Is Reaching Millenium Development Goal a Twenty20 Cricket Match?

Let’s make India Swasth Bharat (healthy India) along with Swachh Bharat(Clean India)- J.P. Nadda

Match For Child Health 

Is Reaching Millenium Development Goal a Twenty20 Cricket Match?

 NEW DELHI, December 20:  While Millennium Development Goal (MDG) deadline is perilously close, India is yet to reach anywhere near that goal. Under the veneer of MDG, Cricket match between MPs and Media played today was at most a ritual.

India can not save itself from the ignominy of ‘defeat’ in the ‘slog over’ that is left to reach that goal. But today Parliamentarians and Media played cricket match dedicated to child health to boost India’s snails pace towards meeting Millennium Development Goal. But alas! Only health experts know meeting Millennium Development Goal is not Twenty20 cricket match. If this be a cricket match, we are in for being defeated even by ‘Bangladesh Team’.

However, even if ritualistic, any effort to boost the pace for reaching the goal can not be ignored. Members of Parliament and journalists today faced off at the second annual “Batting for Life” Twenty20 cricket match, dedicated to child health. Though media team won over MP team, no team really won MMG front. If India is lagging behind that goal both team are to be blamed, political leaders as much as media.

With one year remaining to reach the Millennium Development Goal deadline of reducing child mortality by two-thirds, players and participants sought to draw attention to the importance of expanding access to available interventions that can protect children against largely preventable diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea.

According to the latest estimates from UNICEF, India lost more than 13 lakh children less than five years of age last year. Pneumonia and diarrhea, the two leading causes of child death, claimed the lives of more than three lakh children.

On this occasion, Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, said, ‘It is a pleasure to be here today to highlight the very important issue of infant mortality (IMR) and child health. Purely going by numbers, 20% of total child mortality in the world takes place in India – this is a cause for concern. The government is very serious about this issue and is working with several organizations to reduce infant and child mortality rates. We are drafting a new strategy to ensure 100% immunization coverage. We want to bring all stakeholders together for child health. Today’s match was a good show and will sensitize people about the issue. We need to do much more to save our children. Let’s make India Swasth Bharat (healthy India) along with Swachh Bharat(Clean India). We are working very hard to achieve a healthy India by implementing immunization program more rigorously.’

Other notable participants supporting child survival at the cricket match included World Champion wrestler Sushil Kumar along with several political leaders and journalists. Union Ministers Sarbananda Sonowal, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Shripad Yesso Naik attended. MP captain Anurag Thakur, Lok Sabha MP from the Hamirpur constituency in Himachal Pradesh. “But success will require us all to continue working toward the goal we celebrate today, long after we leave the cricket match.”

The journalists’ team featured prominent media personalities such as Javed Ansari and Vikrant Gupta of Aaj Tak. Players on the MPs side included Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore, Derek O’Brien, Manoj Tiwari and Kirti Azad, among others. The MPs team won the toss and elected to bat, putting up a total of 109 runs in the stipulated 20 over for the Journalists team to chase. Shweta Singh, News Anchor and Deputy Editor Sports, Aaj Tak, was the commentator for the game, supported by Umpires RS Rawat and K Sharma.

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