Though firm on their decision, the couple accepts others’ choices to have kids. Many others across the globe joined the ‘DINKdom’ as they started acknowledging their lack of parenting skills. We are waiting it out till we know the right time,” says Rheea, who refuses to see the world in binary ways being ‘for’ or ‘against’ something. We live in an overpopulated country where there are many orphan kids. An acronym for Green Inclination No Kids, GINK is the new DINK!Vidhya and HarfazAccording to GINKs, one less human birth accounts to lesser pollution, lesser carbon footprint and even lesser exploitation of resources.” Having grown up in a progressive and liberal background has helped shape up his thoughts. She says, “Everyone uses their social and economic privileges in their unique circumstances for a better life.Being openly child-free has helped them connect with a lot of like-minded people — online and offline.MOTHERHOOD OVERRATEDDubai-based entrepreneur couple Vidhya Ahamed Menon and Harfaz made the choice to lead a child-free life out of green concerns.”Exit the closetIt’s the stigma that results in several voluntarily child-free couples staying hidden in the closet. “Poverty, illiteracy and rapid population growth reinforce each other.Efilists (efil is ‘life’ spelt backwards), on the other hand, think that life is worse than nothing – an idea that advocates, along with childfreedom, extinction of all sentient life. Generally, people in India do not appreciate the idea. Though their love story was hailed by social media, their family cut off all the ties with the couple, who has decided that nothing would deter or demotivate them.”ON THE RIGHT PATHInterestingly, most Indians, especially women, have no say on their reproductive rights. “It is utterly sad, rude and unbelievably hilarious that people think they have the ‘right’ to feel offended at a couple’s choice,” she says. For me, no human is fit to become a parent when we don’t know how to live in harmony with nature.
We believe that parenthood is full of frustrations and expectations, along with the obvious joys. It will only evolve into shaming others.”No to anti-green actsSumedh, an insurance professional in Goa, too wouldn’t want to be tagged with any ‘ism’ for living child-free and not adding to environmental stress. “Married for over seven years now, we are open about our decision to not have kids. I would like to see the future that will be less populated,” says Sumedh, who would undergo vasectomy to not let his partner suffer any invasive procedure. Nurturing a new life was never part of the plan. Why should we create more lives when we cannot look after our current state of affairs,” she asks.”People find it very hard to even digest the idea that it’s alright for someone to not have children,” observes Deepak, adding, “Acceptance will ease the pressure so much on people who are tortured for their inability to have children – women put on steroids for years and men shamed for immasculinity, even in educated and affluent households. But only years later, after going vegan did I realise how destructive the homosapien is! However, I was lucky to have found an ambitious, career-oriented man who wanted to marry me only if I agreed to go child-free. Eco-conscious millennials – singles and couples – are increasingly forgoing parenthood stating that procreation is morally wrong and destructive to the earth and nature. Child-free existence can be attributed to concerns over financial constraints, environment, population explosion, poor life-work balance, genetic illness, etc. A poor farmer might look at having kids as an asset or an investment. Procreating in this chaotic world is a crime. One species alone cannot be entrusted with the safety and continuity of the planet.Responsible non-parenting‘Happily ever after’ is perfectly possible without procreating. But not everyone agrees. Only with proper education will people see the truth. Many confess to have secretly wished to be as courageous as us to reject the pressure to procreate mindlessly,” says Minal. “Convincing the family was difficult for seven to eight years, but sooner or later, they had to understand that we have no interest in breeding. But you do things from your own understanding of the world and what it teaches you.
