PROBLEM OF OVER POPULATION
Growth of population in the world at present has posed a great
problem. It has world-wide reaction. It is feared that if the present growth
rate continues, it will destroy the foundation of socio-economic structure
and will endanger the civilisation.
In 1650, there were estimated 500 million people. The world
population increased to 1000 million by 1850, 2000 million by 1910 and
4000 million by 1996. Thus the present growth rate is alarming and there
is apprehension that the world will be overpopulated in a few decades.
The growth of population in the modern age is explained in various
ways. The improvement of medical science has increased the longevity
of people and has reduced the mortality rate. Child mortality is now in
the decline. In the developing and under developed countries growth
rate of population still continues. Some of the European countries have
controlled birth rate. Out of 5.2 million babies born in every second 4.25
million are born in the developing and developed countries.
Population explosion is thus disturbing. It leads to the problem of
food supply and human habitation. It becomes difficult to feed so many
mouths with the available supply of food. Agricultural land, forests are
occupied for construction of houses and new townships. Moreover,
unemployment problem, energy crisis and educational problem will
become acute. According to a U.N. report, 65 new cities with population
over 5 million will come up by the end of this century. The planet will be
crowded with people with the resulting noise, pollution and scrambling
for space. There will be no open space to move about.
Sociologists and statesmen have been exercising the minds over the
problem. Family planning is now an official programme in all countries
including conservative. Muslim countries like U. A. R. Jordan, Iraq and
Syria. China has reduced the birth rate from 5% to 1.5% with serious
and earnest implementation of the family planning programme. India
has stepped up the campaign in rural areas through health clinics and
by persuading the uneducated rural people to accept family planning.
But the majority of people are still uneducated and superstitious.
However, by intense campaigning through T. V., Radio and Newspapers
and through suitable inducements offered to the people, family planning
programme has yielded some results. According to the latest census, the
annual growth rate in India is around 2.5%.
Population explosion has to be checked if the world is tobe saved
from a serious crisis of economic collapse. The government should
intensify the programme of family planning by removing poverty and
ignorance of the people. The low standard of living and ignorance and
superstitions among people largely account for the continuing growth
rate in India. Mexico, Portugal, China, Equador and Yugoslavia have
already included family planning as a basic human right in their
constitutions. Japan has reduced the birth rate from 2.5% in 1945 to 1.4%
in 1976. Through publicity and encouragement from governments,
people have become conscious of the danger. In India, the growth rate is
still the highest. Mass education and concerted action plan can among
meet the challenging crisis. It is true that U.N.O. as a world organisation
should take a leading role in checking the growth of population in the
developing and underdeveloped countries. It is not the crisis of one
country or the other : It is the crisis of the whole world.