Fashion fraternity wakes up to population menace

New Delhi, July 10 (Calcutta Tube) With India’s at approximately 1.2 billion and climbing by the minute, on the eve of World Population Day July 11, a large section of the capital’s fashion fraternity and the page 3 party hoppers called for enacting a law to curb the population explosion.

Most of them are even trying to address the issue of overpopulation in their work-sphere.

Delhi-based fashionista Tanisha Mohan wants the country to do something about the population before the ‘edifice collapses’.

‘One of the ways to address the population explosion is to spread education among the marginalised. Women should be given better medical care and the country needs to impose the ‘hum do hamare do’ (two children for each couple) with diligence. Like China, India should enact population laws,’ Tanisha Mohan told IANS.

Tanisha and husband Robby Mohan have adopted a village near the capital where they ‘intend to spread awareness about population control, besides sponsoring children’s education’.

Fashion designers and artists Priyanka and Ankur Modi are sending across the message of ‘overcrowding’ through their art.

A large ceramic installation of a ‘Help, We Are Running Out of Space (a traditional Indian three-wheeled transport overloaded with people at a zebra crossing)’ was unveiled at the Olive at the Qutab Thursday. It was symbolic of overpopulation and crowded streets.

‘India has an overdose of people who are suddenly spilling on the streets. Art is a refreshing way to campaign for the cause because it catches the eye,’ Priyanka said.

The World Population Day was started by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1989 to mobilise public opinion about the alarming rise of population. United Nations statistics put the world population figure at nearly 6.8 billion.

India has seen a roughly three-fold increase in population since 1847 when the number was barely 350 million. Poor family planning, illiteracy, lack of health awareness, superstition and development imbalance have led to the sharp rise in population.

Veteran designer Neeru Kumar, owner of the reputed fashion label Tulsi, says that India should stop producing more, to address the development imbalance.

The National Institute of Design graduate said the country must ‘develop an outreach mechanism to create demographic awareness among the poor’.

‘I am trying to take up the issue of population with the weavers in Uttar Pradesh and Orissa by counselling them. Each one of them has four to six children on an average,’ Neeru Kumar added.

However, designer and crafts activist Anju Modi believes that ‘population is one of the strengths of India’.

‘But the way to turn around the problem is to encourage people to optimally use their traditional livelihoods and crafts to generate more money. We can take people back to the roots – in the Gandhian model – so that India can hold its head high,’ Anju said.

The designer has been trying to ‘raise awareness among the weavers in villages for the last 20 years’.

Fashion photographer Hemant Khandelwal wants the government to take bold steps to address the problem.

‘If they can do it in China, why not here? The gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider, but the government does not want to disrupt vote banks,’ Khandelwal said.

Designer Zubair Kirmani, who is working with Kashmiri weavers, says ‘one must be honest about the way to cut down population’.

‘Even in a place like Kashmir, population will pose as a problem in a decade’s time,’ he told IANS.

Manish Gupta, who retails his clothes from all the major stores in the capital has been campaigning about population among his kaarigars (craftsmen).

‘I discourage my craftsmen to stay away from work for more than two months. It cuts their losses and also ensures that they do not add to the size of their families,’ Gupta said.

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