MEGHA DATTA

INDIA

'As  a privileged urban middle class Indian woman, I may not be an authority  figure on the subject, but in my own experience, I can trace the impact  of population on almost all aspects of our lives. Just having an  empathic heart is enough for one to realise what overpopulation does to  our world.


From  physically congested environments, sometimes surrounded with waste,  filth and pollution, to greater insecurity for shared resources,  mistrust, unhealthy competition - the list of impacts is long. In  generations before mine, many families had 5-6 children - often the  result of an incessant hankering for boys. Women were limited to rearing  children and maintaining the house. They had no agency, no say in  financial matters. Not even in matters of family planning.


In  the 2000s, things began to change: an increased focus on family  planning, empowering and educating girls, and increasing women in the  workforce. I see that the more educated women are, the more financially  independent they become, and better is their agency for family planning.  Women are consciously choosing fewer children and a better life for  their families. We must come together to tackle overpopulation, which is  intrinsically tied to the agency that women have.'

MEGHA DATTA