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Tax Senior, Deloittte Tax India Pvt. Ltd.

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Population Explosion - Root cause of most issues relating to poverty in all of the developing and developed countries and ways to curb it.

There are many organizations across the globe trying to help under privileged people and the society in many ways. Right from getting the right nutrition for pregnant women to providing education to under privileged children and many others such as health, hygiene, drinking water, pollution control to name a few.

But are we trying to curb the root cause for this effectively? Population is the evil and how well are we dealing with this issue? Is it only the government’s responsibility? There may be some welfare organizations working in this area and to be frank I did not take the time to look them up on a search engine because I do not see that we have any effective result.

If every Indian family has only 2 children, we will definitely be a developed country and a self-sufficient country in many ways. Only if we can drive this, I am sure we can get rid of most of our concerns dealing with poverty. At least this will leave fewer people below the poverty and with more resources to help.

My question is – how fair is it to provide nutrition to a pregnant woman who is delivering her 5th or 6th child? What are we trying to achieve here? We would be more successful if we could convince her stop with 2 children - spend all our efforts doing this rather than supporting her through all pregnancies and then supporting those children.

I am new to the TED talk conversation and I hope to hear from some of you and learn from you.

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  • Jun 3 2013: Let me offer my view on the problem of over-population of India. First of all, it seems that as the economic conditions improve, the birth rate will decrease in almost all the countries with no major exceptions. There are a few examples as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan in neighboring Asia, while they became industrialized, their fertility rates drop to the point that there have been very small or no increase in their population sizes. China reached their goal of birth control and economic development at the same time and achieved their goal even faster.
    Now consider the two prone approach to control population explosion, I would say that economic development is much easier than birth control, short of using brutality to reach the latter goal.
    Let's look at the situation in India where there are no problems in technological skill/ manpower availability for industrialization. As a matter of fact, India had EXCESS TECHNOLOGICAL, MANAGERIAL AND PROBABLY RESEARCH PERSONNEL MANPOWER, only that most of these people are currently working in industries, financial market firms and research institutions in Europe and America. That's because there are no, or only few, places for them to work inside India. Even a few foreign companies wanted to invest in India, they had very difficult time to go through the central government as well as the local governments without much hassle. Also, the development of agriculture industry should precede the business and manufacturing industries, but I understand there is even more restriction on them.
    Furthermore, without the money/resources from economic development, the government of India can ill afford to pay every married couple the living expenses to ask them not to get pregnant after giving birth to 2 children. Or, to do education at one village at a time would be too little of a remedy to such a big problem.
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    Jun 2 2013: Population definitely is not the root cause of poverty rather skewed distribution of wealth is .
    Why poor tend to have more kids , you think ?
    • Jun 2 2013: They tend to because of lack of education. If they have fewer children they definitely are in a better position to educate them and with the power of knowledge and education, they can break the barriers of poverty and also opt for having fewer children like most educated families do – thus laying foundation for a healthy and sound family which will impact the society and a country’s standard of living. Your thoughts?

      Uneven distribution of wealth adds to social concerns but population still seems to be a major cause of poverty.
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        Jun 3 2013: Please check the link below , which might give some different insights...

        http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies.html

        As ZX explained in the post above, to poverty stricken sections, many a times more hands means more money. Moreover more kids means higher possibility of keeping gene pool alive because child mortality is pretty high in that section.

        I am not denouncing the role of education. Important is which one should be addresses first ? Many NGOs here in my country that has got similar challenges like India tried with their education programs without solving food issue some years back and those initiatives mostly failed because of the high drop outs. Now government and NGOs are trying a different model , which seems working better. The model is, if kid goes to school s/he gets food for family...

        Traditionally population in under developed and developing country is seen to be a major barrier for development. My feeling is that we need to change this perspective and take it as an advantage or strength. Look in to the developed economy , population growth is zero or negative with high proportion of older generation. That is one of the reasons they depend on younger population of poor countries to keep their economy running. So it became a kind of win win situation for both economies....

        We need to change our perspective while addressing the issue of population boom in certain countries...
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    Jun 2 2013: .
    .
    Yes!
    "Population explosion" is the "root cause".

    Our life goal is to keep our DNA alive
    rather than big population.
    So, 2 children are quite enough for the goal today.

