Sunday, December 3, 2023
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Creating awareness about population growth

AB Khan

In the world of today, information is available on a click of a finger. I did the same to know Pakistan’s population as of now and showed a figure of 234,480,525 LIVE whereas the world’s population as 8 billion Live.   However, having said that do keep in mind that no matter how fast you are scrolling, the world population is growing with every word that skitters beneath your eyeballs and when you will read this piece, do not hold the writer responsible for wrong information.  Scrolling down on the home page, the information material available is a treasure-trove as one finds, charts, data’s, statistics, analysis and all sorts of numbers but please be forewarned, its not at all a pleasant reading rather an eye opener.

The onus is not only on the government, the rulers, the politicians, the NGO’s but also the quintessential…  the citizens of Pakistan. Now the question arises how will the stakeholders be handling the issues such as environment science, economics, healthcare and urban planning directly related to over population, when the world continues to add relentlessly to the number of consumers and Pakistan in the winning line being the 5th most populous country in the world. The right answer to this question is politics and politicians. If Over Population issue is even in the same cliched list were fighting Corruption, making Pakistan a business-friendly hub, deterrence against the country’s staunch enemies is drummed again and again in the election campaigns, rallies and political manifesto’s, house of Senate and Parliament, then it cannot be over looked or put in a freezer.

The stakeholders in the corridors of power, in election campaigns, in the parliament and in the air-condition board meetings over luncheons toy with the words like, empowerment of women, promotion of gender, female emancipation, decision making so on and so forth. Unfortunately, these words cannot walk the talk until and unless another four-letter word “male” is added along because “do in Rome as the Romans do”. Along with educating the women, men need to be educated as well. Similarly, when we talk about women empowerment, men need to be told that this does not imply as men’s disempowerment. The point is, take the partner along, apply the gender equality formula in decision making as well by not divorcing the male gender who is part and parcel in this decision, as well as on its outcomes.

The World Population Day, 11th of July has been observed since 1990 but how much has been achieved is what needs to be looked into.  Are the wheels turning backwards on environmental control, is Healthcare in a better shape now, has urban planning yielded any results or are the economic figures showing an upward trend!

The growing human population is looking for any nook and corner to settle down and built a shelter, be it in urban or rural area thus directly affecting the environment. “Population rise and environment degradation is considered to be the biggest threat to humankind” according to UN survey of a select few Nobel laureates placing even   nuclear war below in the list to Over Population.

Zeroing it on developing countries, this threat is here to stay along with its   multiple effects expanding on daily bases. The challenge is not one but numerous, starting with unemployment, healthcare, income distribution and security, leave alone, education, clean water, food and living conditions. How will the development countries achieve social and economic development when rapid growth makes it even more difficult for the developing countries to provide basic healthcare to its people leave alone a roof to sleep or even on meal a day. The natural disasters in the shape of floods and earthquakes are a prime example in Pakistan where so much was pledged during the visits of foreign leaders, international donors, NGO’s and during international conferences held in the name of “Climate Change”. How much has been delivered to Pakistan and how much has Pakistan delivered onwards to its affected citizens.

Therefore, SDG goals and targets like reproductive health, gender equality, empowerment of women to have her say do not take priority on top of the list when even basic health Is in scarcity, when gender equality is looked from one eye and when empowerment of women only means her right to say yes or no.

Pakistan is slowly inching towards General Elections which provides a golden opportunity for the political parties to revisit their manifestos and upgrade the issue of Population Control in their agendas. Those planning to run independently too should not divorce themselves from this responsibility as well. However, having said that, the onus is not just on the politicians, NGOs, influencers and media industry should also needs to take responsibility and play its decisive role in hammering the issue over and over again through their respective mediums starting from today.   Actions speak louder than words, so just sitting in a Primetime talk show and making a statement or pledge is not where the discussion should end, but a serious commitment, a factual timeline and resolute solution will guarantee a viewer’s decision on the candidacy during the election fever. Support audience as an International donor, private sectors will also be very important to galvanize through direct engagements with government stakeholders, Influencer audience should engage principal audience to increase motivation and commitment towards elections through social media, podcast, tools whereas Core audience should engage through direct advocacy supported by strategic tools. Yes, we will not only achieve Sustainable Development Goals but also the goals we set as a Pakistani for Pakistan.    

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