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The story has been submitted by Mahnoor Ahmad.
How do we define the status quo in terms of overpopulation in Pakistan when a pandemic-stricken country teems with its impact: a mere problem or tangible calamity? Are we as impacted by our struggling economy, as we are by the rampant population growth in Pakistan? The answers can’t be found on the other side of school gates and madrassas. But rather by the trespassing into a Pakistani layman’s mind.
According to a survey by World Bank, with over 65,09,722 births each year. Pakistan ranks as the 6th most populated country. The economy declined and the corporate world downsized due to COVID-19. However, the birth rate underwent an increment; a 2% increase from 2019 to 2020 and 1.9% from 2020 to 2021 (via macronets.com).
The brighter side to dense population is aptly substantiated by flourishing economies like China. It ranks on number 1 in the list of most populated countries. Not only are the economic and technological resources ample in China. But the civilians play an active role in contributing to the success of the state. Capturing struggling economies like Pakistan, the concept of population growth has an inverse relationship to economic growth. With 44 trillion in debt, the government of Pakistan has inherited a plethora of recurring economic problems. The employment opportunities and wages are too low to benefit each and every civilian to the fullest. Having throttled the middle/lower-class sector to the hilt, inflation has put the massive population of Pakistan in a bind. The dependant population outweighs the working class. In addition, around 22 million children in Pakistan do not have access to education. It makes 40% of the population. But who is the silent contributor to this spectacle, the illiterate or the unaware?
Lack of awareness
The subject matter in question is the biggest flaw prevalent in a modestly literate Pakistan: lack of awareness. The remedy is not to send young or aged people to schools, but rather to comprehend their mindset. Literate or not, families expect a woman to bear a son at all costs for their honor and reputation. If she fails to do so in the first go, she’s made to impregnate again. However, even with a woman’s consent, the absurdity of this practice isn’t alleviated by a notch. Because the cycle may continue incessantly unless a son is born, compromising the wellness of the mother and child alike. This lack of awareness and idealization of primitive customs is the root cause of the crisis of Pakistan’s overpopulation. This orthodox deprives girls of all the opportunities the other gender has. It results in a generation of illiterate or privileged literate women. The poor and unaware then find themselves into non-consensual marriages to repeat the same cycle.
The children in question will grow up to be physically, mentally, and socially malnourished. Such children might fall victim to their ignorance. They might beg for their families in the streets and work near kilns, to make both ends meet. They might waste themselves away by doing crimes for money. And as a result, will prove to be a futile addition to the population of Pakistan.
Thousands of millions of households in Pakistan model the same ideal. As a consequence, the economy, as well as the quality of life, take a decline. When there is no outreach to impoverished and rich families alike, the problem can’t be uprooted for the country’s good. The outreach in this case should look like a massive awareness campaign accompanied by stricter policies and penalties.
Policies & penalties
The many hazards to female reproductive health due to both consensual and non-consensual birth should be brought to light. The media needs to play an integral role in spreading awareness about contraceptives and their use. Through social media, television ads, and government-funded awareness campaigns by NGOs, people should be enlightened about birth control. Pakistan needs stricter laws. No family should have more than 2 kids. A heavy penalty should be for anyone who chooses to do otherwise. These uncompromising policies will not just benefit the country but prove as an even bigger incentive to the civilians. Through a basic understanding of overpopulation in Pakistan and its adversities, the masses will be able to play an effective role in raising a rather small amount of but productive citizens. The expenditures pertaining to a family’s basic needs shall be curbed to a great extent. Social issues like gender inequality and civil disobedience shall find rest, bringing further stability to the country.
With the government’s involvement in regulating such policies and campaigns, the economy and masses will be able to encapsulate all the potential incentives for their welfare.
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