Notes from the
Webinar of South Asian Affiliates of IPPNW
26th September 2020
A Webinar of the South Asian affiliates of IPPNW was held on 26th September 2020 on “Combating Triple Threat - COVID 19, Climate Change and Arms Race”. Webinar was attended by representatives of IPPNW affiliates from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India.
The session was:
Chaired by Dr Kamrul H Khan Regional Vice President of International Physician for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and President Physicians for Social Responsibility Bangladesh (PSRB)
Moderated by Dr Arun Mitra Co-President IPPNW
Main speakers: Maj. Gen. (Retd) Vinod Saighal,
Dr Meghnath Dhimal - Chief of Research Division, Nepal Health Research Council
Dr Suvrat Raju – Theoretical Physicist from Bangalore
Dr Sarwar Ali – Founder President IPPNW Bangladesh
The Panelists included:
Dr Asoka Hettiracchhi – General Secretary Sri Lankan Doctors for Peace and
Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman - General Secretary, Indian Doctors for Peace and
Dr Tipu Sultan – President Pakistan Doctors for Peace and
Dr Arun Dixit – General Secretary, Physicians for Social Responsibility Nepal(PSRN)
Dr S S Soodan President IDPD welcomed all the participants with a caution to be prepared for a hard struggle to meet the three above mentioned challenges.
Maj. Gen. (Retd) Vinod Saighal in his presentation on “Post COVID Global Scenario” warned that the military industrial complex is steadily increasing its arms expenditure despite the COVID crisis. This is likely to continue and threaten the mankind. Asia has become the centre of wars at present and has maximum number of nuclear weapons possessing countries viz India, Pakistan, China, Israel and North Korea. He also said that it is important for the global community to work for carbon mitigation. Nuclear menace must be checked.
Dr Meghnath Dhimal - Chief of Research Division, Nepal Health Research Council in his presentation on “Challenge of Climate Change” highlighted the dangers on human life by global warming which is resulting in rise in the ocean levels and also changes in the diseases patterns. He called for a concerted global effort to meet this. It is important to achieve zero emission by 2050. Two degree centigrade rise in temperature can seriously affect the life of 50 million people.
Dr Suvrat Raju – Theoretical Physicist from Bangalore said that South Asia is endangered by the ongoing arms race between India and Pakistan. The nuclear doctrines of the two countries can at any time add to the flash point and trigger use of nuclear weapons. Whereas the pandemic should have been a warning to reduce the spending on arms but instead there is a danger that the governments may divert the attention of the people from their failure to tackle the pandemic effectively and raise the bogey of threat from the other.
Dr Sarwar Ali – Founder President IPPNW Bangladesh asked for a continuous dialogue between the South Asian countries to achieve a lasting peace. He referred to Indo Pak relations in particulars which need to be improved through mutual dialogue. There is need to reduce the economic disparities through inclusive growth.
Dr Asoka Hettiracchhi cautioned that violence is a serious threat and this culture has to be checked through affective peoples participation. The US is continuously increasing the arms expenditure and its missile programmes.
Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman said that health should be at the centre stage of all planning. Hungry and malnourished people cannot contribute to development.
Dr Tipu Sultan said that it is unfortunate that India and Pakistan are spending huge amount on the arms race. Mutual dialogue is must.
Dr Arun Dixit expressed grave concern at the increasing socio economic disparities which become one of the causes of conflict. He said that the PSR Nepal is much concerned about the ratification of the TPNW by his government. For this they had organized a South Asian IPPNW affiliates’ delegation and met the Foreign Minister, Speaker of the House and advisor of Prime Minister. They assured the delegation of early action in this regard.
Initiating the discussion:
Dr G M Malik Vice President IDPD said that Kashmir is sitting on power keg. Any conflict involving India, Pakistan and China directly effects Kashmir region. The stand-off between India and China at the LAC is a very serious matter. He appealed for urgent measures for nuclear disarmament in the region and for continuous dialogue to reduce the tension.
Dr Sharad Onta from Nepal said that coming together is the only way to move forward.
Dr Bharat Pardhan from Nepal appealed for a public campaign for health and peace.
Dr Shankar Rai from Nepal demanded that once the vaccine against COVID is ready it must be provided equally to the people around the globe without any socio economic disparities.
Dr Bansidhar Mishra Nepal Ambassador to Bangladesh said that South Asia must revive SAARC and make it effective.
The webinar decided to write to all heads of the states in South Asia asking for nuclear disarmament and diversion of funds to health.
Dr Arun Mitra
Dr Kamrul H Khan
Regional Vice President South Asia IPPNW
Notes from the Webinar
South Asian Affiliates of IPPNW, held on 2nd August 2020
A Webinar of the South Asian affiliates of IPPNW was held on 2nd August 2020 on Combating Triple Threat - COVID 19, Climate Change and Arms Race. Webinar was attended by representatives of IPPNW affiliates from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India. It was chaired by Dr Kamrul H Khan Regional Vice President of IPPNW and was moderated by Dr Arun Mitra Co-President IPPNW. Bjorn Hilt, Chair of the IPPNW Board made his pleasant presence in the webinar. Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Vinod Saighal honoured the event with his participation.
Various speakers in the webinar gave their view point on the situation of COVID in their respective countries. There was a general consensus that the governments were late in responding to the crisis. Therefore barring Sri Lanka all the countries have high number of cases. Fortunately the mortality rate in all the South Asian countries is not too high for the reasons unknown till date. Whereas initially the disease spread more among the affluent section of the society but gradually the lower income group too have been affected. Poor public health system in the countries of South Asia became a cause for spread of the disease to this extent. Delayed response to the crisis led to inadequacy in the preparation to face the disease in this specific situation when we do not have sufficient knowledge about the spread and effects of virus. Due to restricted activities as a result of lockdown the economic crisis that ensued affected the marginalized sections of the society very gravely. This has led to serious issues of hunger and nutrition deficiency among the low income groups. This is bound to have a long lasting impact on the health of the children in particular. Unfortunately there was poor support by the governments in most of the places. Mental health issues which became grave in such situation have been broadly ignored by the governments. The meeting decried violation of human rights by the governments in different places who tackled the pandemic like a law and order problem. The situation got chaotic as the politicians took over and public health principles were ignored. Professionals should be allowed to handle the medical issues and ensure care and safety of corona warriors. The meeting opined that public health issues are common in the South Asian countries. There is need for respective governments to join hands together and with civil society.
There was satisfaction at that there is global effort being made to produce the vaccine, but there is skepticism that the vaccines will be used for making profits by the companies because of which these will be out of reach of the poor sections. Therefore it was demanded that the vaccine should not be patented in the interest of the global community particularly the poor countries and equality in its distribution and use among the public at large has to be ensured. The meeting was of the concerted opinion that the South Asian countries should have coordinated among themselves and learnt from each-others success stories. But this did not happen. Still there is time and opportunity is not lost. The forums like SAARC should come forward to make such cooperation happen. Therefore it is imperative that the South Asian countries should shun the arm race and spend money on tackling the COVID, producing vaccine and on health in the long run. It was decided to write a joint letter to all the heads of states demanding the following:
On the eve of 75th anniversary of atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki an appeal was made to India and Pakistan as well as to China to shun the nuclear weapons and declare the region as a nuclear free zone and join the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) as a step forward to abolition of nuclear weapons.
Bjorn Hilt, Chairman of the IPPNW Board gave an account of the situation of COVID – 19 in Nordic countries in particular and Europe in general. He informed that next world congress which was due to be held in Mombasa in May this year has been postpone to the fall of 2021.
Meeting held special discussion on the 75th anniversary of atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and expected from the global community to learn from that event and desist from arms race and join the TPNW. It was decided to observe in some form or the other the events to pay homage to the victims of atomic bombing in Japan in 1945. It was also decided to hold a South Asian seminar on 26th September 2020, the UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
Various affiliates expressed their earnest desire to participate in the world congress in 2021 but expressed inability to commit the numbers at this moment because of uncertainty in the COVID situation. They informed Bjorn that as the situation improves each affiliate will communicate about it.
The meeting felt that we should start working on a blueprint for a post- covid 19 world order as suggested by Maj. Gen. (Retd) Vinod Saighal.
Those who participated in the deliberations include Doctors Tipu Sultan – President Pakistan Doctors for Peace and Development (PDPD), Kamrul H Khan – Regional Vice President IPPNW & President PSR Bangladesh, AKM Salek – General Secretary PSR Bangladesh, Sharad Onta – President PSR Nepal, Arun Dixit – General Secretary PSR Nepal, Sarita Pandey - Nepal, Shankar Rai - Nepal, Asoka Hettiaracchi – President Sri Lankan Doctors for Peace and Development (SDPD), S S Soodan – President - IDPD, Arun Mitra – Co-President IPPNW, Satyajit Kumar Singh – Senior Vice President IDPD, Ravindranath – Vice President IDPD, Jeetendra Singh – Secretary IDPD, Balbir Singh - India, Sham Sunder Deepti - India, Jaswinder Singh - India, Shanthi-India, Anjli Mehta-India, Mej. Gen. (Retd) Vinod Saighal - India, Chetna Singh – India, Shakti Kumar – India , Bjorn Hilt – Chairman of the Board IPPNW.
It was also decided to make such webinars or web meetings a regular feature. Dr Kamrul concluded the meeting with special thanks to Bjorn who attended the webinar especially on behalf for IPPNW Board.
The participants at the international seminar ”Against the Bomb: for Peace, Health and Development” expressed deep concern at the ongoing violence around the globe. Even ‘low intensity conflicts’ involving nuclear weapons powers as in South Asia and Northeast Asia can pose a threat of escalation which could lead to the actual use of nuclear weapons. The seminar was organized by Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) and Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), India on 14-15 March 2020 at India International Centre, New Delhi. The seminar was attended by 65 participants from 13 states, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Manipur, Assam, Nagaland and J & K. The Co President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Dr Tilman Ruff sent a very effective video message for the seminar. Former President of IPPNW, Dr.Vappu Taipale and Ilka Taipale also sent their video messages.
The subjects discussed at the seminar included Abolition of Nuclear Weapons – the Way Forward, Building Peace Movement in the subcontinent, Arms Race in South Asia – Imminent Dangers and the Way Ahead, Militarization, Nuclearization and Climate Change – A Threat to Future Generations, Organised Violence - Challenge for Health (in reference to violence in Delhi), Climate Protection - Renewable vs Nuclear energy and the Health Scenario in India.
Prominent speakers include Dr Arun Mitra – Co President IPPNW, Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman – General Secretary IDPD, Maj Gen. (Retd.) Vinod Saighal, Achin Vanaik - CNDP, Anil Chaudhary - CNDP, Dr Dinesh Varshney, Dr Satyajit Kumar Singh, Dr Ajay Mishra, Dr Dori Lall, Dr Sonali, Dr Vaishali Patil, Dr Nara Singh, Dr Manglem Singh, Dr Yudhisthir Dass, Dr Asis Debbarma, Dr J.K.Ghosh, Dr Dharmendra Kumar, Ms.Amarjeet Kaur, Ms.Wahida Ismail, N.D. Jayprakash, Dr Sadanandam, Dr Bibha Singh, Dr Akhilesh Aggarwal.
The session on dialogue with youth and students was chaired by Dr Chetna Hans. Others who participated in the discussion in this session included Dr Gaganpreet Singh, Dr Hemant Rathore, Dr Suraj Dhillon, Mr.Vicky Mahesri, Dr.Bharti Sharma.
The seminar decided to strengthen the peace movement and took the following decisions:
10th October 2019 Jammu, Dr Arun Mitra – Co President IPPNW and Dr S S Soodan – President IDPD and Dr Neera held an interactive session with a group of students at Acharya Shrichand College of Medical Sciences (ASCOMS) Jammu. They asked the students to step up the activities for peace and health which is particularly important in the present situation.
Medical students motivated to work for peace and health - IDPD Meet at Jammu
28th October 2019 Jammu, Dr. Aanieq Moghal of Acharya Shrichand College of Medical Sciences (ASCOMS) Jammu addressed the students of First profs on the aims and objects of IDPD and IPPNW. He explained them the workings and aims of the organization and the activities done in the past. He urged the young doctors to be to join hands with IDPD from the very beginning and explained the registration process. Students showed a lot of enthusiasm and came in good numbers for registration.
Press conference by Dr Arun Mitra on health situation in Kashmir
HEALTH SHOULD NOT BE A VICTIM OF POLITICAL MACHINATIONS
People reeling in stress conditions
AN EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT OF HEALTH SCENARIO IN KASHMIR VALLEY
Healthcare is a fundamental right of every citizen. Under no circumstances it should become victim particularly under politically made situation. There have been several reports about health care problems in the Kashmir valley after imposition of curbs on 5th August 2019. Dr Arun Mitra, Co-President International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear war (IPPNW) a Nobel Peace Prize winning organization in 1985 and then in 2017 as a partner in International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and Senior Vice President Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) visited the Kashmir valley in this regard to assess the health care situation there after imposition of curbs. Some doctors belonging to Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH) had requested the union Home Minister to facilitate their visit to the valley to assess healthcare situation. But it is unfortunate the minister did not care to reply. The issue was highlighted after Dr. Omar, a Urologist was detained when he requested for removal of curbs on movement of doctors and patients and ensure supply of medical equipment needed for Dialysis and other problems.
Psychological problems are plenty and are going to take toll of the society in times to come. The people are living under extreme stress with a defeatist feeling and being cheated. They fear talking about their feelings to anyone. There is total lack of trust. There is a general feeling among the population that over 11000 thousand people have been detained and sent to other states. They are being put in jails in Agra, Delhi and other places and that they are being maltreated in extremely inhuman conditions. Such information increases the stress and fills the people with anger and helplessness. Children are not attending schools for over 70 days. They are full of stress and anger. Small children ask their parents why they are not going to school. They miss their friends and class and fear losing their career. Colleges too are closed. Young boys are very angry and stressed up. The parents are always afraid that if the children go to school what is the guarantee that they will come back safe. Since they do not have any communication system they feel it dangerous to be disconnected from children.
There is difficulty in connectivity with the doctor. In the event of emergency the patients are not able to call their doctor because of absence of telecommunication services. Only land lines are working that too erratically. A miniscule population has land line telephones. Even communication amongst the doctors is not there. This affects cross consultation among doctors. In the absence of public transport system people find it very hard to take the patient to doctor particularly from far flung areas.
There is problem of supply of drugs particularly the anti-cancer and anti-diabetic drugs. In the absence of internet, placing order for supply of drugs and medical equipment is very difficult including billing.
Since no business activity is going on people’s economic situation is deteriorating. Daily wage earners and small business, the transporters and the Shikara people are affected very hard. As a result of apprehension of some drastic action by the government people had stocked staple food like rice. This would finish soon. That would be a serious situation. People from low socio economic strata were quite vocal about that their first necessity is food to live which is getting difficult every day. It is obvious that when there is no proper nutrition health is going to suffer.
Suggestions to improve health services:
Any increase in tension between India and Pakistan is going to be dangerous since the two countries are nuclear possessing powers. Any escalation in tension between the two could pose threat of use of nuclear weapons which would be disastrous for the whole world and would put over 2 billion people at risk of starvation and death. Therefore no such steps should be taken from either side which could worsen the situation. For this dialogue between the two countries is essential.
It is important to make situation conducive for a detailed health study by independent groups.
Dr Arun Mitra
Need for persistent united movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons
Call by the International Practical-Scientific Antinuclear Conference held at Astana, Kazakhstan 18 September 2019
Kazakhstan had to bear maximum brunt of the nuclear detonations. In all 456 (340 underground and 116 aboveground) nuclear tests were conducted in Semipalatinsk region since 1949. These had serious health and environmental impact on the population. People of the area started anti nuclear movement under the leadership of a leading poet of Mr. Suleimenov Olzhas demanding ban on these tests. Ultimately they succeeded and the tests were banned in 1989 and the area was closed in 1991. This movement has been known as International Anti Nuclear Movement Neveda Semey.
A commemorative conference was held at Astana which related the movement to the present day context. Dr Arun Mitra, Co-President IPPNW was invited to address the inaugural plenary session. While upholding the success story of the Neveda Semey movement he called upon all the anti nuclear movements worldwide to unite for complete abolition of nuclear weapons. It is imperative, he said, that all nuclear weapons possessing countries join the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which was passed by the UN General Assembly with 122 votes in favour and only one vote against on 7th July 2017. He cautioned that this opportunity should not be missed. There are several low level conflict zones at present the world. These conflicts can escalate into larger wars where use of nuclear weapons may not be ruled out. South Asia is a serious conflict zone. Any nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would put two billion people at risk globally.
The conference was addressed by representative from UNESCO, Minister of Culture & Sports Kazakhstan and speakers from Germany, Italy, India, Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, China, Japan and France. In addition there were several presentations by Kazakh delegates.
(Text of the speech by Dr Arun Mitra is attached herewith)
IDPD National Conference demands all nuclear weapons possessing countries to join TPNW
To work for Universal Healthcare
The 11th National Conference of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala called upon the nuclear weapons possessing countries to join the treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons (TPNW). The treaty was passed by the UN General assembly two years ago on 7thJuly 2017 by 122 countries voting in favour and only one against it. It was a moral defeat of the nuclear weapons possessing countries who did not join the deliberations. They should respect the global opinion for complete nuclear disarmament. Several areas of the world are having low level conflicts which have potential to escalate into larger wars. In such situations possibility of use of nuclear weapons cannot be ruled out. Our own region south Asia is under serious threat because of brewing tension between India and Pakistan. This has to be checked urgently the conference felt. It is unfortunate, the conference further felt that our government is entering into agreements with various countries to make arms for export purpose. This will seriously take away resources from social needs including health and education.
Healthcare in our country is already in serious crisis. Every year 6.3 crore people are pushed below poverty line as a result of out of pocket expenditure on health. Nearly 40% of people have to borrow money for indoor care and 25% for outdoor care. The Ayshman Bharat does not at all fulfill the healthcare needs of the people. It is meant for only 40% of population that too with several strings. There is no coverage for outpatient care while 70% of out of pocket expenditure is incurred on outpatient care. There is need for universal healthcare to be delivered by the government directly. The Ayshman Bharat is a scheme to give doles to the insurance companies and private sector. Conference noted with concern that there is no policy to streamline drug prices. This has to be done on priority basis.
The conference noted with concern healthcare situation in Kashmir. Curbs on movement of doctors and patients should be relaxed so that people can access to healthcare facilities freely. Check on movement is affecting supply of food and other essential material. This directly affects the nutrition and health particularly of the children. Government’s claim that healthcare situation is normal need to be reconfirmed by independent groups. For this willing doctors from other parts of the country should be allowed to go there to assess the situation an offer medical care if needed.
Conference also demanded a central act to prevent violence against doctors. Such incidents inhibit doctors from performing duties ethically. There is need for patient – public interactions for this.
Students conference cautioned against the national medical commission which will jeopardize the medical education system. It will make the education more expensive which in turn have effect on health care cost. Concerns of various states should be kept in mind while dealing with the admission process and other issues about medical education. Many students gave their presentations in the conference.
