Population India

India’s population is made up of different ethnic groups. In the Northwest, people generally have a lighter skin colour than in the South. In the Northeast, people have Mongol features. In 1961, India had a population of 440 million people, but is now estimated to have over a billion people, and the population growth poses an enormous problem for the government. India started with family planning as early as 1952, but it is doubtful if the programmes have had an effect. For the poor, children still are an investment in their future. Approximately 74% of the people live in the rural areas and the remainder in the cities. More and more people are drifting to the cities, hoping to find wealth and freedom (from the castes). The results are disastrous. Increasing numbers of slums are incorporated into the cities while the government lacks the means to improve the circumstances of the inhabitants. There are a great number of cities with over a million inhabitants, and the most populous are Mumbai and Collate (Calcutta). Despite the fact that there is a powerful feminist movement in India and that in the higher castes women have a reasonable position, women in India are seen, in general, as very inferior to men. Particularly in the rural communities, women are practically slaves with no say whatsoever. Couples hope for a child, but especially for a boy, as boys strengthen the family. His wife will come to live with him later and will bring in a dowry. To have a daughter means to have to pay a dowry and more often than not, financial worries.

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