India’s population is predicted to grow from its current level of 1.4 billion people to 1.67 billion in 2050 and to 1.53 billion in 2100, according to official projections. It is predicted to reach a zenith of just under 1.7bn people in 2064. As a result of these estimates, it will become the world’s largest country in 2023 surpassing China. It’s critical to act quickly and decisively before it’s too late.
India’s total fertility rate is expected to dip from 2.01 presently to 1.78 in 2050 and 1.69 in 2100, compared to the global average of 2.3 at present. The findings reveal the positive number of births in India among women aged 15 to 19 might fall from the current 988,000 to 282,000 by 2050, and then to 132,000 by 2100.
Commenting on the report -Debanjana Choudhuri, Gender and Climate action activist said What is next? “The most important outcome of knowing these estimates is, how will governments step up in their investment on sexual and reproductive access and take proactive steps to address climate change and look out for the vulnerable and marginalised sections of the society. Women and girls have long borne the burden of contraception and family planning and are the worst sufferers of impacts of climate change. There needs to be holistic discussions and improved investment and programmes around comprehensive sexuality education, preventing child marriages, protecting women and girls from SGBV, and making contraception choices and safe abortions easily accessible to all those who need it. Women and girls should be empowered to be decision makers and have bodily autonomy to decide when and if, to have children.”
“Contraception and family planning continue to be significantly affected due to the pandemic, resulting in unintended pregnancies. Decision-making on contraception is a shared responsibility, but that is not translating into practice in India. There is a need for programmatic interventions and investment for male engagement and for de-mystifying myths surrounding safe abortion,” she further added.
Effective development and implementation of male-involvement family planning initiatives should address barriers to men’s supportive participation in reproductive health, including addressing men’s negative beliefs regarding contraceptive services and increasing the population.
“Future predictions of demographic figures may not be able to take into account water shortages, realities of upcoming issues and impacts of pandemic like COVID-19. We are looking at a future of water shortages, climate change as well as a possible change in migration patterns all of which would affect a population. We need to remember the commitments we made at ICPD 1994 to protect individual sexual and reproductive rights and not to put ‘population’ ahead of people, and see how each of the climatic changes are going to impact their lives as a whole,” said Dr Suchitra Dalvie, Co-ordinator, Asia Safe Abortion Partnership.
When it comes to family planning, men and women should share the burden equally. The growth of a country’s population is a pressing issue for its government and its future development. Our country’s ever-growing population has long been a cause for concern, considering the country’s diverse religious, social, and geographic makeup.