The conference elected the following team to carry forward the activities:
Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat
Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Vinod Saighal
Dr Santokh Singh
Dr S S Soodan
Sr Vice President
Dr Satyajit Kumar Singh
Dr Arun Mitra
Dr Navinder Singh Bawa
Dr Tejbir Singh
Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman
Dr V Sadanandam
Dr Dharmendra Kumar
Dr Jeetendra Singh
Dr Sajeed A
Dr Gaganpreet Singh
Md. Rakibuddin, Manipur
Hariganesh, Tamil Nadu
Dr Sham Sunder Deepti
Dr Nilima Pathak
Dr B Ranga Reddy
Dr Anil Pathak
Dr Anjali Mehta
Dr Balbir Singh
Dr Vasudevan K R
Dr Jasvinder Singh
Dr Karan Singh Chauhan
Dr Aneesh T S
Dr Mohan Lal
Dr Narjit Kaur
Dr Nirmal Dhiman
Dr Rajeev Munjal
Dr Asis Debburma
Dr B N Saha
Dr Shyam Sunder Telengana
Dr Sampath Rao
Dr Surinder Singh Sidhu
Dr Suwarna Fronseka
Dr Chourjeet Singh
Dr Tej Ram Garg
North East - Md. Rakibuddin
South - Vennela Vundinty
Central - Ankit Kumar
Small Arms Project - Onam Gupta
Laithangbam Surjit Singh
Thiyam Pinkey Devi
Ankit K V -
4-6 August: Hiroshima day commemoration in Kathmandu Nepal
6 August 2019: Homage to the victims of Hiroshima atomic bombing at Bassi Pathana, Punjab.
9th August 2019 Nagasaki Day commemorated by planting saplings at Malwa Khalsa School for girls Ludhiana, Punjab.
9th August 2019 Homage to victims of atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki , Japan at Nasik, Maharshtra.
Date: 28 July 2019
Doctors as saviours of mankind – Dr Arun Mitra addresses the medical fraternity in Bikaner
Dr Arun Mitra – Co President IPPNW called upon the medical fraternity to come forward and save the mankind from the catastrophe which could occur in the event of a nuclear exchange. Addressing a meet ‘Save the Saviour’ at Bikaner, Rajasthan as chief guest on 28th July, he gave details of the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. He referred to the study that over two billion people would be put at risk in the event of a limited nuclear exchange between India & Pakistan and also that in the event of nuclear exchange between the major nuclear powers whole of modern civilisattion could extinct. The event was organized by the magazine ‘Medical Buzz’ and attended by 375 doctors from Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. Dr Rajeev Munjal the chief editor of the magazine endorsed the views of Dr Mitra and assured of continuous support to the peace movement. The representatives of IDPD Rajasthan chapter Dr Dharmendra Kumar Verma, Dr Rameshwar Bhambu, Dr Tirath Sharma, Dr Manohar Swami and Dr Sohan Lal Saini actively participated in the event.
IDPD seminar on Peace, Health & Development at IDS Sehora, Jammu
To commemorate the second anniversary of signing the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) by the united nations general assembly on 7th July 2017 and to create awareness in the society on the dangers of war, violence and nuclear proliferation in the region, a seminar on the theme ‘Peace, Health and Development’ was held by the IDPD (Indian Doctors for Peace and Development) at the Institute of Dental Sciences, Sehora, Jammu on 9th July 2019.
Dr Arun Mitra, the first Indian Co-President of IPPNW was the chief guest. He deliberated on the topics of healthcare, education, poverty and other socio-economic issues prevalent in the society. He outlined the contributions of the medical profession and the role of civil society all over the world on prevention of war and violence for a safe and healthy planet for future generations. It is imperative, he said that the nuclear weapons are abolished for good and the money being wasted be diverted for health and education. It is important that both India and Pakistan should hold dialogue to sort out the issues. Nuclear rhetoric will lead to mutually assured destruction.
Dr S.S Soodan, National President of IDPD (Indian Doctors for Peace and Development) highlighted the responsibilities and efforts of IDPD on promotion of Peace, Health and Development in India and stressed upon the significance of such awareness campaigns all over the country.
The Chairman Institute of Dental sciences, Dr R.K Suri and the entire management committee were appreciated by the IDPD for organizing this event in the premises of their Institute to promote issues on health, peace and development amongst the future doctors of the state. The Principal IDS, Dr Harvinder Singh, Vice Principal Dr Sarbjeet Singh, other faculty members and the students from IDS and Ascoms, Jammu actively participated in the seminar. Dr Bhavneet kaur, Head Department of Paediatric Dentistry and a member IDPD conducted the programme and also presented the vote of thanks.
Later in the day Dr Arun Mitra and Dr S S Soodan addressed a press conference.
Report of seminar on Healthcare Education Policy
A two days conference was organized on 29th and 30th June 2019 at the Lyallpur Khalsa College for Women, Jalandhar to debate the National Education Policy. On the second day, the 30th June deliberations were held on ‘Healthcare Education policy’ which is a component of the national education policy draft now in public domain. The event was attended by educationists from various fields and from different parts of Punjab. Main speakers included Dr Tejbir Singh – former Director Research and Medical Education Punjab and former Principal Govt. Medical College Amritsar and Vice Pesident Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), Dr Surinder Singh Sidhu-Professor of Anaesthesia Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences Jalandhar and Dr Arun Mitra- Sr. Vice President IDPD and member Core Committee Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH).
Dr Tejbir Singh said that medical education system is based on the healthcare system being promoted. The Bhore committee, way back in 1943, had come out with proposals of Healthcare for all citizens to be provided by the state irrespective of her/his socioeconomic status. This seemed to be the direction in early post-independence period. But in 1980s the whole scenario shifted. Even the WHO changed its stance under the pressure from the multinational corporations. The whole concept of medical education to produce social physicians changed to produce doctors to serve the corporate hospitals. Thus the concept of General Physicians got diluted. As a result we find mushrooming of private medical colleges which charge exorbitant tuition fees leading to reservation of seats in the medical colleges for the affluent sections. There is need to produce doctors who take care for the rural population. The whole concept of healthcare has to change to make the medical education responsive to the needs of society.
Dr Arun Mitra said that there is need for a public movement to make healthcare education pro-people. Unfortunately there is not big movement in the country on health issues. He cited that since 1990 till 2017 there have been opened 238 medical colleges in the country in Private Sector and only 115 in the state sector. Now the government wants to introduce exit exam which will be an additional burden on the students. The NEET too has several flaws in diverse country of ours where there are many state specific situations in the field of education. The government’s proposal to govern tuition fees only in 40% seats and leave the rest 60% to the private managements’ decision will be detrimental he cautioned.
Dr Surinder Sidhu cited the example of handing over the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Jalandhar which was built by the government to the Fortis group in the name of PPP. This amounts to handing over the state property to the corporates at throw away prices.
Principal Tarsem Bahiya said that citizen’s committees need to be formed on such issues of public importance. Dr Navjot Kaur , Principal of the host college said that such interactions should be taken down to the people. Others who addressed include Shri Satnam Channa, Shri Ramesh Nayyr, Dr N P Siingh and several educationists. The talks were followed by a healthy debate on the issue.
The event was co-organized by Jai Punjab Forum and Lyallpur Khalsa College for Women Jalandhar.
Dr Arun Mitra
The BMJ South Asia collection 2020 Authors consultation – May 29, Dubai
Doctors from South Asian countries expressed concern over the uncertainties in South Asia due to continued rhetoric by the governments of India and Pakistan in the recent period. In a meeting organized by the British Medical Journal on 29th May 2019 in Dubai. Medical professionals from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka gathered in “The BMJ South Asia collection 2020 Authors consultation”. The meeting discussed at length the health scenario in the region. They dwelt on the need for effective implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) on health. The important focus of the discussion was goal 16 of the SDGs which lays stress on sustainable peace. Various speakers highlighted the need for mutual dialogue to sort out the issues among nations and demanded more people to people exchange to remove mistrust in the region. There was consensus on that the region should be nuclear weapon free and for this India and Pakistan should join the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Dr Arun Mitra, who represented IPPNW and IDPD, gave an account of Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear War. He shared his experience of having dialogue with the decision makers in Nepal. He informed that soon similar dialogue will be held in the Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Dr.Kamran Abbasi from the editorial staff of BMJ told that they plan to bring out a special issue on South Asia in January 2020. Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta from Pakistan said that they would give inputs in the upcoming issue of the BMJ collectively by the doctors from India and Pakistan on the question of nuclear disarmament in the region.
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) are perturbed at the escalation of tension between India and Pakistan. The ongoing air strikes will lead to development of extremely serious situation. In the statement Dr S S Soodan- President IDPD, Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman- General Secretary and Dr Arun Mitra- Sr. Vice President IDPD said that we demand both governments of Indian & Pakistan to show restraint and avoid any war like situation. We further demand immediate measures from both sides to de-escalate the situation and de-militarize borders by withdrawing troops to the peace time level.
We also take serious note of the negative role of by some of electronic media in eulogizing the war. They should stop such programmes and talk of peace instead. We demand from the governments of both Pakistan and India to initiate meaningful dialogue involving various stake holders.
Dr Arun Mitra
Sr. Vice President
Make Health a Fundamental Right
Seminar on “Present Health Scenario in India” at Amritsar
A seminar on “Present Health Scenario in India” held at Amritsar on 17th February 2019 at Virsa Vihar demanded Health to be declared as Fundamental Right. Pushing the health to the private sector outright will further marginalize the already deprived section. Government should fulfill its responsibility to give healthcare to all. The seminar was organized jointly by the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), Folklore Research Academy, Virsa Vihar Society, Social Medicine Association and Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH). Addressing the seminar Dr Tejbir Singh, Vice President IDPD and former Principal Govt. Medical College Amritsar said that even though India is signatory to the Alma Ata Declaration, but it has failed to take steps for Healthcare to all. Successive governments have given least importance to health and have withdrawn their hands off responsibility to provide health care to the citizens. With the change in economic policies of neo liberalism under globalization healthcare has been left at the mercy of private sector. People have to shelve money for expenses on health from their pocket which is pushing 6.3 crore population below poverty line every year. Public spending on health is as low as 1.1% of the GDP as against the required minimum of 5%. Expenditure on preventive care is only 9.6%. There is no linkage of healthcare model to the nutritional needs, job security, housing, clean drinking water supply and sanitation.
Dr Arun Mitra – Senior Vice President of IDPD and member core committee of the ADEH regretted that even after so many years there is no rational drug policy. More than 67% expenses on health is on drugs. There is huge profit margin on drugs. Even the government’s own committee on trade margins had pointed out this fact in 2015 and recommended capping of the trade margin to a maximum of 35%. But no action has been taken by the government. As a result the patients are being fleeced. He pointed out that public sector pharmaceutical units have been producing cheap bulk drugs for not only India but also for several other countries. He demanded that there should be a rational drug policy based on one drug one price, trade margin at not more that 35%, price of the medicines should be fixed based on the cost involved on its production and strengthening of public sector pharmaceutical units. He said that there is need to make healthcare a public agenda.
Dr Sham Sunder Deepti – Prof. Community Medicine Govt. Medical College Amritsar said India has to adopt a people centric healthcare model. But unfortunately we have adopted the US model of purchasing the healthcare. The much propagated Ayshman Bharat is limited to less than half population, that too only for inpatient care. The whole exercise is also to benefit the insurance companies. There is project based piecemeal approach in healthcare. This has to be changed with comprehensive model of healthcare.
Dr Karamjeet Singh Gill asked the people to be conscious of early detection of disease. They should not take medicines on their own. There is need for proper healthy diet and exercise.
Dr Inderjeet Kaur – former Principal Govt. College for Women compeered the event. Shri Bhupinder Sandhu – President Progressive Writers Association & member Punjabi Sahit Academy welcomed the guest.
Shri Ramesh Yadav - Secretary Folklore society & coordinator of the seminar thanked the speakers for their presentations.
The seminar decided to strive to make health as a public agenda.
Dr Arun Mitra
Round Table Meet on Rising Costs of Life Saving Medicines Is there a limit ?
A round table meet on Rising Costs of Life Saving Medicines – Is there a limit ? was held at Crest Club Gurgaon on 12th February 2019 organised by Straight Drive. The meeting was attended by people from medical profession, law, pharmaceutical industry, corporate hospitals, small scale sector hospital representatives. Shri Mukund Trivedi introduced the subject as a concern for the health of the people who cannot afford such expensive treatment particularly the high cost of drugs. The session was moderated by Shri Pawan Choudary . Shri Jayant Kumar, Father of the girl who had died at Fortis Hospital two years back with Dengue fever, narrated the sorry tale of affairs at the corporate hospital where he was billed Rs.17 Lakh. The details of the bill showed exorbitant charges on the consumables. Different viewpoints were expressed on the cost cutting of medical treatment. Whereas the representatives from the corporate hospitals put forward their views of high expenditure in maintenance of the facility. Dr Arun Mitra highlighted the failure of successive governments in taking care of the health of the people and shying away their responsibility to provide healthcare to its citizens despite being signatory to the Alma Ata declaration. He said that the patent rights under the WTO regime deny the companies in our country from producing cheap bulk drugs. But the government should use the flexibility clause to give license to manufacture by declaring national health emergency. He said that the companies recover the cost on R & D in almost two years therefore the product patent rights for 20 years serves only the developed countries. He suggested following points for bringing down the drug prices:
It was decided to hold similar activities from time to time and make the public aware of their rights.
IPPNW and IDPD organized a workshop on “Prevention of War and Violence – An Ethical Obligation” at the 14th World Congress on Bioethics held at Bengaluru (India) from 5 to 7 December 2018 on the theme HEALTH FOR ALL IN THE UNEQUAL WORLD. Dr Arun Mitra – Co President IPPNW presented the theme paper. Dr Shanthi gave a presentation on “Impact of War and Violence on Women and Children”. Dr Shakeel Ur Rahaman – General Secretary IDPD talked on “Health Status of People Living around Jadugoda Uranium mines”. Dr Navinder Singh – Vice President IDPD chaired the session, Dr Jeetendra Singh – Secretary IDPD moderated the session.
Prabhat Jha and Sakshi, IDPD medical students from Nashik distributed literature among the participants in the congress.
Dr Arun Mitra
IDPD Medical Relief at cyclone – Gaja in Tamil Nadu
Gaja Cyclone affected Pudukkottai,Thanjavur,Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts very badly, more than 52 people died .Heavy economic loss occurred to the people.
IDPD conducted medical camps and provided relief materials to the people affected by the Gaja cyclone.
In Mannakudi near subramaniyapuram of Pudukkottai district a medical camp was held on 2.12.18.Dr.G.R.Ravindranath, Dr.Dhatchinamurthy,Dr.Manimaran, Dr.Umamaheshwari and medical students of Thanjavur medical college under the leadership Hari Ganesh participated in the camp.
Paramedical educational and welfare Association national president Mr.Kalidass participated in the camp and his lab technicians' team provided free blood sugar test to more than 200 people.
Mr.Rajendran AITUC leader and Mr.Rajendran AIYF district secretary, AIKS leader Dhandayudhapani helped to organise the camp.
A medical camp was held on 1.12.18 at L.N.Puram, Aranthangi of Pudukkottai district.
Dr.A.R.Shanthi and Dr.G.R.Ravindranath participated in the camp.Free sugar test was done for more than 50 people by Paramedical lab educational and welfare Association.
In Tholaacherry near Thiruthuraipoondi of Thiruvarur district a medical camp was held on behalf of IDPD and Tamilnadu government contract nurses association on 3.12.18 morning.More than 250 people benefited from the camp. Dr.Lenin of Thiruvarur medical College. Dr.G.R.Ravindranath, IDPD Tamilnadu state general secretary , Nurses' Association office bearers Prabaharan , Chendur Pandi, Paramedical Lab Educational and Welfare Association National President Kalidass and office bearers participated in the camp. Free sugar tests were conducted.
A medical camp was held at Nainankollai near Aalangudi of Pudukkottai district on 1.12.18.IDPD and Doctors' Association for Social Equality organised the camp.More than 300 people benefited from the camp and free sugar tests were also conducted by para medical lab educational and welfare Association.
Dr.G.R.Ravindranath ,General Secretary of IDPD ,Tamilnadu,Dr.A.R.Shanthi DASE state secretary, Dr.K.Ilamaran Government all Doctors Association state vice president, Dr.Mujibur Rahman Pudukkottai district secretary of All India Progressive Forum and Dr.Muhil Vizhi participated in the camp.
First international congress on Health for peace
14-16 Nov Shiraz- Iran
Dr Arun Mitra – Co President IPPNW & Senior Vice President IDPD and
Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman – General Secretary IDPD participated in the congress.
The International Congress on Health for Peace was held in Shiraz from 14-16 November 2018 and hosted by Shiraz University of Medical Sciences.
Dr. Imanieh was a pediatrician, a faculty member of the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences and a consultant to the Minister of Health in Student Affairs, who presided over this congress. Dr. Salehi, the epidemiologist and faculty member of the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, was the scientific secretary of the congress and Dr. Molavi, an epidemiologist. The faculty members of the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences were secretary of the congress.
The Congressional Policy Committee, chaired by Dr. Malekzadeh, Deputy Director of Research and Technology, was the Minister of Health and Medical Education, and at the Ministry of Health, from about six months before the congress, organized regular monthly meetings to examine the various aspects of congressional issues. Compilation of indices and design of various congressional panels. The meeting was attended by bosses and panel administrators, the Presidency of the Congress, the scientific and executive secretary of the Congress, and representatives of international organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Red Cross, UNICEF, UNESCO, the Red Crescent Society and the IPPNW Nuclear Warfare Association.
The Peace Museum of Tehran, as the headquarters of the Iranian Representative of the IRPSR (Iranian Social Responsibility Doctors) Corps, was well-respected at the Congress, supporting the invitation of foreign guests from 4 different countries (Sweden, Germany, England and India) to the presence of guests and foreign professors in the congress has been of great help.
The Veterans Institute of Engineering and Medical Sciences also had a strong presence at the Congress by organizing a panel on the health problems of Iranians and also by inviting foreign guests to work with the Peace Museum of Tehran.
Fars Provincial Governorate, Shiraz Governorate and Municipality and Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Fars province, with their material and spiritual support, helped to organize this congress as well.
The program of the panels held at the Congress is attached to the report.
The guests invited by the Institute of Veterans of Engineers and Medical Sciences of Veterans and the Peace Museum of Tehran were:
1- Dr. Gunnar Westberg, chairman of the SLMK and retired members of the board of directors of the IPPNW
2. Dr. Rebecca Johnson is responsible for the ICAN Financial Committee, members of MEDACT in the United Kingdom and international peace activists.
3- Dr. Arun Mitra, co-president IPPNW & Senior Vice President IDPD.
4- Dr. Shakeel Rahman – General Secretary IDPD.
5. Dr. Katja Goebbels, Member of the Board of the German IPPNW Board
6. Dr. Aino from the board of ICAN Germany
From this list, the second guest, namely, Dr. Johnson, did not receive a visa at the right time and did not attend the congress.
The Iran-Iran Health Impact Panel, which was conducted by the Veterans' Engineering and Veterinary Research Institute, was accompanied by the presence of chemical victims and greatly influenced the screening of documentaries from the severe chemical injury victims.
On the last day of the congress, a joint panel was held with the presence of the representative of Ayatollah Khamenei in Shiraz, a group of religious scholars and medical ethics, and read the message of Dr. MohaqeqDamad of Iran's great jurisprudents and university professors in the field of jurisprudence and ethics. Reviewing the opinions and opinions of religious jurists in the field of peace and medical ethics.
The noon of November 16, with the presence of Dr. Malekzadeh, the Deputy Minister and Head of the Health Research Center of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, was held at the closing ceremony of Congress, and ended with a final statement by the secretary-general of the Congress of International Contracts.
The final statement is attached.
Five policy sessions were held before the congress and two sessions after the congress was held, scheduled for congressional meetings and assessment of congressional feedback.
The first book of the congress was published a month before the congress and the second congressional book was published one month after the congress.
