Sikkim conferred Tata memorial award for health achievements

January 9th, 2009 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) Pawan Chamling, the chief minister of Sikkim Friday received the fourth J.R.D. Tata Memorial award from Vice President Hamid Ansari for outstanding performance in the health sector. Himachal Pradesh and Kerala have been the previous recipients of the same award.A jubilant Chamling, while hailing his state’s achievement, said at a press conference in the capital later in the day that the award was given based on Sikkim’s performance in 14 key sectors.

Among the indicators were percentage of women married below the age of 18, total fertility rate, infant mortality rate, child sex ratio, literacy rate, female youth literacy rate, school attendance rate for girls and safe child delivery.

“The state has achieved full immunization, an indication that health sector and the issue of providing quality health care to people occupies the central theme in all discussions of the state government,” Chamling said.

He further added that besides providing good health care infrastructure, the state government has also been striving to increase awareness amongst the common man on issues like harmful effects of tobacco (the state has banned the sale of gutka [chewing tobacco] and other tobacco products), cleanliness, and hygiene.

The three time chief minister added that other states have a lot to learn from Sikkim.

“For instance, despite being a border state - Sikkim shares its borders with China, Nepal and Bhutan, it is very peaceful. It simply defies the mind set that all border or north eastern states are victims of insurgency. Other states have a lot to learn from Sikkim,” Chamling said.

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