via HinduBusinessLine: ‘Agriculture dependent population in India grew by 50% during 1980-2011’’

‘Agriculture dependent population in India grew by 50% during 1980-2011’’

According to a report of the Worldwatch Institute, the economically active agricultural populations of China and India grew by 33 and 50 per cent respectively due to overall population growth.
According to a report of the Worldwatch Institute, the economically active agricultural populations of China and India grew by 33 and 50 per cent respectively due to overall population growth.
WASHINGTON, FEB 27:

The agricultural population of India grew by a whopping 50 per cent between 1980 and 2011, the highest for any country during this period, followed by China with 33 per cent, while that of the US dropped by 37 per cent as a result of large-scale mechanisation, a latest report has said.

“Between 1980 and 2011, the economically active agricultural populations of China and India grew by 33 and 50 per cent respectively due to overall population growth,” the Worldwatch Institute said in a report.

“The economically active agricultural population of the US, on the other hand, declined by 37 per cent as a result of large-scale mechanisation, improved crop varieties, fertilisers, pesticides, and federal subsidies —all of which contributed to economies of scale and consolidation in US agriculture,” it said.

The global agricultural population — defined as individuals dependent on agriculture, hunting, fishing, and forestry for their livelihood — accounted for over 37 per cent of the world’s population in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.

This is a decrease of 12 per cent from 1980, when the world’s agricultural and non-agricultural populations were roughly the same size.

Although the agricultural population shrank as a share of the total population between 1980 and 2011, it grew numerically from 2.2 billion to 2.6 billion people during this period, writes Worldwatch Senior Fellow Sophie Wenzlau in the Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online trend.

According to the report, between 1980 and 2011, Africa’s agricultural population grew by 63 per cent, and its non-agricultural population grew by 221 per cent.

Oceania’s agricultural population grew by 49 per cent, and its non-agricultural population grew by 65 per cent.

Asia’s agricultural population grew by 20 per cent, and its non-agricultural population grew by 134 per cent, it said.

The combination of movement to cities and agricultural consolidation caused agricultural populations to decline in Europe and the Americas between 1980 and 2011: by 66 per cent in Europe, 45 per cent in North America, 35 per cent in South America, 13 per cent in Central America, and 7 per cent in the Caribbean, the report added.

(This article was published on February 27, 2014)
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via Nat’l Geographic: The Growth of Megacities

Geography in the News: The Growth of Megacities

Posted by Neal Lineback of Geography in the NewsTM on February 17, 2014
By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner,  Geography in the NewsTM

Megacities’ Expansive Growth

For the first time in human history, more of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in cities than in rural areas. That is an incredible demographic and geographic shift since 1950 when only 30 percent of the world’s 2.5 billion inhabitants lived in urban environments.

The world’s largest cities, particularly in developing countries, are growing at phenomenal rates. As a growing landless class is attracted by urban opportunities, meager as they might be, these cities’ populations are ballooning to incredible numbers.

A May 2010 Christian Science Monitor article on “megacities” predicted that by 2050, almost 70 percent of the world’s estimated 10 billion people—more than the number of people living today—will reside in urban areas. The social, economic and environmental problems associated with a predominantly urbanized population are considerably different from those of the mostly rural world population of the past.

A megacity is an urban agglomeration (accumulation) with more than 10 million inhabitants. Sixty years ago in 1950, there were only two megacities—New York-Newark and Tokyo. In 1995, 14 megacities existed. Today, there are 22, mostly in the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. By 2025, there will probably be 30 or more.

gitn_1049_Megacities

Urbanization has been occurring in the developed countries of the West for 200 years. Since the Industrial Revolution, a period from the 18th to 19th century in which machine-based manufacturing grew tremendously, cities have grown rapidly. As technological innovations flourished, economies previously dependent on manual labor and draft-animals began to change. People moved into the cities to find work and relatively quickly, cities began to grow exponentially.

Today, the most rapid megacity growth is occurring in the world’s least developed and poorest countries—those least able to handle the political, social, economic and environmental problems associated with rapid urbanization.

In the most modern industrialized countries, on average, three out of four people already live within an urban area. In contrast, in the least-developed regions of the world, more than two out of three people still reside in a rural area. But that statistic is changing rapidly.

For people in developing countries, even the slums of cities like Mumbai, India, can offer more opportunities than their poor subsistence-based villages can. People gravitate to the cities because the potential for making money is greater there. While most of the economies in rural areas are agriculture-based with little cash flow, in the cities, people may be able to earn cash for work or retail sales.

