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World Population Day

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Jul 11, 2019

   8 min     


World population day is an annual event which is celebrated on July 11th of every year. The event was established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1989 with the aim to increase the awareness of global population issues. This event was established on the 11th of July as the world population reached about five billion on 11th July, 1987.

Defining Population:

Technically speaking, population refers to all organisms of the same group or species which live in a specific area and have the capacity to interbreed. Demographically, the world population refers to the number of humans currently living on the planet. As of April 2019, the world population is expected to be around 7.7 billion people.

Why is it celebrated?

The aim of the celebration is to pay attention to the reproductive health problems of the community people as it is one of the leading causes of illness as well as the death of pregnant women worldwide. With campaigns held each year, the celebration of world population day aims at increasing the knowledge and skills of the people towards their reproductive health and family planning.

People are encouraged to take part in the events to make them more aware of the issues caused due to population growth and the means to tackle the issues like maternal health problems, poverty, gender equality, human rights violation, right to health of individuals, child marriage, girl child education, reproductive health, use of contraceptives and safety measures, sexually transmitted infections, etc.

The youth need to be aware of sexuality-related issues as each year, around fifteen million women between the age of 15-19 give birth and another four million undergo an abortion. To sum up, some common objectives of celebrating the world population day are:

  • To empower youths of both genders
  • Educate youths to avoid unwanted pregnancies
  • Educate people to remove gender stereotypes
  • Educate people about sexuality and prevent child marriages
  • Educate youth about sexually transmitted infections
  • Ensure easy access to reproductive health services
  • Ensure access to primary education to both boys and girls

How is it celebrated?

World population day is celebrated on an international level in many different ways. Activities include seminar discussions, educational competitions, educational information sessions, essay writing competition, songs, sports activities, speeches, artwork, round table discussions, poster distribution, press conferences, etc. Various organizations and bodies work together to organize these activities on a widespread scale.

Each year, a different theme or slogan is selected for the celebration of world population day. For example, world population day 2018 theme was “Family Planning is a Human Right”, and the world population day 2017 theme was “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations”. The theme is central to the celebration each year and various groups work to take certain measures to organize activities based on the theme each year.

Problems caused due to population growth: 

Overpopulation is the term used to refer to the condition where the human population exceeds the carrying capacity of the earth. There are various factors which lead to overpopulation, like reduced mortality rate, better health facilities, lack of awareness and family planning, etc. Overpopulation is one of the biggest threats to modern society, as it poses various problems like:

  • Depletion of natural resources: the earth can supply only a limited amount of water, food, minerals, and other resources. Due to the growing population, there is an increased demand for resources and this leads to increased stress on the earth in the form of cutting down of forests, increased pollution, reckless killing of wildlife, etc.
  • Environmental damage: due to overuse of resources like coal, natural gas, petroleum, etc., there are some serious effects on the environment. Due to overpopulation, there is also an increased release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere leading to global warming, poor air quality, and other concerning environmental conditions.
  • Unemployment: due to overpopulation, there are many individuals left out without any job as the opportunities are often limited. This lack of opportunity often creates poverty, malnutrition, and other similar conditions.
  • The high cost of living: there is an widened gap between the demand and the supply, leading to inflation and increased price of commodities. Coupled with unemployment, a high cost of living often forces individuals to resort to theft and other crimes for their survival, which is extremely unhealthy for any society. Combined with the limitation of resources, these factors often lead to widespread wars.

Tackling overpopulation:

Since overpopulation is one of the major concerns of the world population day, here are some ways in which overpopulation can be gradually controlled:

  • Education: educating people about reproductive health, methods of contraception, etc. is one of the most effective ways of fighting the problem of overpopulation. Providing mandatory primary education to both boys and girls and educating them about sexuality, the ill-effects of child marriage, etc. should be done.
  • Family planning: making people aware of the growing problems due to overpopulation and raising awareness about family planning is also extremely important for tackling overpopulation. People should be made aware of various contraception methods available in the market and various practices like child marriage, having multiple children, etc. should be discouraged.
  • Monetary benefits: governments can also come up with policies like tax concessions for couples who decide to have a single child or two children. A monetary incentive can be a great factor in discouraging people from having multiple children.
  • Efforts should also be made to fight various cultural taboos and practices which promote practices like polygamy, encourage having multiple children, promote child marriage, etc.

Overpopulation in India: 

India is the second most populous country in the world, and according to recent reports, India is set to overtake China to become the most populous nation by the year 2028. Some of the major factors leading to overpopulation in India are illiteracy, poverty, lack of awareness, lack of sexual education and lack of awareness about various contraceptive measures, child marriage, and other cultural norms. Though various initiatives have been taken by the government to curb population growth, there is still a wide disparity in population growth. Though the birth rates are under control in the educated and the richer sections of the society, poorer and illiterate sections still have very unhealthy birth rates.

In India, according to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 (NFHS-4), current use of family planning methods among married women is about 53.5% while the unmet need of family planning stands at around 12.9%. Unmet need for family planning refers to women who are sexually active and wish to delay another pregnancy or wish to avoid another pregnancy but currently do not use any methods of contraception due to lack of awareness and other factors.

Hence, increasing the welfare and the status of women, educating people about the ills of overpopulation, fighting cultural practices like child marriage, etc. are some of the most effective ways in which overpopulation can be controlled in a country like India. Increasing public awareness and the initiatives taken by the government can go a long way in curbing the population growth by a huge margin, and the world population day celebration is one of the best ways to raise awareness among the people.

 World population day quotes:

Here are some famous quotes with respect to world population day celebration:

  • “Close to a billion people – one-eighth of the world’s population – still live in hunger. Each year 2 million children die through malnutrition. This is happening at a time when doctors in Britain are warning of the spread of obesity. We are eating too much while others starve”. – Jonathan Sacks
  • “You cannot control your own population by force, but it can be distracted by consumption”. – Noam Chomsky
  • “Every State has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights, as well as from the consequences of humanitarian crises, whether natural or man-made”. – Pope Benedict XVI
  • “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”. – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
  • “If we don’t halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity- and will leave a ravaged world”. – Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall
  • “As a woman leader, I thought I brought a different kind of leadership. I was interested in women’s issues, in bringing down the population growth rate… as a woman, I entered politics with an additional dimension – that of a mother”. – Benazir Bhutto
  • “Population growth is straining the Earth’s resources to the breaking point, and educating girls is the single most important factor in stabilizing that. That, plus helping women gain political and economic power and safeguarding their reproductive rights”. – Al Gore
  • “But as the population became denser, the natural chemical and biological recycling processes became overloaded, calling for a redefinition of property rights”. – Garrett Hardin
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