- Health A-Z
- Diet & Fitness
- MY MONEY
- Home Remedies
- Web Stories
The population of India has been growing at a constant rate and this is a worrying trend. What is more alarming is that, according to the United Nations, China together with India accounted for more than 1.4 billion people apiece in Asia and India is now set to overtake China and become the most populous country by 2023. The latest report from the UN also says that India's population is predicted to grow from 1.4 billion people at present to 1.67 billion by 2050 and 1.7bn people by 2064. The report also says that it is likely to reach 1.53 billion by 2100. Understandably, experts in India have raised the alarm and say that it is absolutely necessary to act before it is too late.
Now, on to the positive news. At present in India, women between the ages of 15 to 19 years bear 988,000 children. This is likely to come down to 282,000 by 2050, and then further dip to 132,000 by 2100.
So how do these estimates help? According to Debanjana Choudhuri, Gender and Climate action activist, "The most important outcome of knowing these estimates is, how will governments step up in their investment on sexual and reproductive access and take proactive steps to address climate change and look out for the vulnerable and marginalised sections of the society."
In Choudhuri's opinion, women and girls have long borne the burden of contraception and family planning and are the worst sufferers of impacts of climate change. He believes that there is an urgent need for holistic discussions and improved investment and programmes around comprehensive sexuality education, preventing child marriages, protecting women and girls from SGBV, and making contraception choices and safe abortions easily accessible to all those who need it. Women and girls should be empowered to be decision makers and have bodily autonomy to decide when and if, to have children."
The pandemic has had an adverse effect on family planning and the use of contraception. There were many unintended and unplanned pregnancies in the last two years. Also, in India, many women have no say in family planning. As Choudhuri says, "There is a need for programmatic interventions and investment for male engagement and for de-mystifying myths surrounding safe abortion." When it comes to family planning, men and women should share the burden equally.
An ever-increasing population is a matter of concern for the government. It also impacts the development of a country. India's exploding population has long been up for debate, especially because of its diverse religious, social, and geographic makeup. As Dr Suchitra Dalvie, Co-ordinator, Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, says, "Future predictions of demographic figures may not be able to take into account water shortages, realities of upcoming issues and impacts of pandemic like COVID 19. We are looking at a future of water shortages, climate change as well as a possible change in migration patterns all of which would affect a population. We need to remember the commitments we made at ICPD 1994 to protect individual sexual and reproductive rights and not to put 'population' ahead of people, and see how each of the climatic changes are going to impact their lives as a whole."
Follow us on