North South Asia IPPNW affiliates to build Pan Asia movement for peace and disarmament
Indian delegation makes effective contribution
The representatives of IPPNW affiliates from North and South Asian countries met at Ulaanbaatar capital of Mongolia to affirm commitment to peace and nuclear disarmament and to build Pan Asia movement for peace in the coming years. The 10th North Asian IPPNW Regional Conference and 3rd North South Asian Meeting held on 13-14 September 2018 at Ulaanbaatar brought together delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, DPRK, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands and Mongolia. In a final statement the meeting expressed deep concern at the ongoing conflicts in different parts of the world. These conflicts can at any time escalate into larger wars and result in use of nuclear weapons. Any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic effect on all life, which could not be effectively addressed. Therefore these weapons must be eliminated completely.
Asia has great diversity and is rich in natural resources. But there are glaring disparities in terms of socio-economic development among the population including in health, education, access to drinking water, sanitation and other basic needs. There is need for huge resources to fulfill these gaps. Tragically parts of the region spend large amounts on arms proliferation, including nuclear weapons. China presently has the 2nd largest military budget and is the 3rd largest arms exporter. India too is aspiring to become an arms exporting country. Pakistan also spends a very high proportion of its GDP on arms.
Asia has the largest number of nuclear weapons possessing countries,five out of nine globally - India, China, Pakistan and North Korea and Israel; with another Eurasian nuclear-armed state, Russia. The continent has suffered the effects of nuclear weapons in Japan in 1945, as well as from nuclear testing in many locations. Parts of the continent including Iraq and Syria have suffered the effects of depleted uranium. There is evidence of serious health effects on the population living around uranium mines. The ongoing conflicts particularly in the Middle East, the wars in Syria and Yemen, and perpetual tension between India and Pakistan are serious threats to peace in the region.
The meeting welcomed the Panmunjom Declaration as a milestone for achieving comprehensive and epochal improvement and development in North-South Korean ties and for bringing a future of peace, common prosperity and independent reunification on the Korean peninsula.
It urged rapid implementation of the Singapore DPRK-US joint statement, recognizing it as a historic document in overcoming decades of tension and hostilities between the two countries, building a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and archiving the goal of turning the Korean peninsula into a nuclear-free zone through complete denuclearization. The meet further supported the Korean people in their struggle to bring about peace, prosperity and reunification on the Korean peninsula. This would be a major contribution to achieving a nuclear-free Asian region and world.
It is a global heath imperative as well as legal obligation that all nuclear-armed nations eliminate their nuclear arsenals as a matter of great urgency. The UNTreaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) provides a pathway for all nations to abolish nuclear weapons. All nations should take that path. The joint statement issued appealed:
It committed to build regional exchange and collaboration between our affiliates in pursuit of our shared goals.
The meeting discussed several important subjects, effects of radiation on human population, effects of nuclear fall outs – immediate and chronic, prospects for peace in Korean Peninsula, Challenges and opportunities for Pan Asia peace movement etc. The dignitaries who spoke in the event include Dr Tilman Ruff – Co President IPPNW, Dr Arun Mitra- Co President IPPNW, Dr. Masao Tomonaga - President of IPPNW North Asia Region, DrDelgertsetseg D – President Mongolian Affiliate IPPNW.
Eleven member Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) delegation included Dr Arun Mitra – Co President IPPNW, Dr Surinder Singh Soodan – President IDPD, Dr Satyajit Kumar Singh – Senior Vice President, Dr Navinder Singh – Vice President, Dr Santokh Singh, Dr Bibha Singh, Dr Rajbir Singh, S.Bhupinder Singh, Ms.Satinder Kaur, Ms.Rita Rajbir Singh and Ms.Rita Singh
Photo Galary Link: http://mppnw.org/gallery
Kerala was devastated by heavy rain and floods few days back. Thousands of people lost everything including homes. To provide medical care to the people affected by floods Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) took immediate steps to help the people. A team of doctors and nurses along with volunteers from the IDPD, Doctors Association for Social Equality, Tamil Nadu Government Contract Nurses Welfare Association (TNGCNWA), AITUC-Working Women’s Forum (WWF) and Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) IIT Madras conducted medical camps in Ernakulam district on 25th and 26th August 2018.
Dr. G.R. Ravindranath, the TN state general secretary of IDPD and Dr.Sajeeth IDPD and AIPF general Secretary of Kerala led the team. Joint-secretary Marimuthu and vice president Sindhan and James of TNGCNWA, Founding member of APSC IITM Swaminathan, AITUC-WWF TN State vice-president Vimala Devi were also part of the team. Veeramani and Srinivasan of TNGCNWA took immediate steps to make the camps a successful one. The medical team visited different parts of the district including the relief camps at Kunnukara and Karumaloor Panchayaths. People were given medical care for diseases caused by contaminated, polluted water. Patients with known cases of hypertension, diabetes and psychiatric problems were provided with required medicines. The trauma caused by the disaster was given proper care. Preventive medicines were provided to the people in the relief camps. House visits were also made. In two days, medical assistance was given to nearly 1500 people.
In Karumaloor Panchayat, a relief camp at Manjaly school was held. It was coordinated by panchayath vice-president Umaitha Yusuf who provided facilities for smooth and successful conduction of the medical camp and gave moral support to both the medical team and the inmates of the camp. Comrade Ravindran, CPI Ernakulam mandal secretary and comrade P. Raju ex-MLA were also present during the camp giving necessary support. Comrade Rajan of Chethu Thozhilali Union and his family gave a warm, friendly and generous hospitality to the 10 member team, though they were also hit worse by the flood. Dr.Sajeeth and his IDPD and AIPF teams coordinated well to conduct the medical camps.
The North America Alumini of Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India, had its annual meeting at Vancouver on 13-14 July 2018. Dr Arun Mitra was invited to speak on "Role of Doctors in Promoting Nuclear Disarmament".
IDPD Events in Manipur 26-27 May 2018
26 May at Kakching
The Indian Delegates who have been to Oslo, Norway on 10th and 11th Dec'17 to witness the Official Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony 2017 as a part of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Team have been felicitated at Jivan,Hospital, kakching in Manipur, India on 26th May'18.
In the reception programme organised under the sponshorship of Dr. Ashok, founder and Managing Director,Jivan Hospital, three indian delegates namely, Dr. Arun Mitra(Co- President, IPPNW), Dr. S.S. Soodan( National President, IDPD), Dr. Yahya Khan, a young Doctor from Manipur working as a Co-ordinating National Students Representative were warmly received and presented Mementos by Dr.M. Nara Singh(Manipur State President, IDPD and former Minister, Manipur).
Acknowledging the landmark treaty, TPNW(Treaty for prevention of Nuclear Weapons) and the remarkable achievement of ICAN for its contribution in bringing out the treaty, the Indian Delegates expressed their strong support and appeal to continue the campaign till the Nuclear Weapons are completely dismantled by the Nuclear possessing countries and the world is free from the threat if Nuclear weapons.
The reception programme which was attended by a large number of intellectuals and supporters of the the Peace movement, concluded by breathtaking Manipuri cultural shows including Manipuri Martial Arts among others under the theme,"Culture For Peace".
27 May at Imphal
On 27th May'18, a GBM, General Body Meeting of IDPD, Manipur state chapter was held at the conference hall of Babina Diagnostics, Imphal, Manipur. The meeting was held in presence of Dr. Arun Mitra(Co-president, IPPNW), Dr. S.S Soodan(National president, IDPD), Dr. M. Nara Singh(President,IDPD manipur chapter and Former Minister, Govt. of Manipur) among many other doctors. In the meeting new office bearers of Manipur state chapter were elected- a total of 30 members gave their consent to be the members and work for IDPD out of which 12 senior doctors were further proposed and accepted unanimously to work as executive members.Dr. M. Nara Singh as the President, Manipur chapter, Dr. Ksh Chourjit Singh and Dr Y. Mohen singh as Vice President,Dr. Ksh Manglem Singh as the state secretary, Dr. Angouba as media Co ordinator and Dr. N. Sadana as treasurer were also elected by the members. The GBM was followed by a press conference in which Dr. Arun Mitra, Dr. S.S Soodan and Dr. M. Nara Singh mentioned about the need of TPNW, Treaty for Prevention of Nuclear Weapons and also expressed IDPD/ IPPNW's concern about the existing tension among various neighbouring countries in different parts of the world and appealed to all sections of people to join the peace movement for a safe and secure future of all.
An International Seminar titled THE LANDMARK TREATY PROHIBITING BUCLEAR WEAPONS- OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES was held at New Delhi on 24th and 25th March 2018. It was organized jointly by Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), Coalition For Nuclear Disarmament & Peace (CNDP) and All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO). The world witnessed an historic event of passage of Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) by the UN General Assembly on July 7th 2017 with a margin of 122 vs one vote. That it happened despite tremendous pressure from nuclear weapon countries, particularly the P5 countries is a big achievement. Unfortunately none of the nuclear weapons possessing countries including the US, Russia, France, UK, China, Israel, Pakistan India and North Korea participated in the deliberations. It therefore has become a challenge that these countries should be made to join the treaty through public campaigns & opinion building and lobbying with the decision makers. The seminar was held as first such activity in a nuclear weapons possessing country with a resolve to hold such activities in other countries who have these weapons of mass destruction.
The seminar dwelt on several issues Global Nuclear Situation- New Vistas Ahead, Nuclear Dangers in South Asia-Reality and Opportunities, Social Dimensions of Nuclearism which included Health Concerns of Arms Race, Gender Concerns in the Event of War and Violence, Impact of Nuclear Arms Race on Development, Media and War Mongering, Prevention of War & Violence and Medical Ethics.
Dr Tilman Alfred Ruff from Australia who is the founding chair of ICAN, Dr Ira Helfand member International Steering Group of ICAN, both Co- Presidents of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) were the key speakers. Dr Tilman Ruff gave a detailed account of the formation of ICAN as a larger campaign of several organisations working for nuclear disarmament. Right from conceptualization of idea by Dr Ron McCoy, former President of IPPNW in 2006 and formal formation of ICAN in 2007 it has been a long drawn process with Australian group playing key role in it. The central point of the campaign has been Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Dr Ruff said. It was a hard task lobbying with several countries and to convince them to vote for the treaty despite all sorts of pressures. Dr Ira Helfand gave details of climatic consequences of nuclear war and explained how the effects could be catastrophic and put over two billion people at risk even if there was a limited nuclear exchange. He further said that a larger nuclear exchange between US and Russia could be end of modern civilization.
Dr S S Soodan – President IDPD lauded the efforts of ICAN in reaching the treaty at the UN and called for a similar broad movement in South Asia.
Ms.Sonya Gupta – General Secretary All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO)and Anil Chaudhary – Founder Member Coalition For Nuclear Disarmament & Peace (CNDP) greeted the conference.
Addressing in the session on Global Nuclear situation-New Vistas Ahead, Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Vinod Saighal cautioned that we are losing time. Ironically nuclear weapons possessing countries are not learning lesson. The seminar, he said is at a right time and in right direction. Such activities need to be followed up consistently. Achin Vanaik, founder member Coalition for Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) in a very articulate manner explained how India is being brought in the trap as US ally to fight against China. India has for last few years has lost its basic tenets of peace. Continued conflicts in different parts of the globe could at any time trigger nuclear conflict. Prabir Purkastha, Vice President AIPSO explained how the prospects of nuclear disarmament in the near future are low because the NWSs are not going to join the TPNW. Struggle however has to continue, he said. Dr Satyajit Kumar Singh – Senior Vice President IDPD said that there should be easy flow of people from one country to other in South Asia. Kelvin Kilbet and Franca Bruggen – The International Student Representatives of IPPNW highlighted the need for involvement of youth in the peace movement.
Speaking in the session on Nuclear Danger in South Asia – Reality and Opportunities, Ms.Lalita Ramdass a social activist stressed on the need for mass movement against the nuclear designs and for this to increase work at the ground level. Shri S P Uday Kumar a leading activist of anti nuclear movement said that nuclear energy is being thrust on our country despite the fact that it is proved to be harmful and hazardous. Those opposing the nuclear energy are being charged as anti national and seditious. Shri Suvrat Raju a theoretical physicist at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research cautioned about ongoing machinations to build nuclear weapons in our country. Dr Bansidhar Mishra – Former Health Minister and leader of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Nepal said that cooperation among SAARC countries must increase and South Asia be declared as nuclear weapon free zone. It is the smaller countries who suffer the most in the situation of war and violence. Dr G M Malik – Vice President IDPD said that it is important to resolve the issues in Kashmir for a lasting peace as the strife situation is adversely affecting the development of the state.
In the session of Social Dimensions of Nuclearism Dr Imrana Quadeer – Former Professor of Public Health in Jawahar Lal Nehru University warned about decreasing public health expenditure and increase in the military budget worldwide. The WHO has lately started promoting individual responsibility over social responsibility for health. Ms.Kamla Bhasin a vociferous women activist said that in any event of war and violence women and children are maximum affected. Toxic and hegemonic masculinity is the root cause of violence. India has lost respect because of nuclear posture. Ms.Reetika Khera Associate Professor (Economics) at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, wanted that only the arms industry gets benefitted from the war rhetoric. She wanted military spending to be brought under Right to Information Act. Ms.Seema Mustafa a leading media personality presented dismal picture of the media which is by and large under the control of corporate sector. The journalists, even the editors are losing their decision making power and have to go by the diktats of the owners of the media under the pressure of the government. Some journalists create war like situation sitting in the studio rooms by talking of hatred and narrow nationalism. They pose war not at dangerous but as something sexy. New information order has to be developed. Dr Sanjay Nagral a gastro surgeon and activist for the promotion of medical ethics said that nuclearism has to be linked with healthcare because of its wasteful expenditure. It is unfortunate that some doctors have forgotten their ethical duty and support nationalism and jingoism. Dr Ravindra Nath – Secretary IDPD said that right to live in dignity should be the fundamental right which is denied in the events of war and violence. Dr Rajani – Secretary IDPD wanted the movement to be spread throughout the region.
Shri Aziz Pasha – Former MP wanted the issues to be taken up with the members of parliament. Dr Tarun Mandal – Former MP said that it is unfortunate that most of the present parliamentarians are not sensitized over the issue. Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar – Former Minister warned about the growing nationalism and seeing the nuclear weapons as strength rather than something to be scorned. It is a dangerous trend that the present government in particular is promoting nuclearism to garner to political advantage without realizing the dangers.
Discussing the strategy in the session on Prescription for Peace Dr N S Bawa – Vice President IDPD called for a joint effort and put pressure on the politicians to make VISA free South Asia. Dr Jeetendra Singh – Secretary IDPD said that there cannot be any complacency in the struggle for peace. Dr Anindya Shams student representative from PSR Bangladesh laid importance on the united struggle by the young doctors and medical students of South Asian Countries. Dr Bimal Khadka former ISR said that medical students around the globe need to be sensitized on the issue of peace and disarmament. Dr Gagandeep Singh – student coordinator IDPD called upon the students to come forward to save the life. Dr Yudhisthir Dass – Secretary IDPD called for wider movement for peace. Dr Anjali Mehta said that we should demand to end war frenzy and try to make disarmament an issue in the upcoming general election next year. Dr Aneesh Maini – National Student Representative IDPD asked the students and young doctors to be connected with the peace movement. Several students and young doctors participated in the deliberations. Dr Dharmendra Kumar from Rajasthan participated in the event.
Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman – General Secretary IDPD who compeered the proceedings of the seminar said that IDPD will plan online petition to the MPs and hold a big event on 1st July 2018, the Doctors Day.
Dr Arun Mitra – Co President IPPNW outlined the programme to meet the decision makers but expressed anguish that none of the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Defense Minister cared to give appointment to the leading representatives of ICAN, the Nobel Laureate organization 2017.
It was planned to have meetings with the decision makers in other South Asian countries to request them to ratify the treaty in their parliaments soon.
Seminar was attended by 164 persons from different states of India including Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Manipur, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh. Countries represented were USA, Australia, Germany, Kenya, Nepal and Bangladesh.
It is unfortunate that the Dialogue with Decision Makers could not happen because of cold shoulder attitude of the Indian government. Even the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Defense Maj. Gen.(Retd.)B.C.Khanduri who had given appointment to the international delegation on 26th March and confirmed it in the morning, backed out of it merely 1.30 hours after that.
24th and 25th March 2018, Deputy Speaker’s Hall Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi 110001
The Landmark Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons Opportunities and Challenges
Deputy Speaker's Hall, Constitution Club, New Delhi
24-25 March 2018
24th March — 2.30 pm to 8 pm 25th March — 9am to 2pm
9.00am to 1.30pm:
Medical students workshop
Jawaharlal Nehru National Youth Centre, DDU Marg, New Delhi to be conducted by Kelvin Kipkoech Kibet Franca Lilith Brüggen (International Students Representatives IPPNW)
1.30pm -2.00pm :
2.00pm -2.30pm :
Short Film on Nuclear Weapons
Seminar -Inaugural session Tilman Ruff, Co President IPPNW & Founding Chair ICAN -The treaty banning nuclear weapons: our best hope.
Ira Helfand, Co President IPPNW & Member International Steering Group of ICAN -The relevance of Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN in reference to humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.
4.30pm - 6.15pm:
Global Nuclear Situation- new vistas ahead
Nuclear Dangers in South Asia- Reality and Opportunities
9.00am - 11.00am:
Social Dimensions of Nuclearism
11.15am - 1.15pm:
Dialogue with Parliamentarians
1.15pm - 2.30pm :
Prescription for peace - Strategy Planning for Future
Despite ongoing tensions in various parts of the world, the year 2017 ended with a positive note. The historic Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) passed by the UN General Assembly on th7 July, henceforth a red letter day in history. This has raised many hopes for achieving a future and better world without nuclear weapons. Any use of nuclear weapons now would be much more catastrophic than what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The studies on the climatic consequences of even a limited nuclear conflict have predicted that over two billion people would be at risk of starvation. Moving ahead with creating the agenda for a nuclear weapons free world, several organizations joined hands for collective action. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was formed at the initiative of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in 2006. ICAN was instrumental in bringing up evidence on catastrophic humanitarian impact of nuclear conflict before the UN during the debate on TPNW. Recognizing its contribution the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded the prize for year 2017 to ICAN. It is pertinent to mention that IPPNW was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. It is unfortunate that none of the nuclear weapons possessing countries signed the TPNW. The nuclear-armed nations continue to spend close to US$300 million (Rs.2000 crores) a day on their nuclear forces at a time when hundreds of millions of people across the globe go hungry. The production, maintenance and modernization of nuclear forces diverts vast public resources away from health care, education, climate change mitigation, disaster relief, development assistance and other vital services. For countries like India and Pakistan that stand very low in the human development index, this is an alarming situation. Skirmishes at the border could trigger a larger and wider conflict.
It is therefore high time that a powerful anti nuclear movement is built in South Asia. In this connection the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) and All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO) have decided to work together to organize an international seminar on the theme "The Landmark Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons - Opportunities and Challenges" on 24 and 25 March 2018 in Deputy Speakers Hall at Constitution Club, New Delhi.
We are honoured that Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar - former Minister Govt. of India, Shri D. Raja, M.P. Rajya Sabha, Shri Azeez Pasha - former Member Parliament, Shri Tarun Mandal – former Member Parliament, Maj. Gen (Retd) Vinod Saighal, Ms. Lalita Ramdas, Shri S P Uday Kumar, Dr Imrana Qadeer, Ms. Kamla Bhasin, Ms. Reetika Khera, Ms. Seema Mustafa, Dr Suvrat Raju and Dr Sanjay Nagral have consented to address in different sessions.
