India’s girl power: Newborn tops population milestone

India has officially become the world’s most populous nation, with a newborn baby girl marking the milestone moment. Manu Bala, a 22 year old housewife, gave birth to her as-yet-unnamed daughter in a government hospital in the country’s Himalayan region on Monday.

The mother and her child were among the more than 67,000 born across India that day when the United Nations announced the population of the Indian subcontinent had now overtaken China’s.

The proud young mother expressed her joy at being part of such a historic event. She said…

“I am very happy that my child was born on the day India left behind China. It feels special to become a mother on this day. I want my baby to study hard and become whatever she wants to become. I want to give her a good life.”

However, as Bala and her husband Rohit celebrate the safe arrival of their child, the concerns about what lies ahead for them and all Indian families are equally pressing. India faces enormous challenges in providing its swelling population with adequate resources, from electricity and food to housing and water supplies. With millions of young people entering the workforce each year and not enough jobs to go around, the country’s economy is being stretched as never before.

The celebration of a new life brings with it the worry of what the future holds. Rohit, a 30 year old state government employee, is already concerned about the realities his newborn daughter will face. He said…

“There are many problems we have to face because of the growing population. Even for seeing the doctor here, we had to queue up for so long.”

Rohit and other Indian families now face the dilemma of whether to have more children or not. In a country where the population is growing at such an alarming rate, families worry about providing for a larger family without any support. He said…

“Already there is so much unemployment in the country. It will become all the more difficult to get a job. I think one baby is enough in today’s times.”

With the eyes of the world upon them, and the weight of a nation resting on their shoulders, the challenges facing this young family are substantial. It is unclear how India will handle the sheer scale of its growing population and the extent to which it will impact both the lives of its citizens and the global community. But for now, as they cradle their newborn daughter in their arms, Manu and Rohit Bala will hold onto the hope that the world she grows up in will be one of opportunity and prosperity.

World News

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With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!