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Applied Public Health Practice

Introduction to Overpopulation in India

According to Sandu et al. (2018), Indian will soon surpass the population of china in 2024. The census 2011 showed that India has crossed 1,210,193,422 in statistics and 2018 it is found to be 135.26 crores. This issue of overpopulation started in 1947 and today has become a major issue of concern. The major reasons for this overpopulation in India are high birth rates, lack of education, poverty, poor contraceptive uses, child labour, improved fertility treatments leading to more number of childbirths, unchecked immigration into the countries, and many others. With the improvement in modern and latest medical technology, there is a reduced number of mortality rates (Dutta 2019). As a result of this majorly the rural and remote area population is targeted to ensure that they get educated and employment to reduce the chances of causes of overpopulation. This essay will discuss overpopulation, its issues, and policies for it. 

Public Health Issues and Affects Society

According to Chakraborti et al. (2019), there are many public health issues due to overpopulation in India and these also play a major role in affecting society. Some of them are as follows:

The income distribution is inequitable:There is an unequal distribution of income due to overpopulation and this results in inequalities; With an increased number of the population there is a decreased number of production and increased costs: A major consequence of overpopulation is inflation. As the rate of production is unable to match the rates with increasing population due to which there is a high increase in costs. Overexploitation of resources: Due to overpopulation forests, water resources, land resources are exploited at high rates to compensate for the needs of the increasing population. Infrastructure pressure: infrastructure is not able to maintain its pace with the growing population; as a result, there is a lack of education, health care, housing, transportation, communication, and many others. Unemployment: With the high population of India, it becomes difficult to generate employment for people; this ultimately leads to a negative effect on the growth of the nation, slow business development, economic depression, and high unemployment rates (Rudrappa 2018). According to Nanda et al. (2020), people are continuously polluting the natural and environmental resources, eliminating biodiversity, cutting down the trees, and many others. These factors create many other problems like an increase in greenhouse gases, intensive farming practices, toxic materials, and others. Therefore, the population is growing at a rapid pace which does not match the level of the nation’s capacity to fulfill the needs and demands of the people. Overpopulation is found to be associated with negative economic and environmental outcomes. These outcomes range from water pollution, over-farming, deforestation, global warming, eutrophication, and many others.

Sociological Theories

According to Nanda et al. (2020), the Malthusian theory of population explains the arithmetic food supply and exponential population growth. According to this sociological theory, if there are positive checks and preventive checks then the population can be controlled and food balance for the population will be maintained. The theory stated that there should be an arithmetic progressive increase in food production to match the pace of the population. The theory also stated that the population will die due to the non-availability of food or shortage of food. So the positive checks – natural forces will correct the imbalance of population growth and food supply in the form of disasters like droughts, wars, or others. The preventive checks - late marriages, use of family planning, appropriate policies, and others can help in preventing the issues of overpopulation. According to Singh(2017), the zero-population growth theory stated that with the increasing population there will be more pollution of environmental resources like air, water, and others. Therefore, this theory advocated the goal of zero population growth (ZPG) this stated that there should be an equal number of people entering a population through immigration or births that matches with an equal number of people leaving through emigration or deaths. Although, it was found that there is a mixed amount of support and critics faced by this sociological theory, however, it is still considered as a possible solution that can help in controlling the issue of uncontrolled population growth.

Government Policies and Interventions

According to Gupta(2018), the Family Planning Association (FPA), is planning, supporting, and providing health education with other services for effective family planning among the population to control the overpopulation. This organization is also conducting many programs for imparting knowledge about reproductive and sexual health among schools, offices, and other communities/institutions. The Jharkhand government has implemented to sell free contraceptive Cyclebeads in the districts of the state (Gupta2018). Many governmental and non-governmental organizations are working together with politicians and policymakers for free distribution of condoms and contraceptives, encouraging spacing births and male sterilization, and the country is planning to implement the population control policy as soon as possible. Moreover, the policymakers and other efforts are working for the implementation of 2 child policy as well (Bhangaokar et al. 2018). According to Wilson (2018), the five-year plan of the Indian government was for population control and the further plans were also focuses on overpopulation control. Efforts have been constantly from zero to high levels like from remote and rural area program conduction to the conduction of programs in schools, colleges, and other public places. According to Singh(2017), till 2020 there is no National two-child policy in India, but the politicians and other social workers are promoting the idea of this policy among the people especially in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, and others, which are highly populated. The people are made aware of the advantages of a small family that is associated with less financial pressure, a good education of children, and less stressful life of the parents, which results in a happy and prospering family. As per this policy, each family is allowed to have a maximum of two children only. In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, if a person has more than two children, then he/she is disqualified from contesting the election, under the Panchayati Raj Act.

