Central Chronicle, Feb 16, 2007
Bhopal, Feb 16: A state level meeting of campaign partners supporting the promotion of safe
motherhood and raising concern on maternal mortality in the state of Madhya Pradesh was held in Bhopal today. More than 60 non governmental organizations from various districts of the state including Panna, Dhar, Jabalpur, Indore, Mandsaur, Sehore, Bhopal, Sagar, Ujjain, Sheopur, Gwalior, Bhind, Barwani, Dewas, Satna, Shivpuri, Rewa, Neemuch, Datia, Ashok Nagar, Tikamgarh, Chhattarpur, Khargone participated in the meeting.
Non governmental organizations representing network organizations like Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association, Madhya Pradesh Samaj Sewa Sanstha, Madhya Pradesh Jan Adhikar Manch, Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, Central Regional Board of Health Services, Mahila Chetna Manch, Vikas Samvad, Department of Journalism, Makhan Lal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism shared their concern and outcomes of their efforts with communities and elected representatives.
Inaugurating the meeting Hamid El Bashir, State Representative, UNICEF office for Madhya Pradesh said that civil society needs to engage communities at high level to push accountabilities within the system to better deliver for women and children. Civil society is a duty bearer for the rights of women and children and it is they who should help make the system accountable. He also raised the issue of violation of rights of women and children and said that there are gaps in the system. He added that state of Madhya Pradesh contributes 10 % of maternal deaths in the country while India contributes 20 % of maternal deaths in the world. It is possible to reduce them but the need is of sustained commitment to deliver for benefit of women and children in the state.
Anil Gulati Communication officer UNICEF spoke on the need of the community empowerment and with civil society their engagement on the issue of women health. Media has helped to bring the issue to forefront but the need is to take this momentum forward.
Manoj Joshi of Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association, P.P. Singh, Department of Journalism Makhan Lal Chaturvedi University of Journalism, Sandesh Bansal State Coordinator Jan Adhikar Manch, Dr Sheela Bhambal of Central Board of Regional Health Services, Sachin Jain of Vikas Samvad, Deep Damani of Mahila Chetna Manch, Fr Mathew and sister Joicy of Madhya Pradesh Samaj Sewa Sanstha made presentation of their efforts in the various parts of the state to help bring the much needed momentum on the issue of maternal deaths and promoting safe motherhood state wide. Their partner organizations were present during the same presentations. A concern was expressed that still a lot needs to be done especially in promoting infrastructure increasing manpower and budget allocations for promoting safe motherhood. Promoting institution delivery alone will not help.
Dr Narayan Goankar Health Officer UNICEF presented the findings of maternal deaths audit in the districts of Guna and Shivpuri. Participations also focused on issue of rights. A need for third party monitoring was expressed in the meeting and for having an Observatory for the rights of women and children. This could be an Observatory which can report on the status of women and children in the state. Veena Bandyopadhyay, Planning officer, UNICEF presented a possible option of setting up of 'Child Rights Observatory' in the state of Madhya Pradesh, which could act as third party for monitoring rights of children and women. Himanshu Sikka of Infrastructure Professional Enterprise also participated in the meeting.