Over 600 million Indians defecate out in the open.
More than 50% girls in India are anemic.
Every 10 minutes a woman dies of child birth.
These gory statistics prove that India is grossly unable to provide basic rights of hygiene, health and sanitation to many of her citizens. For women, the reality is all the more grim. Almost 60 years of Independence have gone by, yet half the population does not have a toilet in their home.
CNN IBN and Jaagore invited three individuals that have contributed remarkably to health and sanitation in India.
Anjali Nayyar, Senior Vice-President of Global Health Strategies, Ranjana Kumari, Director, Centre for Social Research (CSR), Former Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and Former Chairperson, NABARD and Anshu Gupta, Founder of Goonj, came together to help frame the PowerOf49 Manifesto on Women’s Health and Sanitation.
1. Construct 1 crore toilets within one year
Construct at least one crore toilets within a deadline of one year. Separate women's toilets in particular must be built. There must be provisions for toilets with easy accessibility and assured privacy 24/7. The toilets must also have adequate water supply.
2. A "frontline army" of health and sanitation workers
Build Government workers, NGOs, local health and sanitation workers, along with ASHAs (programme on Accredited Social Health Activist) into a combined "frontline army".
The frontline army or political ground level workers should also ensure that it isn't the job of any one particular caste to clean these toilets.
3. Free medical services for all expecting mothers
Free, incentivised safe deliveries in hospitals for every mother including post-natal maternal care.
4. More health schemes for girl child
Incentives for care of girl child - more schemes promising medical insurance for girls 0-18 years must be put in place. Additionally, a programme that focuses on iron folic supplementation must be introduced to fight the issue of anemia in young girls.
5. Dedicated women’s wards and hospitals for AIDS, cancer patients etc
Women's wards and hospitals should be constructed for looking after those diagnosed with cervical cancer, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS etc. These hospitals must include specialised medical insurance packages.
Political parties must also mobilise its ground level workers to hold public awareness talks.
The Power of 49 has put forth their manifesto on health and sanitation.
Join the conversation on @JaagoRe on twitter next week as we discuss women's education and employment and create a #Powerof49 manifesto on CNN IBN on Friday, 14th March, 8.30 pm.
To read the final 10-point #Powerof49 Manifesto that was presented to leading political parties, click here
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