From an expected rise in population to the staggering resource crunch that has been spotlighted in the current times, Covid-19 has brought many pervading issues to surface.
In line with the same concern, our esteemed panel members got together to discuss the ‘population rise in relation to India’s raging environmental and developmental problems’
The ICSE Forum-2 was chaired by Ms. Shailaja Chandra Former Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India.
Some key themes that were highlighted in the session were “the urgency and the importance of addressing population and sustainability issues.”
“Interlinkages of demographic and environmental trends including population growth, ageing, migration and urbanization.”
“COVID Pandemic challenge vis a vis population dynamics and environmental stresses”
Although these issues have been prevalent in our society for a long time now, the harkening of a crisis disproportionately impacted and targeted a select few more heavily than others.
The webinar began with Dr Ram Boojh, CEO, Mobius Foundation emphasising the strong linkage between Population, Sustainability and Environment.
After which he introduced the “project Aakar’’ by Mobius Foundation that is working to counsel married couples and students falling in the marriageable group 17-20 group in remote villages of the two highly populated districts of Uttar Pradesh, Baharaich and Barabanki.
He further went on to stress how crucial it has become to address the issues related to population dynamics including fertility rate, access to sexual and reproductive health care, education and empowerment of women as part of overall strategy for sustainable development as ‘roadblocks to achievement of SDGs’.
Mr. Kartikeya V Sarabhai, Founder and Director, Centre for Environment Education
(CEE) in his keynote address spoke on ‘population in the context of sustainability and universal education’.
Sharing his valuable insights on Literacy-Fertility Rate and Human Development, he also foregrounds ‘how the elevation of a woman’s status in society can bring in the viable change towards population control’. He also encourages to emulate handprint (action towards sustainability) and footprint.
Ms. Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India strongly made a case for ‘education as the best contraceptive’.
She stated that women, especially young do not have adequate access to temporary methods of family planning and thus undergo large number of abortions in turn affecting their physical and mental health.
She suggests ‘increased family planning access to even remote areas and more social can transform regressive mindsets’.
Prof. R B Bhagat, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai spoke on correlation between population stabilisation and migration.
He highlighted that building a formal institutional setup for migrant workers, ensuring livelihood opportunities for them in crisis and providing better living standards will eventually monitor migrant population in a more organised way.
This webinar was conducted to raise more awareness related to population, sustainability and the pandemic.
Through which, an action plan can be deduced and successfully implemented by Mobius Foundation in collaboration with various NGOs and agencies working in the area of population stabilization and sustainability.
Team Pradip Burman