88 -- The Michigan Daily --- Weekend, etc. Magazine -. Thursday, October 28, 1999
WThe Michigan Daily - Wee
?kend, etc. I
Where there is water there are people. At an ahitude of _2,000 1eet in the I iimalayas, a I ibE.an women rests trom
cultivating a field of potatoes.
The weight of poerty India has detrimental eiets on the popu
improvImg their situation.
Earlier this month on October 12, 1999, the human population of
planet earth officially passed six billion and set the stage for one of the
biggest problems that humanity must confront during the 21 st Century.
In the United States we can acknowledge this event and read about the
pressure of population and its effects on the planet, but it is difficult for us to
truly grasp what overpopulation will mean for the earth and human society.
But in India, a country one-third the physical size of the United States where
population reached one billion this year, citizens and government confront
everyday the realities of population pressure in the face of limited resources.
To comprehend the population pressure in India, Americans should imagine
four times the population of the United States living east of the Mississippi
River. At this density, human beings and the physical environment suffer at a
level that will become more apparent to all people during the next century if
present levels continue to rise at an exponential rate.
Because of its democratic foundations, India has little hope of reduc-
ing its population growth the way that China has done during the last 25
years. For India to be successful in addressing its population issues, it must
first address the status and education of women within society. This will not
be an easy task for India, where women are still considered property in many
places and where literacy among st women is less than 15 percent in some
states. While the population problems India currently faces and will continue
to confront are less than positive, there are many things that humanity can
and must learn from the situation in India if we as a species are to build sus-
tainable communities that can support life indefinitely.
(Statistical information taken from the New York Times and Detroit
natin bythe iid~ I S Cenurywhe
lation. Many children grow up malnourished, without access to cean water and wth lle hope of
With a growth rate of 1.6 percent per year, India's population
expands by the total popuation of Australia annually.
Earning less than $1,50 US a day, thi:
his head that will be made into bricks
As population has increased during the 20th century, so has the amount of energy needed to sustain human activities.
Pollution is one of the harmful byproducts that results from the increased energy requirements..