This ubiquitous sign without any text is the most well known image in India. It stands for:
One of India’s great success stories voluntary family planning that restricted the growth of population to manageable levels. Voluntary, except for a short while, when Indira Gandhi had declared a state of emergency and her son Sanjay Gandhi drove the state to effect forced and indiscriminate sterilisation which eventually boomeranged on the mother and son duo.
My grandparents and their children inevitably had large families, ranging from seven to four children each, with one late marriage that produced only two. My parents had four children. Most people that I know in my generation, have restricted their families to two children and in my case too, we would have had two had medical advice post our first child’s delivery not suggested that we restrict it to one. I am glad that we got that advice, as we have been able to provide our son with the best of every possible facility in growing up which would have been difficult had we been forced to share our resources with two children.
Today, the situation is fraught with costs of educating children, apart from finding good institutions to send them to, and many young married couples prefer to either be DINKs (Double Income No Kids) or DISCs (Double Income Single Kid) because, a single income family, at least, in cities, is simply too expensive to manage. And, I am also seeing many young people not wanting to get married and take the responsibility of parenting.
So, from my own family’s example, of my grandparents having seven children to my parents with four and mine with one child, to that child being without any children, I have seen first hand, the reduction in size of the Indian family which is not unusual.
This is my contribution to the Weekly Loose Bloggers’ Consortium (LBC) endeavour to post on one single topic every Friday. Today’s topic has been suggested by Maria. I hope that you enjoyed reading my contribution.
12 thoughts on “Family Size.”
if only that would catch on all over the world!
like monk says…
overpopulation seems to be the biggest part of the problem facing us in so many areas.
even the new pope francis has been heard to say…
“just because we’re catholic doesn’t mean we have to be rabbits!”
now there’s a modern thought!
tammy j recently posted..less
Yay for voluntary population control!
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Interesting as our population growth slowed as well as we prospered. We can still produce enough food to feed everyone but distribution remains an issue.
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Both of my parents had nine brothers and sisters. They came from poor working class families and life was hard in the early part of the 20th century. Perhaps that’s why I have so few cousins and am an ‘only child’ ?
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I seem to recall that in say early 1900-50s – large families were the norm with so many offspring succumbing to childhood disease – maybe too there were less contraceptives available. My own parents spread us out…2 to begin with about 3yrs apart then left me and my sister for some long periods! Jokes were made that they had to get them off to boarding school before they got on with next generation – hence the oldest and youngest are left with a 24.1/2years gap between us!!!
It is interesting how the baby booms come and go, isn’t it? I am exactly your generation and, as you say, most people of our age had only two children. We were a bit behind the curve and had four. If you then compound that by each of my children (by marriage or by birth) having two children (one son having three), you come up with a mini-boom. I do think that economics will strongly influence having more children although I certainly see babies, babies, everywhere – both in the US and in my travels.
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I think I read the topic incorrectly. I only read “Family” and wrote that in advance. The way I am going to post this weekends blog (I think I wont be able to write LBC this week).
Uncleji I have something to talk to you about. I will be back in India next weekend. So perhaps on Sunday how does that sound?
No problems. Just call whenever you want to and we will take it from there.
For countries like India and China, for now, it is viable to control the growth of population; but for European countries it has revealed catastrophic: due to many social policies (including family planning) Europe in general is old, we do not make sufficient babies and it’s projected to take a heavy toll on social security in the future (although it has already started). This demographic crisis opens the doors to all other sorts of problems, including those of national security. But that’s a political conversation for another day…
I wonder if our youth has become selfish, entitled, spoiled? In certain countries, our parents faced a lot more difficulties and yet they made babies (I mean those who could have more than one, cause many couldn’t due to biological constraints) and bore the due responsibility for it. I read a poll, the other day, saying that the Portuguese youth didn’t want to get married and have children (not even one) because they didn’t want to be responsible for a small life…this says a lot about that youth, doesn’t it? And what’s funny is that that same youth will complain when immigrants fill that natality gap. It’s crazy.
Question: does the child/children demand the best in life (whatever that means) or do the parents want to give her/them (what they perceive to be) the best in life out of vanity and self-aggrandisement?
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I think that the answer to your question is that the parents want their offspring to be able to compete and survive in a highly materialistic society.
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