Warning that under-nourishment, environmental damage, conflicts and terrorism posed serious challenge to children’s health, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said it was important to “respect and uphold” the right to health of children.
“No civilized society can shirk this duty,” he said while inaugurating the first Global Youth Meet on Health here organised by NGO Hriday-Shan(Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth – Student Health Action Network).
He noted that even under peaceful conditions, there were pandemics like HIV/AIDS and Avian Flu that took a huge toll on families and societies.
“In the battle against HIV/AIDS, there is no more powerful weapon than education and awareness,” he said stressing that “young people who are well informed and highly motivated can be very effective change agents in society-influencing not only their peers but also adults. Your idealism can break through even the thickest barriers of cynicism and inaction”.
The Prime Minister also emphasized that every country has a “moral responsibility” to create a healthy world in which people could lead happy and productive lives.
“We also have a moral obligation not to destroy or damage the world our parents gave us,” he told over 1000 school children from 11 States and 36 countries attending the four-day meet.