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Gujarat State launches Nirogi Bal Varsh Abhiyan-Year of the Healthy Child Campaign

© UNICEF/2008
Logo of the "Nirogi Bal Varsh" (Year of the 2008)

April 2, 2008:  “Every child a healthy child and developing to his or her full potential is my dream, said Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, while launching the “Nirogi Bal Varsh Abhiyan” (Year of the Healthy Child Campaign) in Gandhinagar this morning.

“Today, Gujarat ranks on the top in terms of economic development.  I would, also like to see Gujarat on the top in social development as well.  Therefore, immediately after the elections, and to meet the national as well as internationally accepted Millennium Development Goals, the first thing I have decided is to declare 2008-2009 as the Year of Healthy Child”, said Mr Modi. 

More than 100,000 people from all walks of life from distant places, including ministers, members of the legislative assembly, panchayat representatives, government officials, frontline workers, NGOs, professionals, eminent social workers and parents gathered to participate in the launch ceremony.

The main objective of “Nirogi Bal Varsh” campaign is to focus on holistic development of all children in terms of their physical, mental, social and emotional health.

“It is a strategy of people’s mass movement to address the basic needs of children by all sections of the society”, said the Chief Minister.  He also exhorted all the Government departments to follow “integrated approach and inclusive programming” as the mantra of achieving the goal of Nirogi Balak. Following are the goals of the campaign:

  •  Safe motherhood and healthy newborns
  •  Promote gender equity and prevent female foeticide
  •  Quality nutrition and growth through effective implementation of Mamta Abhiyan
  •  Effective implementation of IMNCI to reduce neonatal/infant mortality
  •  Ensure universal reach and delivery of quality health services
  • Care and mainstreaming of physically and mentally challenged children
  • Child Protection: No child is involved in hazardous labour and no child marriages
  •  Healthy environment: Safe water and sanitation for every household
  •  Care of migrant children in the urban areas by provision of  Mamta Divas services through mobile teams
  •  Elementary Education and Life Skills Education for all children
  •  Launching of a Government Child Health and Nutrition Institute, attached to a Medical College to conduct research related to child health
  •  Promote community participation through awareness campaign

On the lines of “Nirmal Gram Puraskar”, as a part of the “Nirogi Bal Varsh” campaign, the Government has also established an award, the “Nirogi Bal Gram Puraskar” and specified qualifying parameters for the same.

Ministers of Health, Education, Women and Child Development, Rural/Urban Development, Panchayat, Water and Social Justice present on the occasion assured the Chief Minister of the whole-hearted support of their departments to make the programme a success. 

Whereas Mr Jai Narayan Vyas, Minister for Health highlighted the importance of improving Human Development Index of the State, Mr Narottam Patel, Minister for Panchayat remarked that by launching Nirogi Bal Varsh, the Chief Minister had cleverly developed a mechanism for all the Ministries to work together and ensure effective implementation of programmes and services which will ultimately result in Nirogi Balak (Healthy Child).  

On this occasion, the Chief Minister also gave away awards to officials of the districts, who had done well in providing health services.  

UNICEF Gujarat office has been very closely associated with the Health & Family Welfare Department in the development of “Nirogi Bal Varsh” strategy. 

On this occasion, the Chief Minister also released a book developed by UNICEF for effective implementation of “Mamta Abhiyan” (Health & Nutrition activities) in the State.  “This is an excellent strategy to bring about a synergy among all sectoral interventions as well as community mobilization for results on children, which would go a long way in achieving MDGs in Gujarat State”, says Dr Yogendra Mathur, UNICEF State Representative.

 

 
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