Kanwar Pal Gujjar, Speaker, Haryana Vidhan Sabha today called for strengthening laws to ensure sexual and reproductive health of women. Stressing on the need for development, he said development is important but it needs to be seen that development doesn’t lead to inequality, which often results in widening the rich and poor divide.
He was speaking as the chief guest at one day State Level Consultation with Parliamentarians and key stakeholders on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). It was organised by the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI), Panchkula Branch in collaboration with Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD), and International Planned Parenthood Federation. This consultation was supported by European Union through International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) – South Asia Regional Office (SARO).
The Haryana Speaker stressed that all political parties need to work collectively for the cause in national interest, keeping aside their political gains of pleasing the vote bank.
The purpose of the conference was to initiate a dialogue on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in articulating the Post-2015 development agenda with focus on SRHR including family planning and HIV in terms of health, gender and means of implementation.
Shakuntala Jakhu, IAS retired, former Chief Secretary Haryana while delivering the keynote address lauded the work done by FPAI and stressed on qualitative development, adding that existing government policies should be scrutinised whether they are bringing a positive change in the lives of beneficiaries.
Umesh Aradhya, President, Family Planning Association of India (FPA India) said that “Post 2015 development agenda in India should be focused on state level variations and priorities. We hope that our MPs and MLAs would raise these important issues in parliament and legislative assemblies for formulating proper policies.”
While setting the context Dr. Kalpana Apte, Senior Secretary General, Programme Implementation, FPA India stressed, “Post 2-15 development agenda must include the unfinished agenda from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and ensure that no one is left behind - maternal health, comprehensive sexuality education and reproductive rights are important.”
“This consultation will influence to design the State and District perspective. The MP and MLAs has accountability in the state and the country” mentioned Usha Pahwa, Panchkula Branch President.
She further emphasized the post 2015 development framework is relevant to us and we need to engage with the process further and what we still need to advocate what has taken place so far in the process. The next framework will affect all our lives so it is imperative that it reflects our priorities and such priorities include Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights.”
Manmohan Sharma, Executive Secretary, IAPPD also spoke on the occasion and gave an overview about the activities of IAPPD and FPAI. Vivek Atray, Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, said there should be sustainable segments of society. Gian Chand Gupta, MLA, Panchkula also spoke on the occasion.
According to Vedika Gandhi a youth volunteer said Post 2015 will be more holistic than the Millennium Development Goals and will take into consideration all three pillars of sustainable development i.e. economic, environmental and social, with the potential of a fourth pillar, peace and security.
Family Planning Association of India (FPA India) has been working in the field of Sexual and Reproductive health and Rights (SRH&R) since 1949. FPA India Panchkula Branch has been working on SRH&R since 1972 in Haryana and supplementing the efforts of the government to make health services reached the most needy and poor community both in the urban and rural areas.
Among other prominent guests were MPs and MLAs of Haryana State who shared their voices at the occasion including Shadi Lal Batra, Rajya Sabha Member, Dr. Ram Prakash Ex MP and Chancellor Gurukul Vidyapeeth and R.K. Kashyap, MP.