The Greatest Threat To Human Existence Is Our Own Lack Of Ability To Control Our Own Growth — Garrett Hardin
There is always a sense of pride when we see our country being at the top. Let it be sports, money, resources, economy, etc. But what happens when you hear that India is moving towards being the most populated country in the world? Is there still the same sense of pride, the same sense of superiority, and delight? No, there isn’t, and shouldn’t the alarming and incessant growth of population raise a serious economic problem in our country? There is an utmost probability that by 2030, India will overcome China in being the most populated country in the world. This prediction was before by the year 2050, but the increasing rate of the growing population has brought it down. Looking at the present stage, the more the people, the harder it gets to feed them all. Above all this, all plans made by the government have proven to be a failure. A country like ours which is rich in resources and minerals still has people who starve for days. Being a developing country, whatever progress we make, is taken up by the rising population.
There are measures taken by the government to create employment opportunities, but what’s the point when people exceed the opportunities with a greater scale every year. How can India be a developed country when there are strings pulling the development from the back? We say that the government is the major cause of rising unemployment, taxes, etc. But we don’t think sometimes government is helpless because of the people.
Now, because of overpopulation, there are several negative effects that have proven to be a barrier to economic growth and development, and I have tried to list most of them below:
- Unemployment: Everyone wants to work and provide their families with food and shelter, but because of the increased number of people seeking limited job opportunities and limited funds, it becomes difficult to give out employment to everyone. And as the number of people keeps increasing, the number of people unemployed also increases.
- Social Issues: As people from rural areas move to urban areas, they settle in slums and live in the most unhygienic conditions. As there are no jobs left for them, the crime rate increases, and due to overcrowding, traffic levels increase tremendously.
- Maternity Welfare: Population burst is the outcome of a high birth rate. An increase in the birth rate reduces the health and welfare of women. Frequent pregnancy is dangerous to the health of the mother and the child. Poor health leads to an increased death rate among women of reproductive age because of marriage at a juvenile age. Hence, we have to reduce the birth rate in order to keep women’s health better.
- Capital Formation: The composition of the population in India lowers the rate at which capital formation increases. A high birth rate and low expectancy of life mean more dependents in the total population. 35 percent of the population is composed of people less than the age of 14 in India and most of these are dependent on others for survival and growth. They are unproductive consumers. As these people don’t contribute to the family, it reduces the amount of income that could be saved. Hence, the rate of capital formation falls.
- Food Shortage: Not adequate food for everyone forces the under-developed countries to import it from different foreign countries which leads to spending extra on foreign exchange. Therefore, over-all development is compromised. Also, the shortage of food affects health and productivity, which decreases per capita income and therefore leads to poverty.
- Land: Rising rate of population growth leads to a decline in the per capita availability of land and adversely affects the economic development of the country.
- Standard Of Living: An increase in the population reduces the number of resources available. Even the bare necessities required to survive become hard to get, as they limit in quantity. India’s population grew at a 1.2% average annual rate according to the UN. Tonnes of cloth and food grains, lacs of houses, and additional jobs would be required every year to fulfill the basic necessities of people while the population keeps growing at this pace. And with finite resources fulfilling all the needs is impossible.
- Environment: More people means more usage of technology and high polluting devices. Excess usage leads to environmental degradation. This damages the biosphere and gives rise to more toxic wastes that can not be recycled. It lowers the rate of economic development and should be controlled effectively.
- Poverty: Rise in the number of members in the family gives rise to more expenditure. A large portion of the household income has to be spent to raise the kids. Because of this, it reduces savings and capital formation. For this reason, there’s no advancement in production techniques and the rate of productivity of labor declines.
- Investments: India’s population is growing at a rapid rate of 1.8% per year. This means that for everyone to have a decent living, even the per capita income needs to increase, which affects the growth rate of the economy.
There is no basic knowledge among the people that the more the people in the family, the more mouths there are to feed. People assume the fact that the more kids in the family, the more will be the family income in the future. This has blindfolded people that for a better future for the kids there should be a better present.
Population control is not only a concern of the government but also the people and has become a liability. We the people should try to educate the illiterate about family planning, birth control, to not inherit the desire to have a son, and also how the present should be better for a better future. If we want to be prosperous and self-sufficient, each individual must voluntarily get involved to bring control to this rise in the population of India.