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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 23 February 2024 8.32 PM IST

Kerala with declining number of babies

baby-girl

Kerala was a state that had many different characteristics compared to other states in India. The most important of which was that the state was leading in literacy. Along with this, we were far ahead in terms of health care and educational achievements. However, other states have achieved better results than us in all these areas in the last two decades. Other states are far ahead of Kerala in terms of development and construction of national highways of world standards.

In the fifties and sixties, it was rare for people from other states to go to foreign countries and abroad in search of work but men and women from Kerala went abroad in search of work back then itself. The money they sent made a big difference in Kerala. Big houses also came up. Although no big industries are functioning, Kerala has improved in terms of standard of living with the help of this foreign money. Kerala is also the state that has contributed the most number of people to the field of nursing worldwide.

However, many unexpected changes are happening in Kerala after the era of globalization. One of them is the decrease in the flow of money coming from abroad. Along with this, money has started flowing abroad for educational expenses etc. Sending children abroad for education has become a big trend in Kerala. Another setback is that those who go abroad are not as keen to return home as they used to be. Even small jobs in Kerala are now being done by labourers from other states. There is even concern that the number of people from other states will increase and the number of Malayalis will decrease in the future.

A headline published by our correspondent KS Aravind titled 'Sharp decline in birth rate in Kerala' underscores this concern. In the last ten years, there has been a 25 per cent decline in the number of babies born. 5,60,268 children were born in 2011 and in 2021, only 4,19,767 children were born. In Ernakulam, there was a decrease of 46 percent while in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kannur districts there was a decrease of 37 percent. While one section thinks that they will have a baby only after getting a government job, another section avoids pregnancy to go abroad. It is an alarming fact that in the next ten years, the new generation will decrease significantly in Kerala. When that happens, adults will have to live a lonely life. The number of nursing homes will increase and the number of schools will decrease.

The government should conduct a detailed study on the reason why there is a growing tendency among young people here to go and settle down in western countries with better economic and social environment. Low pay is the main reason many people don't want to stay here. There are no higher-paying ventures here. At present, about 45 lakh people are over 60 years of age in Kerala. The time has come for Kerala to start thinking about the consequences of the declining number of children in the population.

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