We can do better by not defining ourselves by what we hate. Religion, too, is largely responsible. It’s the people around who decide for an individual – when is the right time to get married, to have the first child, the second child and to even stop having sex! “That people have no say on their reproductive rights is ridiculous,” feels Tom Cyriac, an atheist and an anti-natalist, who runs a business in Kerala. “I believe that humans are the most destructive species as they encroach upon the earth and endanger lives, eliminating many species. Vouching for it, Delhiites Deepak Khatri and Trina Acharyya, who are avid travellers and run multiple businesses in Goa and NCR, say, “Happily married and child-free for 11 years, we have earned the freedom to live free, travel and have worked hard to reach where we are today. Plus, having a kid is a huge financial and emotional investment. Our family has more or less accepted our thoughts, but they hope we would change our minds. As the duo travelled more and worked with abandoned or injured animals, the idea that humanity was becoming a burden to the rest of the species, reaffirmed. Neither do we believe that the environment is in a favourable state to sustain more people, nor is adding more people going to create any favourable impact.”Having kids can be a wonderful thing for many. Over-population is not as much a problem as shared distribution of resources. For some, the things they do are benefited by not having kids, for others, raising a child to be kind can be a powerful act. As soon as humans are gone, all these will start reversing and the planet will start recovering. We need to work towards empowering women medically and emotionally, educating them about their choices. Human race will become extinct due to global warming, climate change and ecological destruction if we keep breeding like mushrooms. “Society needs to realise that not everyone is made to do a job, get married by a certain age and not everyone has parental instincts.,” explains Alok, who fell in love with wheel-chair-bound Shweta, who too was against the idea of childbirth.”The duo had kept the decision to themselves for long, but they had to finally blurt it out. “A peaceful extended sleep-in during a weekend or a late night-out is our fulfilling little pleasures of life,” Vidhya quips. Over the years, they have been pushed towards the thoughts about the joys of motherhood and family,” observes Raeesa, a social media consultant and animal welfare volunteer in Chennai.The 1980s saw the rise of DINKS (Dual Income No Kids) among young urban professionals aka yuppies in Britain and slowly, more started joining the club, the reasons being the Great Recession, lack of old-age social support and an inclination to focus more on career and individuality. In fact, as young as 13, I remember telling my mom I wanted to adopt,” she explains. Coming out requires a great deal of courage and conviction. No social pressure will affect us. Gas pressure gaugeAlok and like-minded friends recently organised in New Delhi a meet-up ‘Stop Making Babies’, coordinating child-free proponents, anti-natalists, efilists and members of Voluntary Human Extinct-ion Movement. Do respect their choice!. We have so many ways of interpreting the world and commanding the space. “I don’t think our society is mature enough to have a dialogue about child-free life. Despite putting pressure on others, deep down, most people want to enjoy their life and don’t want to spend life raising children,” he says. We are largely accused of ‘going against the nature’ and being ‘morally wrong’, but one doesn’t have to accept a societal norm at the cost of their happiness. Claiming that they personally know couples who succumbed to social pressure and regret their decision to have kids, she says, “The feelings of nurture, care or selflessness can be displayed towards anyone without becoming a biological mother. Bashing the misconceptions that movements like anti-natalism and Voluntary Human Extinction Force support murder, Kedar Mohan Tembe, a sports professional based in Singapore, clarifies, “In fact, it is supportive of life – not just human life. “If I ever marry, I will choose someone who prefers to live child-free.”Kedar and SnehaKedar and his wife Sneha, a software engineer and Kathak dancer, had reached a consensus on non-parenthood before getting hitched.Flawed ‘Isms’Among all these child-free couples are the ones who do not want to make ‘anti’ as their identity.
In fact, we are very pro-adoption, but it’s a huge commitment.”It’s a tough fight against societal conditioning. Their idea of fulfilment involves being parents to their dogs, travelling the world, building businesses and indulging in hobbies. I have seen many regretting having kids.”Raeesa adds, “People should be able to reach quality gynecological and contraceptive care. I was advised not to go public about such matters, but I wasn’t ashamed, even when people started asking me if I was impotent. Parenthood has to be a choice; most people just yield to the social pressure to reproduce even though they aren’t ready for it. We don’t try to convince anyone who doesn’t understand. Living child-free for over two decades now, Chennai-based senior consultant interventional cardiologist Dr Sanjiv Agrawal and Minal, a vegan activist who runs a private cat shelter, vouches for it. Bengaluru-based writer Rheea Rodrigues Mukherjee and her partner Indrayudh Ghoshal, a music-theatre artiste, who parent two adopted dogs, are one such couple.”Open about his views, he feels it’s very important to sensitise people, “Especially the lakhs of underprivileged men and women who never know that they have a choice. “People think we are crazy, but we try our best to utilise all available platforms to tell the world why we don’t want to impose suffering on someone by giving birth; it’s immoral. If children make life complete, it should have been a loving society, a perfect world