According to a research by UNICEF, every 24 hours an average of three lakhs fifty-three thousand babies are born. Each day, these many babies step into this world where the birth rate is spiraling at the rate of 19 births per 1,000 of the population. Our current world population is approximately 7.2 billion and growing. We often read these facts on daily basis in newspapers and online portals and ignore it. But the threats of this increasing population are imperative.

Our planet has been overrun by us and we continue to do so, disregarding the stress it puts on the planet’s resources. Not to mention the exceeding levels of pollution which is a direct result of the waste we produce. There was a time when reproduction was the key to survival and now we must do the exact opposite to ensure that we continue our existence.

Every year, the United Nations observe 11th July as the World Population Day and seek to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues by deciding the theme of the year. The theme for 2018 is “Family Planning is a Human Right”.  Exactly 50 years ago, during the International conference on Human Rights (1968), family planning was, for the first time, globally affirmed to be a human right. The theme is a direct action of the legislature that stated, for the first time, that women and girls could opt to avoid multiple pregnancies too close together if they wanted.

Motherhood is a stressful period during pregnancy. Changing hormones, body structure and the birth process itself is quite exhausting. The body requires adequate time to recuperate, however, to begin this process again before a woman recovers from the first is life-threatening. This year’s theme wishes to shed much-needed light over this topic. It aims at providing women the freedom of avoiding the exhaustion, depletion and danger of too many pregnancies, too close together. It also gives men and women the right to choose when and how often to embrace parenthood — if at all.

UN stated nine standards which were to be followed to uphold the human right of family planning- Non-discrimination, availability, accessible, acceptable, good quality, informed decision-making, privacy and confidentiality, participation and accountability.

This human right is also central to gender equality and women’s empowerment and is a key factor in reducing over-population induced poverty. Yet around the world, millions of women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and effective family planning methods just because they don’t have the access to information or services. Sometimes even the partner or the thought of community stops them from following their own wish.

Every day we see the world rapidly changing. We see bridges built over the sea and technology advancements which lead to making the world on small place. But today, let’s question these advancements. Are we really developing? We call it progress, but somehow our civilization lacks the maturity of understanding what is right and beneficial for this planet which we call our ‘home’. So, this World Population Day, let’s hold hands and work towards a better future of this planet.

 

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