We invite you to be a partner in this movement for peace, health and development and join us in the seminar.
Dr Arun Mitra
Co President IPPNW
Pallab Sen Gupta
General Secretary AIPSO
Dr S S Soodan
Founder Member CNDP
Founder Member CNDP
Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman
General Secretary IDPD
Indian Doctors of Peace and Development (IDPD) 139-E, Kitchlu Nagar, Ludhiana – 141001 (PUNJAB) Phone: 0161 2300252, Email: email@example.com, website: www.idpd.org
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February 26, 2017: The Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH) has questioned the claims of the corporate hospitals that the imported stents were in anyway better than the ones manufactured in India. The corporate hospitals seem to have formed a grand alliance to subvert the revolutionary decision of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to cap the prices of life saving stents as it will hit their profits which were absolutely unethical and criminal and was doing medical corruption said Dr G S Grewal – Former President Punjab Medical Council and Dr Arun Mitra - Former Chairman Ethical Committee PMC & Senior Vice President IDPD, both members of the core committee of the ADEH
The Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH) has questioned the claims of the corporate hospitals that the imported stents were in anyway better than the ones manufactured in India. The corporate hospitals seem to have formed a grand alliance to subvert the revolutionary decision of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to cap the prices of life saving stents as it will hit their profits which were absolutely unethical and criminal and was doing medical corruption said Dr G S Grewal – Former President Punjab Medical Council and Dr Arun Mitra - Former Chairman Ethical Committee PMC & Senior Vice President IDPD, both members of the core committee of the ADEH. It was after a long drawn struggle that such an order has come into force. Advocate Birender Sangwan had filed a PIL in the court that the hospitals have been charging exorbitantly, sometimes over 1000% on the price of the stents. The Hon’ble court passed an order in 2015 asking the government to cap their prices. But the government not only slept over this but even thought of dissolving the NPPA. Thereafter an appeal was filed in the court for action against the government for not complying with the order. As a result of this to avoid the contempt notice by the court the government asked the NPPA to cap the prices before 1st March 2017. Dr Grewal & Dr Arun Mitra said, there was no scientific evidence or paper presented anywhere which proves the claims that the imported stents were better than those manufactured in India. The “bogey of imported stents” was being created by the corporate hospitals and some cardiologists only to mislead, misguide and confuse the common people and the government in the country. He said, the corporate hospitals, which were running the medical profession for purely commercial interests were trying to subvert this decision. It is pertinent to note here that the Indian stents have got approval from the US FDA which means that they are at par with other stents and can be sold even in the USA. A Delhi based leading Cardiologist was called by the US FDA in March 2016 to present his experience of using Indian stents. It was only after this that the stent was approved by US FDA. The issue of newer high end stents being raised by some cardiologists and corporate hospitals is only to scuttle the price capping. The clause no. 15 of the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) clearly states that any manufacturer should apply about the new product with evidence for its superiority to fix the ceiling price. More over the capping has not affected the companies but the profit margin of the parties involved in the supply chain. The ADEH said, the doctors across the country had welcomed the NPPA decision. “Only the select few for whom the profits matter more than the affordable healthcare for the common masses, are crying wolf without any reason or scientific evidence”. They also expressed shock at that the premier body of doctors, the IMA has not come out with open stand on this issue. The statements by its national president Dr K K Aggarwal on a news channel few days back were in total favour of corporate sector. He totally forgot the medical ethics which state that for a doctor the patients care is the only priority. Dr Grewal & Dr Arun Mitra appealed to the Prime Minister to ensure that the decision is implemented without any obstacles by such people and the compliance is ensured. “If the foreign companies are refusing to supply the stents to Indian hospital, we should give full boost and support to our own companies to increase their production they said.
9 December 2016 Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has taken strong exception to the central government's move to dismantle the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and to delink price control from the 370-plus essential drugs with a purpose to fix the price of the medicines as per the desire of the government. Raising the caution over this move Dr S S Soodan- President IDPD, Dr Arun Mitra- Sr Vice President IDPD and Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman- General Secretay IDPD have said that this is a totally
19 December 2016 Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has taken strong exception to the central government's move to dismantle the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and to delink price control from the 370-plus essential drugs with a purpose to fix the price of the medicines as per the desire of the government. Raising the caution over this move Dr S S Soodan- President IDPD, Dr Arun Mitra- Sr Vice President IDPD and Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman- General Secretay IDPD have said that this is a totally
Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has taken strong exception to the central government's move to dismantle the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and to delink price control from the 370-plus essential drugs with a purpose to fix the price of the medicines as per the desire of the government. Raising the caution over this move Dr S S Soodan- President IDPD, Dr Arun Mitra- Sr Vice President IDPD and Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman- General Secretay IDPD have said that this is a totally retrograde anti people and anti national step. It will lead to increase in the prices of most of the medicines which the poor people of our country even now find difficult to afford. The NPPA was established, inter alia, to fix/revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995. The NPPA is assigned the job to implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control). It also monitors the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels. The organization is also entrusted with the task of recovering amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers. It is supposed to render advice to the Central Government on changes/revisions in the drug policy and to render assistance to the Central Government in the parliamentary matters relating to the drug pricing. The argument being forwarded is that it will add to competitiveness, promote growth of pharma industry and thus attract new investment. This argument is totally flawed as the price control affects only 12 per cent of the total domestic market. About 88 per cent of the drug market is not under the price control. More over it has been observed that after the Drug Price Control Order 2013 the sales of medicines increased by nearly 40% as the medicines became more affordable to the people. The whole exercise is being done to please the foreign multinational giants in the pharma industry. It is well known to everyone that after the visit of our Prime Minister to the USA in September 2014 where he had a separate meeting with the Pharma lobby, the NPPA withdrew its order in the Delhi High Court on control of prices of non essential medicines. That had led to manifold increase in the prices of the anti HIV and anti Cancer drugs. At one time the government established Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL), Hindustan Antibiotics and Vaccine producing centre at Kasauli as the public sector enterprises, but these were totally ignored later on by the previous governments. These sectors had in fact produced and supplied cheap bulk drugs not only to our people but to the people in the poor developing countries around the world. The Indian Pharmaceutical industry grew many times over the years and came out with cheap drugs. But after the WTO regime became effective and new patent laws were enforced the whole process got reversed. The production of drugs is not hampered by price control. On the contrary the price control helps the poor. More the demand, more the production and the R&D. Therefore we demand that government should leave this idea in background and make the NPPA more effective and lay stress on establishing Public Sector Units (PSU) to produce cheap and bulk drugs.
Chennai 27 November 2016 Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) in association with Doctors’ Association for Social Equality (DASE) organised a conference on 27th November 2016 at Rajah Annamalai Mandram, Chennai to debate the proposed National Medical Commission, to oppose privatization of medical education and health care and to make health as fundamental right.
Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) in association with Doctors’ Association for Social Equality (DASE) organised a conference on 27th November 2016 at Rajah Annamalai Mandram, Chennai to debate the proposed National Medical Commission, to oppose privatization of medical education and health care and to make health as fundamental right. Dr Shakeel, General Secretary , IDPD argued that the National Medical Commission bill has been drafted with the interests of profiteering private investors in medical colleges being kept uppermost, while the interests of patients and ordinary citizens on one hand, and those of ethically practicing doctors on the other hand, have been brushed aside. Instead of recommending relevant structural changes to roll back the evil influence of commercialisation on medical education and ensuring an accountable and effective public regulation, NITI Aayog proposes a different trajectory by championing the path of accelerated privatisation and commercialisation of medical education. He informed that Association of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare, a national alliance of like-minded organisations including IDPD, JSA and MFC, has made a representation to NitiAyog in this regard. Dr G.R. Ravindranath, General Secretay, DASE and Vice president IDPD highlighted the issues of states’ rights in medical education. He urged the centre not to introduce EXIT test for medical graduates. He pleaded for free and quality medical care to all and to make health as fundamental right. He stressed that we should fight against privatization of medical education and health care. Hundreds of doctors, medical students end enlightened citizens attended the conference. Political leaders across the political spectrum of Tamil Nadu including CPI, CPIM, Congress, AIDMK etc also addressed the conference. DrSadanadan from Andhra Pradesh, DrSajid from Kerala, DrShanthi from Tamil Nadu also
A workshop on the theme “GIVE, SO THAT ONE CAN LIVE” was conducted at Dr Vasantrao Pawar medical college, Hospital and Research centre, Nashik on 19 November 2016 to sensitize undergraduate medical students on important issue of organ donation. It was facilitated by National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) which is a National level organization set up under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India located Safdarjung Hospital New Delhi which is an apex centre for All India activities of coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of Organs and Tissues and registry of Organs and Tissues Donation and Transplantation in the country. Dr Vimal Bhandari is the Director of NOTTO who has extended his help in organizing this activity. The session started with a survey round where a questionnaire was distributed to all attendee's students as pre workshop questionnaire. Later on there was an introductory speech by Miss Prachi and Miss Arya Pawar of II MBBS. This was followed by a detailed presentation on organ donation: “Necessity of the hour and the Myths associated with it done” by II MBBS students. Then students conducted a skit where the concept was driven in an emotional way to convey the relevance and importance of organ donation in saving lives. It was appreciated by all the attendees. Later on Mr. Aneesh Maini and Sandeep Brar both 3 year MBBS students shared a talk on the need for organ donation in today's world. Later post workshop questionnaire was given and it was followed by an interactive round on organ and tissue donation. The emotional talk given by Mr. Aneesh Maini touched the students in such a way that one of the lady student shared her story where she lost her sister who was suffering from leukemia due to non availability of BM transplantation in time. Mrs. Neelima Pawar Sarchitnis MVP Samaj has conveyed her best wishes for the students working for Organ and tissue transplantation and Dean Dr Vasantrao Pawar medical college has shared her view on the occasion and have guided students to work for this cause further. Dr Major Jeetendra Singh Liasoning officer NOTTO presided over the function and briefed students about organ and tissue donation and sensitizing public about this. The photographs of the session are also enclosed herewith. We are releasing this news in press also.
On the theme “Emerging health & social crisis of South Asia”, Physicians for Social Responsibility Bangladesh (PSR,B) organized the 'IPPNW South Asian Regional Meet 2016' on September 26-27, 2016 at Dhaka. This event was participated by delegates from India, Nepal, Srilanka & Pakistan in addition to Bangladeshi doctors and medical students. The event started with a “Peace Ralley” with colorful rickshaws which marched from BSSMU to Shaheed Minar. On the occasion the affiliates passed a resolution named as Dhaka Declaration
DHAKA DECLARATION We the affiliates of IPPNW from south Asia, the Physicians for Social Responsibility Bangladesh (PSRB), Physicians for Social Responsibility Nepal (PSRN), Sri Lankan Doctors for Peace and Development (SDPD), Pakistan Doctors for Peace and Development (PDPD) and Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) are extremely concerned about the poor health of people of the region. We have failed to fulfill commitments to the Alma Ata Declaration and also have not been able to meet the Millennium Development Goals on health. Low public health expenditure by the governments in the south Asian region, which is less than one third of Total Health Expenditure, continues to be an area of great concern for the affiliates of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Out-of-Pocket health expenditure is the major health financing mechanism across the south Asian region, posing an enormous burden on underprivileged households forcing them to slip in deeper poverty. The entry of corporate sector in providing medical education and health care delivery has made the medical education and treatment expensive and unaffordable to vast majority of the population. As the region is one of the poorest in the world we need to have collective efforts to build and strengthen our economies with policies oriented towards inclusive growth and an equitable health delivery system. Whereas the public health expenditure in South Asia region hovers around 1% of GDP, the region is spending more than 16% of Central Government Expenditure on its military. Ongoing tension across the borders and within the countries of the region on account of several reasons has added to worsening of our economies and creating insecurity in the region. South Asia region is leading towards becoming a hot spot for conflicts. Almost all countries of the region have been affected by the terrorist violence. Several groups propagating religious and other forms of intolerance have become active in the region. This is against the region's age old ethos of love, brotherhood and peaceful coexistence. With the rising tensions there is a serious threat of escalation of conflicts in to larger wars. Such a situation poses grave threat of use of nuclear weapons by the states or by the non-state actors. This could create havoc not only for the region but for the whole world as various studies have shown that even a limited use of nuclear weaponsbetween India and Pakistan could kill 12 million people on both sides and put nearly 2 billion people at risk of starvation and death around the world as a result of climatic effects. We are equally concerned of the ongoing conflicts in other parts of the world. Terrorism seems to have become and international industry serving the interest of military industrial complex. It is not a hidden thing that the weapons in the hands of terrorists are coming from a few developed countries. It is also a cause of concern that it is these countries whoare time and again delaying and blocking agreements to abolish nuclear weapons and to check the proliferation of small arms.
New Delhi, 7th August 2016 The tiny atomic bombs (as per the standards of the present day nuclear weapons) killed around 140,000 people in Hiroshima and nearly 70,000 in Nagasaki and roughly half of the deaths in each city occurred on the first day. Out of 300 doctors 272 died; 1684 of 1780 nurses died and 42 of 45 hospitals were destroyed. There was complete lack of medical care. High dose of radiations added to the chaos. It is difficult to imagine how it must have been to watch nears and dears melt in a matter of seconds as a result of intense heat produced by the detonation. Describing this Dr Arun Mitra Senior Vice President Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) at a memorial meeting organized by the IDPD at New Delhi said that it was very heartrending to see the devastation caused by the atomic bombs during our visit to the Peace Memorial at Hiroshima. Prof. Arjun Dev a prominent historian of the country said that with the surrender of Germany the war had nearly ended on 9thMay 1945. Surrender of Japan was imminent in a few weeks time. But Hiroshima was bombarded with atomic weapon followed by Nagasaki after three days. While lakhs were crying in despair in the two cities, the American administration rejoiced over this barbarous act. Use of atomic weapons on human population by the US was a show of strength and muscle power which in fact unleashed the nuclear arms race. It is assumed that there are nearly 17000 nuclear weapons on earth today. Not only the number of weapons increased but the number of countries which posses these weapons also increased from one to nine i.e USA, Russia, Britain, France, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan and Israel. If we add Ukraine, the number becomes ten. At one time South Africa also had nuclear weapons but it disbanded them unilaterally. The nuclear weapons are a real threat to not only the man kind but the whole flora and fauna on earth. Dr Usha Shrivastav Vice President IDPD said that we are witnessing every day violent actions by highly motivated individuals and groups around the world who are ready to kill the innocent without any remorse. The world has become highly insecure and fragile. Therefore even if the states decide not to use the nuclear weapons, there is a grave danger that these could fall in the hands of non state actors who with their utterly insane outlook would not hesitate using them. Unfortunately India and Pakistan with very low human development index have fallen trap which is adversely affecting their economy. Expressing concern over the impact of nuclear fall out Maj. Gen. Retd. Vinod Saighal said that this will have serious consequences on the climate change. Quoting a study by Ira Helfand, Co President of IPPNW on Climate Consequences of Regional Nuclear War he pointed out that even a limited nuclear war could put over two billion people at risk. Based on a hypothetical study as an example, a war between India and Pakistan involving 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs, would kill up to 20 million people outright. Com Pallab Sen Gupta General Secretary All India Peace and Solidarity organization (AIPSO) said that the danger of nuclear weapons exists as before. The statement by the presidential candidate of the USA Donald Trump is a very serious matter. The civil society has to work even more than before to build public opinion against the nuclear weapons.
Com Amarjeet Kaur National Secretary AITUC called upon the IDPD to organize public contact programmes on “public health and peace” so as to take the movement down to the grass root level. Dr Dori Lall said that nuclear weapons abolition is the only answer to save the mankind. A concerted and united effort by the people can ameliorate the situation. Dr Ajay Mishra and Prof. Soma Marla also addressed the meeting
Patna, 6th August 2016 IDPD Patna observed Hiroshima day in association with Srikrishna Science Centre, Patna. A painting competition on the theme "Destruction by Atom Bomb" was held for school children. Around 250 students and teachers participated in the function. It was followed by a lecture on the theme " No More Hiroshima". Dr Satyajit Kumar Singh National Vice President and Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman National General secretary IDPD.
Jammu, 6 August 2016 Members of the Civil Society and Organizations Jammu Women Council, Rotary, Midtown Jammu, Doctors of Government Medical College, Acharya Shri Chand College of Medical Sciences, Health Department and Alumni of the society participated in the meeting to commemorate the 71st anniversary of Hiroshima day. Pricnipal Commissioner of Income Tax Sangeeta Gupta was the chief gust and Dr Mumtaz Goni was the special guest. Dr Neera Singh coordinated the event. Dr S S Soodan National President IDPD, Dr Mehvish Khan students coordinator, Dr Rohit Bakshi, Shri Raman Samnotra Secretary Jammu Club emphasized the need for complete abolition of nuclear weapons and peaceful co-existence.
udhiana, 6th August 2016 A meeting was organized jointly by the IDPD and the PAU Employees Union. Ii was addressed by Dr Arun Mitra Sr. Vice President IDPD, Dr N S Bawa Vice President. Dr Balbir Shah recited poems on peace. Shri Ranjeet Singh and Shri M S Bhatia also addressed the meeting. The students of Punjab Agricultural University held on the spot painting competition. The first prize was awarded to Manmeet Kaur; Second prize to Rasleen Kaur Osahan and third prize jointly to Tavisha Singh and Ashish Kumar Padhy. Dr Sanjeev Uppal and Dr Deepak Prashar gave prizes to the winners of the painting completion. Com Baldev Singh Walia President PAU Employees union said that nuclear weapons abolition is the only answer to save the mankind. A concerted and united effort by the people can ameliorate the situation. Among others who were present S.Manmohan Singh, Dr Gulzar Pandher, Paramjit Singh Gill, Avtar Chibber, Meghnath, Kuldeep Binder, Pardeep Sharma, Anod Kumar, Swaroop Singh, Ramesh Rannat, Gulzar Goria, Dr.Gurpreet Rattan. After the event a candle march for peace was taken out which was led by students.
Rajastan 9 August IDPD Rajasthan chapter held a talk on Hiroshima Nagasaki day with school children at Goluwala in Sarswati School on 9 August. Dr Rajeev Munjal -State President delivered lecture on peace and Dr Dharmendra Kumar recited a peace poem. Director of school Madany Gopal was also present there.
We are much disturbed at the terrorist violence in Dhaka. As has been rightly said by Prime Minister Hasina Wajed, such inhuman acts are contrary to the teachings of religion. It is very unfortunate that South Asia is being targeted by the forces inimical to peace in this region. Therefore it is all the more important for us to meet and talk of HEALTH THROUGH PEACE. We are in the process of finalising our delegation and will be back with you soon.
17 June 2016: Indian Doctors for Peace and Development have strongly condemned the sacrilegious acts at temples in Janipur and Nanak Nagar areas of Jammu. IDPD has asked the government to institute an enquiry to probe the chain of events to unmask the antisocial misguided elements and their handlers who want to polarize the society and create communal divide so as to disturb peaceful coexistence and harmony in this region. Dr Arun Mitra, Dr SHakeel Ur Rehman, Dr G M Malik, Dr Rajesh Gupta, Dr Nira Singh, Dr Bhaneet Kaur, Dr R K Chrungoo, Dr Gurpreet Singh, Dr Mehvish Khan, Dr S S Soodan – President IDPD, Former Director Services Dr R K Goel along with concerned citizen Th. Rashpal Singh, Gurdeep Singh Sasan and D K Kohli have further appealed to the public to remain vigilant in future and not to get disturbed by these mischievous and criminal forces who are out to create unrest in the society.
