Over pop­u­la­tion and prob­lems

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - Asma Khalil Email: saji­daliobs@ya­hoo.com

PAK­ISTAN is a de­vel­op­ing coun­try fac­ing so many prob­lems due to high rate of pop­u­la­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the eco­nomic sur­vey of Pak­istan 2015, the to­tal pop­u­la­tion of Pak­istan is over 191.71 mil­lion, mak­ing it the world’s sixth most pop­u­la­tion coun­try. It has been es­ti­mated that in the year 2020 Pak­istan’s pop­u­la­tion will reach 208 mil­lion.

There are some of the main causes which are giv­ing rise to the over pop­u­la­tion in Pak­istan. One of the main cause of the over pop­u­la­tion in Pak­istan is high and un­bal­ance growth rate. Due to lack of ed­u­ca­tion, per­sons are not aware about fam­ily plan­ning meth­ods. Birth rate is very high. Rapid growth of pop­u­la­tion (June, 2014) is 1.95 per­cent. Which is higher than av­er­age growth, on the other hand due to il­lit­er­acy, Pak­istani pop­u­la­tion is not aware of im­por­tance of econ­omy and its prob­lems caused by high birth rate. World Bank in­di­ca­tors- Pak­istan- eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity 72.2% fe­males are not ac­tive. Women have no any eco­nomic loss while hav­ing a child. Op­por­tu­nity cost for hav­ing a child is very low or zero in Pak­istan.

Sec­ond main is­sue is re­li­gious be­lief. All Mus­lims have strong and blind be­lief that Al­lah gives food to ev­ery­one even to an ant liv­ing in the stone. So why we re­duce the fam­ily or use fam­ily plan­ning meth­ods. The sys­tem of more mar­riages base on re­li­gious be­lief is also a cause to in­crease the pop­u­la­tion rate. Com­monly in Pak­istan, mar­riages age ra­tio is between 18 to 22 years. The du­ra­tion of pro­duc­tiv­ity is very lengthy so growth of the fam­i­lies are high. Birth of boy is con­sid­ered as a source of power to in­flu­ence peo­ple and to con­trol the per­sons around them. Peo­ple feel proud to have a boy in a fam­ily, that’s why they are in­creas­ing size of fam­ily till boy’s birth. Fe­male growth rate is very high in Pak­istan be­cause wait­ing for the male.

Due to ru­ral and ur­ban mi­gra­tion and lack of fa­cil­i­ties in cities, there are many so­cial prob­lems. It re­sults in in­crease in ur­ban pop­u­la­tion. Higher rate of ur­ban­iza­tion is an in­di­ca­tor of over­pop­u­la­tion. Govern­ment is not fund­ing to ad­ver­tise about im­por­tance of the fam­ily plan­ning meth­ods es­pe­cially in the ru­ral ar­eas.

Speedy rise of pop­u­la­tion can­not pro­vide ba­sic fa­cil­i­ties and needs in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries like Pak­istan, that’s why ris­ing pop­u­la­tion mean low liv­ing stan­dard. About 21-22% pop­u­la­tion liv­ing very low stan­dard. Due to a highly grow­ing pop­u­la­tion (over growth con­di­tion) of Pak­istan it is not pos­si­ble to pro­vide or fa­cil­i­tate jobs to all. It re­sults in unem­ploy­ment. The pop­u­la­tion growth re­duces per capita in­come of the peo­ple be­cause na­tional in­come is di­vided by a large size of pop­u­la­tion.

The rapid growth of pop­u­la­tion is also one source to cre­ate pol­lu­tion, un­planned colonies and en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems. More peo­ple more in­dus­tries, traf­fic etc. there is no ef­fec­tive sys­tem to con­trol pol­lu­tion. Cap­i­tal­ists in­stall in­dus­tries with bil­lion dol­lars of re­sources but do not in­stall treat­ment plants of mil­lion ru­pees. Rapidly growth of pop­u­la­tion cre­ate more eco­nomic and so­cial prob­lems es­pe­cially ba­sic hu­man needs such as ac­com­mo­da­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, food, water, trans­port, health etc.

High rates of pop­u­la­tion growth in Pak­istan means low stan­dard of life, poverty, il­lit­er­acy, more pol­luted en­vi­ron­ment and also ba­sic hu­man needs like food, water, shel­ters, health, ed­u­ca­tion are not ful­filled. High growth rate also have bad ef­fects on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries like Pak­istan. In short over­pop­u­la­tion is not good for any coun­try. Govern­ment should take initiatives to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion to ru­ral and il­lit­er­ate com­mu­nity about fam­ily plan­ning meth­ods, try to con­trol unem­ploy­ment. Mo­ti­vate the peo­ple for work, pro­mote more trees plant­ing for con­trol­ling pol­lu­tion in ur­ban ar­eas. Govern­ment must close the doors for refugees. — The writer is free­lance colum­nist based in Rawalpindi.

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