Parliamentarians launch Alliance for Reproductive Health in India

Citizens’ Alliance for Reproductive Health and Rights

1 FEBRUARY 2012 | INDIA - Parliamentarians in India have launched the “Citizens’ Alliance for Reproductive Health and Rights” as a parliamentarian response to take collective action for improved reproductive health for the people of India. The Alliance launched at an event in Delhi on November 30, 2011.

A unique leadership initiative, the Alliance has created a platform to bring together parliamentarians across party lines to combine their energies and strengthen efforts toward promoting reproductive health and population stabilization. This initiative focuses on creating a network of parliamentarians who, through their efforts, will spearhead awareness generation in their constituencies, thus creating a ripple effect to become a catalyst for change.

The call to action for parliamentarians was extremely well received. Led by Member of Parliament (MP) Naveen Jindal, more than 15 MPs from the high focus states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Assam, Sikkim, Meghalaya, and Jharkhand came together across the political parties and showed solidarity and commitment for the Alliance. These MPs represent a young cadre of emerging leaders promoting social change in India, with maternal, infant, and child mortality chief among their concerns. Champions of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, India such as Ms. Shivani Wazir Pasrich, Ms. Suptapa Deb along with representatives from MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation also participated in the event.

In addition to the MPs, experts, development professionals, social workers, and media also joined in the launch. A technical presentation by A. K. Shiva Kumar, Member, High-level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage, highlighted the current status of maternal and child health and rights and the need to reposition family planning to ensure reproductive health. CEDPA India, the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, India (WRAI) and the Health Policy Project (HPP) in India, as technical partners to the Citizens’ Alliance, supported the Alliance leaders to host the event and design key advocacy presentations and messages. CEDPA India and WRAI will continue to collaborate with the Citizens’ Alliance to strengthen the advocacy work with the parliamentarians.