The earth appears to be overburdened with the
growing population and the carbon footprints left by each person. Population
control has been a major failure in several countries the world over. The
condition in India is particularly grim, with the country set to overtake China
as the world's most populous country in just a few years. A question that we
will probably have to ask ourselves is whether our country has the resources to
take care of this population.
This year, the United Nations will focus on one
aspect to control the population growth - Adolescent Pregnancy.
According to the United Nations, around 16 million
girls under the age of 18 years give birth every year.
Controlling adolescent pregnancy does not mean
urging the adolescents to undergo abortion. Adolescent pregnancy can only be
controlled through adequate education and use of birth control measures.
Adolescent pregnancy affects both the mother as well
as the fetus. Some girls try to undergo unsafe abortions, which could put their
lives in danger. Yet others may suffer from complications during childbirth.
The child may also suffer from low birth weight and other problems.
In some countries, adolescent pregnancies are due to
sexual activity at an early age. However, the picture is different in
developing countries. Many of these pregnancies happen in children who are
married before the age of 18 years. Though India has banned such marriages, it
is a fact that they continue to take place in some areas and rob children of
Adolescent pregnancies can be controlled to some extent through
education and easily availability of contraceptive methods. Sex education is
necessary for all teenage girls. Besides, the community also has to be educated
on the evils of child marriage and the necessity for every girl child to live
her childhood to the full extent!