India's migrant labour population has struggled most during the novel coronavirus Pandemic of 2020. Starting from the crisis which the country faced concerning the migrant labour travelling back home to the lack of food in their households right now. Due to the daily wage-earning aspect of their jobs, they suffer from a shortage of income even on regular days, the lockdown because of COVID-19, has affected the availability of food in their homes. The root of their financial issues lies in the fact that the unemployment rates are high and literacy rates are low. The problem primarily stems from the scarcity of resources in India, which in turn is caused by overpopulation in the country.
As of 2018, the population of India was at a staggering 135.26 crores compared to China's 139.27 crores. The population density in India is about 420 per km2, and it accounts for 17.7% of the world's total population.
'The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare' of The Government of India has been putting in efforts to combat this problem of the population explosion by formulating and executing family planning by improving healthcare facilities, increased education for women and ensuring higher participation among women in the workforce. All these measures have led to lower fertility rates causing a drop in the growth rate of the population.
In 2017, 'Mission Pariwar Vikas' was launched as a central planning initiative aimed at improving access to contraceptives and family planning services.
BJP MP Rakesh Sinha introduced the 'Population Regulation Bill 2019'. This bill is seeking to impose a nationwide two-child policy. It also states that anyone with more than two children will have to deal with a reduction in anti-poverty schemes such as reduced subsidy on public loans, forcing them to pay loans back at higher rates.
NA (f,18) says "This bill can be passed with a condition stating that any child born (after the second child) nine months post the announcement of the law will cost the family their extra anti-poverty measures, thus seeing a drop in birth rates without unnecessarily causing harm to the families with more than three children who were born/conceived prior to the passing of the bill. "
The perks of this scheme will be seen in the long run, wherein the population growth will decrease over a while. This action will automatically reduce the number of people amongst whom the resources of the country have to be shared. There will be reduced pollution levels of the country, and poverty levels will see a drop.
When lesser children are to be reared by one family, the amount of money they have to spend on a daily basis will go down. Moreover, children are likely to be treated better, as there will be lesser cases of unwanted children.
However, many people have opposed the idea of this bill as it will cause a heavy burden on the poor, penalising the poor who have more than two children with reduced food and less kerosene does the opposite of helping these families survive. A one/two-child policy might cause our population to become primarily geriatric over the years, just like what happened with China. Lastly, in our country, there is a constant desire for a son, forcing sterilisations, female foeticide and infanticide. This takes a toll on their mental health.
Instead of such drastic measures, a solution provided to this has been the increased availability of contraceptives. The drawback here is that the country has been trying to do this for years, and it has not succeeded in helping the overpopulation situation. No matter which political party is in power, the lower level corruption never ceases to exist.
NR(f,18) said "I think that the answer to the question 'is a population control policy required in a country like India' isn't simply yes or no. It's more complicated than that considering we have a variety of factors to consider first such as class, caste, religion and gender. The government, since the start, has had a sort of malicious intent in blaming individual sections of the society for being responsible for the population growth in our country.
Rather than first facilitating solutions for the rural sections, the poor, the uneducated and the disenfranchised segments of our society, the government along with its people to an extent has found a more comfortable alternative is shirking off the questions by merely referring to the 'population problem'.
I do think that this is a vicious cycle and that there is, in fact, truth when people refer to lesser privileged sections of our society as the root of the problem. Still, it is crucial to understand the reasons and the causality of why it is so. Also, we cannot ignore the gender and religion aspect of it: what does a population control policy mean for women? does it create a barrier between the state and the minority religions of our country?"
MI(f,18) says "Being an Economics student, we study about how our subject revolves around the rational management of the scarce resources and the most profitable and satisfactory methods to utilise them. Thus, in a country like India, which has an enormous population and not the vastest landmass and resources, it is almost essential for us to control our growing population.
Population growth has two dimensions, first where it can be used to accelerate economic growth and secondly where it's a burden if it's not managed rationally. India has reached the stage where it already has the world's largest youth population, any more than this is only havoc in creation. It is high time we shed our self-absorbed mentalities and plan to save some resources for our future generations.
Population control not only promises a bright economic future for a country but also touches down trivial issues as child negligence, malnutrition, healthy relationship and many other ill-effects of overpopulation. Population control is a gift we can present to our upcoming children if we do not wish to have them fight over insignificant resources."
The question which should resound in our minds – what can we sacrifice for the other?
(DISCLAIMER: None of these pictures belong to me, I have acquired them from Google)