Jaipur, An important Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with Tata Trust and ‘Antara’ Foundation for programme ‘Akshada’ on Monday here at Chief Minister’s office in the presence of Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje and Shri Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Trusts. The programme aims at improving the status of maternal and child health in the state.
The programme ‘Akshada’will focus on the crucial ‘1000 days’ between conception and till completion two years’ age of a child and will include the most critical areas like maternal anaemia, neo-natal mortality and improving immunization. The programme would deploy interventions that could greatly reduce the levels of malnutrition amongst children under five.
In the beginning, the programme will focus intensively in Jhalawar and Sirohi districts. The innovations once successful in these districts, will be replicated, amplified and rolled out across the state. The Tata Trusts are funding this flagship programme and the Antara Foundation, will implement the programme in the focused districts.
Chief Minister, Smt. Vasundhara Raje on the occasion said, “there is plenty of scope to improve the health status of women and young children in State. We believe that private partnership in the programme for improving maternal and child health and bettering the nutrition status will take Rajasthan a long away in emerging as a State with health indicators at par with India’s best.” She laid stress on active participation of ASHA workers with this programme.
She said that, the signing of MoU with Tata Trust & Antrara Foundation in the presence of Shri Ratan Tata is a proud moment for the state and we are excited about the programme. She said, “the willingness shown by Tata Trust Chairman for improvement in maternal and child health in Rajasthan is a welcoming step.”
Chairman of Tata Trusts Shri Ratan Tatasaid that, “The Tata Trusts’ new initiative in addressing the problem of malnutrition amongst mothers and infant children will have a positive impact on millions of children in terms of their improved health and resistance to illness and physical and mental deformity at birth.
He said the Trust chose Rajasthan for this programme as Rajasthan Chief Minister has the vision of development and she wants to bring transforming changes to the state. We are most appreciative and thankful for the enormous support that we are receiving from the Chief Ministerand the Government of Rajasthan, he said. We look forward to this partnership between Tata Trust and Rajasthan Government making a difference in the health of the future generation, he added.
Executive Director of the Antara Foundation Shri Ashok Alexander gave detailed presentation about the aims and objectives of the Akshada programme. He was hopeful that after the success of the programme Rajasthan will see new trajectory in its health outcomes and will emerge as a model at national and global level for health transformation.
Chief Secretary C. Rajan gave opening remarks about the MoU. Principal Secretary, Medical & Health Shri Mukesh Sharma signed the MoU on behalf of the State Government while Trustee of Tata Trust Shri R. Venkatramanan signed on behalf of the Tata Trust and Shri Ashok Alexander signed on behalf of the Antara Foundation.
Shiv Nadar, Founder and Chairman, HCL and a lead sponsor of the Antara Foundation when contacted commented, “this programme could transform the maternal and child health scenario in Rajasthan. The positive approach of the State Government towards Public Private Partnership in a sector like health is commendable. Antara has impressive credentials to lead this ambitious programme on ground as well”.