Mumbai, October 5, 2009: Leading activist for social causes Shabana Azmi and popular star celebrity Priyanka Chopra today launched a nation-wide campaign for renewed commitment to ensure the survival of millions of newborns and children under age 5.
“It is a tragedy that 2 million children die before their fifth birthday in India – that’s one child every 15 seconds. Every one of us has a role to play in saving the lives of children. Together we can stop children dying needlessly,” Shabana Azmi said at a well-attended launch of Save the Children’s new campaign, EVERY ONE that calls for a renewed focus on saving newborns.
“Millions of children are dying across India from easily preventable diseases. Which of these children has the right to survive? EVERY ONE of them! But that will be possible only when we create a movement for change when EVERY ONE of us gets involved – the youth, media, corporates, the government – the power of EVERY ONE will change the world for children!” said Priyanka Chopra as she placed her palm print on a massive wall to signal her commitment to the cause.
A new Save the Children report reveals that over four lakh newborns in India die in the first 24 hours of life every year, the highest anywhere in the world. They are among the two million children who die within 24 hours of birth all over the world.
What makes this news more tragic is the fact that these deaths could be easily prevented. In nearly all cases, the infections and conditions that are the direct causes of death within the first 28 days of a child’s life are preventable and treatable with proven low-cost interventions.
Save the Children, the international child rights organisation, has therefore launched EVERY ONE, its biggest global campaign in India and in 40 countries across the world to call for renewed commitment to ensuring the survival of millions of newborns and children under age 5.
To provide community context and insights into the issues of maternal and child health including loss of young children, mothers and representatives drawn from typical local communities being served by our NGO partner Muktangan* were invited to meet Shabana and Priyanka.