Overpopulation – An every time Issue
Overpopulation is a condition suffered when the population of a particular species exceeds the ecological carrying capacity for that species. Overpopulation is observed due to a variety of set reasons, including an increase in the number of birth rates, a decrease in the death rate, to name a few. An immediate outcome of overpopulation is the depletion of resources for consumption.
Overpopulation can be observed in the wild amongst animals & in the city amongst humans too.
Categorized as “Animal Overpopulation” and “Human Overpopulation”, the causes for both are not very different from each other.
The increase in the population of predators leads to the control of the prey population, thus bringing a balance in the ecosystem. When the prey population overgrows, the consumption of available resources increases, thus causing an imbalance in the ecosystem. On the other hand, if there is a predator overpopulation, it would ultimately lead to the consumption of the prey, in turn leading to the crash of the predators.
Human Overpopulation is a condition observed when the human population in a certain geographical area is much more than the carrying capacity specified in that area. Human Overpopulation is observed due to (or even caused by) depletion of the available resources, and depletion of the environmental condition of the area.
Human Overpopulation is a grave concern in today’s time. It’s not only a concern for our country but even in the world, as a whole. Looking into each one specifically below:
OVERPOPULATION IN INDIA:
India is the second most populated country in the world, just after China. The total population of India, according to the 2017 survey, is estimated to be 133.92 crores. That is a whopping 1.20 billion people in a world of 7 billion population! We have seen this sudden surge in population during the mid-1970s. Overpopulation is a very serious problem that our country is facing right now. Considering that some of the states in India outnumber several countries in population.
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“Uttar Pradesh”, the most populated state of India, with over 228 million population as of 2018, defeats Brazil, which is the fifth in the list of the most populated countries in the world. “Maharashtra”, the second most populated state of India, has a population of 120 million, whereas “Bihar”, the third most populated state of India, has a population of 119 million. Both these states’ population is in close proximity with Japan’s population, which is the 12th largest populated country in the world.
Let’s look at some of the causes for this rise in population:
● RISE IN LIFE EXPECTANCY:
Even though conscious measures have been effectively taken to decrease the birth rate in India, there has also been observed a decline in the death rate in the past surveys done. Thus since the death rate has also parallelly decreased, the main intention of curbing overpopulation has not been a success.
● RELIGIOUS BELIEFS:
It is said that one of the causes of overpopulation in India is the religious beliefs that many cultures hold. In our multicultural country, which we are very proud to be, there is also this belief that birth control is against “God’s will”. Many religions believe that you earn bad karma if you control the natural human nature of reproduction. Also, in a lot of societies, women are not given the liberty to opine on whether they really want to have multiple children or not, completely disregarding the health hazards that women have to face due to multiple childbirths. This many would argue as the long lost practice but it is still prevalent in the not-so-advanced villages of India.
Education plays a major role in progress. India, being a developing country is still not having a hundred percent literacy rate. Many of the rural areas lack education access, even though measures have been taken up since the past decade to bring up schools in the remote areas of the country.
It people aren’t educated to know the ill effects of overpopulation & reproduction & contraceptive measures, they tend to follow the old beliefs & abide by them. Also, influencing people who have been believing a certain theory is not that easy.
Another reason for rising unemployment is poverty. Many people who fall below the poverty line ( BPL) tend to perceive that reproducing more offsprings would mean more helping hands in earning a livelihood. This leads to a large number of child labor too, which is not an unfamiliar topic in India. They fail to understand that the solution to poverty is not just more headcount, & that caring for the number of children would also add to extra expenses.
IMPACT OF OVERPOPULATION:
Needless to say, overpopulation has been affecting the country in numerous ways. Listing out some of the direct impacts below:
● UNEMPLOYMENT DUE TO OVERPOPULATION:
We have been hearing a lot about the rise in unemployment these days. Although automation and technology do have it’s hand in this, it is also partly due to overpopulation. Looking back at statistics that have been drawn from surveys held in the past decades, the sudden surge of the population has left a huge number of millennials looking for a job today & finding none. There is a huge competition in the market for the same as the job vacancies are quite less compared to the number of applicants
● POVERTY DUE TO OVERPOPULATION:
As the population increases & resources deplete, many people end up unemployed. The chain further moves to people not being able to afford the daily necessities of life, leading to poverty. This becomes a chain in the name of overpopulation.
● DEPLETION OF RESOURCES DUE TO OVERPOPULATION:
Overpopulation means more people. More people means more requirement of resources, be it food consumption, space to stay, or education & employment. When there is uncontrolled growth in population, & the geographical space remains the same, it obviously means we end up over-using the natural resources available to us. Over a period of time, this has led to very severe damage to the ecosystem, leading to global warming, ozone layer depletion, water scarcity, climate change, to name just a few.
● POLLUTION DUE TO OVERPOPULATION:
Another aspect that we should account for is the pollution that we create in this environment. The number of people has led to more vehicles on the roads, more industries & factories, depletion of plants, cutting of trees to clear land for construction, and many more. All these actions lead to a variety of pollution, be it land, air or water. Waste from our day-to-day life is being dumped recklessly in the environment, without being treated. Although today we have realized the repercussions of our actions, the damage is already done, you could say.
In conclusion, overpopulation is a subject that still needs substantial attention & action from our side, to conserve our environment & bring about a balance in the ecosystem. A few steps that we could take to control overpopulation:
● FAMILY PLANNING:
It’s important that parents do proper family planning keeping in mind the various factors of the population. Every family, according to government rule shouldn’t have more than 2 offsprings.
To reduce the population growth in the country, it’s important that the people are educated about it. Masses should be made aware of birth control options & contraceptives & it’s important to our health too.