The 10 largest cities in the world in 2010 and their projected populations by year 2025 are Tokyo, Japan  (37.1 million), Delhi, India (28.6), São Paulo, Brazil (21.7), Mumbai, India (25.8), Mexico City (20.7), New York-Newark (20.6), Shanghai, China (20.0), Calcutta, India (20.1), Dhaka, Bangladesh (20.9) and Karachi, Pakistan (18.7).

According to the Christian Science Monitor, along with the masses come problems associated with providing necessary services like clean water, sanitation systems to remove the megatons of garbage and human waste and transportation systems to ferry workers. In addition, many cities have difficult times providing electrical networks, health care facilities and police protection.

Urbanization is not all bad news. According to the Christian Science Monitor, some see great promise in the trend, especially those companies that build roads and buildings.  If a city is efficient, energy consumption can decrease by 20 percent. Transportation costs for goods and labor can fall considerably in cities because markets and workers are all close together. In essence, cities are where cash flows—they are where economic growth takes place.

As the world’s population increases at the rate of 134 million per year, the urbanization process is pushing more and more people into the cities. Such frenetic rates of urbanization and intense poverty of large urban populations strain resources. Nonetheless, to poverty-stricken, landless people, cities offer visions of opportunity. The resulting massive urban underclass, particularly in developing countries, represents one of the world’s greatest social and economic challenges.

The real question is, “What are the limits to urban growth?”

And that is Geography in the News.

Sources: GITN #1049, “Growing Megacities,” June 28, 2010; GITN #844, “Megacities: 10 Million or More People,” Aug. 4, 2006; and Bruinius, Harry, “March of the Megacities,” The Christian Science Monitor, May 10, 2010.

Co-authors are Neal Lineback, Appalachian State University Professor Emeritus of Geography, and Geographer Mandy Lineback Gritzner. University News Director Jane Nicholson serves as technical editor. Geography in the NewsTM  is solely owned and operated by Neal Lineback for the purpose of providing geographic education to readers worldwide.

Indian woman and baby burned alive for dowry, police say

See on Scoop.itAdvanced Human Geography

Police in eastern India have arrested the husband and parents-in-law of a 22-year-old woman for allegedly burning her and her 1-year-old baby girl alive.

TheHumanImprint‘s insight:

The haunting reminder that dowry deaths are still a part of deeply rooted patriarchal societies.

Keyterms: Dowry death, Bride Burning, South Asia, Patriarchal Society, Gender Inequity, Dowry

See on edition.cnn.com

UN: 6.6 Million Children Under 5 Died Last Year – ABC News

UN: 6.6 Million Children Under 5 Died Last Year

LAGOS, Nigeria September 13, 2013 (AP)

By CARLEY PETESCH Associated Press

Childhood death rates around the world have halved since 1990 but an estimated 6.6 million children under the age of 5 still died last year, the U.N. children’s agency said Friday.

Nearly half of all children who die are in five countries: Nigeria, Congo, India, Pakistan and China, it said in a report.

“Progress can and must be made,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF’s executive director. “When concerted action, sound strategies, adequate resources and strong political will are harnessed in support of child and maternal survival, dramatic reductions in child mortality aren’t just feasible, they are morally imperative.”

The top killers are malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea, the report said, taking the lives of about 6,000 children under age 5 daily. A lack of nutrition contributes to almost half of these deaths, the U.N. said.

Eastern and Southern Africa have reduced their death rates for children under 5 by more than 50 percent since 1990. West and Central Africa are the only regions not to have at least halved the number of children under 5 dying over the past 22 years, the U.N. said.

Nigeria bears more than 30 percent of early childhood deaths for malaria and 20 percent of the deaths associated with HIV. Globally, the country accounts for one in every eight child deaths, the U.N. said.

While these numbers are grim, the rate of improvement globally seems to have plateaued at about 4 percent improvement per year since 2005, the report said. The estimated numbers are based on solid data from about half the world’s countries. And for regions with the biggest problems, they had to rely on modeling techniques.

Countries like Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Brazil showed tremendous progress, due in part to increased community health care. Affordable and increased interventions — like treated mosquito nets, medicines, rehydration treatments and improved access to safe water — helped improve the early childhood death rate in other countries as well.

But improvements were not as bold in countries like Nigeria, Congo, Sierra Leone and Pakistan, the report showed.

Lake said a new sense of urgency was needed to improve the figures.

“Yes, we should celebrate the progress,” he said. “But how can we celebrate when there is so much more to do?”

via UN: 6.6 Million Children Under 5 Died Last Year – ABC News.

