Q: Critically examine whether growing population is the cause of poverty OR poverty is the main cause of population increase in India.
- The UN Human Rights Council has defined poverty as “a human condition characterized by the sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights”.
- Poverty and population growth has a two way linkage.
- At one end high population growth rate is one of major reasons of poverty in India. As high population below poverty line add to high level of illiteracy, poor health care facilities and poor access to financial resources. Hence high population growth affects the per capita income and makes per capita income even lower.
- Whereas on the other side for poor, one more child means two more hands to work and earn for livelihood of family, and this particular reason make poverty a strong cause for growing population. Further, lack of money and proper awareness or education about contraceptive methods is among major causes of population increase in India due to poverty. It leads to poor lifestyle and high mortality, particularly among children, which keeps the fertility rates high, due to uncertainty, further increasing the population upwards.
- Overall, it is a vicious cycle and it can’t be determined what leads to what and thus, the focus shall be on the regulation and control of both of these phenomenons.