HUNGER AND POPULATION EXPLOSION
This essay is written by Anna McKenzie in which she has beautifully
analyzed the vital problem of hunger and famine with over-population. By keeping
all the important aspects of this problem in view, the authoress opines that
rapidly growing of the world is making the situation very grave. It has become
an over-present threat to the survival of the poor under developed countries.
In the beginning of the essay, she says that hunger is a very painful
thing and one can easily experience it if one does not get meal after a day’s
work. Missing one or more meals does not mean hunger. It means insufficient food
at a given time and uncertainty of getting the next meals. When this deficiency
of good is persistent, prolonged and widespread, it is called, “Famine.”
The authoress says that famine is not a new thing for man but its history
is, perhaps, as old as the history of humanity. The early hunters faced hunger
due to shortage of food during the writer season. During the reign of an
Egyptian Pharaoh, there had been a very bad amine. The Bible contains several
cases of famine. From the birth of Christ to about 1800, there are records of
famine in Europe in 350 different years that means a famine after every five
year. China had ninety major famines during one century and the Russian famine
in 1921-22 killed several million people. In India, in 1964-65 there was the
worst famine of the century, owing to the failure of the monsoon. In short,
Nearly every country of the world had to face famine or its threat.
According to the write, there are many reasons that trigger famine. One
of these is that there are just too many people for the amount of food
available. Or because of tack of failure of crops either due to some widespread
occurring plant disease of because of tack of rain. Although drought and
diseases are important factors causing famine, yet the greatest cause of famine
is rapid increase in population. Half a million year age the population of the
world was very small but since then it went on increasing, till the birth of
Christ the world population was 200-300 million. The number doubled by 1650 and
double again in 1850. Now the population of the world is increasing at an
alarming rate and is likely to be doubled within next 40 years.
The writer has also analyzed the various factors concerning this rapid
increase in population. One of the most significant factors is the considerable
difference between the birth rate and the death rate. For example in the United
Kingdom there was an average increase of 6.6 per 1000 of the population in 1963.
This great difference is due to scientific research owing to which man has
controlled the death rate by rising modern techniques in diagnosis, treatment
and prevention of many fatal diseases. Even in the underdeveloped countries, the
death rate has been reduced but the graph of the birth rate is still going up.
The number of people is rapidly increasing like a gigantic snowball that mot
only gets bigger as it rolls but goes faster as well.
The writer presents one of the greatest paradoxes of our time. She says
that the developed countries that are in the position to support a rapidly
growing population, maintain low birth rate while those who are least able, have
a high birth rate. As an outcome, the under-developed countries are
overpopulated. Their standard of living is very low. Food available in these
countries is quite inadequate. The setting up of industries is at a snail’s
pace. So the only export is raw material that fetches little profit. Supply of
power and water is not satisfactory. The roads and railways are in poor
condition. Health and educational facilities are unable to meet the requirements
of the people. The people do not get nutritive food if they get it all so they
do not enjoy good health.
In the end, the writer has suggested the introduction of birth control of these countries to discourage large families. If every couple on and average gives birth just over, two or three children for their replacement, the growth of the population can effectively be prevented. In this way the balance between the death and birth rate might be struck after keeping the population at the same level. Anna McKenzie is of the view that this is not easy to achieve and will take time. It is the need of the hour of under-developed countries to avoid the twin problems of hunger and population.
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