SHILLONG: Expressing concern over the lack of awareness about various health programmes of the government and underutilization of available schemes, an association of MPs has underscored the need for greater involvement of the elected representatives to sensitize the people.
The Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development on Friday conducted a seminar for legislators of Meghalaya,focusing on the implementation and status of various health programmes, especially the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
Association secretary Manmohan Sharma said many benefits of the Central programmes were not known even to the legislators. “The elected representatives should know and get involved in the grassroots level. There are a lot of funds available, but sadly money is lying and is returned unspent. Fund utilization is not up to mark,” he said.
Observing that the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rates were a matter of grave concern, he indicated that lack of awareness among the people has led to the dismal health parameters. “Officers cannot convey everything. Villagers tend to listen to their elected representatives more. We have to change their mindset,” the Parliamentarian emphasized.
He also suggested dissemination of other systems of medicine such as Ayurveda and homeopathy in rural areas as sections of people were not comfortable with the allopathic system and had inhibitions.
Twenty-five MLAs, including Speaker Charles Pyngrope, chief minister Mukul Sangma and opposition leader Conrad Sangma, attended the seminar that dwelt at length on the problems in the health sector in the state’s rural belts.