Impact to Practice

According to Weigelt et al. (2020), there is a ratio of 0.6:1 for the nurses-to-physicians in India, which is quite low. With increased population, there are more chances of the spread of communicable diseases, polluted air disease, water-borne diseases due to polluted water, and other health complications. With this, the number of patients increases in hospitals, which impact the burden of diseases and sometimes leading to overcrowding in hospitals. Moreover, the doctors are also more concerned about the rural and remote areas, where there are fewer hospital beds and poor availability of the latest medical technologies. With the awareness created by the government and non-government organizations, many other companies also came forward to help by funding the programs and projects like Amul, a major milk company is contributing to healthcare. In rural and remote areas, people have eliminated the practice of early marriages and more number of childbirths. The slogans like SherKaBachaEk Hi Acha, Hum Do Hmare Do, and other population control-related slogans and practices are getting popular in India (Wilson 2018). With the awareness about child policies, many positive impacts are observed in the family planning practices of the people. There are majorly one or two children per family, whereas some are motivated to adopt the child as per their wishes. This resulted in balancing the food supply and employment issues as well.

Conclusion on Overpopulation in India

India is facing a major problem of overpopulation that has resulted in many other related complications like pollution of environmental resources – water, air, overexploitation of natural resources – deforestation, increased unemployment, and many others. The sociological theories have been used to know more about the overpopulation and ways to control it. The factors like poor infrastructure, lack of education, early marriages, and others affect society as well, as these impacts the growth of the nation. Although, many governmental and non-governmental organizations are working together to control the situation and efforts have been made by people as well. People are getting encouraged and helping in achieving the goal of population control by using physical or surgical contraceptive methods, taking part in programs conducted by the governments, and many others.

References for Overpopulation in India

Bhangaokar, R. and Pandya, N. 2018. Family life education in India: Policies and prospects. Global Perspectives on Family Life Education, pp. 75-89.https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77589-0_6

Chakraborti, R.K., Kaur, J. and Kaur, H. 2019. Water shortage challenges and a way forward in India. Journal: American Water Works Associationvol.111, no. 5, pp. 1-20. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rajat_Chakraborti/publication/332804586_Water_Shortage_Challenges_and_a_Way_Forward_in_India/links/5ce30425299bf14d95aba766/Water-Shortage-Challenges-and-a-Way-Forward-in-India.pdf

Dutta, M. 2019. Environmental impact of overpopulation in India. The Clarion-International Multidisciplinary Journalvol. 8, no. 2, pp.49-51.http://dx.doi.org/10.5958/2277-937X.2019.00017.0

Gupta, S. 2018. Socioeconomic reforms and responsive government: An Indian perspective. Changing the Indian Economy, pp. 129-140.https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-102005-0.00007-1

Nanda, H. and Misra, S. 2020. Population growth and its impact on public health in India: A legal analysis. Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Developmentvol.11, no. 1, pp.242-245.https://doi.org/10.37506/v11/i1/2020/ijphrd/193822

Rudrappa, S. 2018. Land, women and techno-pastoral development in southern Karnataka, India. Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Onlinevol. 7, pp.141-149.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbms.2018.12.001

Sandu, Z. and Sukiasyan, N. 2018. Overpopulation of India: Factors, implications and recommendations. International Journal of Humanities, Art and Social Studies (IJHAS), vol. 3, no.2, pp. 1-8. 

Singh, H.D. 2017. Fertility control: Reproductive desires, kin work, and women's status in contemporary India. Medical Anthropology Quarterlyvol. 31, no. 1, pp.23-39.https://doi.org/10.1111/maq.12312

Weigelt, T. and Sharma, E. 2020.Family planning and budgeting for human rights in India. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare.https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-08-2019-0065

Wilson, K. 2018. For reproductive justice in an era of Gates and Modi: The violence of India's population policies. Feminist Reviewvol. 119, no. 1, pp.89-105.https://doi.org/10.1057%2Fs41305-018-0112-0

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