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  • 11 Jul2022

    It was our last exam yesterday, so me and my friends thought of going to the Beach, from our college, Aarupadai Veedu Institute of Technology (AVIT), VMRF today morning. We took a cab and we were enjoying the cool breeze crossing the grasslands across the roads. I must say, the college is situated at a very ideal location, and if time permits, a visit to the campus will make your day. Our driver was kind enough to play the radio with “Ethir Neechal” by Anirudh, the great Tamil sensation. Such a beautiful romantic song was going on the background and my friends were laughing like hell. God knows who farted laughing gas then. But soon I realized that the laughing gas was not inside the car, it was outside. I peeped out to see what made my friends laugh.

    Ladies and gentlemen……. I am sorry but if you have a family of 8, please don’t encourage yourself to sit in a “Lambretta” and spoil the beauty of the vehicle. I am literally seeing a middle-aged man riding the scooter with 2 children in the front who think they are flying, with his wife (I suppose) holding two kids in her hands with 2 kids sitting in between both the parents.

    I am sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh, but we were bursting out just and just looking at the face of the father, who had a very funny and tensed face as if his mother was going to kill him if he didn’t take them all home safely. All I wanted to ask him was, “Why did you populate so much Sir?”. Oh my God……my laugh is uncontrollable.

    Though the matter is quite funny, it carries a lot of seriousness along with it. Today, India stands second as the most populated country after China with 1.412 billion*. It is sadly not a very good point to quote but when we quote on global population, we can't hide the fact that India stands second on being over-populated. This practice of overpopulation started a very long time back, when mothers were forced to give birth to boys. Though nowadays, boys are given nicely left and right by parents, those days, they were considered a blessing to the family. Mothers were tortured and humiliated by societies. As days have passed, things have changed, but mentality has not. Now this practice was not only practiced in India, but also in parts of Europe, Africa and many other parts of Asia.

    But thanks to the revolutions that arose in different parts of the world that gave rise to the livelihood of people and made them educated. The literacy system was improvised, women were empowered, and many more reforms were brought about by great reformers and socialists. But the issue of overpopulation came into the limelight after great outbreaks of diseases that massively impacted the people around the globe. Swine flu, Influenza Virus, Spanish Flu and our very own Corona Virus are such big examples of pandemics that hit the world due to overpopulation. Diseases like Tuberculosis, Malaria, Cholera, Dengue Fever, etc. are all results of overpopulation. Spreading among denser population is very easy and faster for viruses and diseases which enable deadly mutations to continue.

    Overpopulation is the reason for many more issues like polluted water supplies which makes water unsafe for utilization; lesser fresh air that is being polluted by the toxic content of gases released by vehicles of increasing number of people that causes sicknesses like Asthma, Cancer, Cardiovascular and Respiratory disease; large volumes of uncollected wastes create multiple health hazards like cancer, neurological diseases, congenital malformation, etc.

    Well, thanks to our Government that has taken several steps to control the population of the country looking at the adverse effects and consequences of the overpopulation. Various initiatives have been taken under the National Family Planning Program providing broad range of services mentioned as follows:

    1. Mission Parivar Vikas - The Government has launched Mission Parivar Vikas for substantially increasing access to contraceptives and family planning services.

    2. New Contraceptive Choices - New contraceptives like Injectable contraceptive and Centchroman have been added to the existing basket of choices.

    3. A new method of IUCD insertion immediately after delivery i.e. post-partum IUCD (PPIUCD) has been introduced.

    4. Redesigned Contraceptive Packaging - The packaging for Condoms, OCPs and ECPs has now been improved and redesigned so as to increase the demand for these commodities.

    5. Compensation scheme for sterilization acceptors - Under this scheme, MoHFW provides compensation for loss of wages to the beneficiary and also to the service provider (& team) for conducting sterilizations.

    6. Clinical Outreach Teams (COT) Scheme - The scheme has been launched for providing Family planning services through mobile teams from accredited organizations.

    7. Scheme for Home delivery of contraceptives by ASHAs at doorstep of beneficiaries.

    8. Scheme for ASHAs to Ensure spacing in births.

    9. Scheme for provision of Pregnancy Testing Kits in the drug kits of ASHAs for use in communities.

    10. Family Planning Logistic Management and Information System (FP-LMIS): A dedicated software to ensure smooth forecasting, procurement and distribution of family planning commodities across all the levels of health facilities.

    11. National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme (NFPIS) under which clients are insured in the eventualities of death, complication and failure following sterilization.

    12. Ensuring quality of care in Family Planning services by establishing Quality Assurance Committees in all states and districts.

    These schemes should be discussed in colleges under the CSR activity to spread awareness and it is students like you and me who should take steps beyond cultural and traditional taboos to educate the local communities on this Overpopulation is the root cause of all major problems. Population growth adds to the inability of societies to scale up health care systems and facilities. Hence, the need of the hour is to deal with the issue and come up with solutions to resolve the problem. The problem of overpopulation can only be solved by spreading awareness about family planning and education about overpopulation, enacting birth control measures and regulations, providing universal access to birth control devices. Some of these measures can prove useful in ending the vicious circle of population growth and rising health threats.

    * Source: The Economic Times-The World Population prospects 2022 Report.

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