New Delhi: India is a country with a population of 130 crores and counting. Family planning stands to be the need of the hour for many reasons — resources becoming extinct.
The fact that India’s exploding population is responsible for the poor quality of life cannot be ignored. One other fact that cannot be ignored is that as of 2017, the fertility rate of 2.24 births per women is declining.
Out of 36 states and eight union territories, a combined 22 of them have a fertility rate below two, while there are also states which have fertility rate as much as 3-3.2 as of 2017.
One of the major factors that will not only bring down a country’s population in the near future but also increase the crime rate and that is the sex ratio of India. It stands at 924 females per 1000 males. This means the population for female in the country is 48.04 per cent and male is 51.96 per cent.
India has states like Haryana with a sex ratio as bad as 879 female per 1000 males while Kerala has 1084 females for every 1000 males.
While there is a need for contraception to be normalised in Indian society but there are already factors which are hampering the population.
The ugly part of the picture is that not only is it hampering the size of the future population but it is also increasing the crime rate.
It is always the family planning that is deemed as the reason but there are other causes which will decrease the population of the country. These reasons are not exactly the most pleasant ones.
Infant Mortality Rate
In simple terms infant mortality rate means a number of deaths per 1000 live births. It does show a happy figure of 29.848 deaths per 1000 live births as of 2020.
As many as 8.8 lakh children were reported dead under the age of five years and 69 per cent due to malnutrition according to a report of UNICEF in 2018.
While the picture gets just as ugly with a state like Madhya Pradesh, which had registered 48 deaths on 1000 live births Again, the situation in Kerala is different. God’s own country has nine deaths per 1000 live births making it as good as any developed country.
Women and health issues
The condition is so bad that according to the World Health Organization report, every five minutes at least one women dies in her pregnancy or while giving birth to child.
India accounts for 136,000 precious lives lost every year and the country contributes to 25.7 per cent share in Global Maternal Deaths.
According to a report by Global Nutrition 51 per cent of the Indian women in between the age of 15 to 49 are anemic. This basically means deficiency in Red Blood cells and or hemoglobin which reduces the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen. This can lead to health problems and decrease the possibility of pregnancy and cause complication.
The problem of anemia can be further passed onto a child from the mother.
PCOS and PCOD
One in every five women in India is facing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome condition (PCOS), which basically means 20 per cent of women in India.
Younger women experience irregular periods, experience hirsutism (unwanted male-pattern hair growth) and obesity. In a slightly older age group, it may lead to infertility and higher risk of miscarriages and conceiving a baby is more difficult with PCOS.
Polycystic Ovary Disorder (PCOD), found in one of every eight women in India. Just like PCOS, even PCOD impacted pregnancy.
Though both the syndromes are a result of a change in lifestyle it is a clear signal that issues like anaemia, PCOS and PCOD are going to give a huge impact on population growth in general and the health of the generation to come in specific.
Misconceptions regarding population figures
A popular yet very dubious narrative peddled about the Indian Muslim community is that its population-enhancing tendencies need to be kept in check.
This narrative is problematic on so many levels, especially on the grassroots one.
When compared the data of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) of 2005-06 and 2015-16 report, Muslims had a steep fall from the fertility rate of 3.4 to 2.6.
It was recorded to be the largest steep in the country compared to that of the Hindu community whose steep decline was only between 2.6 into 2.1.
The figures clearly showed this is being politicized to hide the mismanagements that had occurred in the health sector.
Today without contraception or family planning, the country is racing towards the depletion of its population. That too, for all the wrong reasons.
The facts and figures speak for themselves. It is high time the country seriously consider getting good health care and proper education. Then family planning should be the next order of business.
On World Population Day, it is up to us to choose between planning family to preserve the present and future.