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Indias population crises

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Indian’s population crisis
In this essay I will be highlighting the current population crisis in India. I will discuss the numerous causes that lead to the exponential growth of the country and the problems that arise as a result of the increase. I will also be suggesting various solutions to the predicament India faces and how they can overcome the struggles of a rapidly growing population.
Background
India is said to be in stage three of the demographic transition model with the birth rate quite evidently exceeding the death rate and a population peak in the 1970s.Much like many developing countries India’s population growth rose the most rapidly in the 20th century in which it began with around 238 million people and finished with 1 billion by the end of the century. Initially the birth rate and the infant mortality rate were both high in order to cater for the likely event of death of children due to disease and famine; also as India has many agricultural properties a large family would be needed to help with work on farms. However in the early 1900s due to the advances of medicine and an understanding of proper hygiene India’s death rate began to drop whereas birth rate remained constant, which resulted in a “population explosion”. Currently India’s population is around 1,200,000,000 with the likelihood that India’s population will exceed china’s by the year 2050.Although birth rates are slowing, there is still more to be done to ensure that India does not face the “Dooms Day” that Thomas Malthus predicted would happen to such a country.
Birth rates and mortality
One of India’s biggest problems is high infant mortality which is directly proportional to the Birth rate. The infant mortality rate of India was about 130 deaths per 1000 babies born in a year, which is much higher than many other developing countries. There are numerous reasons why the infant mortality and birth rates are high. Firstly is the lack of proper medical facilities as most Indians live in small rural villages without the luxury of the amenities associated with modern life. These results in higher risk of new born babies developing diseases and dying before the age of 1, As a consequence Indian woman decide to have many children as a precaution. A reason for the high birth rates in India is because parents rely on their children for care and financial support. Mothers have many children in the hope that one of them will get a good profession and are able to care for them in later life. As I stated previously many Indians grow crops as farmers and as a result will opt for a larger family that can help with the work load required on a farm.
The best way for India to solve its birth rate problem will be to reduce infant mortality. Parents will not need to have more children if they can be sure that their children will remain alive. To do this India must improve healthcare and medical facilities in rural areas by offering free inoculations to new born babies ,even just making sure they have access to clean drinking water could dramatically reduce risk of disease. To deal with the use of children used as a source of labour on agricultural land locals of rural villages could be shown the advantages of working in the city such as higher wages; this will encourage them to move to urban area where children are not as necessary resulting in lower birth rates.

Emancipation of woman
Traditionally in India society is male-dominated and women do not have the same freedom as men. The role of woman in Indian culture is to stay at home raise children, clean the home and cook food for her husband. Woman did not have the same rights as men and as agricultural often work required manual labour, with men being naturally stronger than woman they were automatically chosen to do such jobs. Woman also finished education early as the skills they learnt would not be needed if they were confined to the home, which leads to having children at a younger age. Due to woman being of less value in India, Parents would ideally want to give birth to a son rather than a daughter. Consequently, the foetuses of baby girls were often aborted because parents desired a son.
Giving woman the same rights as men could be an important solution to lowering the Birth rate. With Indians advances and the increased work in urban areas the importance of woman can be appreciated more. If woman are taught that staying in education could lead to a high paid occupation it may encourage them to study at university, and finish their education at an older age. With a longer education comes a lack of time to raise a family and this will reduce birth rates because woman will see no need see for so many children as they are not as essential for work. Already in India the “regulation and prevention of misuse act” has made it illegal for parents to selectively abort children which should hopefully return the balance of males and females.
Birth control
Unlike China, India is a democratic country which means that drastic policies such as a “one child Policy” cannot be put in place to reduce the birth rate. This means different, slower action must be taken to lower the birth rate. Until recently India has had no access to family planning and has not been able to limit the amount of children within the family. In the past children were a source of labour for famers but in modern Indian society the need for large families is not so high. The most common form of family planning in India currently is female sterilisation, but during the reign of Indira Gandhi as prime minister forced and unconsented sterilisation caused a huge problem, and was an inappropriate means of trying to reduce birth rates.
The first step to lowering the birth rate through birth control is education at a young age. If children are taught about the use of condoms and contraceptive pills at school it is more likely to have a more lasting effect on them. Propaganda such as “condom fairs” can also be a light-hearted approach to a big problem and a way of offering free condoms and advice.
Kerala
Kerala is a state in rural India where actions are being taken to maintain population. Women have been educated in order to get a better career and not have the need for so many children. They are learning to read and write, as well as seek advice about family planning and contraception. Health clinics have been introduced to Kerala which will reduce the infant mortality because the children can get the medical attention that they need and receive inoculations. As a result of these measures quality of life as a whole has been improved. Most families now have 2 children and life expectancy has risen from 48 in 1988 to 70 in 2006.The economy is also boosted by the access to high paid jobs through longer education, which improves lifestyle for the locals.

Conclusion
As India becomes a more developed country the population crises will naturally take care of its self. The government must offer better education on birth control but as the country moves from an agrarian to an industrial state where the need for large families isn’t vital. With medical advances world-wide comes a decrease in infant mortality which in turn will continue to lower birth rate. If Indian follow the examples of places such as Kerala there is no reason why the country cannot manage population effectively

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