As an author on the childfree choice, I am always keeping the pulse on international trends. Awhile back I posted on the growing numbers of childfree in India. It seems research in this area is growing in this country as well. Most recently, a research scholar at Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai who is looking for research participants contacted me.
First, check out this interesting article in The Times of India. It discusses the rising population of childless by choice couples in India. “There was a time was when having a kid – or three – was the norm. And a childless couple, a rarity. If at all there was a pair that didn’t have a kid, friends and family were sure there was, ‘some problem.’ Not anymore. In the new India, people are childless by choice. And the stigma attached to the concept is slowly wearing off.”
The article tells us about Anish and Monisha Palshekar, who decided they do not want to have children. Like a lot of childfree, it does not mean they do not like children. For many years Anish has taught street children, and Monisha has worked with women and children in India’s hinterland.
Then there is 45 year old scientist Dipshita Singh, who does not want to bring children into a world that will be tough for children, and the fact that she holds a broader view of family beyond “nuclear” – she sees family as about her husband and parents and his and our brothers and sisters, and their children too. Dipshita “points to children running around naked in the slums and says, ‘When you don’t have your own children, you feel every child is yours. It’s not something I want to say so I sound good. But my husband and I have been able to reach out to a lot of children.’ For the Singh’s, opting to not have children was a decision taken jointly after they realized that there were too many conflicts one had to tackle in life. ‘We didn’t want someone to come into this world to live that tough life.’ ”
Other childfree in India feel similarly. They feel “the world is just not worthwhile place to bring someone into it. Some state that their own childhood was no fairy tale.”
Another article recently appeared in BBC News India. In it we hear from Indian women who have the childfree choice and why. We also hear from Amrita Nandy, an academic researching the motherhood choice. She has interviewed over fifty women in Delhi who have opted out of the motherhood, and met many more. She says, “Traditionally, motherhood is considered to be the most fulfilling aspect of a woman’s life, but class and education opens up horizons for women to see that there are many more ways of finding meaning and purpose in life.”
The research scholar at Tata Institute of Social Sciences is looking to interview childfree Indian women as well. If you are or someone you know is a married, childfree woman living in India who is interested in being interviewed, please email me, and I will give you contact information!
Original post 2010-Updated 9-2-2014