Thursday, June 20, 2024

India should focus on its young, say experts


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NEW DELHI: As the world welcomed the “symbolic” seven billionth babies Monday, social experts said that India should stop worrying about capping the population and focus instead on the needs of the young.

Abhijit Das, director of Center for Health and Social Justice, said, “One cannot say the impact of this seven billion mark will affect the globe equally.”

“We do not have a real time number of the population. So, it can’t be guessed who is the seven billionth baby. The pattern of population growth varies distinctly across the globe, so we cannot say that effect of the growth would be similar for the world. In Europe, the population is shrinking,” Das told IANS.

He feels that India should celebrate its young people. “Our policy making should focus on the needs of the young. Let’s stop worrying about capping the population because we cannot do that.”

A girl child named Nargis born in a village in Uttar Pradesh Monday was declared as the “symbolic” seven billionth baby.

According to the 2001 Indian Census, India has 41.05 percent of people in the age group 13 to 35 – which is higher than that of any other country’s youth population.

According to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), India’s increasing population should not be seen as a burden rather a challenge.

“Increasing population can be seen both as a burden and challenge. India should take it as a challenge and utilise it as an opportunity,” Rajat Ray, senior Advocacy & Communication Officer, UNFPA-India, told IANS.

India started experiencing rapid demographic transition since the 1980s. Due to this, a demographic window of opportunity is being experienced by the country in the form of a “youth bulge”.

“The youth bulge is not going to last for ever. The growth rate in working ages witnessed a peak around the year 2000 in comparison to the overall dependent growth rates. The effect of youth bulge would be felt till 2025, subsequent to which, the growth rate of the elderly is likely to take over and peak after mid 2040s,” said a UNFPA report. (IANS)


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