Jammu and Srinagar - The IDPD (Indian Doctors for Peace and Development), have initiated the national campaign on the “Challenges of Public Health and Opportunities Ahead” by conducting awareness seminars at Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences and at Govt. Medical College Jammu on 28-05-2016. The IDPD is an affiliate of IPPNW (International physician for prevention of nuclear war) winner of Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. In this connection two seminars and students interactive session were held.
Jammu The IDPD (Indian Doctors for Peace and Development), have initiated the national campaign on the “Challenges of Public Health and Opportunities Ahead” by conducting awareness seminars at Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences and at Govt. Medical College Jammu on 28-05-2016. The IDPD is an affiliate of IPPNW (International physician for prevention of nuclear war) winner of Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. In this connection two seminars and students interactive session were held. At the Acharya Shri Chand College of Medical Sciences, Jammu Dr S S Soodan, President IDPD introduced the subject and highlighted the role of the organisation in promoting peace, health and development. Dr Arun Mitra – Sr. Vice President IDPD said that the wasteful expenditure on arms race by the countries of South Asia is a big impediment. We are working together with our counterparts in other countries of the region for developing confidence among our nations by increasing hassle free people to people exchange programmes. The IPPNW, he said is actively working in the ICAN with a goal to achieve nuclear weapon free world. As a result of the efforts of the IPPNW there is now a biggest ever consolidated voice against the nuclear weapons. The IPPNW has also brought forward the study as to how over two billion people could be at risk because of nuclear fallout. Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman – General Secretary IDPD in his speech said that the health indicators of our country are very low and we have to develop a national health policy which should meet the requirements of the common people of our country. We are, he said, continuously advocating changes in the total outlook towards health as social service and not a business. Dr Neera made special efforts to organise the event. Medical students from Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda led by the team leader Onam Gupta, who travelled all the way about 500km interacted with the medical students, doctors and concerned citizens and gave power point presentation on the health effects of nuclear weapons and gun violence. Dr R P Kudyar - principal of the college said that it is a great achievement that Dr Soodan has become the new president of IDPD, the versatile body struggling for peace. The guest participants appreciated the logistics and help received from ASCOMS & Hospital during their community outreach services for relief and rehabilitation of the victims of natural calamities, the earthquake, floods and rains which had devastated this region in the past. The IDPD teams of doctors from all over the country had reached upto the remote areas of J&K state with medical and other relief material which was highly commended by the people of Kashmir and Jammu regions of the state. In a similar function at the Government Medical College, Jammu Dr Soodan gave an overall view of the activities of the IDPD. Dr Mehvish Khan gave a presentation on the activities of the IDPD Jammu unit. Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman and Dr Arun Mitra said that to achieve the health for all it is imperative that the nuclear weapons are abolished and the gun violence is checked. Dr Zahid Jeelani, Principal GMC highlighted the role of doctors to create an environment of peace which is needed for improvement of public health indices and development in J&K state. Dr Vishal organised and interactive session among the students. Srinagar On 1st June a meeting of members of J&K Chapter of IDPD was held in the office of Dr. Ajaz A. Rather, General Secretary J&K Chapter of IDPD. The meeting was presided over by Dr. Shakeel-ur-Rehman, General Secretary IDPD and attended by Dr. Ajaz A. Rather, Dr. G.M. Malik (Founder member & Vice President of J&K Chapter of IDPD), Prof. Lateef, Dr. Basharat Ahad, Dr. Mohd Shakeel & Dr. Altaf A. Malik (Members of J&K Chapter of IDPD). Besides, the meeting was attended by student members of SKIMS Medical College-Ms. Hanna Hamdani & Mr. Ayan Nazir. Dr. Ajaz A. Rather and urged for a sustained and consistent support from IDPD for carrying out various activities in the Kashmir Valley valley especially SKIMS Medical College. Dr G M Malik highlighted the role of IDPD in extending helping hand to the needy in the state of J & K during floods and earth quake in the year 2014 and 2005 respectively. Student members urged upon the General Secretary that regular activities are required to make people aware of the organisation and its activities. Student members proposed that a state level conference be held in SKIMS Medical College in September/October to begin with. All the members present in the meeting backed up the wishes expressed by students. Dr. Shakeel-ur-Rehman, briefly enlightened the role and aims of IDPD. He mentioned that the IPNW has privilege of receiving Nobel prize for peace in 1985. He ascertained that IDPD helps people in natural as well as man-made disasters with special mention to floods that hit valley in September 2014 and earthquake of 2004. He also informed the members about the ICAN the international campaign launched by IDPD for nuclear disarmament. He showed his enthusiasm while stating that the national president of IDPD Dr. S.S. Sudan belongs to J&K State. In response to the wishes expressed by student members, Dr. Shakeel-ur-Rehman proposed 8th of October 2016 as date for a national level conference to be held in SKIMS Medical College campus. This was agreed upon by all members unanimously. Dr. Shakeel-ur-Rehman also told the students to make themselves available for a 2 day workshop in Delhi to be held in the month of February 2017.
Nasik (Maharsthra) 21 March First initiative post national meet by Students Chapter IDPD Maharashtra was taken on 21st march 2016 in form of organizing a BLOOD DONATION CAMP under the banner of IDPD along with the NSS (National Service Scheme) at Dr. Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Nashik, Maharashtra. Nearly around 50 units of blood were collected and later on , the students of IDPD gave a speech on the theme ‘ DON’T SHED BLOOD , DONATE BLOOD ‘ . Later on few interviews were conducted in which specific questions were asked to the audience regarding the menace of war and violence and the disastrous effect of use of nuclear weapons. Dr Jeetendra Singh , Secretary IDPD appreciated the efforts of students in terms of a novel idea of conducting blood donation camp with a theme ‘ DON’T SHED BLOOD, DONATE BLOOD‘. To Inspire more students ,the NSR – ANEESH MAINI and the CO- NSR- SHRAVANI HUMBE , themselves donated blood to spread the agenda of IDPD . This message was well inspiring and was well appreciated by the general masses and students. At conclusion the message of health through peace was conveyed nicely.
Imphal (Manipur) 23 April As a part of activities, the IDPD, students' chapter, Manipur state organised a blood donation camp at JNIMS(Jawaharlal Nehru institute of medical Sciences, Imphal). The camp was held in association with the blood bank, JNIMS, Imphal on the theme: "DO NOT SHED BLOOD, DONATE BLOOD". The camp started at 9:30am and continued till 1:30pm. In the camp, a total of 60 generous donors donated blood in which the donors were medical undergraduates, nursing students and students from a General College. Earlier two days back, the IDPD students chapter, Manipur went to the Nursing Institute and a General College and interacted with the students telling them about the existence of IDPD students chapter and informed them about the camp. Dr. M. Nara, National Vice President, IDPD too came to the blood bank, JNIMS and interacted with the donors and encouraged them to take part in this kind of noble and selfless activities in future too
IDPD Students’ Chapter India, Punjab Wing, Aadesh Medical University , Bathinda organized a Photo Caption Competition at "Global week of Action Against Gun Violence" under the theme of "Time to End the Deadly Flood of Guns ". Many photos were displayed and MBBS students wrote the caption for those pics one in Hindi and one in English . All participants were encouraged and motivated to be Active members of IDPD. Acting Principal Dr A. K. Maria gave the prizes. 1st prize was won by Amolpreet kaur [ IDPD member ] and Anupriya[ IDPD member ] of Rs.1000 each and 2nd prize was won by Dr Dolly [ IDPD member ] and Malika of Rs.500 each and cash prizes being sponsored by Association of Physicians of India Malwa branch .The judges of events were Dr Jaswinder Kaur , Dr Tanvir Kaur Sidhu and Dr Madhu Lata Rana .There were total 48 English caption entries and 49 Hindi caption entries . All students participated enthusiastically. The event was organized and planned by Dr Onam Gupta ,(MBBS Intern , Co ordinator Small Arms Project) and the team , Harleen, Alfred, Jaswant Jasleen, Gursimran, Gurmehar , Gauri Goswami, Divya phool (2014 batch) , Anupriya , Amolpreet, Navdeep(2013 batch), Kajal, Parteek (2012 batch) and Dolly Aggarwal (2011 batch Intern) and other Student Members.
An initiative was undertaken by Student Chapter, IDPD Punjab on 8th May, 2016 in association with Blood Bank, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar and Medical Student Association of India (MSAI) at Government Medical College , Amritsar in form of organising a BLOOD DONATION CAMP. As much as 350 units of blood were collected . Later on an interactive session was conducted on the theme "DONT SHED BLOOD , DONATE BLOOD" in which the M.B.B.S. students were acquainted with the current scenario of Nuclear wars in our country and broad and the role Physicians , medical students, Medical activists and war victim campaigners can play towards abolishing the menace of war and spreading the IPPNW and IDPD message of Peace through Health. Also students were sensitized and motivated to join the IDPD movement and get involved which was met with much enthusiasm. The CO- NSR Ankush Sharma also joined the regime by donating blood with fellow doctors. Dr. Neeraj Sharma, HOD , Blood Bank, GNDH, Amritsar along with Mr. Satnam Singh, Head, Thalassemia Society , Punjab appreciated and acknowledged the efforts of students who helped in organising and donating blood. At conclusion, the message of spreading peace and health was conveyed nicely.
The 10th National Conference of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) held at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna on 5th and 6th March 2016 ended with a resolve to make this world a better place for living. In this concern it was decided to launch a massive campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons, check on the proliferation of small arms and diversion of funds from arms race to health and development. Expressing concern at the failure of successive governments to meet the goal of health for all, the conference decided to continue to work for a health policy with pro people outlook instead of present corporate oriented approach towards healthcare
The 10th National Conference of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) held at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna on 5th and 6th March 2016 ended with a resolve to make this world a better place for living. In this concern it was decided to launch a massive campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons, check on the proliferation of small arms and diversion of funds from arms race to health and development. Expressing concern at the failure of successive governments to meet the goal of health for all, the conference decided to continue to work for a health policy with pro people outlook instead of present corporate oriented approach towards healthcare. For this the IDPD will continue to build public opinion for effective steps for a lasting peace in South Asia. The ongoing arms race in the region particularly between India and Pakistan is causing excessive burden on exchequer and thus affecting the expenditure on health, education and development. The nuclear weapons from the earth have to be abolished because they can annihilate all the flora and fauna from the earth. As medical professionals it is our duty to prevent any such event which could affect the life system. Shri Vijay Chaudhary, Speaker Vidhan Sabha Bihar was the chief guest of the occasion. Dr Daniel Bassey – Co President IPPNW was the guest of honour. Several eminent personalities of Bihar addressed the conference and fully supported the goal of IDPD for a world free of nuclear weapons and violence of all kinds. Varied subjects were discussed during the deliberations of the conference. A special session was devoted to the health policy in which presentations were made by Dr Mohan Lal, Dr Madhumita Chatterjee, Dr B N Paria, Dr Arun Gadre, Dr Shanthi and Dr Sadanandam. Low budgetary allocation to the health in the recent union budget was strongly criticized and it was demanded that a minimum of 4% of the GDP should be spent on the health by the state sector. Stress on the public private partnership model will only lead to providing benefits to the corporate sector and marginalized the poor people from healthcare benefits. The policy of giving insurance coverage for health will never be able to meet the comprehensive healthcare of our citizens rather it will give huge profits to the insurance companies. In the as another session Dr Daniel Bassey gave a presentation on “Nuclear Zero the only Option” in which he highlighted on the necessity of complete abolition of nuclear weapons from the earth because even a limited nuclear exchange could put over two billion people at the risk and cause death of over 20 million people. Prof. Ajay Patnayak from the School of International Studies Jawahar Lal Nehru University dwelt on the perspectives of peace in South Asia and stressed that despite several obstacles the South Asian countries should continue to hold dialogue to resolve the issues. Dr Nirmal Polle from West Bengal gave a presentation on the health effects on nuclear radiations. Dr Shakeel Ur Rehman made a presentation on the health effects on the people living around Jadugoda uranium mines. Dr Satyajit Kumar Singh cautioned that the elite of this country cannot be allowed to enjoy at the cost of lives of poor people like in Jadugoda. He was referring to the study conducted by the IDPD in 2006. This session was co chaired by Dr Dharmendra Kumar and Dr Yudhisthir Dass. Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Vinod Saighal warned in his speech that if we do not take effective steps to prevent the negative changes occurring in the climate we are bound to be doomed in near future. Dr Niranjan Bhattacharya, Head of the Department of Regenerative Medicine in the School of Tropical Medicine Kolkata gave a talk on the role of stem cells in reducing the damage during nuclear accidents because of inherent property of regeneration in the stem cells. Mrs.Amarjeet Kaur warned that the efforts to curtail freedom of speech and to impose homogenous culture in the country will effect our unity in diversity and would disturb the social harmony. This is being done intentionally to divert attention of the people from the failure of the government to meet the aspirations of the people including their healthcare needs. Such a situation could turn violent and cause serious damage to health of the people and the nation. The session was chaired by Dr Subhas Chakraborty, Dr Prem Shankar Pandey and Dr Rajani. The delegates debated the steps to be taken to strengthen the organization. Dr Jeetendra Singh gave a presentation on this issue. Dr N S Bawa conducted a quiz among the students. Dr Jaswinder Singh co chaired this session. A souvenir was compiled by Dr Abhay Gaur and was released by the chief guest. The delegates hailed from Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, U.P, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnatka, West Bengal, Tripura and Manipur. The conference elected team for the future. Dr L S Chawla was elected as the lifetime patron of the organization. Dr S S Soodan was elected as President. Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman as the General Secretary. Dr Satyajit Kumar Singh and Arun Mitra were elected as the Senior Vice Presidents of the IDPD. Dr Usha Shrivastava, Dr.Nara Singh, Dr Navinder Singh Bawa, Dr Tejbir Singh, Dr G.M.Malik as Vice Presidents. Dr V Sadanandam, Dr.Yudhisthir Dass, Dr.Sudhir Dhakre, Dr.Subhash Chakaraborty, Dr Dharmendra Kumar, Dr Ravindranath, Dr Jeetendra Singh as Secretaries. A central council was elected to carry forward the activities. Dr Gaganpreet Singh was elected as students coordinator. Mr Aneesh was elected as the National Students Representative of the IDPD. Mr Ankush, Mr Yahya Khan, Ms Vennela, Ms.Sharavani and Mr Ankit Kumar were elected as Co NSRs. Mr.Sidharth & Mr Onam Gupta as Co Ordinators for ICAN & Small Arms Project respectively. The Pan Asia IPPNW medical students and young doctors meet which was held along with on 4th and 5th March. In this delegates from Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Germany and India took part. Each delegation gave presentation on their activity report. The students decided to carry forward the work more effectively and charted out a strategy of action. Prominent student leaders include Dr Ryoma, Mr Bimal and Ms Aino.
The Uttar Pradesh state chapter of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) organized state level conference at Varanasi on the them Health Through Peace. About 250 doctors and social activists participated in the event. Chief gust at the conference Dr Amitab Shanker Rai Chaudhary said that unfortunately the gains of the scientific development have not percolated down to the common man as it shuld have been we are still far from achieving the required infant mortality rate. War and violence add to the health problems. IT is therefore essential that the medical professionals come forward to raise voice for peace, non violence and abolition of nuclear weapons. Dr Shiv Prasad Gupt and Dr Arvind Singh said that the peace is essential for better health. President of Indian Medical Association Dr O P Tiwari said that peace and security are the basic need of any society. We have to word of diversion of funds from the arms race to health and development. Dr Manish Singh Joint Director Health said that doctors have to be humanist and sensitive to social problems. Dr A Mogis Ansari chaired the conference. Chief organisor of the event Dr Prem Shankar Pandey gave a detailed account of the aims and objects of the IDPD. A video speech of Dr Arun Mitra was screened on the occasion. An executive committee to carry forward the movement was formed with Patron – Dr Arun Mitra, Dr Joya Satin Dixit, Dr S C Bharadwaj, Dr R N Srivastav, President - Dr Sudhir Dhakre, Vice President – Dr Akhilesh Agarwal, Secretary - Prem Shankar Pandey, Joint secretary – Dr G P Rai, Treasurer – Dr G P Singh.
A meeting was held at Agartala. Dr Yudhisthir Das gave an account of the history of IPPNW and IDPD and highlighted their contribution toward promoting peace and health. Dr Arun Mitra talked about health policy, medical ethics and prevention of war & violence and nuclear abolition. Othes who participated include doctors Asis Debberma, Subhash Chandra Biswas, Anjan Dutta, Somnath Das, Ramendra Laskar, Bimal Kumar Baidya, Manik Das, Biswajit, Komank Das. Dr Bholanath Saha presided over the meeting.
Dr Arun Mitra gave a presentation on “Prevention of war and violence – a medical challenge” at the Platinum Jubilee conference of West Bengal unit of the Indian Medical Association. He highlighted the role of peace in promoting health. Dr Niranjan Bhatacharya gave a presntion on the use of stem cells in preventing various diseases including the effect of radiations on human body. Dr Subhash Chakraborty introduced the speakers. The function was presided over by
IDPD Rajasthan unit held a meeting about national conference to be held at Patna. Leading physicians Dr Rajiv Munjal, Dr Paras Jain, Dr SS Get, Dr Khosa, Dr Ravi Shankar, Dr MP Sharma participated in the meeting. Also present were several dental surgeons, physiotherapists and Ayurvedic doctors.
A meeting was held at IMA house Nagpur. Prominent among those who participated in the meeting include Dr S L Shiohare, Dr Mrs.V.S.Dani, Dr S B Khobargade, Dr Mrs. Kamayani, Dr Aggarwal, Dr G M Taouri, Com J Narayan Rao. Dr Arun Mitra gave a brief account of upcoming Patna conference.
A meeting of doctors from South Indian states viz Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu was held at Vijaywada in which Dr Ravindranath, Dr Shanthi, Dr Sadanandam, Dr Sujata, Dr Sajed, Dr Rajani, Dr Venella participated and decided to mobilize medicos to participate in the Patna conference.
A seminar was held at Calcutta Medical College, Kolkota in which large number of faculty and students participated. Dr Subhash Chakraborty gave an account of the history of IPPNW and IDPD and highlighted their contribution toward promoting peace and health. Ms.Kinnari gave a presentation on the medical students participation in the IDPD. Dr Jeetendra Singh – Student Co ordinator IDPD explain about the medical students exchange programme on peace and health issues. Dr Arun Mitra talked about health policy, medical ethics and prevention of war & violence and nuclear abolition. Othes who participated include
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) has demanded check on the proliferation of the small arms to prevent ongoing violence leading to loss of lives in several parts of the world. Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) who returned after participating in the meeting of the International Board of the IPPNW held in London on 15-16 November said that the board strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Paris. It mourned more than a million victims of the War on Terror as much as the victims of fanaticism of any kind. At a time when humanity is confronted with the possibility of its own extinction, predominantly by the threat posed by the thousands of nuclear weapons, humankind must now step out of the spiral of bloodshed and violence and live in peace; humankind can only survive through cooperation, not by violence the IPPNW board resolution said. The board was critical of the countries who are producing and exporting the arms legally or illegally. Various affiliates of the IPPNW, said Dr Arun Mitra, will further strengthen its campaign for a world free of nuclear weapons and violence of all kinds.
