Celebrating seven billion!

Posted: October 31, 2011 in population
Tags: , ,

The people of this planet, it would seem have the wrong end of the stick! Sorry for the poor pun, but I really don’t know what we are celebrating. SEVEN BILLION plus people on this planet and half of them hungry, and living a life of despair, and we think we’ve just found the Holy Grail.

But I don’t want to talk about the rest of the world, because the rest of the world is much more aware of the fact that more children means more mouths to feed, unless you are a member of some tribe or cult which believes in every which way with anyone is okay or if you’re from India where one is made to believe that everything that happens in those nine months was pre-ordained by the Almighty. The result is a population that is careening out of control.

Just look around you. Every time you stop the car at a traffic intersection there are the grimy, snotty faces pressed against the windows, pleading for alms. On the streets, railway stations and in every nook and corner there are the destitute. The footpaths are filled with them, begging and defecating. We can’t look after our poor and we want to celebrate?

In a country that is bursting at the seams, why is the birth of a baby in a UP village a time for celebration? I wonder what is the future of this just born villager. Will she end up chasing her dreams in the big city or end up like her parents, sitting outside her hut smoking a beedi, tending to her kids.

My late father lived in a village in Darbhanga and whenever I went there all I ever wanted to do was run back to the city. I saw naked infants playing in the mud, eating whatever they could lay their hands on. Closer to home, outside the Society where I live at present, there is a colony that has sprung up where a builder has put up the labourers and their kids, who work on his construction site.

These are a part of the seven billion plus population that we so proudly talk of.

Take Pune for example. It’s the eighth largest city in the country with a population of 50.49 lakh and this is the figure they arrived at after they landed up at your doorstep asking all those questions about you and your family. Since the census was carried out quite a few months ago, you can be sure that the figure has multiplied by now.

Now here’s the interesting part. According to another survey by the Pune Municipal Corporation there are only some 460 beggars in the city! I wonder who carried out this exercise. Either these officials were visually challenged or blind-folded, or in an advanced state of intoxication to notice that Pune has at least a hundred times that number of beggars. Unless of course, the officials only counted the number outside the multiplexes or malls. Even there the numbers abound.

What stops the government from initiating stricter family planning policies is beyond me. I am not asking the government to do a repeat of the Nasbandi fiasco under Sanjay Gandhi, but there has to be a way to make people understand that have kids by all means, but if you can’t feed them, don’t have them. The way we humans are multiplying, even rabbits would be embarrassed!

So can we please make people understand that neither Bhagwan, Allah, or the stork brings babies? Yes, yes I know children are a gift from God and all that junk, but the last time we held the Good Lord allegedly responsible, a star appeared in the sky and we changed the calendar from BC to AD. It hasn’t happened since. The chances of it happening in the future are slim.

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