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Population Explosion And Pakistan
World Scenario In Respect Of Population
Pakistan And Overpopulation
Causes Of Overpopulation
• High Birth Rate And Low Death Rate
• Early Marriages
• Unawareness About The Proper use Of Contraceptive
• Desire For Male Child
• Misinterpretation Of Religious Ulemas
• Lack Of Recreational Activities
• Failure Of Governmental Population planning Policies
Impacts Of Overpopulation
• Low Economic Growth
• Low Investment And Unemployment
• Poor Social Services
• Low productivity
• Social Evils Like lawlessness, Crime And corruption
• Pollution Problem
Population is considered as an asset for a country. But it turns to be a burden when increases uncontrollably. This is the case with the world. Rapid growth in population has become a global problem and Pakistan is no exception. Pakistan inherited many chronic problems at the time of its inception. Problems like illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, corruption, lawlessness, political instability, poor infrastructure etc. were uncalled gifts for Pakistan. Overpopulation has further added to the fire. Many reasons are behind it; most of them seem to arise from our social and cultural norms. All of them are leaving adverse effects on our society. Some of the major impacts are shortage of food and housing facilities, overcrowding in cities, low investment etc. Let’s discuss the problem of overpopulation from world’s perspective and then see what are its causes and impacts on Pakistan.
The whole world is in the grip of overpopulation. It has crossed the six billion mark. After terrorism, the population explosion can be called the biggest problem the world is facing today. Every day, we come across the often repeated phrase, “Population Bomb is ticking”.
At the time of partition, Pakistan had a population of 33 million. Today, our country has crossed the number of 170 million. At present, Pakistan’s population is growing at the rate of 1.57% yearly. if the current growth rate of Pakistan remained continued, the day is not away when Pakistan would be number 1 in term of population. Let’s discuss some of the major causes responsible for this phenomenon.
Illiteracy is the major cause of overpopulation. Those lacking education fail to understand the need to prevent excessive growth of population. They are unable to understand the harmful effects that overpopulation has. Lack of family planning is commonly seen in the illiterate lot of the world. In Pakistan’s rural areas, there is a trend of large families and due to the lack of awareness and proper knowledge people go on producing more and more children.
Thanks to science for its contribution, on one hand it is saving the lives of people but if we look it on other hand it is playing a negative role to population growth.
Along with it, the rapid growth in population can be attributes to the custom of early marriages in our society. More than half of the population of Pakistan lives in rural areas. In rural areas, due to ignorance, people have a conservative approach. They prefer early age marriages for their children. They do so to prevent them from indulging in immoral activities. Child marriage not only affects the health of the couple but also the child they give birth to.
Furthermore, the trend of polygamy is also responsible for this problem. Polygamy is the most common in our rural areas. In rural areas people prefer to have more than one wife at a time. This inclination of people further aggravates the situation of population in the country. Likewise, improper usage of contraceptive method has contributed negatively.
Furthermore, preference of male child over female infant has deteriorated the existing situation of backward countries. Again the religious zeal, inculcated into the minds of illiterate class at the hands of pseudo orthodox contributes very harmful effects on ever increasing population. The one of the reason described by these orthodox not to interfere in the work of creator.
Only a few of all Pakistanis participate in outdoor activities such as eating out, domestic and foreign travel for fun and work etc. Majority is unable to do any of these activities. This is mainly due to lack of finances and opportunity. Therefore, the lack of recreational activities force people to stay with their life partner. The male performs his duty like drone.
Lastly, the failure of proper implementation of government’s Population Planning Policies is the major cause of population growth. Many policies have been formulated up till now. But none of them has produced the desired results. There are many challenges to population planning implementation in Pakistan. In Pakistan, the cultural and religious institutions consider family planning a very wrong deed. This factor is the primary reason why many areas of Pakistan are still devoid of family planning centres. Misconception, rumours and false propaganda about family planning practices are also among the common reasons.
Overpopulation has badly hampered the economic growth in the country. High population is responsible for a decline in the per capita income. This leads to a decline in the purchasing power of the people. As the demand for goods decreases then by “Demand and Supply” law, the investment in the country also suffers. Such a stagnant economy will lead to closing of factories and businesses and the outcome is joblessness and poverty.
Even if the country somehow is successful in attracting foreign investment, still overpopulation will not allow effects on the country’s economy. Greater population means more number of hungry souls to feed. This is the problem of “Dependency ratio” which is acutely felt in our country.
For years, social services in the country have suffered even after sincere efforts by successive governments. The fact remains that more schools, hospitals and parks are of little comfort if the population keeps on increasing at an alarming rate.
Agriculture is another sector, which has been adversely affected by the rapid increase of population. About 70% of Pakistan’s population rely on agricultural sector. Overpopulation is even having an adverse effect on agricultural outcome. More population means smaller farms and that leads to a decline in productivity. The same would happen with the forests and also with the availability of fresh water.
People having smaller farms have no other choice but to mitigate in hope for better life. This leads to urbanization, which itself is a major social problem.
Overpopulation has contributed towards an increase in a number of social evils, like lawlessness, crime and corruption. The fight over resources has divided the society into groups i.e. one who possess all and the other who fight for its mere survival.
Overpopulation in cities has also contributed to toxic pollution. A greater number of vehicles on the roads mean the availability of large quantities of poisonous gas for people to inhale. Sewage problems and lack of clean drinking water can also be attributed to the population problem.
Despite the adverse effects of rapidly growing population, the government of Pakistan can mitigate these effects and can achieve control on population. Following are some suggestions:
• Family planning facilities be made a part of health facilities.
• There should be a greater role for local and provincial governments.
• Role of NGOs and doctors in disbursement of Aid received for family planning should be increased.
• Males should be urged to cooperate more.
• Status of women be raised in society as done by present government by giving more seats in assemblies.
• Better health and educational facilities be provided for women.
• Issue to be taken as a nation crisis.
• Role of media be encouraged especially in rural areas.
• Government programs should involve Ulemas and NGOs
• Greater participation of landlords.
Pakistan today is standing at the crossroads. What is need of the hour is vision and sincere leadership that could transform dreams into reality. The problem of population has started to haunt us and unless we tackle it pragmatically our dream of bright and glorious future will just remain a pious wish. It needs a multi-pronged attack with overpopulation. A strong Pakistan should be our first priority. If we have to make certain hard decisions for its accomplishment no one should hesitate to lead and pull the trigger. Indeed, Pakistan comes first even before our personal vested interests.