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has taken strong exception to the government’s move for outright Public Private Participation (PPP) in the health sector by December. In a statement released here Dr L S Chawla President IDPD said that the health indicators in our country are one among the lowest in the world. Even our South Asian neighbors have better health indicators in many sectors even though their overall economic development is less than us. The government has already slashed its health budget by 20% for the current fiscal year. There is need for minimum of 6% of public health spending in contrast to 1.04% at present. The government’s move to slash the public health expenditure and adopt PPP model will further lead to increase in the out of pocket expenditure on health by the people and thus further denying them the health care facilities and impoverish them. Dr Arun Mitra General Secretary said that worldwide experience has shown that wherever the government’s health spending is more the health indices are better. The emphasis on PPP in the medical education will further deteriorate the standards of education as already the system of admission in majority of the private colleges is totally commercial & fraudulent and training is sub standard with ghost faculty and ghost patients. The government must review its decision and instead increase public health spending.
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has expressed grave concern at the efforts to spread intolerance in the country which is threatening the social harmony and the basic concept of unity in diversity of our country. Based on the vision of freedom fighters, forefathers of our country had drafted our constitution declaring India a secular democratic country with equal freedom and rights to all religious and ethnic groups. In a statement released Dr L S Chawla – President IDPD said that for some time there has been concerted effort to impose homogeneous culture and weaken the pluralism of our nation. There have also been incidents of provoking violence on communal grounds. In a diverse country like ours the culture and habits of any one group cannot be imposed on others as each one has its own history and background. History has proved time and again that development suffers the most in the event of violence of any kind. Dr Arun Mitra- General secretary IDPD said that the South Asia is one among the most deprived regions. The events that are occurring at present will have far reaching national and international implications. Therefore all the saner and right thinking people must unite to preserve the rich social fabric of our country. He appealed to the people of Punjab also to maintain restrain in the present situation.
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) handed over medicines for people of Jammu region affected by the floods and also for victims of border firings forced to stay in transit camps exposed to vagaries of nature. The medicines have been arranged by Dr.Jeetender Singh from Nasik (Maharashtra) & Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary IDPD. The IDPD has recently conducted medical relief camps at Srinagar, where eminent doctors from all over the country distributed medicines and other relief material upto far-flung areas of valley. Dr.S.S.Soodan, Senior Vice President IDPD and Dr Rajesh Kumar, In-charge IDPD Jammu handed over the medicines to Dr.B.S.Pathania, Director Health Services, Jammu and Dr Gurjit Singh, Deputy Director Health Sercives, Jammu for distribution to all affected areas through the respective CMO’s. The IDPD have further offered the services of doctors and relief measures, wherever needed, in future.
WEAPONS. The Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons and the Civil Society Forum (CSF) of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) demand ban treaty immediately.
Even after more than 67 years of independence the successive governments have failed to provide universal healthcare to the people. India is a signatory to the Alma Ata declaration whereby the government was committed to provide healthcare to all by the end of 2000. But with the international economic relations scenario changing in the early 1990s the concept healthcare as a social responsibility was deliberately changed with more emphasis being laid on the individual responsibility.
Even after more than 67 years of independence the successive governments have failed to provide universal healthcare to the people. India is a signatory to the Alma Ata declaration whereby the government was committed to provide healthcare to all by the end of 2000. But with the international economic relations scenario changing in the early 1990s the concept healthcare as a social responsibility was deliberately changed with more emphasis being laid on the individual responsibility. Thus the Alma Ata declaration was virtually thrown into dustbin. A new idea of millennium development goals for health was set. These targets were to be achieved by the year 2015. But our country has not been able to achieve the target set by the Millennium Development Goal (MDG). Our health indicators are far below Sri Lanka which is economically not more developed than our country. Bangladesh with a population density of 1174 as compare to 382 of India and with much poor economy does not fall much below India’s health indicators. This is an indication as to the faulty health policies of our country. The present government has come out with draft national policy and invited public comments on this. The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) discussed it in the central council meeting held at Agra on 1st February 2015. Following this a draft of comments was prepared which was again circulated among the members for further comments. The draft has not drawn on the shortcomings and limitations of not achieving health related goals of MDG which is coming to an end in 2015. There is lack of specific commitment towards increasing public health expenditure. Even the suggestion in the draft of increasing public health expenditure from present 1.04 percent to 2.5 percent of GDP is devoid of any road-map. The public health expenditure should be increased to 6 percent of GPD to meet the healthcare needs of the citizens. In this policy draft there is strong tendency to privatize the public health delivery system especially at the secondary and tertiary level care. It is care at this level where out of pocket expenditure is highest and leads to impoverishment of the people particularly the poor. In order to attract private players in health sector the policy puts emphasis on medical tourism and insurance. It negates the basic concept of India being a welfare state and makes health a business. The entry of corporate sector in the tertiary healthcare has added to the cost of healthcare exorbitantly and also the unethical practices. Although the draft talks of comprehensive health care but makes no reference to High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage or 12th Plan document. There is no road map for it neither is there any defined goal against which the progress could be assessed. The draft does not state how public health delivery system or facilities will be strengthened at primary, secondary and tertiary level. Here is an urgent need to form a Centre for Policy Research under the ministry of health. Recently there has been push by the WHO and UNICEF to include vaccines like Hepatitis B, HIB (Influenza Vaccine) through Pentavalent vaccines in Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). There is also a move to include vaccine against Rota virus in UIP. The efficacy of these vaccines and the cost benefit is still being debated. Needless to say it is being pushed by international vaccine manufacturers. Centre for Policy Research should review all these issues before it is finally included in the national health programmes. There is weakening of present status of fixing social accountability in the draft policy. Under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) various provisions are for fixing the accountability like public hearings of health delivery system, Community Based Planning and monitoring, formation of multi-stakeholder committees at different levels. The draft is silent on these issues. No user fee should be charged at any public health facility. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has withdrawn its order to fix prices of drugs, which are not under the list of essential medicines, a move that has been welcomed by the pharmaceutical industry. The NPPA had on 22nd September 2014 issued a statement, saying it has withdrawn guidelines for price control issued under Para 19 of the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO), 2013. The Paragraph 19 of the DPCO, 2013, authorises the NPPA to control the prices drugs that are not under the NLEM (National List of Essential Medicines) under extraordinary circumstances in public interest. The NPPA had invoked Para 19 of the DPCO to cap prices of 108 medicines, including cardiac, diabetes and HIV/AIDS drugs. As a result since the present government took over the prices of the newer Anti HIV and Anti Cancer drugs have increased rocket high. The NPPA should put an effective control on the drug prices. The draft should guarantee universal free access to medicines and diagnostics, somewhere between 500 to 700 drugs as is being done in Tamilnadu and Kerala. IDPD welcomes the decision of the government of opening Jan Aushadhi, where it will sell around 500 drugs under generic names at low cost. There is no mention of the drug pricing policy. The drugs should be brought under the ministry of health and family welfare and instead of the ministry of Petroleum & Chemicals. The drug prices should be fixed on the basis of the cost involved in their production. The MRP of the drugs being sold under the generic category should be rationalized to give benefits to the patients as it has been found that in many such cases the difference between the MRP and the purchase price by the retailers is exorbitant. The policy should opt for universal coverage under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) scheme including out-patient care like consultation, diagnostics, treatment at all level of facilities. And it should be brought under Health Ministry instead of Labour Ministry. National Population Policy should be freshly developed. The previous policy prescription although talks of target free approach but uses terms like expected level of achievement. It has led to many tragedies as in Bilaspur, Kapafora, etc as the service providers keep on organizing sterilization camps with little regards for safety and more importantly the dignity of women. Thermostatic models of providing micronutrients for example IFA, Vitamin A, Iodine have not been sufficient in improving the nutritional status of adolescent girls, women in reproductive age and children. There is a clear need to link malnutrition to food security. The draft should include the social determinants of health like ending poverty, income generation apart from clean water and environment, housing and sanitation. There should be clear road map for it. The intent of having Right to Health Act in the draft policy is a welcome move. Surprisingly it is silent on Health Bill which was put in public domain in 2009. A yearly assessment should be made and data published on the number of patients treated free of cost by the corporate hospitals who have been leased out land virtually free of cost. Special clauses should be introduced in the health policy 2015 to ensure ethical practice by the medical professionals, institutions and organizations.
Indian Doctors for Peace and Development endorse the initiative of the Government of India to prescribe drugs in legible and capital letters in the generic names only. I shall suggest that a mechanism should be developed by the government that ensures that retail medicine shops don't flee the patients by selling the costliest brands of medicines while honouring prescriptions with generic names. As you are aware that same medicines are sold by different companies with different price tags; in some cases difference between two brands of the same medicine is two to four times higher. Another issue that has to be addressed is that many generic medicines at the wholesale prices are far less than the embossed MRP on the strip/vial/phial of the medicines leading to upto 1000 times profit to retail chemist shops. The government should ensure that generic medicines that are sold in the market should have a margin of profit not exceeding 20% for the retail chemist shops, hence the print price on medicine should be according to the proposed formula. With kind regards.
Dr Shakeel ur Rahman Secretary IDPD
There is need for collective effort to prevent the biggest ever health tragedy as atomic bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed over two lakh people in a matter of minutes. Doctors are duty bound morally and ethically to work for the development of society through health. This was the message that emanated from the Continuous Medical Education programme organized to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of atomic bombing on Nagasaki in Japan on 9th August 1945, by the department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Amritsar in collaboration with Indian Doctors For Peace And Development (IDPD) & Social Medicine Association on the Theme “Health, Development & Ethics”. The event discussed several related subjects viz: Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons; National Health Policy; Medical Ethics and Food Security Act - Strength and Limitations. Principal GMC, Amritsar Dr. Santokh Singh inaugurated the CME followed by welcome speech by Dr. S.S. Deepti. Dr. Tejbir Singh, Head of the department of Community Medicine, GMC Amritsar highlighted the importance of the conference and invited Dr. S.S.Soodan (Vice President IDPD) who gave a brief history of the idea behind the formation of IDPD and also about the work being done so far concerning the peace in various nations around the world. Dr. Amarjit Singh Sidhu from School of Buisness, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar started with his first session on Food Security Act; he stressed that the need of this act is because of the inequalities in wealth and total income. Only 2.5% of the people own 83% of global wealth. He further elaborated regarding the various entitlements and beneficiaries covered under the act. Following this, Dr. G.S.Grewal (President, Punjab Medical Council) emphasized the importance of principles in life, particularly the role of ethics in medical profession. He said that it’s a noble profession and all doctors should commit themselves not to indulge in any malpractices. To regulate the medical profession in the state the PMC has to take several steps to stop the practice of cuts and commissions and advertisements to entice the patients, he said. In the second session, Dr. Bharti Uppal; National Finance Secretary, IDPD discussed about Wars and its devastating long term consequences on health. Then Dr. Arun Mitra (Gen.Secretary IDPD) gave a brief note on medical ethics and its falling standards. After this in the end, Panel discussion was conducted on “National Health Policy (Draft) 2015” by Dr. A.S. Padda, Ex-Principal & Head Department of Community Medicine, GMC as moderator. The first panelist Dr. Shakeel ur Rehman (Secretary IDPD) highlighted that privatization of secondary and tertiary health services should not be there and he said that 2% of Indian population is going below the poverty line every year due to out of pocket expenditure on health. After this Dr. Karanjit Singh (Ex-Director Health Services Punjab) discussed about mother & child health component of the policy and the progress made so far. Dr. Vitull K. Gupta (Associate professor Medicine, AIMSR, Bathinda) emphasized that there is total disconnect between ground level reality and the implementation of the policy. He further enlightened that there is need to implement what is being written in the draft. The last topic of discussion was by Dr. Amritpal Kaur Dhillon (Associate Professor Obst & Gynae, GMC Amritsar) regarding women health issues addressed in the policy. Over 350 delegates attended the CME. The session concluded with the valedictory function and vote of thanks by Dr. Sanjeev Mahajan.
The Rajasthan unit of IDPD observed Hiroshima day at Kanha Ram Memorial Hospital, Hanumangarh to pay homage victims of atomic bombing at Hiroshima on the occasion of 70th anniversary. Thirty doctors from various streams were present. The meeting observed two minutes silence in their memory. The meeting was chaired by a presidium of Dr S.S.Gatte, Dr.M.P.Sharma, Dr Pardeep Saran, Dr Ravi Shankar, Dr Ramesr Bhambu, Dr Rajiv Munjal. Dr Dharmender Kumar delivered speech about hazards of atomic weapons, atomic energy, atomic tests. He said that use of atomic weapons is grave danger to whole nature. Dr Munjal said nonviolence is the basic principles of IDPD. Peace work is our moral duty. Dr Tirth,Dr Shahil,Dr Ravindr Sharma, Dr Rishi Makasar, Dr Amit Bhadu, Dr Sandip Bhakar, and many Ayurvedic medical officers were present there. It was decided to spread the concept of peace village in the coming time.
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) in coordination with Indian Medical Association (IMA) Punjab sent a truck load of relief material with 200 shelter tents and medicines worth 3 lakh rupees to Nepal for the victims of earth quake which devastated large part of Nepal on 25th April 2015
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) in coordination with Indian Medical Association (IMA) Punjab sent a truck load of relief material with 200 shelter tents and medicines worth 3 lakh rupees to Nepal for the victims of earth quake which devastated large part of Nepal on 25th April 2015. Those present for the flag off include Dr L S Chawla, President IDPD, Dr G S Grewal – President Punjab Medical Council, Dr S P S Sooch, President IMA Punjab, Dr Narjit Kaur, member central council IDPD, Rtn. Dr Sanjeev Uppal – Member Central Council IDPD, Dr P S Jassal, member of IDPD and presently General Secretary IMA Ludhiana and Sh.Praveen Bansal – Former Deputy Mayor, Ludhiana who flagged off. The material will be delivered to Physicians for Social Responsibility Nepal (PSRN) in Kathmandu and distributed to the needy under their supervision. Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary IDPD will go to Kathmandu personally to plan the strategy to utilize the material to its best. Dr Balbir Singh, member central council of the IDPD and also Chairman Disaster Management Committee of the IMA Punjab took special interest in raising funds and organizing the relief material. Funds were contributed for the cause from across the country. The efforts made by the medical students from Jammu and Amritsar who collected large amount of funds for the cause are commendable. Other organisations who need to be acknowledged for their generous contribution include Working Women Forum India, Rotary Club Ludhiana, Istri Satsang Sabha Gurudwara Singh Sabha Sargoda Colony, Gurudwara Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maya Nagar Ludhiana. Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary IDPD visited Kathmandu to express solidarity with the Physicians for Social Responsibility Nepal. The material was distributed in Jhor, Sangla, Tokha and other effected areas. It is worth mentioning that IDPD has always been in the fore front for organizing relief work during disasters. A medical team of IDPD had gone to Uttrakhand in 2013 and then Jammu and Kashmir last year when the floods caused damage there.
The Rajasthan unit of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has decided to form peace committees in the villages starting from village Makkarsar near Hanumangarh. As a part of this initiative the village was declared as Shanti Gram (Peace Village). A display board in this regard was installed at the outskirt of the village. Dr Arun Mitra – National General Secretary IDPD inaugurated this along with Dr Rajeev Munjal – President Rajasthan Unit IDPD, Dr Dharmendra Kumar Verma – General Secretary, Dr Rishi, Dr Teerath and Dr Rameshwar Singh.
IDPD RAJASTHAN UNIT TAKES INITIATIVE TO FORM VILLAGE LEVEL PEACE COMMITTEES
The Rajasthan unit of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has decided to form peace committees in the villages starting from village Makkarsar near Hanumangarh. As a part of this initiative the village was declared as Shanti Gram (Peace Village). A display board in this regard was installed at the outskirt of the village. Dr Arun Mitra – National General Secretary IDPD inaugurated this along with Dr Rajeev Munjal – President Rajasthan Unit IDPD, Dr Dharmendra Kumar Verma – General Secretary, Dr Rishi, Dr Teerath and Dr Rameshwar Singh. Prominent persons from the nearby villages attended the curtain raising of this board and assured of forming peace committees in the respective villages which will meet and act separately and unitedly to promote peace and harmony. Addressing on the occasion Dr Munjal said that this initiative has been taken as this is a border area and people have to bear the brunt of tension between India and Pakistan. Later in the evening a citizens seminar was held on the theme HEALTH THROUGH PEACE AND HARMONY. Addressing the gathering Dr Arun Mitra highlighted the importance of peace and disarmament in the world and in South Asia in particular with special reference to Indo-Pak relations. The arms race is costing huge amount to our poor countries he said. This is affecting our health needs. He was critical of that the government has thrown open the health care of the people to the private corporate sector. As a result of this people are suffering due to out of pocket expenditure on health. He demanded the government to provide comprehensive health care to the people of our country. Dr Rajeev Munjal, Dr Dharmendra, Dr Gopal Krishan Handa and Dr S S Gett also addressed the meeting. It was unanimously decided to form an executive committee with Dr Gopal Krishan Handa as Patron, Dr Rajeev Munjal as President, Dr Dharmendra Kumar Verma as the General Secretary, Dr.D.C Swami, Dr R Bhambu, Dr Pawan Sharma as members of the working committee of Rajasthan Unit of IDPD. Several prominent doctors including Dr Rameshwar Singh who have contributed to the cause of uplift of health care in the area were honored. The seminar was chaired by a presidium of Dr.S.S.Gett, Dr.Paras Jain Dr.Khosa, Dr.P.P.Mohinder, Dr.Brijlal, Dr.Handa, Shri B.R.Chandk, Adv.O.P.Hissaria.
There is urgent need for confidence building measures between the countries of south Asia to improve the health indicators of the region. As a result of ongoing tension between the nations and several internal problems within the countries there is huge spending on arms which has made the region’s health spending low. As a result all the countries of the region barring Sri Lanka are among those with lowest health indicators in the world. This spending should be diverted to wards health, education and development. This was the message of the medical students exchange programme on HEALTH THROUGH PEACE organised by the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD). At Srinagar Dr Rafiq Ahmed Pampori, Principal of the Govt. Medical College said that the programme is very relevant in context of the present situation in Kashmir. Love and brotherhood and service to humanity is need of the hour. Dr G M Malik –Vice President IDPD said that IDPD is a forum where every one can express her/his viewpoints freely on the question of peace and health. Students from Kashmir have been active in such programmes earlier too. A highlight of the programme was candle march through the streets of Faridkot by these students under the leadership of Dr Gaganpreet. During this march the students explained to the people in the bazaars their motive of spreading the message of peace and love and health for all. At Amritsar students Dr Santokh singh senior member of IDPD and Dr S S Deepti-head of department of Social and Preventive Medicine Govt. Medical College. Addressed. Large number of senior faculty members took part in the event at Jammu. Dr S S Soodan Senior Vice President IDPD said that there is need for equitable spending on health. Dr R P Kudiar Principal ASCOMS blessed the students for their mission for peace, harmony and health. At AIIMS Dr Usha Shrivastva –Vice President IDPD gave brief history of the IDPD. Dr Chanderkant Pandav-HOD Community Medicine assured of all types of cooperation in future. Dr Arun Mitra - General Secretary IDPD said that these activities are meant to make the students mix up with each other which will break the false propaganda and myths against each other and help in integration process. Next time, he said they will organize group of students from North to travel to south. He thanked all the Principals and senior faculty members for their support to the programme. During the whole programme a group of 12 students from Nashik and Bathinda traversed over 2000 Kilometers from Nashik in Maharashtra to Delhi, Faridkot & Amritsar in Punjab and Jammu & Srinagar in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. During interaction with the students and Faculty in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi, Gurugobind Singh Medical College Faridkot, Govt. Medical College Amritsar, Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences (ASCOMS) Jammu and Govt. Medical College Srinagar, the visiting students gave presentations on the subjects pertaining to peace development and health. The students’ were lead by Dr Jeetendra Singh, National Students Coordinator of IDPD. The group included Ms Fatema Merchant-team leader, Ms Ashika, Ms Roma Jain, Mr Gaurav Chaudhary Mr Chandan Arora, Ms Lipsy, Ms Rosy, Ms Dolly, Ms Ritul and Mr Abhinav. At every place there was a vibrant questions and answers session and discussion. Senior faculty members who attended the events include Dr Chandrakant Pandav Head Department of Community Medicine, Dr Usha Shrivastva – Vice President IDPD, Dr Anil Goswami and Dr Harshad Salve, at AIIMS; Dr B B Mahajan- Principal Guru Gobind singh Medical College, Dr Gaganpreet an Dr Sanjay Chaudhary Asst. Professors Department of Community Medicine at Faridkot; Dr Santokh Singh, Dr S S Deepti - HOD Community Medicine, Dr Jasleen and Dr Navdeep at Govt. Medical College Amritsar; Dr S S Soodan Director ASCOMS and Dr R P Kudiar Principal; Dr Rafiq Ahmed Pampori-Principal GMC Srinagar, Dr G M Malik-Vice President IDPD and Dr Salim Khan HOD Social and Preventive Medicine GMC Srinagar and Com amarjeeet Kaur-National Secretary AITUC.
