Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu hailed the Union Government for launching Ayushman Bharat which aims to provide health insurance cover to the poor and marginalized. He also appreciated the Center for planning to establish one primary health center for every 5000 population, while working to increase their number to 1.5 lakhs in the country. He made these remarks while inaugurating a free Medical Camp jointly organized by the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology and the Swarna Bharat Trust (SBT) in Hyderabad. Emphasizing further on healthy living he said that people must be made to pay greater attention towards their health and wellness as prevention is better than cure. He also asserted that a healthy nation can become a wealthy nation but not vice- versa and the expenditure on healthcare will naturally come down if people are healthy.
Later, the Vice President also gave away Rytu Nestham awards. In his address, he cautioned that there was a danger of farmers leaving agriculture unless farming was made profitable and viable. The Vice President said, “The emphasis should be on bringing down the input costs and not only on increasing productivity. The indiscriminate use of fertilizers, pesticides, electricity, and water also need to be curbed. Scientists must ensure research outcomes must directly reach the farmers from laboratories to land.” He also outlined the benefits of natural farming and said that it would help in reducing costs and providing a stable income to farmers as well as would also protect the consumers from the ill-effects of pesticides.
Advising farmers to diversify their activities to increase income he said, “There is a need to create awareness among farmers to diversify to allied activities to increase their income. A study has shown that there were no suicides by farmers who had diversified to allied activities like poultry, dairy, and fisheries.” He also appealed to the private sector to increase investments in agriculture while asserting that Parliament, media, and NITI Aayog should also keep agriculture on top priority. He also lauded Union Government for introducing farmer friendly schemes like soil health cards and PM Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. Emphasizing further on prioritizing agriculture he said, “Agricultural research centers and Krishi Vigyan Kendras must make concerted efforts to make agriculture sustainable and profitable.” Andhra Pradesh’s former minister for health and medical education, Dr Kamineni Srinivas along with other dignitaries were also present during the occasion. – Business Standard