PRI-The World: ‘Burka Avenger’ Cartoon Aimed at Empowering Pakistani Girls | @pritheworld

Topics: Gender empowerment, GEM, Gender Equity, Religion, Islam

———————–

‘Burka Avenger’ Cartoon Aimed at Empowering Pakistani Girls

BY NINA PORZUCKI ⋅ JULY 26, 2013 ⋅ POST A COMMENT

This past Sunday, TV host Aamir Liaquat Hussain gave one couple the surprise of a lifetime. He handed the childless couple an abandoned baby girl to keep. He stunned the couple and the nation. Hussain’s stunt is an extreme example of a relatively new phenomenon says Arif Rafiq who studies Pakistani politics for the Middle East Institute.

“Pakistan has a booming private media,” Rafiq says. “Dozens of privately owned news channels and cable entertainment changes and much of the content is religious. So what we see is a merging of religious sentiment as well as a budding form of commercialism and materialism and capitalism and what we saw in that television program was an ugly confluence of the two.”

Model Mathira Mohammed starring in the controversial Josh Condoms advertisement. (Photo: Screengrab)

Meanwhile, while an apparently abandoned baby was doled out as a prize, an effort to stop the conception of unwanted babies caused another minor stir on Pakistani TV. The Pakistan media regulatory agency banned a commercial for Josh condoms saying that it violated a code of conduct.

The ad stars the 21-year-old super model Mathira Mohammed as herself. Mathira’s beau in the commercial is the envy of the neighbors. They can’t figure out why she’s with him. The super model makes her average-looking guy a drink, she plays with his hair, she feeds him.

It’s all pretty tame by Western standards and then when the neighbor gets the average guy alone he asks for his secret. Average guy flashes a smile and a Josh condom.

“She is in many ways the Paris Hilton of Pakistan,” Rafiq says. “Her association with the ad is what gave the ad the hyper sexual connotation as opposed to what it should have been, which is a public service announcement that focused on a key public health issue.”

The ad was funded by an international NGO. Some Pakistanis view the funding of public service announcements by foreign entities like NGOs or even foreign governments themselves with some suspicion says Rafiq.

Animated TV series “Burka Avenger.” (Photo: “Burka Avenger”)

A few eyebrows have been raised in Pakistan by a different kind of TV project that’s funded by an anonymous donor. It’s a new superhero cartoon that’s actually debuting next month. The heroine is fast; she’s fierce; she’s wearing a burka; she’s the Burka Avenger.

Burka Avenger was created by the Pakistani pop star known as Haroon. The heroine is a mild-mannered teacher who wields her super weapons — some very powerful pens and books — against the evil Baba Bandook who is trying to shut down the school.

It’s an Urdu-language cartoon aimed at middle class Pakistani girls. While the lack of transparency about the funding troubles Arif Rafiq, he says the message is a positive one.

“I think the message is primarily to young Pakistani girls that they could do anything they want, that they can be full and active citizens of their own country,” says Rafiq.

Wonder Woman watch out.

via ‘Burka Avenger’ Cartoon Aimed at Empowering Pakistani Girls | @pritheworld.

CNN: Where have India’s females gone?

Via: CNN.

Where have India’s females gone?

By Carl Gierstorfer, Special to CNN
September 11, 2013 — Updated 2101 GMT (0501 HKT)

Editor’s note: Carl Gierstorfer is a journalist and filmmaker with a background in biology. He has produced and directed documentaries for German public broadcaster ZDF, Discovery Channel and the BBC. His work on violence against women in India was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
His website is www.carlgierstorfer.com.

(CNN) — The New Delhi rape case left the whole world wondering why India is treating its women so badly. In fact, discrimination against women already starts in the womb: India has some of the most distorted sex-ratios in the world. There are regions where fewer than 800 girls are born for every 1,000 boys. For many reasons Indian culture prefers sons. An expensive bride-price, or dowry, is only one of them.

Carl Gierstorfer is a journalist and filmmaker, focusing on violence against women in India.

Carl Gierstorfer is a journalist and filmmaker, focusing on violence against women in India.

So day-by-day, thousands of parents circumvent rarely enforced laws and have their baby daughters aborted after an ultrasound scan has revealed the sex of the fetus. It is estimated that India has been losing up to 12 million baby girls over the last three decades.

I wanted to find out what it means for a society if such a significant number of women are missing.

In one village just two hours drive outside Delhi, I met Narinder, a schoolteacher, and his family. He had three brothers and only one of them got married. There weren’t enough brides, because the village has been aborting their daughters for decades.

Narinder told me that he had already reached out to an agent who would find him a bride from afar. In fact, he planned to share this bride with his brothers.

I felt sorry for Narinder, because he totally understood that his misery was due to the fact that his village has been actively selecting for sons. Still, in a quiet moment, he confided to me, that if his purchased wife would be pregnant, he’d make sure it was a son. I was perplexed. Everyone in this village knew it was wrong to prefer sons over girls, everyone experienced the problems firsthand.

