The world marked World Population Day on July 11. In 1804, the world population was almost one billion. Today, it is being projected to hit the seven billion mark. Is this numerical ‘milestone’ a cause for celebration or concern? In Thomas Malthus’ theory of population, he has highlighted the potential dangers of overpopulation and that’s what we are facing today with climate change, energy waste, food and water shortages and the degradation of our fragile environment. According to social scientists, overpopulation is the mother of most of our problems. An overcrowded world spreads poverty and extends ignorance, and this is something we cannot afford.

In some of the poorest countries, women are having more babies, posing serious problems to development and perpetuating poverty; in some of the wealthier countries, the low fertility rates and a shortage of workers are raising concerns about the sustainability of economic growth and social programmes. This shows that the world has not been able to address its population issue with a balanced approach. It is about time a clear strategy is drawn on how to tackle population issues and the sooner this is done the better.

SANAULLAH ATTIQUE CHINJNI

Larkana, July16.