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Article Summary

Focus Keep guessing your number

The burgeoning population is adding woes to the government in every country. Every member would need three basic requirements- Food, Clothes and Shelter, without which survival is difficult. In every country, the government carries out welfare programmes, but the message doesn’t percolate down. Every year, come July 11, programmes to mark the World Population Day are held. This year it will be the 24th anniversary of the World Population Day. Till June 2013, statistics stated that the growing population of the world had reached 7,160,183,896.

You will be alarmed at the Population Facts that state that 60 per cent of the world’s population resides in Asia, while 17 per cent reside in India. Other startling disclosures are that 20 per cent live in China, 12 per cent in Africa, 11 per cent in Europe, eight per cent in North America and 5.3 per cent in South America.

In 2012, the United Nations celebrated the World Population Day for Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services. The UN in its statement said: “A world of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity with implications on sustainability, urbanisation and access to health services and youth empowerment.”

It must be noted that reproductive health problems remains the leading cause of ill health and death for women of childbearing age worldwide. According to UN figures, some 222 million women who would like to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to effective family planning. “Nearly 800 women die every day in the process of giving birth. About 1.8 billion young people are entering their reproductive years, often without the knowledge, skills and services they need to protect themselves. Reproductive health plays in creating a just and equitable world,” states the UN.

In his message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for bridging the gap between demand and supply for reproductive healthcare. “We must mainstream reproductive health and rights into all development and poverty reduction plans. Investing in universal access to reproductive health is a crucial investment in healthy societies and a more sustainable future,” Ban said.

The UN Governing Council in its decision 89/46, in 1989, advised that, in order to throw light on the importance of population issues and find a solution, 11 July should be observed by the international community as the World Population Day. This day was inspired by the public interest in reaching the Five Billion mark on July 11, 1987.

In an article published in the British journal, Lancet, last year, Melinda Gates co-authoring the introduction, said, “At the household level, families are able to invest more of their scarce resources in the health and education of their children. Girls from smaller families are more likely to complete their education and women with fewer children are more able to seek employment, increasing household income and assets.”

Meanwhile, Michael Khoo, Vice President for Communications at Population Action International, says: “The eighth billionth baby is about a decade away. Let’s give him/her a life of promise by planning for his/her future today.” If you want to get involved on 11 July, draw your friends and family's attention to the day and post information on Facebook and Twitter.

It is often said that one leads to the other. If the population grows, resources will dwindle. To make sure that citizens across the globe are aware about the precious natural resources the Earth is bestowed with, World Nature Conservation Day is observed on 28th July. The first class in Geography teaches us that nature provides us with various indispensable services, which has made human existence possible on the planet. We are all aware that beginning from the air we breathe to the raw material required for growth, everything is provided by nature.

National and global meetings have been held to draw attention to conservation of nature. Last year, Hyderabad hosted the Bio—Diversity conference to draw attention. Our country is also a signatory to international treaties like ‘Convention on Biological Diversity’, ‘Kyoto Protocol’ and a host of conservative projects like the Project Tiger, Project Elephant etc.

The need of the hour is adopting a ‘Green Lifestyle’. For this we can begin work from home. We must wisely use resources like fuel, instead of driving alone, think of car pooling. Switch of fans and lights when not in use. Use cloth bag, instead of plastic bags. Don’t throw litter on the road, use dustbins. Also be on the guard when some people are chopping trees for using it as fuel.