And still, like sleepwalkers, they continued their way, because culture dictates that sons are a blessing and daughters a curse.

After the Delhi rape case, the whole world looked at India in disbelief, its urban middle class took to the streets. I returned to India to meet Shafiq Khan, a former Maoist rebel, who realized that violence is not the way forward. Shafiq now uses his wit and bravery to make inroads into rural India’s patriarchal societies.

Shafiq Khan’s organization

We hit the dusty streets, down to Haryana where Shafiq introduced me to women who do not have a voice, women for whom nobody demonstrates. They are abused and raped and sold like cattle and nobody cares. They are called Paro, or strangers. They are the sort of women Narinder will buy — those who make up for the scores who are never born.

Akhleema and Tasleema, two sisters from Kolkata, were born into a poor family, before her aunt sold them via an agent to two brothers in Haryana, who could not find a bride. Within weeks, Akhleema was beaten so hard by her husband, that she lost hearing in her left ear. Both spend their time cooking, cleaning and tending the fields. They have no rights, no voice and, most shockingly: there is no way back. They have children with their men and it is culturally unacceptable to leave them behind.

But where are all these trafficked women coming from? In a cruel paradox, it’s the poor northeastern states of India, like West Bengal or Assam, where sex-ratios aren’t that skewed, that make up for large parts of all the missing women.

Assam is beautiful, even during the dry season. The Brahmaputra winds its way through the plains, quietly and peacefully.

“But don’t be mistaken”, Shafiq says. Because during the rainy season, the river erupts over its banks, destroys fields and villages. In these already poverty-stricken regions, flooding takes away the little people have. Thousands of families are pushed into poverty and helplessness. They end up in flood shelters, vulnerable and easy prey for traffickers, like Saleha and her husband Husain. Their daughter Jaida went missing two years ago. They saw a man entering the hamlet and talking to Jaida. She vanished without a trace.

In a remote village on the dusty floodplains we meet Halida. She had just turned 14, when a man kidnapped her while fetching water. For two days he raped Halida, told her that he would bring her to Delhi in order to sell her. Halida could escape, but now she cannot go to school anymore, because all the children know of the rape and tease her. The parents, day-laborers, cannot find work anymore, because they are ostracized by the whole village. The rape destroyed the family.

While the trafficker may have lost his prey, it’s unlikely that he will ever be punished. The police are corrupt and the more destruction there is, the easier it will be for him to find new victims.

Thus closes a vicious circle in which millions of India’s women are trapped. The prejudices against women are so deeply engrained in the cultural fabric, that only a combined effort, old and young, urban and rural, will be able to break it once and for all.

Counterculture: I Ain’t No Burger!

In what appears to be a cultural phenomenon that preaches exactly opposite what the Gangnam Style revolution brought (lavish lifestyle of new money in the South Korean city of Seoul), a COUNTERCULTURE effort is being rapped by young adults in the country of Pakistan. In Pakistan, a DEVELOPING COUNTRY that is finding its footing in a COMMERCIALIZED world, the Mr. Burger fast food chain provides halal burgers to the masses.  A typical WESTERN style food chain, Mr. Burger offers meals to those who can afford it, thus the new title that is given to young urban professionals, “Burgers.”

Though the Mr. Burger food chain succeeds in ACCULTURATING the masses into Western tastes, there are some that look to turn their back on the would-be-Burgers by giving “Burgers” a negative connotation. Rapper Talha Anjum from the Young Stunners says,

“A Burger is someone who wants to be someone they aren’t, someone who wears skinny jeans and Nikes, uses a smartphone, and holds a US Green Card. If you listen to Burger-e-Karachi, we’re not making fun of people,” Anjum said. “It’s just a message that you should be real to yourself and real to the people around you. You shouldn’t judge someone if they don’t have a branded T-shirt.”

In this case, the Young Stunners are using POPULAR CULTURE in the form of rap to seemingly NEOLOCALIZE more traditional FOLK CULTURAL ways of life in Pakistan, one that does not emphasize MATERIAL CULTURE. One example of this neolocalization is in the Pakistani version of burger patties that are made from lentils versus more expansive meat products. The countercultural lentil burgers are called “Bun kebabs.” In this case, young adults who might shun and ostracize the YUPPIE CULTURE are trying to let everyone know in their song, The Burgers of Karachi, that being a “bun kebab” is a point of pride for any Pakistani.  Ironically, the Young Stunners are using popular culture as  BARRIER OF DIFFUSION to help get their message out.

In the meantime, Oppan Gangnam Style!

Watch the Burger-e-Karachi rap video by Young Stunners below.

PRI: The World Podcast: In Pakistan, No one Admits to Being a ‘Burger’