ACCORDING to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, population is “the whole number of people or inhabitants in a country or region”. Population explosion is the greatest issue of the contemporary world. It is affecting the world economy directly. Owing to less economic resources and more population, it increases the chances of unemployment in society. Numerous factors are involved for overpopulation; some common are: lack of family planning, literacy rate, women unemployment, imbalance between birth and death rate, strong religious beliefs and poor response from the government side are causes for population explosion.
Governments worldwide have devised population policies. Developed countries like the UK, US and China are very circumspect and integrate their population policies from time to time. Pakistan was one of the first countries to launch its national population programme in 1965 and this was an ambitious step for population control. Pakistan has become the fifth largest populace country in the world and face different challenges inclusive unemployment, nutrition, health issues and literacy rate etc. Rate of population in Pakistan is 221,190,207. Surprisingly, the population density in Pakistan is 287 per km2 (742 people per mi2) which is an alarming situation for the country as a whole, the rapid growth in over-population will slow economy growth and the country may get ambidextrously growth and will become self-subsistence.
The government needs to envisage the issue and can take safety measures among the couples to implement some strong campaigns adequately. Also, facilitate people by providing pertinent information to promote family planning. Initially, some facilities must be given to the couples who do not have any child. Very stern laws must be implemented immediately regarding population explosion.
Positive actions have already been taken by the government of Pakistan in three provinces: Punjab, KP and Sindh for girl education. The purpose of these steps is to improve the life standard of people in health, education, nutrition etc. For population control introduction of new contraceptive measures for the poor and to control the birth rate at provincial level, ladies health workers have been given the task to collect the data for population control; however, these actions need to be enhanced in urban areas as well.
Today, Pakistan’s population programme stands at threshold alongwith other programmes at social sectors. The time has come where government and non-government donor organizations must cooperate to achieve tangible results for population control. The government must adopt some precautionary measures for the over-population by undertaking necessary steps at federal and provincial level.
They should involve some celebrities for media campaign for awareness, improvement existing service quality, positive attitude among high public and political figures. Women social status and education, religious leaders voice to endorse the programme and the role of donor agencies such as World Bank and the UN, NGOs along with the government of Pakistan funded the programmes for family planning (FP).
—The writer is a freelancer, based in Islamabad.