Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with ASHA (Accredited social health activists), ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) and Anganwadi workers from all over India on Tuesday via a live video conference. Modi thanked the workers for their work and said, "Without your efforts, one cannot imagine the concept of healthy motherhood in India. I am happy that all of you play a key role to strengthen the foundations of our country."
Modi noted how there are three aspects concerning the welfare of women and children " first being nutrition, second being vaccination and third being sanitation. The prime minister also said that although several programmes related to these aspects were carried out since Independence, not many were successful.
Modi spoke about how the government came up with a new strategy in 2014 " Mission Indradhanush " where vaccination programmes were planned to reach the infants even in the remote areas. Modi praised the workers in attempting to complete the objectives of the mission due to which, more than 3 crore children and 25 lakh pregnant women received timely vaccinations. Modi noted that the workers also played a big part in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA).
During his address, Modi pointed out that besides lack of sanitation, vaccination and nutrition, another problem that affects women in India is early marriage. He emphasised on the dangers of pregnancies in young mothers and how it affects the health of both, the mother and child.
Talking to the workers, Modi also said that the challenge to take the National Nutrition Mission forward rests on the shoulders of each and every ASHA, ANM and Anganwadi worker and said that the country aims to be anemia free, with their help.
While saluting the workers for their tireless, yet determined efforts in implementing the health sector programmes, Modi also invited them to speak about the challenges and suggestions. The prime minister's first interaction began with the workers of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, followed by workers from Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Modi lauded their efforts in not only implementing the health programmes at the grassroot level but also to help in bringing a mind-set change among many villagers.