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India criticises use of human rights political tool for ‘selective shaming’

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United Nations:Taking aim at double standards on human rights, India has criticised its selective invocation as a political tool to go after certain countries.

Human rights must “not be used as political tools” as it would be counterproductive, Indian diplomat Mayank Joshi told a General Assembly Committee that deals with social and humanitarian affairs on Friday.

“Selective naming and shaming of countries and intrusive monitoring not only go against the principles of impartiality, neutrality, objectivity and non-interference but also deters cooperation from the country concerned,” he said. “We would like to reiterate that long-term and sustained improvements in human rights can be achieved only through the cooperation and full participation of the concerned state.”

He did not name countries practising double standards or those that were targeted.

Joshi, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, drew attention to terrorism being a violation of human rights. “The scourge of terrorism continues to pose a serious challenge to the full enjoyment of human rights, violating the most fundamental right to life,” he said.

Calling for a zero tolerance policy towards terrorists, he said, “The international community has a responsibility to cooperate fully to root out all kinds of financial, moral and material support to terrorists and their activities.”

He called for a broad approach to human rights and said it “cannot be approached in isolation, ignoring the complex and intricate relationship between human rights, development, democracy and international cooperation”.

Joshi outlined India’s efforts to promote human rights in the socio-economic sphere mentioning the Food Security Act and the Right to Education Act and the launch of nation-wide insurance programs for social security coverage to millions of poor and disadvantaged people.

“As a multi-religious, multiethnic, multicultural country, we take great pride in our unity in diversity and support all efforts to build bridges of understanding between nations, peoples, religions and cultures,” Joshi said. “We steadfastly reject all doctrines of exclusion based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

(IANS)

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

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Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)