World’s seven billionth baby welcomed in India

Mal: The world has received its seven billionth citizen. A baby girl, Nargis, was born on October 31 in this village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. She was welcomed as the world’s seven billionth baby — an honour she shares with a girl child born in the Philippines and a boy in Russia.

Ajay Kumar and Vinita, the proud parents of Nargis, are natives of Danaur village in Mal block, situated on the outskirts of state capital Lucknow. While Kumar is a small farmer, Vinita is a housewife. Both parents are school dropouts and Nargis is their first child.

Nargis was born at around 7.20 a.m. at the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Mal – some 30 km from Lucknow. Weighing around 3 kg at the time of birth, Nargis was accorded a ‘symbolic’ status of the seventh billionth baby of the world.

Russia announced that the seven-billionth person was born in the country’s Far East in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city. It said a boy named Alexander, born on the night of Oct 31, was the seven-billionth inhabitant on earth.

The Philippines too declared that a little girl called Danica May Camacho was the world’s seven billionth baby. Danica was delivered just before midnight on Sunday at a Manila Hospital. Danica was welcomed with a chocolate cake marked “7B Philippines” and a gift certificate for free shoes.

In Mal too, Nargis was given a warm welcome on her arrival. Several private social organisations, including Plan India along with state-run agencies held a function at the Community Health Centre (CHC).

The Mal health centre wore a festive look. All the beds were covered with clean bedsheets, the premises were spick and span, and posters were strung up signifying the importance of the girl child. Locals in the area watched the celebrations with curiosity as most did not have any idea about its significance.

Uttar Pradesh has an estimated population of 170 million, while India’s population is just over 1.2 billion.

According to UNFPA, the world’s six billionth child was born in 1998, and the eight billionth baby will be born in 2025.

“By celebrating the birth of a girl child as the seventh billionth baby we are drawing attention to the serious issue of India’s declining child sex ratio. The event organized was simply a gesture to symbolically welcome the arrival of the seventh billionth baby,” Bhagyashri Dengle, executive director Plan India, told.

According to Kumar, they chose the Mal CHC to mark the arrival of the seventh billionth baby following the predictions earlier made by United Nations.