Rajasthan MPs pledge to protect adolescent health

Support from elected officials will play important role in ensuring adolescent health is a priority in Rajasthan, experts say

Children in a school in Alwar district. Photo: Wikimedia

Five members of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly (MLA) have pledged to support safeguarding adolescent health in the state.

Harish Meena (MP for Deoli-Uniara), Rohit Bohra (Rajakhera, Dholpur), Krishna Poonia (Sadulpur Churu), Anita Bhadel (Ajmer South) and Ramniwas Gawariya (Parbatsar Nagaur) joined a campaign of the Population Foundation of India to aim non-profit (PFI).

The campaign aims to ensure that adolescents are protected and empowered in order to secure the future of the state. The MPs’ support comes days after senior Rajasthan ministers pledged to invest in adolescent health and development.

The support of elected officials is crucial on an issue like this, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

More than 35% of girls in Rajasthan are married before the age of 18, according to the fourth cycle of the National Family Health Survey 2015-16. This often leads to the denial of their basic rights to health, education and empowerment.

Some 12.5% ​​of girls are out of school or have dropped out for multiple reasons, including early marriage and childbearing, according to 2020 Annual State of Education Report investigation.

Adolescent issues must receive greater investment, said Shobhita Rajagopal, professor at the Institute of Development Studies in Jaipur. Improving adolescents’ access to health information and services is essential, she added.

“Since adolescents (10-19 years old) make up 23% of the population of Rajasthan and play an important role in the gross domestic product of the state, the new Rajasthan should be a state where adolescents and young people are in. good health and equipped to contribute to the development of the state. development, ”said Rajagopal.

Rajasthan has achieved a number of achievements in this area of ​​which it can be proud, said Divya Santhanam, Senior State Program Officer, PFI. For example, it was the only state to have a policy for girls.

“In 2020, lawmakers and state bureaucrats took part in the social media campaign – Zero Teenage Pregnancy. Earlier this year, on National Youth Day (January 12), Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot congratulated civil society organizations for their role in supporting young people in the state, ”he said. she adds.

Santhanam noted that the support of elected representatives will play an important role in ensuring that adolescent health is a priority in Rajasthan.

The unresolved problems of adolescents can lead to mental health problems, early pregnancy and childbirth, infectious disease, malnutrition and drug addiction.

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