    More than 2, obviously, make us mostly "harmful" happiness
    (happiness being out of the valid scope of our instincts)..
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    Jun 2 2013: The problem is a lack of industry. If they are trying to make stuff with out dated machinery they cannot make enough to be competitive. The government is a huge discourager to new industry. It is simply a matter of cutting the government influence.
    • Jun 2 2013: What do you think in the exact problem here? Where and how can the non-profit organizations step in to help sort this problem at the root?

      I have a few ideas which probably are not great and one of them is - corporates can divert some of their corporate social responsibility funds to only help population control. I mean what if each corporate adopts one village for a few years - educate them, fund them and help them understand the concept of 2 for 2 in a country like India. Or even better some of the world's biggest philanthropists do this and even more better that each one of us embrace one family and help them through this!
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        Jun 2 2013: You are not getting what I am saying.

        Forget that stuff. You have to increase out put period. You have to get rid of government interference period.
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          Jun 2 2013: Pat, (hi it's been awhile)

          You don't seem to get what most TEDsters have been telling you for a long time now. The "out put" is sufficient on a global scale to house and feed everyone, the problem is the usual problems that comes from your way of thinking and it's the capitalistic way, building a hierarchy with the haves and have not's.

          You must see evidence of this in your own country "the greatest industry nation (according to most Americans)" still isn't producing enough to feed and cloth a large proportion of your population. While other countries that have a very solid government ( like Switzerland) have it way better economically and they manage to provide housing, food and education to everyone.

          Isn't it amazing?
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        Jun 2 2013: Hi Jimmy

        I have the same old answer. This is very simple stuff really. When you encourage production you get production when you encourage people not to produce you get non production.

        We have been over the equality meme ad nauseam, it comes up every week. But it has nothing to do with economics it is strictly a straw man.

        At the economic level Radhika is talking about the most important thing is to get production higher as this creates a higher standard of living for ALL.

        The fact is that America has raised the standard of living of the world more than any country in the history of the world. This is a fact. But not for the past decade or so because it has become more socialist, which has been it's undoing.
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    Jun 28 2013: as of now, average children per woman in india down to about 2.6, from the 4+ a few decades ago. it is not that bad. this is the average, the situation is even better in cities.

    you need to watch all talks of hans roslng, here, at ted. then you will understand that population explosion is not a problem anymore. here:

    http://www.ted.com/speakers/hans_rosling.html

    start with this:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_growth.html
  • Jun 9 2013: Hi.
    You asked this question:
    "But are we trying to curb the root cause for this effectively? ....and.....made this comment.
    " Population is the evil..."
    To the first, the answer is no.
    We still are not going after the "root causes" of our problems.
    We humans have had ample time to rid the world of the evils of war, poverty, hunger, homelessness, slavery and so on, but we haven't done it. It isn't that it is not achievable. It is that we don't do it and it should have been done by now.
    Take human trafficking. Let's rid the world of human trafficking. Right? Good? No.
    Those who want to, think themselves good people and traffickers are bad people. Right? No, wrong.
    They are people like anyone else trying to survive. Most probably are not nice people and do horrible mean things.
    Some do good. Should we eliminate their source of survival simply because we think we are good? No. We do so much harm with our belief of just how good we are that we don't want to know the truth about it. But more than that,
    we worship the lies we have been told, raised with, educated with and told what to believe so that we never find, nor even seek, the real truth. It's money. How about another false belief?
    Population is the evil. Right? NO. Wrong.
    It is the mismanagement of the earth's resources by those who have no right to own a resource or be in control of one.
    All the resources of the earth belong equally to all the life forms that require them in order to live. And they were here and they were all free and should be restored to that status.
    But those who control them are those who have talked you into believing ownership of "what you need to live", is their right and they use the growing, false scarcity of them to keep you believing things like, "population is the evil."
    Next, it will make sense to you when they tell you thinning the world population is what is required and makes perfect, rational and sober sense.
    And you, a valuable resource of the earth will be thinned out.
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    Jun 3 2013: You think population explosion is the main cause of poverty.

    I think hoarding and corruption by a few are the root cause why we are poor.

    There is enough for our needs but not enough for our greed. (M. K. Gandhi)
  • Jun 3 2013: Looks like there isn't agreement, but I agree there can be too much of a good thing - and there are many unwanted or needed people.
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    Jun 2 2013: Hi Radhika,

    I think that you'd enjoy this TEDTalk http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies.html