India’s problems pivot around power and population. The magnitude and dynamics of the population is an area that has been studies but for want of trans-sectoral synergy we are unable to manage both power shortage and population dynamics. Urbanization is enhancing the energy requirement for cooking, wasted clearance, personal hygiene.
India’s population which touched 1 Billion in 2000, is rising towards 1.27 Billion. Though value addition, expansion of job opportunities are projected as advantages of supporting the manufacturing sector, data shows that 51% of the work force in India is self-employed and women in general receive less pay. 15.5% are wage earners, salaried are only 5%. As per 1999 data, during the past 50 years, India’s private sector could not absorb even 1% of the population for salaried employment (large and small industries had provided only employment for 79 lac people.) The living condition of employees is not uniformly ideal. Many live in slums that have sprung up around these industrial units.
It is also noteworthy that the populist measures of providing ‘free bees’ is high in the political agenda and may add to the woes of fund planners. It is likely to discourage one to avail equal opportunities to earn a dignified life as granted by the fundamental right (as per Article. 38 of Constitution of India) to work to earn enough for a decent life and to maintain good health. Free bees could be inconsistent with equity clause of the constitution also (Art. 12, 14, 19, 21 & 22). Slums that spring up around industrial townships have no organized system of solid waste management though the units themselves are licensed in the name of development. The policies have no prescribed norm for dwellings for employees. Unorganized slums often become sources of ecological problems, diseases, deficiency, anti-social activities and may even provide opportunity to espionage operations, terrorism and drug peddling.
Gandhiji showed us the way out of this: Turn the population into power. Go for production by masses than mass production. Live life in such a way that there is room for your children to have an opportunity to lead a decent life. According to Article 38 of the Indian Constitution, the State shall secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people;
(1) The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life;
(2) The State shall, in particular, strive to minimize the inequalities in income and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.
By Dr. V. Ramakumar