There is need to organize people’s movements even more vociferously now to achieve nuclear disarmament and denounce militarism. This was the message that emanated from the interactive session organized by the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) on 8th March, the International Women’s Day at Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi. Alyn Ware, Director of the Basel Peace Office, Switzerland while addressing the participants as the main speaker said that even though the media projects a very grim picture but the civil society actions have achieved several gains leading to reduction in the number of nuclear weapons on earth from 80000 in the 1980s to about 17000 at present.
There is need to organize people’s movements even more vociferously now to achieve nuclear disarmament and denounce militarism. This was the message that emanated from the interactive session organized by the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) on 8th March, the International Women’s Day at Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi. Alyn Ware, Director of the Basel Peace Office, Switzerland while addressing the participants as the main speaker said that even though the media projects a very grim picture but the civil society actions have achieved several gains leading to reduction in the number of nuclear weapons on earth from 80000 in the 1980s to about 17000 at present. But it is also a fact that there are nine nuclear weapons state and 30 such nations which rely on these. Several governments have unilaterally abandoned their nuclear weapons programme. There are others who have denounced these through multilateral agreements. But the danger is still grave. The situation in Ukraine has led to worsening of relationship between USA and Russia. This is not a good sign. Similarly situation in Middle East and tension between India and Pakistan are also cause of concern. Good thing is that several new initiatives are coming up for nuclear disarmament. The Civil Society Forum followed by government level conference on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, which was attended by over 150 countries is a bright ray of hope. Similarly support from the Red Cross & Red Crescent, resolution of World Medical Association, the Parliamentarians and Noble Laureates for nuclear disarmament are a positive signal strengthening the voice for peace. The NPT review conference can be a step forward. India can take lead in revising the Rajiv Gandhi action plan. We can also use the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to plead the case of noncompliance of the obligation to stop nuclear weaponisation. Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Vinod Saighal said that the US administration has budgeted US$ 350 billion to update the nuclear weapons. India is also planning modernization of nuclear weapons. There is need to include the issue of climate change in the international dialogue. There is also need to remove the clause of supreme national interest in the ABM treaty. He also said that nuclear energy and nuclear weapons are interlinked. Achin Vanaik from Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and peace(CNDP) said that if US ratifies the CTBT it will prompt other countries to do so. Com Pallav Sen Gupta – General Secretary All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO) said that it is important to have more and more international dialogue on the issue nuclear disarmament and to denounce militarism. Prof. Arjun Dev cautioned that the present Indian government is glorifying the Indian militarism through falsification of history and preaching the ideology of hatred. Dr Usha Shrivastva gave an account of positive role played by the IDPD since its inception. Com Amarjeet Kaur – Secretary All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) said that the government is increasing the budget on defense while cutting down the expenditure on social welfare issues. This tendency of the Indian government of marginalising the poor masses and glorifying the military power has to be countered through people’s movements. Mr.Kanhiya, Miss Oshin, Mr.Sarvsureshth Dhammi and Dr Chenta Hans also participated in the discussion. Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary IDPD informed that IDPD has decided to launch “Health Through Peace and Harmony” campaign in different parts of the country so as to spread the message of disarmament and communal harmony.
IDPD organized a seminar at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences Imphal in which large number of students and faculty participated. Dr Arun Mitra gave a presentation on “Prevention of war and violence – a medical challenge”. Dr M Nara Singh gave an account of the history of IPPNW and IDPD and highlighted their contribution toward promoting peace and health. Dr Deben Laishram director of the institute presided over the function. He lauded the role of IDPD and called upon the students to actively participate in its activities. Other who spoke at the meeting include Dr Chourjit Singh, Dr Th. Dhabali, Dr.T.Rajen Singh, Dr L Amarjit Singh. Many students participated in the interactive session and assured of participation in the 10th National conference of IDPD.
Proceedings of the meeting The meeting was held at Guest House of S N Medical College, Agra 1st February 2015 under the chairmanship of Dr S S Soodan – Senior Vice President IDPD. Meeting started by paying homage to Mrs.Perin Chandra, the founder member of IDPD. By observing two minute silence in her memory. A brief introduction about late Ms.Perin Chandra and her contribution to IDPD was given by Dr. Arun Mitra and Com. Mrs. Amarjeet Kaur.
Proceedings of the meeting
The meeting was held at Guest House of S N Medical College, Agra 1st February 2015 under the chairmanship of Dr S S Soodan – Senior Vice President IDPD. Meeting started by paying homage to Mrs.Perin Chandra, the founder member of IDPD. By observing two minute silence in her memory. A brief introduction about late Ms.Perin Chandra and her contribution to IDPD was given by Dr. Arun Mitra and Com. Mrs. Amarjeet Kaur.
Report of the past activities
Dr Arun Mitra gave a detailed account of the past activities undertaken since February 2014. The report presented by him was unanimously passed in the meeting. Activities done in the past year are available on the website www.idpd.org.
Health Policy and Drug pricing policy:
Dr Arun Mitra told that the government has cut the health budget by 20% which will adversely effect the health care delivery system in our country. Dr J N Tandon expressed concern at the deteriorating health services to the common people for whom the healthcare has become unaffordable. Dr.Shakeel gave a critical analysis of the health policy 2015. The meeting decided that Dr.Shakeel should prepare a note by 10th February on this which should be circulated to the members who should send their inputs by 20th February 2015 and the final version should be submitted to the government before 28th February. Dr Arun Mitra informed that the total methodology of settling the prices of the drugs is faulty that is why one drug formulation is sold by the different pharma companies at very different prices. He also informed that the MRP of the medicines being sold under generic category is very high in comparison to the purchase price by the retailers. Thus the benefit is not passed on to the patients. Dr Shakeel should also prepare a note on the drug pricing policy including the MRP of the generic drugs.
1.Seminars on “Peace and Harmony – Key to Health and Development”
There is lot of resentment among the public as the healthcare has become unaffordable to the vast majority. The cut in the health budget has shaken the medical fraternity as well. The decision of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) of the central government to take away its authority to fix price of the non essential drugs has given huge profit to the pharma companies. Moreover people have become conscious of the negative effects of the huge spending on the arms race. There is growing realization that this money should be diverted towards health and education. The study of Dr Ira Helfand – Co-President IPPNW that over two billion people were at risk in the event of even a limited nuclear war has further aggravated concerns of the people. It was therefore decided to hold seminars, discussion, conventions on “Peace and Harmony – Key to Health and Development” in the different states. It was also decided to reactivise the units which have become dormant. Dr Sudhir Dhakre said that he will specifically take interest for activising the IDPD in UP in consultation with Dr P.S.Pandey of Varanasi. At the suggestion of Gen. Saighal it was decided to take up the issue of effect of GM crops on health.
2.ICAN and AFP
Activities under International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and Aiming for Prevention (AFP) – the campaign for check on proliferation of small arms have to be given priority. In this connection we should linkup our activities with the health policy matters. Activities planned include: a. Interactive session with Alyn Ware (the director of the Basel Peace Office, long time peace activist, global coordinator of PNND, the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament and recipient of the Right Livelyhood Award) on 8th March 2015 at Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi. b. Coordination with other likeminded organizations. c. Observance of related events like the Hiroshima Nagasaki Days on 6th and 9th August, Anti Fascism Day on 9th May, World Earth Day on 22nd April, World Envrionment Day on 5th June, Peace week in November etc. d. Dialogue with decision makers. e. Student and Young doctors Activities and Exchange Programme – Dr Jeetendra Singh to plan these activities in South and North East India. The students would prepare an outline about updating the website, develop better communication methods through Facebook, Whatsapp and email. Ms.Kinnri from Nasik to organize the team and the outlay. Other members of this team include Chandan, Kinnari, Jasmeet, Veronica, Fatima, Lipsy, Ritual, Dr.Priyanka Loach and Abinav.
Dr Arun Mitra presented account of the last year which was unanimously passed. He appealed to the members to contribute Rs.2000/- annually so as to meet the running expenditure.
4.National conference 2016 – Proposals
It was decided to hold next national conference at Patna in February 2016.
5.South Asian Regional Meet
It is proposed to be held at Dhaka depending on the situation in Bangladesh.
•Against the cut in the health budget
•For taking initiative for dialogue with neighbors particularly Pakistan
Appreciation awards presented to various student groups for their contribution. The local IMA president was also presented.
Dr Soodan thanked all the participants particularly Dr Sudhir Dhakre for organising the meeting. He also thanked the Principal of the college and medical students and junior doctors organizing this meeting.
Seminar on “Peace and Harmony – Key to Health and Development”
The seminar was held in the hall of Ravi Hospital Agra. Dr J N Tandon, Dr Amod Shankar, Dr S S Soodan, Dr Arun Mitra, Mrs.Amarjeet Kaur and Gen. Retd. Vinod Saighal were on the stage. Dr Dhakre introduced the subject. Mrs.Amarjeet Kaur in her key note address cautioned that the present government is not only brining down the budget on health and education but also spreading myths and communalizing the education system. They are also not making efforts to hold dialogue with Pakistan. Those engaged in the arms business are making huge profits by selling arms to India and Pakistan. We have to collectively reverse this trend. Gen. Saighal pointed out the climatic changes which are affecting our planet. Dr.J.N.Tandon said that medical professionals are duty bound to work for peace and harmony. Dr Arun Mitra said that IDPD would strive to struggle for communal harmony and peace and for a pro people health policy. Dr S S Soodan gave the appreciation awards. On 2nd February a student seminar was organized in the S N Medical College. Students from Nasik gave a presentation on the activities of IDPD. Students from Adesh Medical College Bathinda gave a presentation on the drug abuse. Dr N S Bawa – Vice President IDPD organized a quiz among the students and gave the prizes. In the evening the students from Nasik staged a street play “Asha ki Kiran” on female foeticide at the Shaheed Smarak Agra. Junior doctors and students from Agra who actively participated in organizing all these events were awarded.
(Date: 30.12.2014) Use of low carbon renewable energy resources are the only way out to prevent the adverse effects as a result of climate change. Failure to take effective measures to combat climate change at the global level could be disastrous for the mankind. There is urgent need to arrive at and implement international agreements to check the rising level of green house gases through transition to low carbon economy, said Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary – Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) & Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha (BJGVJ) Ludhiana while delivering a talk at a seminar on Climate change and Health at the NSS Camp in the Govt. College for Boys Ludhiana. The unprecedented rise in the carbon level in the atmosphere since 1950, more than what occurred in the last 800000 years has created an alarming situation. The effects are already being felt by increase in the storms, melting of glaciers leading to rise in the sea level and floods displacing lacs of people and causing demographic changes. Continued climate change will effect the food production adversely leading to increase in the malnourishment. The human health will be seriously effected by increase in the number of communicable diseases. The poor in the countries who are already at marginal level of nutrition will be the worse effected. “Many of those most vulnerable to climate change have contributed and contribute little to greenhouse gas emissions,” Dr Mitra said while referring to statement by Dr. R K Pachauri – Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is an irony that those who have contributed heavily to the green house gases are now running away from taking up responsibility to contribute more to combat the climate change under the principal of ‘polluter pays’. It is technically feasible to transition to a low-carbon economy, but what is lacking are appropriate policies and institutions. Dr Dharmej Singh, Principal of the college called upon the students to learn more about the environmental degradation and organize movement for its redressal. Prof. Paramjit Singh – In Charge NSS boys welcomed the speaker. Prof. Nishi Arora In Charge NSS girls, Prof. Pooran Singh, Prof. Gitanjli and Prof. Amandeep Singh graced the occasion.
(Date: 25.12.2014) Indian Doctors for Peace & Development (IDPD) has strongly condemned the decision of government of India to cut health budget by 20%. This is to slash 6000 Crore rupees out of total budget of Rs.35,163 crore on health for the financial year ending on 31st March 2015. It is ironical that public spending on health in India is one among the lowest in the world as low as Sierra Leone and Haiti. India spends 1% of its GDP on health as compared 3% by China and 8.3 % by the USA. This cut will further lower our health indicators some of which are even lower than Bangladesh. In 2013 in our country 13 lakh children died before reaching their fifth birthday. India’s Childhood mortality rate (Children dying before 5th birthday) is 53 as compared to China’s 13 and Srilanka’s 10. India accounts for around 16% of globe’s population and 30% of world’s poor. Arjun Sen Gupta commission had in 2008 reported that 77% of Indian population lives on less than Rs.20/- per day. This huge number is dependent on state run health institutions for their needs. They are already marginalized and under nourished. As a result they are more prone to be taken ill. With this decision of the government , they will be further marginalized. This decision will only help the corporate sector which takes healthcare as business. This has also exposed the government’s intention to promote corporate sector in health ignoring the interest of vast majority of our population. It is worth noting here that since the present government took over the prices of the newer Anti HIV and Anti Cancer drugs have increased rocket high. We demand that this cut be immediately revoked.
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has demanded from the political parties to define their health agenda in the upcoming elections to the Parliament. It is an irony that most of the political parties completely ignore health in their manifestos. This demand is an outcome of the seminar on “Building Future through Peace, Health and Development” organized by the IDPD on 9th March 2014 at New Delhi. A letter in this regard will be soon sent to the central leaders of political parties said Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary IDPD. A draft of the IDPD health charter was presented by Dr Usha Shrivastava – Secretary IDPD which was discussed in details by the participants. This draft will be discussed in different parts of the country before giving it a final shape which would be later on submitted to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare after the elections. Giving a detailed presentation on “Challenges of Health Care in India” Dr Prachin Ghodajkar - Assistant Professor at Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health in JNU, New Delhi said that the health care delivery system has been very systematically and subtly shifted from the state’s responsibility to provide healthcare as a constitutional obligation to make it techno centric purchasable commodity in consonance with the neo liberal economic order. This has resulted in increasing number of population getting devoid of quality health care. To meet the challenge of health in our country public health spending has to be increased to a minimum of 6% of our budget. There has to be a rational drug policy to control the prices of the drugs, he said. Mr.Manish Dabhade – Assistant Professor International School of disarmament studies JNU cautioned that arms race is impinges on the budget for the development. Certain issues pending for long between India & Pakistan, India & China and now with Bangladesh & Sri Lanka have pushed the region into increased spending on arms. Professor K N Kabra a leading economist said that the economic policies being pursued by the successive governments for the last nearly two decades have created a false notion of growth and increase in the GDP. There has been in fact exclusion of vast majority of the population from the benefits of economic development. Points raised in all these deliberations were debated at length by the participants. Prominent among those who participated in the discussion include Maj. Gen. Retd. Vinod Saighal, Ms.Amarjeet Kaur, Dr Anil Pathak, Dr Anjali Mehta, Dr Manju Sharma, Prof. Gargi Chakravorti, Dr Chetna Hans, Dr Arashdeep Singh, Dr Koninika Ray. Doctors and medical students from Ghaziabad - U.P, AIIMS & Maulana Azad Medical College – Delhi, Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences – Punjab, GMC & ASCOMS – Jammu participated. Dr Nilima Pathak thanked all the participants and said that they will soon organize interactive sessions in different institutions and part of the National Capital Region Delhi.
Central Council Meeting at Imphal: Seminar at Imphal and Agartala IDPD Annual Central Council Meeting Held at Imphal (Manipur) on 9th February 2014.noClick Here For Report
Increase in spending on health and education is the most essential perquisite for the development and inclusive growth of a society. Therefore it is of utmost importance that the spending on arms be decreased and the money thus saved should be diverted towards health and education; said Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) while delivering a talk at seminar organized by the Economics Department SCD Government College here today. India and Pakistan both are one among the most deprived but we spend huge amount on arms. India ranks number one with 12% of total arms import and Pakistan ranks number three with 5% of total arms import in the world. Both of us now have about 100 nuclear weapons each. These are enough to put two billion people at the risk of starvation in the case of nuclear exchange between the two countries. Quoting a study carried out by the Nobel Laureate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) President Dr Ira Helfand, he said that the fall in temperature around the world as a result of dust and soot released into the atmosphere will reduce agriculture growth to a level which could cause serious fall in production of food. The 925 million people in the world who are already chronically malnourished (with a baseline consumption of 1,750 calories or less per day), would be put at risk by a 10% decline in their food consumption. The only option before the world is to abolish the testing, production and putting on launch all the nuclear weapons. He was highly critical that India’s health spending in the last budget was only 1.9% as against the minimum of required 6%. There is urgent need to increase public health spending on the health. Prof. Poonam Mittal, Head of the Economics Department highlighted the need for an inclusive growth of the society and not concentration of wealth in a few hands. Prof. Ashwani Bhalla said that corporate oriented growth has led to widening of gaps in the society. Prof. Pooran Singh said that their department always tries to impart knowledge to the student on various related subjects. Prof. Geetanjli Malik welcomed the speaker and Prof. Iradeep Kaur thanked the participants. Students asked questions from the speakers
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has expressed serious concern at the decision of the ministry of Environment government of India to grant green clearance to the Fatehabad Nuclear Power plant. In a statement issued here today Dr L S Chawla – President and Dr Arun Mitra - General Secretary IDPD said that the nuclear power plants are potentially dangerous. The nuclear facility at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu has failed to fulfill all the environment obligations fully but still the government allowed it. Same thing is likely to happen here. Moreover this area is densely populated. The nuclear accidents have been major disasters worldwide, the main being Chernobyl (Ukraine in 1986) and Fukushima (Japan in 2011). Our country has dismal record of even domestic waste management; how do we expect the management nuclear waste which otherwise also is very difficult to manage. Our organization has conducted studies on the health status of people living around Jadugoda uranium mines and found significant effect on their health. We have enough of renewable energy resources like the Solar, Wind and Bio Waste, but are not paying so much attention to these. Instead we are purchasing the nuclear power from those countries who have virtually stopped using nuclear energy for power generation.
Increase health spending from 1.2% of the GDP to 6% to provide comprehensive health care to all. Addressing a seminar organized by the NSS at the Government College Boys Ludhiana Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) said that despite the recommendations of the planning commission on health to allocate 5% of the budget towards health, the government of India allocated only 1.9% of the budget to health. Quoting Amritya Sen, Dr Mitra said that health and education are the basic assets required for development and inclusive growth of any country and society. Our public health spending is among the three lowest in the world in line with Sierra Leone and Haiti. Therefore we are likely to miss the millennium development goal (MDG) to bring down infant mortality rate to 27 and maternal mortality rate to 109 by 2015. It is an irony that we spend huge amount on the arms race because of perpetual tension between India and Pakistan. Both of us have nearly 100 nuclear weapons each which if used could lead to death of up to 1.2 crore people. A recent study done by Dr Ira Helfand has warned of risk to over 2 billion people because of fall in food production resulting due to climatic changes in the event of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. He called for a mass movement on these issues. Many students asked questions concerning his talk. Present among the faculty members were Prof. Pooran Singh, Prof. Paramjit Singh and Prof Joshi.
