Stop making babies: Group from Bengaluru says it is okay to not have children
Should children be asked for permission before they are brought into the world?
India’s first formal gathering of “child-free” proponents met in Bengaluru on Sunday. Though small in number, the group raised some big existentialist questions. It was all about making a point. “It’s a moral movement. We want to create awareness that it’s okay to not to have a child,” said Raphael Samuel, a 27-year-old businessman from Mumbai, who is the coordinator of the ‘Stop making Babies’ movement.
Samuel went viral on social media when he declared that he plans to take his parents to court for giving birth to him without his consent. “What meaning does it serve to live when there is so much suffering around us,” he said. Apparently, his parents – both lawyers – are happily preparing to fight him in court.
Mohsin Naikwadi, an insurance consultant in the city, also believes life is not worth living when 90% of it constitutes suffering. “The routine is boring and life is so complex, be it the competitive educational system or career. I do not want to give birth to a child as it will only end up suffering,” he said.
Others who participated in the first Voluntary Human Extinction Movement had different reasons for choosing to never have a child. Some said India is already overpopulated, which is causing immense pressure on resources. Others argued that giving birth to a child will put the newborn into a life cycle of suffering, be it schooling, career or old age. Some said they have no right to impose life on someone else for one’s own pleasure. There were a few who preferred to be foster parents or adopt orphan children, and contribute to the child’s well-being.
“Having a child is a 20-year project,” Valerian Sequeira, a city-based counsellor said. “One has to give 100% to the child. And, that gives very less time to do anything else in life,” he said. His wife Pallavi Chakraborty, who is a wildlife conservationist, concurred, saying she wants to live life to the fullest without worrying about a stable income or a permanent house. Both of them said they love their unborn so much that they do not want to give life to a child.
Chandni Bhambhani, a doctoral student, said the movement aims to make a conscious change in evolution. “We want to change the discourse on choice of procreation, which has been moving in one direction: that’s giving birth after marriage. The change we are aiming, through the movement, is to restrict biological parenthood. People can adopt a child or remain as foster parents for many poor and destitute children,” she said.