Thursday, June 28, 2012

Over-Population is the SINGLE largest problem plaguing our nation!!!

There...I've said it.

Source: Indian Online Pages, India Population 2011

<Breathes a HUGE sigh of relief>

I've been thinking this for many years now, but then I've controlled myself, assuming that there was something wrong in my thinking - that either I had incomplete information or I was basing my results on false assumptions or flawed reasoning. I used to think, there must be something to the "India will be a superpower because its biggest asset is its large population" hard sell being done by the media and the government.

But now, armed with a couple of degrees (which I pursued enthusiastically hoping that I'd be more enlightened) and some thoughtful observations, I can safely say that

a) College degrees (at least in India) don't do squat for learning about real-world problems
b) I am certain that if there was only problem the Indian government could tackle, or one issue that Satyamev Jayate needed to sell to the masses, or one charity that the world could support - it should be the Drive to Control India's Population.

I have never been more sure of anything else.

I'm too tired to attempt an explanation of my thought process at the moment. (Perhaps in an update later I'll add to this post). All I can say right now is that I've thought this through, and I'm certain that our NGOs need to massively focus on incentivising fewer babies (and, of course, more female children).
  • Maybe this could be achieved by paying out a few lakhs per year to poor households who have one female child instead of a horde of sickly, naked kids who beg outside temples and hawk items on the roadside.
  • Perhaps this could be done by setting up special, high quality, free boarding schools for the education of children whose parents have only child and are below the poverty line (e.g. daily wage labourers or rickshaw-pullers). In the evenings in these schools, the children could be taught skills that would help them get decent jobs right after high school - hopefully of their choice. In case not, at least they could be trained to be the more technically competent plumbers, electricians and construction labourers. Or the 'educated' kind of nannies you'd be willing to trust your kids to.
  • Have I said that the best part of this scheme would be bidding goodbye to child labour?
I don't know why the government ignores over-population as the single largest problem in our country. I don't see the point of spending crores on so-called 'development schemes' when ultimately you're still limiting the poor to the lifestyle of "labourers-without-education-and-hence-without-tools" and literally encouraging them to multiply as it is the only way they can earn money. Have you ever seen labourers digging the sides of India's roads in the heat, with a single pick-axe? Then you know what I'm talking about. They wear dirty, dusty rags around their heads (instead of any kind of construction helmet or sun-hat) and literally dig 'blow by blow' to any depth - instead of using drills. You can only imagine, how, after that kind of day's work, the only thing they'd want to do at home is drink and have as many children as possible so they can help out in the work/earning.

Source: The Hindu
If only there were NGOs (or government schemes, dammit!) that encouraged them to have one child (and educate him/her) by providing them a good lifetime stipend for doing the same. Then the kid would grow up into the skilled labour of the next generation. Even if the child grows up to work as a construction labourer, he would have better industrial training (be it use of drills or helmets), leading to greater safety, better conditions of living and and productivity for our stuttering economy.

EDIT: Oh wow! In my search for images for this blog post, I came upon this site...check it out! ( I'm making a very politically incorrect statement here and I'm a modern-day Malthusian? Don't think so. I'm not wishing death or bird flu upon the poor. I'm looking for a method by which our government/NGOs could really support poor households into better lifestyles instead of continuing the tragic poverty-overpopulation cycle.)
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