If you go and ask any Indian couple about their parenthood plans, they will give you the following answers:
- They are not financially ready for the baby
- They don’t want their child to be raised in such an environment.
I know your immediate reaction would be “OH MY GOSH! ARE THEY ANTINATALIST?”. The answer is nope they are not.
Let’s analyze the second reason- “They don’t want their child to be raised in such an environment.” What do they mean by “such an environment?”.
As we all know India currently is teeming with a population of 1.3 billion, the land of diversity faces many problems.
With the ever-growing population and with limited resources, there are obviously many issues that Indians face every day. According to the studies, cities like Bengaluru and Delhi will run out of water in the next two years. Every third child in Delhi suffers from irreversible lung damage subjected by pollution, suggests Centre for Science and Environment.
Even for day-to-day survival, the planet seems to be in crisis, in every aspect- be it pollution levels, crime, and violence or climatic change. No parent would prefer their child being raised on a planet that is gasping for breath.
Imagine leaving your child to inhale the intoxicated air and watching he/she die a slow death. I agree that I am being cruel at the moment, but it is a fact that you cannot overlook. The world is being a pretty nasty place to live in.
Societal pressure is one of the biggest problems that every Indian face. The anxiety to meet the ever-increasing expectations of the society. In a nation where parents themselves struggle to meet the standards set by the society, how can you expect the tender minds of kids to cope up? Such redundant expectations lead to the aggressive psyche of the kids.
There are incidents where children have killed their fellow mates in a bid to postpone the exams. The incident was reported in Delhi that is the capital of the nation.
So, what are the alternative options?
Adoption is the only way one can consider to be a parent without reproducing. There are so many children in need of love and care. In the Indian culture having one’s own children are an emotional decision and a cultural pressure. The pressure of family, friends, and society makes the couple to succumb. Since our resources are stretched to the breaking point, the ugly truth associated with overpopulation and the ever-increasing crime rate is inspiring people to not further aggravate the problem.
However, it is not sure whether the environmental issues will motivate more people to be child-free. Allowing couples to make choice about having children or going child-free and rejoicing every type of family is just a way to aid many consider that parenthood does not necessarily have to be a part of their journey, until and unless they desperately want it.
P.S.: The impact of having one fewer child equals to reducing 58 metric tonnes of CO2 for each year of the parent’s life.