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Odisha, along with some other states in our country occupies the distinction of being the worst performer states in terms of infant mortality, neo-natal mortality and maternal mortality. This report featured in one of the popular magazines must have compelled some of the thinkers of our times to scratch their heads as to what went wrong during these years after independence .Indian intelligentsia, has proved its mettle in many areas both at national and international level but news reports of this kind makes us think and rethink several times about our progress in real terms. In this context, it reminds me the words which once said by father of our nation Mahatma Gandhi that all our acts and actions shall be deemed fruitful only when they have benefited the lowest strata of our society.  Now, as we are going to celebrate ‘Gandhi Jayanti’    the   150 th birthday of one of the rarest of rare personalities the world has ever seen. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, born on 2nd October    18 69  in Porbandar , Gujarat ;   lawyer, anti-apartheid crusader, anti-colonial activist founder of non-violent movement  all amalgamated into one , though popularly known for his profound contribution towards Indian freedom struggle , his ideals and ideas for an inclusive and healthy society seems to have been largely  forgotten amidst speedy progress in science , technology and many such fields. Remembering Gandhi ji on his birthday with focus on improving on status  of mortality, neo-natal mortality and maternal mortality in some of the poorly accessible areas of our country will be a befitting tribute to the mankind.


Of late, our country has witnessed many such cases of pregnant women being carried on shoulders, travelling miles on foot  by good samaritans who volunteered their services for the betterment of the mankind. While such cases grabbed limelight in some newspapers and other media, has the ground reality changed for the better is something we all need to ponder and introspect with all serousnes in our command. News reports like one young doctor working in Odisha’s Maoist hit Malkangiri district carrying a woman post-delivery on a cot along with her husband for about 8 kilometres on foot to the nearest district hospital for treatment and several other such incidents have made all of us pause and think for a while. Unfortunately, things returned to normalcy in our inner world while for the outer world little has changed so far.  Therefore, it is important to devise plans and formulate policies for making our world ‘medical care friendly’ for realising the dreams of our founding father, Gandhi ji. There is no denying the significant strides that our nation has made in the field of medicine and the recognition that India has got across the Globe.


Let there be attempts for a comprehensive health care facility developed immediately for such remote areas focussing on infant mortality, neo-natal mortality and maternal mortality .All our efforts in the field of medical research and its advancements thereto can be truly realised only when it reaches the poorest of the poors residing in areas where medical care is still a rarity. We have been remembering Mahatma Gandhi all along for his contributions towards freedom struggle now let us also remind ourselves for his pioneering vision and work for the down trodden. A non- violent movement could transform our country to an independent nation. Now,  its time to orient ourselves in a fashion to declare freedom from shackles of such health complications arising  primarily form poor medical facility in remote areas of our country.


Let the new borns and their mothers in such areas, have a lease of new life by providing them with the best possible medical facility.


–   Ashis Kumar Dash

Deputy General Manager (Environment)


“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold & silver” – Mahatma Gandhi