Wrestler Geeta Phogat, who is the eldest of five siblings, on Monday pledged not to have more than two children in presence of her husband, Pawan Kumar — on the eve of the World Population Day. She took the pledge at an event in support of the Taxpayers’ Association of Bharat’s campaign seeking introduction of a law to check the country’s growing population.
Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, who was also present at the event, emphasised that almost 36 crore people in India live below poverty line and said that increasing population is the country’s biggest problem. He added that people must join hands to address the issue. “There are queues everywhere. We have to be concerned about our nation and support this movement so that it takes the shape of a law someday,” he said.
Agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan said ‘children for happiness’ is the slogan of the population stabilisation program. “Children should be born for happiness, not for existence,” he said in a recorded message that was played at the event.
Manu Gaur, who organised the event, said that despite improvement in science and technology and agriculture, governments are finding it difficult to fulfil their responsibility of providing basic education, healthcare, sanitation and employment.
“All this while contribution of taxpayers by way of taxes towards the nation kept rising. But over-population means that it will always fall short of the requirements,” Gaur said.
The association claims to have received support from over 400,000 people so far. “In the next three months, we plan to start our mass youth outreach programme by visiting all universities and centres of learning across the country through our volunteers,” Gaur said.
The association has been formed to study issues and threats that India is facing due to its growing population. It is bringing together voices from civil society to create awareness about the strain of rising population on the country’s resources.