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Indian policy of taming poverty with growth ‘a model for others’

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United Nations: India’s success in eradicating poverty through sustained economic growth will be a model for other developing countries, the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was told.

“India’s success in sustaining robust economic growth to eradicate poverty will bring forth technologies and pathways to progress that can be shared with other developing countries to enable them to also achieve sustainable development,” India’s delegate Mansukh L. Mandaviya said on Monday.

Mandaviya, a Bharatiya Janata Party member of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat who is also member of the Indian delegation to the UN, added that India’s success “will contribute in no small measure to the global achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)”.

The SDG adopted at the summit of world leaders last month has set a target of eliminating poverty by 2030. Of 896 million people worldwide who lived on less than $1.90 a day — the international poverty level — 259.5 million or 29 percent were in India, according to statistics cited by the World Bank. Therefore, India’s success in eradicating poverty would contribute significantly to achieving the SDG.

To achieve this goal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government “has renewed its efforts to return India to a high growth trajectory, promote job rich industrial development through rapid skill development of our young populace, promote financial inclusion, protection and welfare of the girl child, agricultural renovation, and a massive drive for improved sanitation,” Mandaviya said.

However, Mandaviya linked the high growth trajectory to the goals of protecting the environment and fighting climate change.

“Modi has spoken of achieving the same level of development, prosperity and well being without going down the path of reckless consumption and his belief is that by doing so, it doesn’t necessarily mean that our economies will suffer, but rather that they will take on a different character,” he said.

As “evidence of our seriousness for addressing the environmental sustainability of our growth”, Mandaviya cited India’s plans to add 175 gigawatts of clean and renewable energy, make its energy-use 33 to 35 percent more efficient by 2030, and create additional forest resources capable of absorbing 2.5 billion to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.

“Even though we did not create the (climate change) problem, India has every intention of being a part of the solution when it comes to climate change,” Mandaviya said.

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A Majority of Children Die Due to Lack of Basic Healthcare Facilities: UN

For children everywhere, the most precarious time is the first month of life

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Children
A malnourished child lies in a bed waiting to receive treatment at a therapeutic feeding center in a hospital in Sana'a, Yemen, Jan. 24, 2016. (VOA)

An estimated 6.3 million children died before their 15th birthdays in 2017, or one every five seconds, mostly due to a lack of water, sanitation, nutrition and basic healthcare, according to report by United Nations agencies on Tuesday.

The vast majority of these deaths – 5.4 million – occur in the first five years of life, with newborns accounting for around half of the deaths, the report said.

“With simple solutions like medicines, clean water, electricity and vaccines” this toll could be dramatically reduced, said Laurence Chandy, an expert with the U.N. children’s fund UNICEF. But without urgent action, 56 million children under five – half of them newborns – will die between now and 2030.

Globally, in 2017, half of all deaths in children under five were in sub-Saharan Africa, where one in 13 children died before their fifth birthday. In high-income countries, that number was one in 185, according to the report co-led by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

Children
UN: A Child Dies Every Five Seconds, Most Are Preventable Deaths. Pixabay

It found that most children under five die due to preventable or treatable causes such as complications during birth, pneumonia, diarrhoea, neonatal sepsis and malaria. Among older children – aged five to 14 – injuries become a more prominent cause of death, especially from drowning and road traffic.

For children everywhere, the most precarious time is the first month of life. In 2017, 2.5 million newborns died in their first month, and a baby born in sub-Saharan Africa or in Southern Asia was nine times more likely to die in the first month than one born in a high-income country.

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Despite these problems, the U.N. report found that fewer children are dying each year worldwide. The number of under five deaths fell to 5.4 million in 2017 from 12.6 million in 1990, while the number of deaths in five to 14 year-olds dropped to under a million from 1.7 million in the same period. (VOA)

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