Tag Archives: population control

Whose Problem Is It Anyway?

I came across this family in the Delhi Metro on 19 May 2019. The third child, judging by the tiny feet protruding through the mother’s sari pallu, was still a little baby.

I was a bit shocked and amused when I noticed that the father was neither illiterate nor middle-aged.

Hum do-hamare-do (we-two-our-two) campaign rigorously pursued by the government a few years ago, it seems, didn’t touch them at all.

This family is, in fact, one of the millions of literate families in India which, instead of being role models, have been breeding through generations like dogs.

With the country already teeming with millions of toddlers demanding far too many precious resources, what do you expect the governments to do? Irrespective of whichever political party is in power, scarcity of resources will always nullify every attempt by every government to improve the overall living standards of people.

The present government at the center is in power for the second time with a stronger mandate. It has no excuse for populism and must do what the country needs.

Instead of reservations, what the country needs really is an aggressive population control, a hum-do-hamara-ek (we-two-our-one).

We are right now the proverbial ship with a hole at its base.

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Hum Do, Hamare Do

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While clicking this pic in a Metro train the other day, the first phrase that came to my mind was, “Hum Do, Hamare Do,” meaning in Hindi, “We Two, Our Two.”

This slogan has, in fact, always been associated with India’s population control campaign. In 1950, India became the first country in the world to take this up as a national priority, as it was widely accepted that benefits of national planning and development will all get frittered away if we become an overcrowded nation.

Our Population Control Program has not, however, been effective enough because of illiteracy, deep rooted customs and traditions, craze for male children, and lack of awareness of importance of family planning both among the leaders and common Indians. We might soon overtake China, the world’s most populated country.

It is often said that India would not have got its cricket hero Sachin Tendulkar if his parents hadn’t decided to produce a third child.  Many politicians who should have been role models have not done any family planning either. Notable examples are Narsimha Rao (8 children) and Lalu Prasad Yadav (9 children)

But, thank God, things are changing. Soon it will be a norm to debar people from contesting for public offices if they have more than 2 children. Special schemes for parents with single girl child are already in place and girls’ education is also being given a lot of importance these days. When you educate a woman, you educate the whole family and educated people tend to take the idea of small family size a lot more seriously than the illiterate ones.

Recently, In 2002, in Haryana, this slogan was further modified to “Hum Do, Hamara Ek” (We two, Our One) and several attractive schemes were begun to make the idea of a one-child family a viable option.

Well, small is better, I think, and, yes, “Hum  Do, Hamara Ek”  is the need of the hour for this great country of ours.

Jai Hind!

A Meeting (Photo-Story)

1. An emergency meeting took place last week.

Agenda: Demonetization, pollution, and population control.

2. Meeting ended with no quick solutions in sight. The participants walked away in disgust, feeling very disappointed.

3. Going, going, gone…

Two Different Worlds, Two Different Women

While travelling in the ladies compartment of the Delhi Metro on 12 September 2015, I came across 2 women. They sat opposite to each other and had a clinging toddler in their laps with constantly changing moods. When I observed them individually, they did not look very extraordinary. But when I compared them in my mind, the differences between them seemed to be so striking that I just couldn’t resist taking their pictures on the sly. The 2 women seemed to have originated from 2 different planets. I am sharing these pics with you here.

While one woman had only one child to worry about, the other woman had two more little, naughty children sitting beside her, constantly fidgeting, trying to grab her attention. The 3 kids were most probably born in quick succession, one after the other. No sooner was one baby out, another one must have taken its place! Did she get any time to recover from the previous pregnancy? I doubt it and I guess the 4th one was already growing inside her. It was obvious that she was from a world where they thought the best way to keep a woman is bare-footed in winter and pregnant in summer! The middle child’s nose was running, but she took no notice of it. The youngest one kept her preoccupied. Somewhere during the journey, she had to breastfeed the youngest one. Phew! What an epitome of patience!

As the metro glided on the rails, I tried to imagine the kind of lives these women must be leading. The first woman and her child were obviously leading better lives. They were loved and respected as human beings and their lives had value to their loved ones. The other woman, the less fortunate one, was obviously leading a very tough life; her family was probably very poor; but worse than poverty, their lives did not have much value and she had no say in matters concerning her body; her husband perhaps looked at her as just another pot to plant his seeds in; there was also no awareness about hygiene and family planning.

When I looked around, I found that there were several other families in a similar state. I guess they were all part of a big group heading to some congregation at some place. One can well imagine what kind of people these unfortunate children would turn into; they will be uneducated and uncouth and will not be of any value for this huge nation of ours.

When we look at the bigger picture, I think population explosion is the mother of all of our problems. Our politicians must put into place a system of incentives and disincentives for controlling population. This is more important than all the ‘yojnas’ put together till date. Once this is done, there would be no need for reservations. When people are fewer, each person gets a bigger share of the benefits of the progress made by a country, as you can see from this example. Most important of all, men who have no respect for women and treat their bodies like door mats must be dealt with harshly.

In a country like India, which is already so heavily populated, no family ought to have more than one kid; if they need more, they should adopt.

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