JRD Tata award for Thoubal District Manipur

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Manipur IMPHAL, August 2: Thoubal district of Manipur is among the awardees of the 5th JRD Tata Memorial Award districts of the country.

According to a source, Thoubal district is among six districts selected- Varanasi from Uttar Pradesh, Jajpur from Odisha and Thoubal from Manipur, among high-focus states in the large, medium and small population categories respectively; and Ahmadnagar in Maharashtra, Firozpur in Punjab and North Goa in Goa from the non high-focus states in the large, medium and small population categories.

Meanwhile, Mizoram and Goa also received the 5th JRD Tata Memorial Award for outstanding performance in improving the health of their people in recent years.

“While Mizoram was selected from among 18 high-focus states, defined under the National Rural Health Mission as states with poor health indicators and weak infrastructure, Goa led from among the non-high-focus states.”

The award was instituted in memory of Population Foundation of India, Founder Chairman JRD Tata, recognizes the pace of progress by states and districts on population and reproductive health programmes.

Nobel Laureate and renowned economist Prof Amartya Sen presented the award to senior ministers and district collectors from the award-winning states and districts at the JRD Tata Memorial Oration and Awards ceremony on July 31,2012 in New Delhi.

K Radhakumar Singh of Thoubal received the award-a trophy and Rs 2 lakh on behalf of the district.

District Collectors Sorabh Babu of Varanasi, Anil Kumar Samal of Jajpur, Dr Sanjeev Kumar of Ahmadnagar and Dr S Karuna Raju of Firozpur were also presented with a trophy and Rs 2 lakh prize money for their districts.

The prize money is to be spent on strengthening the work of NGOs working on reproductive health and family planning programmes, the source added.

Minister for Urban Development, Government of Goa Francis D’Souza received the award-a trophy and Rs 15 lakh – on behalf of his state, while, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of Mizoram, Lalrinliana Sailo accepted the trophy and Rs 10 lakh on behalf of Mizoram.

The ceremony also marked the completion of 40 years of PFI’s commitment to improving the health and well being of Indian families in unserved and underserved areas.

According to the source, a noteworthy change seen in Thoubal district in recent times is that Thoubal has reduced the unmet need for contraceptives among women from 70.7 per cent in DLHS 2 to 23.4 per cent in DLHS-3 and women having safe delivery improved from 55 per cent to 84.4 per cent.

Meanwhile speaking at award function, the Chairman of PFI Governing Board, Mr Hari Shankar Singhania, said the award signified the pace of progress achieved over a period of time. “It is well known that despite the relatively slow performance of reproductive and child health for the country as a whole, there are states, which have made significant strides in the field, and their achievements are comparable to the best in advanced societies. “This demonstrates that given the leadership and will, such successes can be repeated in other regions,” he added.

According to a source the selection for the award was based on 13 indicators.

A high-level technical committee chaired by Prof P.M.Kulkarni of the Jawaharlal Nehru University was set up to select the winners.

The committee had identified a set of 13 indicators on reproductive health, gender equity, family planning and housing amenities to measure the progress of the districts in the country.

Data from two rounds of District Level Household Surveys, DLHS 2002-04 and DLHS 2007-08, and the Census of 2001 and 2011 was analysed to measure the progress. The combined performance of the districts was taken into account while selecting the states for the awards.

The indicators on which the performance of the districts has been judged were – access to improved sources of drinking water, households with toilet facility, women in the 20-24 year age group who were married before 18 years, women with birth order three and above, current users  of spacing methods of family planning, unmet need for contraception, full antenatal care, safe delivery, postnatal care within  48 hours after delivery, full immunization of children (12 – 23 months), female literacy rate, ratio of females to males with primary education and child sex ratio.

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