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Overpopulation in India

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Jiayi Hua

Matt Ryan

Academic Writing and Editing I 1000.01

08 May 2017

Overpopulation in India

        In China, there is a joke: “I want to have a football team of kids”, which has a big connection with the issue of population. A family having too many kids is a main reason that leads to overpopulation. For example of a reason why a family has many kids is that some families are patriarchal, so they give birth until their child is a boy. According to the Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2007, the annual growth rate of population is 1.4% in India, which is a big number of an increasing percentage of population in India. Therefore, population issue  leads to environmental and social problem which really needs to be controlled in India now with family planning.

        Overpopulation leads to three small aspects of environmental problem: resource scarcity, air pollution, and overuse of land. Firstly, Bilikis Bakare who is a Ogunnubi Former South African President demonstrates that resource scarcity decreases the quality of people’s life. For example, because of the shortage of precipitation and hot weather in India, they do not have enough water resources. However, water is a necessity for people to live. Water shortage means people do not have clean water to take showers or wash clothing. It is hard to imagine the quality of life if people cannot change clean clothing or take showers at least one time a week. Besides the quality of life, dirty environment may cause outbreak of diseases, like cholera and typhoid. Since they do not have clean water, the drinking water may have germs which is a reason that affects individual’s health. More seriously, it even causes death. In addition, water shortage prevents the development of agriculture, as crops need water to grow. However, if they do not have crops, people will have no food to fulfill their demands over a long time, which may cause hunger. Secondly, as India is a developing country, it is common for them to cut wood for cooking or heating products. Nevertheless, when people cut trees, it produces dust to the air which is a reason that leads to air pollution (Bakare). Moreover, it also affects individuals’ health, because people need air to sustain their life. Contaminated air has a direct impact on human health, like respiratory disease. For instance, it leads to increased rates of childhood asthma in India, which affects their growth (Bakare). Third, every city has a certain population density, but if there is too many people in one place, it will lead to overcrowding in cities which decreases individuals’ happiness (Bakare). This can affect children’s education because if there are too many children in one class, it directly affects teachers to teach. They do not have enough time to be concerned about every student, so some students will be ignored. Moreover, because available land is too small, people use one area again and again, which results in low productivity on an over-used land. Thus, due to the shortage of food supply, people do not have enough food to support themselves, which may lead to famine.

        In addition to environmental problem, poverty and lack of education are two important problems in society. Mary Ellen Harte, a biologist who writes on climate change and population issues and Anne Howland Ehrlich, the co-author of several books on overpopulation and ecology, indicated that in India, because of growing population, poverty increases. Poor people move from villages to towns to search for jobs. Since they are mostly illiterate and un-skilled, there are very few job opportunities for them. Due to unemployment, many poor people are forced to live in an unfulfilled life. When a family cannot support themselves because of low income or unemployment, child labor will happen which is visible in India now. Furthermore, due to poverty, government does not have enough money to build advanced health care centers. However, overcrowded and poor conditions lead to airborne diseases, such as tuberculosis and respiratory infections like pneumonia. If they do not treat or control the diseases immediately, the diseases will spread quickly. For example, there was an outbreak of plague in India in 17th century, which caused a lot of death at that time. Besides poverty, lack of education is also a problem in India (Harte, Ehrlich). Because of poverty, children’s parents do not have enough income to support them to go to school, so there are many child labors. Lack of education may prevent an individual from getting a reasonably paying job. If the government does not solve the problem, this cycle will repeat again and again.

        However, Isabel V. Sawhill, a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, shows that there is a possible solution for overpopulation which is called family planning - children are born to adults who are ready to become parents. This is an opportunity for children to improve their life and education. On one hand, expanding education in  small towns or regions is helpful for early pregnancy, because people there are very poor and do not have enough education resources. In addition, they also cannot afford to go out of the hometown in order to go to school and get knowledge. Therefore, lack of sexual education leads them to not have any knowledge about it. It is the main reason that teenagers do not know what age for them to have a baby is better. There are a number of different methods for contraception that people really need to clearly know, and it is important to choose the best one which meets people’s needs. The most common thing for women is Pill or condoms, but there are also other available options for them, such as contraceptive patch, intrauterine device, diaphragm, etc. Besides sexual education, normal education is also important for the relationships in marriage. When a baby is born without father or mother, he or she cannot get as much care as necessary to grow healthy. If we have family planning, the number of people will decrease and overpopulation can be controlled.                



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