The world has been dominated by the human race for ages and today we have arrived at such a situation that many countries in the world are facing difficulties created by overpopulation. World Population Day is an annual event celebrated on 11 July with the purpose to raise awareness about how overpopulation would harm the ecosystem and the growth of humanity as well. It was first established by the United Nations in 1989.
The theme of this year's World Population Day is: "Rights and choices are the answer: whether baby boom or burst, the solution to shifting fertility rates lies in prioritising the reproductive health and the rights of all people."
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is still on and we are at a dwindling state of affairs - a global health crisis. Different countries have faced it in varied intensity and ways. People have been locked for months and even over a year in their battle against the Coronavirus. Vaccines are still a distant dream for many. In this background, there has been a growing concern among many countries over changing fertility rates that has further led to abrogation of human rights. Women must be empowered educationally, economically and politically to exercise choice over their bodies and fertility, states the UN.
The theme of this year's World Population Day is: "Rights and choices are the answer: whether baby boom or burst, the solution to shifting fertility rates lies in prioritising the reproductive health and the rights of all people."According to the United Nations, "Never before had population grown so rapidly: in 1950, five years after the founding of the United Nations, world population was estimated at around 2.6 billion people. It reached 5 billion in 1987 and 6 billion in 1999. In October 2011, the global population was estimated to be 7 billion. A global movement "7 Billion Actions" was launched to mark this milestone. The world's population is expected to increase by 2 billion persons in the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050 and could peak at nearly 11 billion around 2100".
Coming to overpopulation, India is the second most populated country in the world, next to China. India contributes 17.70% share of global population, right after China with 18.47% of the global share of population. What is more alarming to us is that according to a 2019 UN forecast, India would overtake China by 2027. Another concern is India's aging population which is rapidly growing.
Former President of India Dr A P J Abdul Kalam said, "Almost half of the population of the world lives in rural regions and mostly in a state of poverty. Such inequalities in human development have been one of the primary reasons for unrest and, in some parts of the world, even violence." The need of the hour is, prioritising the reproductive health and the rights of all people.