Recently, the Pakistanis celebrated the diamond jubilee of independence but we’re still a developing country and are way behind the nations that emerged after us. There are several factors responsible for our current status and many of them can be easily resolved with just minor correctionsin our beliefs and approach toward the future of Pakistan. We need to talk about the cultural changes required today, at least about the major ones.
Pakistan is the world’s fifth largest country according to the population, with youth as a major part of it. But the problem is this large population is resulting in increased demand for food, water, housing, energy, healthcare, transportation, and more. While the country is already developing and isn’t capable enough to properly handlethe population growth, there are no effective policies for family planning, and it is considered taboo to talk about family planning in the greater part of the population of Pakistan.
Although the government tries to educate people about family planning, it is in the culture to have more children with a mindset that they will support the parents in their old age. But the reality is harshly different. Having children more than the resources of the parents result in a lack of basic facilities for the children, especially education and healthcare. And here starts a chain of events that will spiral down the country if proper policies are not implemented on time.
With a lack of education in the children due to fewerresources of the parents, the unemployment rate increaseddramatically and put the burden on the country to support such people, that could have become productive citizensotherwise. 22 million children of age between 5 to 16 years old are out of schools just because they are below the poverty line. In most cases, each family has 8-10 members and lives hand to mouth. If this number is reduced to 4 or 5 members in each family, their life quality will increase especially in this technophile era and where inflation is increasing at drastic rates.
Even though all the children are affected due to lack of education, it is the females who suffer the most due to less exposure to society and no income source. They become victims of early age marriages without knowing their fundamental rights. Such marriages again become a link in the chain when females with weak physical and mental health have children without family planning, resulting in health and basic facilities problems all over again, and the chain continues.
Now if we look at the proposed case, the majority of our basic problems can be covered if we integrate family planning into our culture together with education. It is possible to cover basic health and education problems if the unit of society, the family, is corrected and controlled through family planning implemented by the government. Parents will have limited children whom they can raise well by providing good education and health facilities within their resources. The educated youth will become the productive working force for the prosperity of the country instead of being a burden. Women will know their fundamental rights and will be a part of the working force instead of just producing children and that too at an early age.
But all of this is possible if the policies made for family planning are implemented properly by the governments, even if the political party in power is changed and it is not the case currently. The initiatives taken by previous governments are stopped and new initiatives are introduced which are then stopped after five years by the next government and the cycle repeats. Moreover, only some part of the initiative taken by the government is implemented in their tenure.
If we don’t work on continual policies today, the negative effects will multiply in the years to come, especially in the case of an increasing population growth rate and the unavailability of resources to manage such a large population. If family planning is made part of our culture, it can work tremendously in the favor of Pakistan on many fronts.