Is Falling TFR long Term Win or Loss ?
As per the latest NFHS report, total fertility rate per woman in the Urban India is 1.6 and Rural India 2.1 and in total it is 2, even below the required replacement rate which is 2.1 (Replacement level fertility represents the level at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next) Between 1992-93 and 2019-21, India’s Total fertility rate declined from 3.4 children to 2.0 children. At the time of Independence, our exploding population was one of the biggest concerns for country, there had been dozens of governments initiative to tame this population growth Were those government initiatives only reason to fallen TFR? In Urban India where TFR hovering around 1.6, witnessing many reasons for this dip in TFR
1) Demanding work culture/ Overworked working woman: A working mother who spends 10-11 hours of her days dedicated for Professional commitment including commute hours along with 3-4 hours for household chores hardly left with the energy to nurture the kid
2) Biasness against the motherhood: even in some of the job interviews/ promotion indirect questions / evaluation being done on family planning of female aspirants, non-fitment being declared however citing different reasons
3) Cost of living/ Financial burden: Cost of living in rising inflation era leaves aspiring couple indecisive to have child, • Cost of schooling: Avg desired schooling 10k/ Month/ kid, New Age international school costing even 30-40K/ Month/Kid • Cost of childcare -Sufficient amenities childcare costing 1200-1500/Hour/Kid so even 4- 5 hours childcare facility comes around 6500-7500/month/kid • Cost of food, nutrition & healthcare: Cost of feeding & nutrition something around 5- 7k/month/kid then again maintaining desired lifestyle adding into cost of living
4) Other reason coming as delayed marriage, Individualistic life choice and Inadequate Care-giver facilities at the world level, few of alarming trend coming up which is again challenging replacement level
1) US Birth Rate has fallen to its lowest in a decade, TFR is 1.7
2) China’s birthrate fallen lowest in four decades
3) Singapore’s TFR -1.1
4) Hong Kong’s TFR -1.1
5) South Korea’s fertility rate is only 1 What consequences our society and generation could witness with these shrinking TFR, this would lead to scarcity of working population and workforce as well as scope of innovation and creativity, it might take a toll on emotional wellbeing of society as a whole What are possible solutions by Employer and Government
1. Better State Run Schools and medical facility which would ease the cost of raising the family in bigger cities
2. Adding the childcare expenses into Tax rebate would be positive move towards relief in
3. Flexible working terms for mothers, it good to see even PM Modi came up with statement as “The need of the future is flexi work hours. we can use systems like flexible workplaces as opportunities for female labor force participations”
4. Affordable childcare facilities by employer: Employer could come up with more options for affordable childcare facilities, this would add into employer’s revenue with more engaged and dedicated female workforce
5. Family friendly Policies and Enhanced Maternity and Paternity Leaves: family time and leaves must be encouraged by employer
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