Baby Nargis Declared World’s Seven Billionth Person
October 31, 2011
Born today, October 31, Nargis Kumar becomes a symbol of the world’s ever-growing population – which has surpassed seven billion.
After weeks of speculation, the world’s population finally surpassed the seven billion mark on Monday morning. Plan International declared one baby girl a symbol of the seven billionth person shortly after she was born in a government-run hospital in northern India.
Weighing 3kg (6.6lbs), baby Nargis was born at 07:25 local time (01:55GMT) in Mall village in India’s Uttar Pradesh state.
Nargis will share the symbolic title with six other babies, says Plan International. In the Philippines this morning, Danica May Camacho was chosen by the United Nations (UN) to also represent the global population millstone.
Plan International explained that the babies had to be chosen symbolically as it would be impossible to pinpoint the exact location and time the seven billionth person was born.
It is believed that Nargis, born to Vinita and Ajay Kumar, was chosen due to the unequal sex ratio in India. Plan International also hopes that the baby girl will highlight the problem of female foeticide throughout the country.
Nigel Chapman, Plan International CEO, explained that sex-selective terminations are happening throughout the world.
“Girls throughout the world are still being denied their rightful access to many things – but this is the most grave of all – the right to be born itself,” he said. “Globally millions of girls are either never born because of a skewed preference for sons or die in early childhood or in reproductive years. We must bring a stop to this injustice.”
Around 51 babies are born in India every minute and, according to reports, hundreds of thousands of female foetuses are aborted each year.
Earlier today, photos of Nagris were shown across the world and her parents announced their joy at having a baby girl.
“We were praying all along for a daughter,” said Ajay Kumar. “She is Lakshmi [Hindu goddess of wealth]. She will bring us good luck.”
By Catherine Rees
[Image courtesy of Sparlingo]