New Delhi: One of the key themes of the World Economic Forum that is happening currently in Davos, Switzerland is the issue of sustainable development and how it is looked at from all perspectives – especially from gender point of view. To discuss the same, NDTV’s Vishnu Som as a part of Banega Swasth India special speaks with Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani about women empowerment, development, health and how India through its many healthcare programmes have been putting women’s health and dignity at the centerstage.
Here are the highlights of things Union Minister Smriti Irani said:
1. India’s Ayushman Bharat Programme Makes Health For All A Reality
India has made a case for financial enhanced investments in all genders across the board. Talking about health, India has the world’s largest healthcare program under Ayushman Bharat, with more than 440 million Indians part of the service. The initiative deals in over 1900 diseases, including cancer, cardiological challenges across 27, 000 hospitals in the country. For the world, it has taken quite a while to accept that 440 million needs can be serviced from the treasury without a single rupee coming from the private sector. If you look at just the Ayushman Bharat encourage hospital admissions, we have hit a figure of 62 million hospital admissions.
2. India’s Jan Aushadhi Kendras Serving The Poorest Of The Poor In India
We have 10,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras across the country, where ones’ pharmaceutical needs can be met at 90 per cent less of the cost as in the open market. What is fascinating is it’s not serving only the poorest of the poor, but also the middle class and the lower middle class. So, India is making affordable healthcare a reality for all.
3. India’s Preventive Healthcare Is The World’s Largest Ecosystem
India has this whole segment of one lakh health and wellness centers, which are dedicated to preventive care, which is the world’s largest ecosystem on preventive care
4. India Has The Largest Numbers Of Women Who Have Got Tested For Breast / Cervix Cancer
We have now in the world, the largest numbers of women who have tested themselves and gotten themselves treated for cancer of the breast and cervix. The number is roughly about 200 million women, which is the largest number in the world.
5. India Has The Largest Nutrition Programme In The World
We in the Ministry of Women and Child Development have the largest nutrition program in the world, which is the Prime Minister’s flagship scheme called Poshan. We have digitally leveraged facilities in 1.4 million Anganwadis and secondly, we have 2 million Anganwadi female workers and a hundred million beneficiaries, 75 million children under the age of six and 25 million pregnant and lactating women. Every day, data is being uploaded with the Ministry of Health that elaborates on the services that are being delivered within the community and the health challenges.
6. India Has Prioritised Sanitation and Women’s Dignity
In 2014, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi prioritised sanitation and women’s dignity by constructing millions of toilets across the country. When Prime Minister Modi took office in the year 2010-11, there was a World Bank report which said that if there is a lack of sanitation facilities for women, there is a negative six per cent burden on the GDP of India. That being said, there is also the issue of security of women who were violated if they decided to defecate in the open. PM Modi initiated a chain of building toilets and under his leadership 110 million individual toilets were built in India.
7. India’s Maternal Mortality / Child Mortality Have Decreased
India has various ongoing programmes supporting the pregnant and lactating women. These women have received fiscal cash benefits into their bank accounts directly under the Yojana, where if there’s a loss of wages because a woman has to get vaccinated during her pregnancy or get a checkup done by her doctor, Indian government has a scheme that can compensate for it. India gives six thousand rupees to these women, till now, 30 million women have been benefited from it. Our data shows that because of the constant support the number of institutional deliveries has gone up. And that has a direct correlation with the maternal mortality rate and child mortality rate, both of which have come down.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.