Addressing a seminar organised by the NSS at SCD Government College,Dr Arun Mitra,general secretary,Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD),said that despite the recommendations of the Planning Commission to allocate 5 per cent of the budget towards health,the Government of India allocated only 1.9 per cent towards it.
Quoting Amartya Sen,Dr Mitra said that health and education are the basic assets required for development and inclusive growth of any country and society. Our public health spending is among the three lowest in the world in line with Sierra Leone and Haiti. Therefore,we are likely to miss the millennium development goal (MDG) to bring down infant mortality rate to 27 and maternal mortality rate to 109 by 2015. It is an irony that we spend huge amount on arms because of the perpetual tension between India and Pakistan. Both the nations have nearly 100 nuclear weapons each,which could lead to death of up to 1.2 crore people, he said.
A recent study by Dr Ira Helfand has warned of risk to over 2 billion people because of fall in food production resulting due to climatic changes in the event of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. He called for a mass movement on these issues. Many students asked questions concerning his talk. Present among the faculty members were Prof. Pooran Singh,Prof. Paramjit Singh and Prof Joshi.