The growing population is one of the persistent challenges of Pakistan & it is rising in an unchecked and uncontrolled manner. When much-anticipated census 2017 results were announced we realized that Pakistan got promoted as the 5th most populous country with 217 million at the highest regional growth rate of 2.82%. It is estimated that the population of Pakistan can cross 300million by 2050 & it will be a disaster as the looming threat of a drought-like situation by 2025. UNICEF shared the report about Pakistan that 14000 babies born on the 1st day of the new year 2021. It’s an alarming situation.
The population explosion has its adverse impacts. Pakistan is facing a formidable challenge of economic development in addition to a sophisticated healthcare system, low literacy rate, poverty, unemployment, low per capita income, food crises & scarcity of water. Major factors are involved behind this wildly growing population such as hi-tech advancement in fertility treatments, less use of contraceptive methods, decreasing mortality rate, low literacy rate, lack of family planning, strong religious beliefs, son preference, traditions, lack of female education & empowerment.
Families often give birth to seven girls just to have one boy or to complete a pair. Forced pregnancies by the in-laws are one aspect that is drastically increasing stillbirths (dead babies). In Pakistan, 260,000 stillbirths are happening every year. Women expire at the time of six or seven babies which also has increased the mortality rate of 186 deaths per 100k live births.
Motherhood is considered a blessing, but if a woman dies during pregnancy there is no blessing to celebrate.
These remarks show a deep misunderstanding. Most people think that sex education is telling them how to have sex. In truth, it is about health, hygiene & family planning. It’s an unfortunate dilemma that we can’t talk about our reproductive health that is associated with the survival of upcoming progenies. Even during MBBS, professors didn’t give lectures on reproductive health saying that read yourself (“ghar per parh lena”). In the storm of misleading and fake information and sex “shaped” by internet pornography, teenagers can’t be left alone. They don’t understand how their body functions. The truth is that sex education is more important today than in past. It’s about preparing teenagers for responsible, safe, and satisfying adulthood. Females in particular need good and effective sex education.
Pakistan is a rich human resource country. These 60% energetic & motivated youth is our oil. By exporting professionals we can fulfill the world’s deficiency in diverse professional sectors and also the life of low-income bracket families can be improved. It’s the state’s responsibility to transform these young generations into human capital so that the current population proves to be a blessing for Pakistan. A strong Pakistan should be our priority if we must make certain tough decisions for its attainment no one should hesitate.
Engr. M. Usman Javed Sial