Mr. Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, Action Aid Association 

“United Nations documents hold that in April 2023, India became the world’s most populous country. On World Population Day, it is good to remember what Gabriel Garcia Marquez said in his 1982 Nobel Memorial lecture about Latin America, “…to oppression, plundering and abandonment, we respond with life.” This sentiment applies to India also. Despite the history of colonialism, and after Independence struggling to develop in a world dominated by the Global North, India has chosen life over death. We need to realise that for most of the problems we face as a nation, even population, the answer lies in the economic, social and political empowerment of people. We need to invest in our people. We must ensure decent work and sustainable livelihood for all and strengthen gender-responsive public services, especially public health and education. In all these investments, we must focus on women and the youth. With most of our population of working-age, this social investment should help us leverage this demographic dividend for the benefit of all.”