Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 2.10 AM IST

Comprehensive development and population in the post COVID era


Corona Virus, threatening the existence of human race itself if on a killing spree on war-footing all over the world. What used to be a mere flu virus has now mutated into an invisible and elusive killer and cares not whether it is a developed country or a developing country? Nor does it care whether it is rich or poor. Totally at a loss to provide the essential medical care for the citizens, most of the nations are at a fiasco while the virus is spreading like wild fire all over the world.

More than anything else, it is the unwieldy population in the cities which has led to the bottleneck in providing adequate health care and support to the people. Nature's message in the time of Corona is loud and clear: Man is not indispensable. Ironically, it is the population explosion which has become fatal to the population.

China, which has engendered this catastrophe is still the most populated land. Through the chinks in China's iron curtain, the media had brought to the public eye the sight of numerous dead bodies lying scattered in the streets of Wuhan where Corona had begun its war dance. Thus, Corona has made it known to the world that such an autocratic country has failed to provide proportionate basic amenities to its massive population. Granted that epidemics and natural calamities do prune the extremes of population, the disasters begotten by the skyrocketing rate of population are even worse. And it is when this has a telling effect on the balancing act among conservation and exploitation, replenishment and depletion that nature has started meting out its own regulations.

India which is second only to China in population fares no better. The UN in its population report has predicted that India will overtake even China in population. According the 2019 census China's population is 143 million with India trailing close behind with 137 million. In the next three decades the world population might hit 2000 million, the UN report says. As of now. 2, 11,090 new births happen each day

Considering the rate of increase in population over decade across India, Kerala seems to have the lowest, a matter of pride for the Malayalis. As an exception, Malappuram has 13.4% though it is well compensated by Pathanamthitta which has -3%, a negative index. Demographic experts point out that Kerala has reason to be proud in managing infant mortality, child birth mortality gender ratio and functional literacy which are all at par with the developed countries. Still, that one in sixth of every Keralite is an aged adult is a matter of concern. In a country like India, over-population is sure to cost dearly mostly in health issues. Starvation and famine might become unsolvable problems for the country and proper education, health care and social security might be inaccessible to the majority. Epidemics like COVID will surely make is worse. The present situations point out to us that existence and survival might become an uphill task for the general public, an endeavor made futile by the multiplying population.

The Population Day of 2018 had "Family Planning as a Human Right" for its motto. The present situation demands that this motto should be carried on for years to come. The five-year plan (1997-2002) envisioned and executed during the tenure of Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had for its main aims faster economic growth and social justice. However, population control was also considered an avowed aim. For the secure development of the nation, the basic life style should be enhanced, the rate of literacy augmented and the basic needs of the common man satiated. Population should not impede such a move. Modi Government which has fought the abusive customs such as Muthlaq to ensure gender equality should also draft and implement to keep the rate of population low. It will surely do a lot of good in the post corona times. When it comes to progeny, size matters, not number.

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