Population and Education
The number of human races varies according to the purpose of classification.
It is notscientifically accurate to divide the human races into just three
groups-Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid. Today many geographical races are
recognized and even more local races. The principal geographical races are:
1) African or Negroid: This group of human races consists of a collection
of races originating south of the Sahara. Members have curly or tightly coiled
hair, thick lips, and large amounts of melanin in their skin, hair, and gums.
The worldwide population is approximately 600 million.
2) American Indians or Amerindians: This race belongs to the Asian geographical
race but differs in various blood group frequencies. For thousands of years
Amerindians were the only people in the Western Hemisphere. Their skin varies
from dark to light brown, and they have straight dark hair.
3) Asian or Mongoloid: Asians are group of peoples in all the continental
Asia and middle East, extending to Japan, the Philippines and most of Indonesia.
Members have straight hair, inner eyefolds, and pads of fat over their cheek
bones. They are light in skin color and are shorter than Caucasians. The
population is about 1.5 billion.
4) Australian or Australoid: This race is very distinct and the members have
large teeth, moderate to heavy skin coloring, narrow skulls, and moderate
amount of body hair.
5) European or Caucasoid: Populations of Europe, the Middle East, Africa
north of the Sahara and Americas. They have lighter skins than the members
from other geographical races, though in the southern areas they may have
dark skins. The population is about 1.5 billion.
6) Indian: Indian race includes people of the Indian Continent, and extends
from Himalayas to the Indian Ocean and from Afghanistan to Myanmar. Skin
color ranges from light in the north to dark in the south. The population
is about 1.3 billion.
7) Micronesian: Micronesians occupy a series of Pacific Islands, including
the Gilberts. These people are dark-skinned and small, with wavy or wooly
8) Polynesian: Polynesians are a group of peoples living from New Zealand
to Hawaii. These people
are tall and stout with light to moderate skin color.
According to widely used estimates global population that was one billion
in the middle of nineteenth century increased to two billion around 1918,
to four billion in 1974, to five billion in 1987, to six billion in late
nineties and is expected to increase to eight billion by 2025.
In 1991, approximately 70 population and environment organizations in the
US signed a "priority statement on population" that suggested that all nations
including the US must make population control a priority. In New Delhi in
1993, scientists from 58 national academies called for zero population growth
within the lifetime of their children.
Contraception contributes greatly to the health and welfare of women and
hence of the society, by allowing control over timing and spacing of births.
Birth control emerged as a movement in the Indian Union after independence
from the British in 1947. While in the US, it emerged as a ‘radical movement"
led by socialists and feminists in early twentieth century and became "population
control" by 1940s. Twenty-six states in the US passed compulsory sterilization
laws. Thousands of poor
people, especially blacks, were prevented from reproducing.
Similar incidents happened during emergency in the Indian Union in late seventies
and also recently. In Lingareddipalli village in Andhra Pradesh people were
coerced to undergo sterilization by preventing them form harvesting the crops
until they were sterilized. Mass sterilizations in India are preformed under
very unhygienic and inhumane conditions, e.g., in a sterilization camp in
Rajasthan an ordinary bicycle pump was used to pump air into women’s bodies
and several women died at this camp. A survey in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
by British Overseas Development Administration found that some women did
not recover from post-operative side-effects even three years after the operation.
However, overall impact of family planning should be considered positive.
Among the developing countries, the Indian Union is the first country to
introduce birth control programs. If we consider the history of population
growth in the world, Western countries during their developing stage of approximately
three hundred years grew seven times, due to the reduction in death rate.
Improvement in hygiene, potable water, transport facilities, medical facilities
are largely responsible for this reduction in death rate.
Malthusianism seeks to address the global crisis and provide solutions as
articulated by Thomas Malthus in 1798. According to this doctrine the human
population growth is responsible for all major social problems and the population
control is the only solution to solve these problems. Malthus wrote in his
"Essay on the principle of Population" that population increased geometrically
while the food supply increased only arithmetically, thus resulting in overpopulation
leading to resource depletion, poverty and social unrest. He suggested celibacy
and late marriages as preventive checks. He proposed his theory during the
"mortality revolution" in Europe caused by improvements in life standards
due to progress in medicine and hygiene. The same improvements in the developing
countries were very rapid because of imports from western countries. Western
countries achieved a 50% reduction in death rate in about hundred years.
However, the developing countries achieved the same reduction in about 10
years. This has a dramatic impact on the population growth in the developing
In Andhra Pradesh birth control and family welfare programs were initiated
in 1957. Though Andhra Pradesh started late, the state has achieved considerable
progress in a short time. By the year 1993-94, the total steriliaztions in
the state were 8,900,000. About 5.8 million couples controlled their productivity
by sterilization and about 3 million used other techniques to prevent conception.
In the past ten years the usage of sterilization and contraception tremendously
increased. Andhra Pradesh is third lowest (2.4%) in birth rate trailing behind
Kerala (1.75%) and Tamilnadu (2.07%). Each woman in Andhra Pradesh has 3
kids, while in Kerala 1.8 kids/woman, and in Tamilnadu 2.2 kids/woman. Recently,
the number of young couples resorting to the temporary contraception has
The family planning programs in Andhra Pradesh do not show the same effect
in all districts and regions. The results vary from district to district.
Districts like Guntur, Krishna, East Godavari and West Godavari have achieved
lowest birth rate, while districts like Mahaboob Nagar, Medak, Adilabad etc.,
are lagging far behind. There is no universal plan that suits every district
in the state. Each district has to tailor its programs according to its cultural,
religious and economic backgrounds. The same holds true to the Indian Union.
One prescription to all states and nationalities is not practical, for example
in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar each woman has more than five (5) kids compared
to lower numbers for Kerala (see above).
It is very important to stabilize the population in the whole world. However,
we should recognize that population is a great resource. It is important
to educate the population and make each person a productive member of the
society. The states like Kerala, Tamilnadu and Andhra have done a laudable
job in containing the birth rate and are certain to stabilize their population
soon. If the population is educated, the economic productivity of the state
increases while the population growth automatically decreases. Therefore,
in addition to family planning programs to stabilize the population, programs
for the education of the population to achieve one hundred percent literacy
should be the top priority item. The literacy movement in Andhra Pradesh
did not achieve commendable results. The current literacy growth rate would
not ensure 100% literacy even after a hundred years. There is a lot to learn
from the experience of states like Russia, Burma, Cuba, Vietnam, Ethiopia,
Kerala etc. that achieved complete literacy in a short time. Let us hope
Andhra Pradesh will soon become fully literate with a stable population.
1.Manorama Year Book
2.The Universal Almanac
3.Andhra Pradesh Darshini
4.Population of the World, Using and Understanding Maps, Ed. Scot E. Morris
5.Women, population and Global Crisis, Asoka Bandarage
By Sreenivasarao Vepachedu on Friday, July 09, 1999 - 04:28 am