
It is thus imperative that development-conscious social associations as well as worker-defending groups and all additional associations and inhabitants should deeply comprehend this issue and aid poor and young Indians as well as the increasing town proletariat to get involved in this debate in some beneficial, socially-redeeming and conscious manner. Inadequate world economic knowledge, poor leadership and incompetent exercising of administrative and political leadership have worked to cause the terrible and sad environment. Bibliography ‘Environmental health perspectives volume 104, number 3,’ (March 3rd 1996).
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