New Delhi: NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign stepped into season 8 as it 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. The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu joined the 12-hour #SwasthBharat, Sampann Bharat Telethon where he talked to the Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan about the importance of the campaign and how the theme ‘leaving no one behind’ can make a difference.
The Vice President lauded the ‘Banega Swasth India’ campaign and said that it is a very timely and important initiative that seeks to improve public awareness on the crucial issues of health and wellness.
COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many important lessons. It has also generated awareness; every one of us, have now become aware, from individuals to governments, that we have to focus greater attention on health, Mr Naidu said.
Here are the five things Vice President Naidu said at the show:
- Mr Naidu acknowledged the frontline workers and COVID warriors for their efforts to help the mankind during an unprecedented health crisis like COVID-19. He said, “I would like to convey my deepest appreciation to all the doctors and other frontline healthcare workers for the extraordinary resilience, courage and spirit of sacrificing displayed by them in fighting the pandemic and serving the people. My compliments also to all the other COVID warriors, from sanitation staff to media, police personnel for their dedicated service, and even the farmers for their service and commitment during this pandemic.”
- “India is a young nation with 65 per cent of the population below the age of 35 years, and 50 per cent is below the age of 25 years. It is therefore imperative for our youngsters to adopt a healthy and discipline lifestyle. They must undertake regular physical activities like, yoga or cycling, walking, avoid sedentary habits, unhealthy diet like junk food and consumption of substances that are harmful to health. Youngsters must also take special care not to get addicted to digital devices,” the Vice President gave a special message to the youth of India during the show.
- When it comes to India’s healthcare status, Mr Naidu said, “India has made significant gains in health indices since the Independence, the centre and state must work in a team to further improve the health indices of the country. Be it be infrastructure, availability of doctors, nurses and modern health care facilities. One is increasing public spending on health. There is also the need to augment the health infrastructure at various levels, through public provide partnership. The stark disparities in health infrastructure between urban and rural areas need to be bridged.” Furthermore, the Vice President said that while bringing tertiary care to the rural areas, it is imperative that we strengthen our primary health care systems for better health outcomes. “That’s why I always suggest, that young doctors to serve some time in the rural areas. And I suggested to the government to make it mandatory, before the first promotion, that one should work in rural area for some time, because even today 60% of our population are living in the rural areas. It would be pertinent to point out that the government’s flagship programs like ‘Ayushman Bharat’, is a laudable initiative which has brought health assurance to millions of poor families,” he added.
- Mr Naidu also said that going forward we must focus on curbing the disturbing trend of increasing non-communicable disease in India, which now accounts for around 60 per cent of the deaths in the country. “We need to create greater awareness among people on lifestyle decisions. I urge health experts and cultural icons to take the lead on this regard, to educate the people, to make them aware of the dangers of this,” he said.
- Furthermore, the Vice President said that the pandemic has also reminded us that our health is intricately connected to health of the planet. “Man must avoid interfering with the natural ecosystem for his selfish interest. One health, one planet, one future is the way forward. That’s why I always say, nature, culture together, for better future,” he said. He also suggested that we move past the notion of health care as the absence of illness and take a holistic view of health, which includes physical, mental and spiritual well-being, and empowers an individual to reach their full potential. “This is the aim of ‘Swasth Bharat’ which will ultimately lead to ‘Sampann Bharat’ or a ‘Prosperous Bharat’. Healthy India can become a wealthy India not vice versa,” Mr Naidu said.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. 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 wake of the current 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 wellbeing, 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, that 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.