A guest article by Venkat Ramakrishnan
A lot of emphasis has been put in the media today towards many things that are not significant, or at least not even remotely linked to well-being and wellness of living of people around the world.
The foremost problem that we need to address as a human society today is population.
We are 7.5 billion now throughout the world, and 1.25 billion just in India. This is alarming. Consumption or human aspirations cannot be controlled or limited - so there's a surge of utilization of energy, water, real estate, consumables, education, job demand, food. Market players see this as a potential opportunity to sell their products and services. If you closely observe this from a human survival standpoint, you will realize this is a disaster already.
A study recently shows that the amount of oxygen available for a human being is reducing drastically, and in 10 years we will have 40% less oxygen that what we have now. That's 5 breaths approximately less in a minute for a human being. Does that ring a alarm in anybody's minds?
The census data taken in India recently in 2010 shows the alarming facts. There is a disturbing trend in the rural areas to have babies just for labour power to support the family, especially in North Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, and in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Data clearly shows that these states are where the population tend to explode in the upcoming years.
India's previous generation has the traditional, old mindset which does not suit the existing reality. Our grandparents and parents keep telling us to have more babies - first baby - need to have to carry on the wealth, second baby - to give company to the first baby. Please note these previous generations have a fear psychosis in their mind because they were from the ages of famines - when children died because of mal-nutrition and disease. Today, we have plenty of food and medicine to take care of the children, so why still have more and more babies ?
On one side, children in the rural areas still don't have a proper meal everyday. They are under-educated or not educated at all, and on the other side, in the affluent families, we are having baby showers, just because of the itch to have a child or the emotional connection one feels by having the baby. Is it not time to shower the existing babies and feed them - who cannot afford a single meal, rather than having baby showers ?
So, now, we will look at the solution. The only solution is to stop generating new kids and start adopting the existing kids who are in orphanages, streets and rural areas. This is not a charity action - please note - for our survival as a human society, this is needed.
How are we going to make people do this? One way is to bring laws to restrict childbirth - reward who don't have babies, and punish who have babies. In a country as large and diverse as India, it's going to take time, and to reach a consensus among all is going to be difficult. While efforts towards these can go in parallel, we need to start creating awareness among the public right away, as we are running out of time.
Fortunately, we have a very powerful tool, if properly used, can bring a great change in people's mindsets. And that s media. Media has accomplished what bureaucracy, political power or money has not accomplished in the past 5 years.
Movies, our prime source of entertainment, and to a greater extent among the lower class masses an iconic symbol of someone saving the world - can be greatly leveraged to send the message. People will follow. Actors and actresses - can give public advertisements stressing the message with data and glamour. People will listen. Online social networks - Facebook, Twitter and such. Focussed ambassadoring for the cause will create awareness through people who have large number of followers. Cables, short films that can be shown
to people in rural areas - there's so much that can be done.
Can we consider this and take assertive action to make this happen ?
Oxygen depletion : http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Oxygen_Depletion
What can I do ? - How to go about adopting a kid : http://www.cara.nic.in/
India Census 2010 data - Part 1 : http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/prov_results_paper1_india.html
India Census 2010 data - Part 2 : http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/paper2/census2011_paper2.html