An IDPD peace team visited Muzaffarnagar on 24th November 2013. The team went to Shahpur town, Kutba, Kutbi and Kankra villages which were hit by the violence over two and half months ago. The team also visited the make shift camps for the displaced people of the area. The team comprised of Dr Arun Mitra – National General Secretary, Dr Sudhir Dhakre – National Secretary, Dr Sanjeev Verma – UP State Secretary and Dr Neelam – Member Central Council of IDPD. Dr Kuldeep Singh Chauhan a leading physician organized the visit. Social activist Com. Rambal Tyagi joined us in our visit to different places. The members interacted with the people of the area and found that until this event there had been no tension in the society. The area was spared of riots even in 1947. The rural areas had even stronger relationship among the communities. This was a result of long standing harmony, brotherhood and cohesive relationship among different communities. The events are a clear pointer to that the whole thing was stage planned, managed, and engineered in a well orgnaised manner. The role of the administration in curbing the violence has been disgusting. An ordinary crime of stalking and eve teasing was turned into communal problem. It was very sad to note that the same people who lived together are now garnering mistrust among each other. Fear loomed large among the displaced people who were reluctant to go back to their homes in the villages. Women and children were even getting nightmares. The confidence building measures are far from sufficient. The team has following recommendations to make:
The Rajasthan unit of IDPD in association with the citizens organized a seminar BUILDING FUTURE THROUGH PEACE AND HEALTH on 6th October 2013 at Rajgarh Town, District Churu in which over 200 people from all walks of life participated. Dr.Rajeev Munjal gave an introduction of the event and called upon the people to work for peace. Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary IDPD while paying homage to the victims of atomic bombing of Hiroshima said that with people’s movement we can prevent such an event from reoccurring. Peace is the only way if we want to progress. Dr. Dharmendra Verma assured that Rajasthan unit will continue to work for the promotion of peace and disarmament. He cautioned about the dangers of nuclear power plants. Prominent among others who spoke include Dr R N Laba, Dr Vinod Aggarwal, Dr Hawa Singh, Dr Jai Lakhtakia, Dr Ramaavtar Soni, Dr Teerath, Dr R Bhambu, Dr Pawan Sharma, Dr Dinesh, Dr Hari Singh, Dr Jagveer, Dr.H R Rohila, Dr H S Shendilya, Dr Ravinder Saharan, Dr Praveen Bishnoi, Dr.Ram Niwas Mann, Dr O P Lamboria. Mr.Mohd. Yasin Beg Mugal thanked the organizers for the event to promote peace and development.
Dr Arun Mittra General Secretary IDPD informed how we can build a secured future through peace and health. He also stressed that like all industries, the thermal generation of electricity produced waste. Whatever fuel was used, these wastes must be managed in ways to safeguard human health. He also discussed about the world’s worst nuclear disaster occurred few years back. Renewable energy sources such as hydro and wind were expected to be capable of supplying energy to the human world for another one billion years at which point the predicted increase in heat from the sun was expected to make the surface of the earth to hot for water to exist. He was addressing the faculty and the students on the occasion of installation ceremony of a science society which was organised on the premises of the Government College for Girls on 3rd September 2013. He was the chief guest on the occasion. Principal Gurminder Kaur said science society was working hard to improve the standards of science wing. Atomic energy was dangerous and we should totally ban this energy throughout the world for our betterment. The meeting was coordinated by Dr Manu HOD Botany and Sh.Amrit Pal Singh.
The Haryana unit of IDPD organized a seminar on BUILDING FUTURE THROUGH PEACE AND HEALTH on 1st September at Yamunanagar. Dr Karan Singh gave an introduction of the event and called upon the people to work for peace. Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary IDPD while paying homage to the victims of atomic bombing of Hiroshima said that with people’s movement we can prevent such an event from reoccurring. Peace is the only way if we want to progress. Dr. Balbir Singh cautioned about the dangers of nuclear power plants. He also expressed grave concern at the climate change which will change the flora and fauna pattern and endanger our lives. Dr Rajmohan Singh said that more activities should be done on this front. Others who attended include Dr Neelam, Dr Ravinder Singh Gill, Dr Vikram Bharti, Dr Kuldeep Saini and Dr Rajinder Kumar.
(Presentation Made on Behalf of Eco Monitors Society at the Eco Revival Summit 98 on 9th November 1998 at the India International Centre, New Delhi)
The military dimension has generally prevailed over most of the other dimensions of human existence since the dawn of history; but never to the extent that it has in our century. Coming even closer to our day and age it now tends to submerge most other dimensions, to the detriment of the planet as a whole. As a landmass the Himalayas, and the regions adjacent to the great mountain chain, have the dubious distinction of playing host to perhaps the largest concentration of military forces and destructive weapons systems anywhere in the world. The collective concentration of the forces of China, India, Pakistan and few other states could soon destroy one of the most magnificent natural habitats of the world. Individually, some countries like India and, possibly Nepal, Bhutan and China "have" started perceiving at the edges of their military vision that all is not well with the ecology of the region. In non-military segments awareness has come that an irreversible decline may already have set in. All the countries that derive sustenance from the mighty Himalayan sources have subconsciously realised that the day of reckoning is not far off. The audience present here does not have to be reminded of the suffering caused to hundreds of millions of people by unprecedented floods. In this presentation we will look at the inter-regional dimension of the problem in order to highlight the fact that unless the countries of the region come to their senses and join hands to reverse the eco-destruction of the Himalayas the future generations of Chinese, Indians, Tibetans, Nepalese and Pakistanis will not have much left to fight over. The eco-restoration of the Himalayas is now an ineluctable survival imperative for over a billion people living in and around the Himalayan region. The eco-revival plan being put forward for consideration divides the larger portion of the Himalayan region into five segments: i.e. areas West of the 75° E meridian, that is the Pakistan-Afghanistan sector; the India - Pakistan sector, the India-China sector and other relatively dormant sectors. The first sector West of the 75° meridian is outside the purview of today's presentation being the battleground for the power play of too many outside powers. We will take the remaining sectors turn by turn. Indo-Pak Sector (Jammu & Kashmir Sector) The J&K sector can again be divided into two sub-sectors i.e. Ladakh sector and areas to its North and remainder J&K. In the Ladakh sector the major dispute centres around Siachen. The highest battleground in the world has created, in addition to the human suffering undergone by troops of both sides, environmental devastation whose effects will only be known once the troops pull out. Tens of thousands of tons of human waste, oil and lubricants and other contaminants have penetrated the snowy vastness, not to mention the millions of rounds of small arms ammunition and mortar and artillery shells. We grew up with the phrase "pure as the driven snow". It has acquired a different meaning in much of the Himalayan landscape. We recommend an immediate de-militarisation of the Siachen region along the following lines: Non-military joint commissions to verify the exact position of the belligerents on the ground. After verification the documents to be deposited by the respective governments at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Both countries would give written undertakings not to change the status quo after troop pullback for a minimum period of twenty-five years. In case of infringements, the ICJ to be empowered to impose heavy fines on the defaulting party. Concomitantly, China would give a written guarantee not to, in any way, take advantage of the demilitarisation to the detriment of the countries pulling back their troops. Other nations are not required to get into the act. · After submission of the documents to the ICJ complete demilitarisation up to designated lines would be effected within 180 days. · The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan to jointly dedicate a memorial to the dedication and fighting spirit of some of the best soldiers in the world fighting under conditions which could be termed as the utmost in human endurance. Thereafter, joint Indo-Pak scientific teams to study the environmental impact of the Siachen folly and remedial measures for limiting damage to future generations. India-China Sectors The India-China sectors can again be further subdivided into three zones from the point of view of past hostility as follows: · No skirmish zone (since after the occupation of Tibet by Chinese troops) · Zones of continuous tranquility (for over thirty-five years i.e. since after the 1962 conflict) · Zones of hostility (or skirmish zones) Having delineated the sub-sectors we recommend the following pattern for gradual demilitarisation of the Sino-Indian border and ecologically fragile zones of Tibet. · In the first instance the Siachen demilitarisation model to be applied to the first two zones of the Sino-Indian border i.e. the no skirmish zone and the continuously tranquil zones. Similar deposition of documents before the ICJ along with identical pledges and penalties for infringement. China being a permanent member of the Security Council with veto powers that body has been given a wide berth. · Establishment of joint eco-restoration commissions to undertake joint eco- restoration work without prejudice to either country's stand on the boundary dispute. · Pledge before the ICJ that neither country would ever use the eco-restoration zones for military activities in the future or to launch any military operations through those areas. · The Chinese government to set up an independent commission for phased de-nuclearisation and demilitarisation of Tibet in anticipation of international movement of the nuclear powers in that direction. Regardless of the rate of that progress the Chinese government to unilaterally chalk out a massive twenty-five year programme for the eco-restoration of Tibet. World Bank and the Tibetan diaspora to assist. · The Government of India in concert with the Royal Nepal government to chalk out similar twenty-five year scheme for the full scale eco-restoration of the Himalayas in the entire sub-Himalayan and trans-Himalayan regions. Ex- servicemen Gorkha pensioners and Indian ex-servicemen to be fully incorporated in this mammoth task. At this juncture we have outlined a bare-bones scheme for the eco-restoration of the Himalayas on behalf of the Eco Monitors Society. We have already done considerable work to flesh out the scheme. At this conference, however, we would like to invite the views of the participants to refine the scheme during the sessions devoted exclusively to the eco-restoration of the Himalayas.: *Presented by Maj Gen (Retd) Vinod Saighal; Executive Director, Eco Monitors Society (EMS); 38, Babar Road; New Delhi 110 001. Tel: 23716314, 23355967; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting at Thapar College 7.08.2013
On 7th of August as part of IDPD campaign to observe 6 to 13 August as Hiroshima atomic bombing anniversary peace week, rotary club, main Patiala, headed by Prof. Dr Amarjeet, Professor and Head, Dept. of Surgery, Mullana Medical College (Ambala) and president of the rotary club, organized a meeting at Patiala. Dr Balbir Singh member central council IDPD delivered a lecture on renewable sources of energy, sustainable development and non violent means of conflict resolution. The meeting was attended by 30 members of rotary club and eminent citizens including Prof S K Mariya (former Head of Urology and Principal, PGI Rohtak) and Dr Seema Bawa (Dean, student welfare, THAPAR University, Patiala). Members paid homage to the victims of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima and unanimously resolved to promote renewable energy especially solar and biomass waste energy in Punjab.
Students Model United Nations at Thapar University 12-8-2013.
Dr. Balbir Singh delivered lecture to an audience of over 500 students from all over the country and few foreign delegates, in the presence of faculty of Thapar university and invited guests. Students took an active part in the discussion and Dr Seema Bawa declared at the end of the session that Thapar Unviersity will immediately take steps to install solar power plants and also initiate efforts for biogas. She said, even if there is a remote risk of nuclear accident which can endanger human life, flora and fauna, we must strive hard to use technologies that are 100% safe. In view of the fact that Co2 levels have reached 400ppm and freak weather conditions are increasing in intensity and frequency. It was unanimously resolved that we should use solar, wind and bio energy in order to set up a Thapar Model of Energy Generation and Consumption so as to serve as a role model to society.
The international congress on “Social And Health Effects of Small Arms” organized by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) at Villingen Shwenningen in Germany from 30th May to 2nd June 2013 called upon the weapon producing countries to stop producing these arms as these cause death, injury, deprivation, psychological trauma, displacement and abuse of women and children in the conflict as well as non conflict regions of the world. Expressing concern at that over 875 million small arms are there in the world which cause death of nearly half a million people every year out of which 300,000 are due to conflicts and 200,000 due to homicides and suicides. About 90% of deaths due to small arms are of civilians. These arms are used by the military where inter country relations are not conducive. These are used by the non state actors to cause subversive activities. These are also used for criminal activities and for violence at local levels. It is an irony that the Security Council member countries produce and sell these arms in maximum number which are now being used in the conflict regions like south Asia, Middle East and Latin America. Danger with small arms is that are easily available and within the reach of civilians. The congress appealed to the gun producing industry to convert them to produce the items of common use like sewing machines and cycles or toys. All the delegates held a rally outside the gun producing Heckler and Koch where a concert was held for peace and for elimination of guns.
Various speakers in different sessions expressed satisfaction at that the arms trade treaty (ATT) has been passed but it must be ratified by various countries of the world. The speakers also pointed out that this ATT is weak and does not say anything about the supply of arms to terrorist groups. Also the treaty does not say about the supply of arms to countries as loans and gifts. This needs an amendment in the treaty in the coming time.
The delegation of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) comprised of 22 persons including 14 students and young doctors. Dr Arun Mitra in his presentation on ARMS RACE AND SOCIAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT- SOUTH AISAN PERSPECTIVE at the plenary session cautioned that India is the biggest importer of arms in the world and this huge expenditure is being done at the cost of social expenditure on health and education. Perpetual conflict with Pakistan is the main cause of this. This aberration has to be corrected by both the countries who must sit together and have dialogue and promote more trade and people to people relations. The economic gaps among the population have increased under the neo liberal economic development policies. This has further led to increase in violence due to small arms due to greed, need and desperation.
Dr S S Soodan gave a presentation at the workshop on “Small Arms Production, Trade and Use - Effect on Health & Development in Context of South Asia” in which Dr.Tipu Sultan, President Pakistan Doctors for Peace and Development (PDPD) and Dr Ranjit Jayasekhera from Sri Lanka also participated. It was decided to hold a south Asian regional meeting in Pakistan at Karachi and Lahore An exhibition on the effects of small arms was organized by Dr Navinder Singh Bawa. About 50 students from allaround the globe took out a bike tour from the city of Ulm to Villingen covering a distance of over 200 Kilometers spreading the message of peace and non violence demanding check on proliferation of small arms. This group included 4 students from India Miss Apram Jyot, Miss Soumyashree, Miss Namarta and Mr Arshdeep Singh. Other prominent delegates include Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman, Dr Tejinder singh, Maninder Singh, Dr Miss Chetna Hans, Agya Dass Aggarwal.
Renewable energy resources can meet all our energy requirements. They are also clean, transparent and safe source of energy. India has the potential of generating 5000 Trillion KW hours per year of electricity from Solar and 102788 MW from Wind and will need 3128 Trillion Watt hour per year of electrical energy in the future if it adopts a frugal policy for energy use. This annual need could be met through renewable energy resources alone in the form of solar power, wind and hydroelectric power. The only issue involved is the political will. These views were expressed by Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary of the national NGO “Indian Doctors for Peace and Development” while delivering a talk at the seminar on “Renewable Energy Sources and Sustainable Development” at Patiala organized by its Patiala Unit in collaboration with six others NGOs of the city on the eve of Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima in Japan on 11th March 2011. Dr Balbir Singh, the local coordinator of the NGO told that in contrast to the natural and renewable resources of energy like solar, wind and water, the nuclear resources are neither safe nor economical and are fraught with danger of nuclear weaponisation with hazardous ill effects on human health which the world has already witnessed thrice with major accidents in nuclear power plants. An environmental engineer from Punjab Pollution Control Board, highlighting various types of pollution responsible human health hazards, elaborated various measures being taken by the board to check pollution in the state with specially set up Environment Protection Squad. More than 200 participants including representatives of different NGOs, Dr Janak Sachdeva, Dr Sudhir Verma, Mrs. Parminder Kaur, Dr N.S. Bawa, Karamjit Singh Jatana ( Retd. DFPO), Advocate Joginder Singh Jindu, Dr Dharamveer Gandhi, Ujagar Singh ( Retd. DPRO), Dr Amar Singh Azad and Dr DS Bhullar, participated in the seminar.
The 9th national conference for the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) attended by 376 doctors, medical students and concerned citizens, held at Ludhiana from 15th to 17th February 2013 concluded with a decision to prepare CITIZENS CHARTER ON HEALTH and launch campaign for a comprehensive health care to all. Wastage of resources on arms race coupled with faulty health policy and inequity in society is the cause for poor health indicators in our country. The charter will deal with resource generation by diverting expenditure from arms race and increase the government’s spending on health from 1.9% to 6% so as to meet the goal of health care to all as enshrined in the Alma Ata Declaration. For this the IDPD will intensify the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons (ICAN), build confidence among nations so as to reduce substantially the expenditure on arms race and utilize the resources in an equitable manner so that the people of the country get quality health care irrespective of their socio economic status.
The conference started on 15th February with a HEALTH THROUGH PEACE march through the main markets of the town in which over 300 doctors, students, nurses and concerned citizens including women organisations, trade unions, youth organisations bankers and ex servicemen spread the message of nonviolence and end to the arms race. Students performed Target X where they spoke to the people around on the motive and distributed literature and held rallies at various points. The marchers carried placards and banners demanding complete abolition of nuclear weapons, stop arms race & use of small arms, end to violence against women, and for comprehensive health care to all. The march was led by Dr L S Chawla-President IDPD, Dr Arun Mitra- General Secretary, Dr Bharti Uppal- finance Secretary, Dr V Sadanandam – member central council, Dr Manoj Sobti-President IMA Punjab, Dr Kulwant Singh-Joint Secretary IMA Punjab, Dr P S Jassal, Dr Narjit Kaur and Maj. Gen.(Retd) Vinod Saighal and Dr Tim Wright from ICAN Australia. Various speakers addressing the gathering said that peace is essential prerequisite for the development as huge amount of resources are wasted on the arms race. Ironically, India and Pakistan which are one among the lowest in the human development index are the biggest buyers of the arms. The upcoming congress will debate on the issue for next two days and chalk out a strategy for action for changes in government’s policy framework so as to ensure quality health care to all citizens of our country which is a constitutional right of all the citizens. The student activity day was beautifully concluded with a message balloon release by the all the participants of the march.
Medical students’ session was held on 16th February for noon in which students from several states participated in the deliberations. They organized a seminar, extempore speech competition, poster competition and signature campaign. The students expessed their opinion on the ongoing nuclear arms race, nuclear energy for power generation, tension in south Asia, poor health care delivery system in the country and violence against women and children.
The conference was formally inaugurated by the Mayor of Ludhiana S. Harcharan Singh Golwaria . He expressed full solidarity with the movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons as launched by the doctors and medical students under the banner of IDPD. Nuclear weapons are the weapons of mass destruction and have to be abolished for good, he said and assured of joiing the Mayors for peace in their endeavour for a nuclear weapon free world. The inaugural session was addressed among others by Dr L S Chawla-President, Dr Daljeet Singh-Principal DMC, and Dr Manoj Sobti-President IMA Punjab. Dr Arun Mitra gave an over view of the activities of the organization since the last conference held at Agra January 2010.
The afternoon session was devoted to Challenges of Public Health in India. Dr Imrana Qadeer from centre of social development studies, Dr Tejbir Singh- HOD Community medicine Govt. Medical College Amritsar and Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman from Patna were the key speakers. They said that spending on health has to be increased to a minimum of 6% if health of people has to be improved. Present policies of the govt. of corporatization of health care are not sustainable as majority of the people are unable to afford it. Every year 4 crore people go below poverty line because of out of pocket expenditure on health. The session was followed by discussion in which large number of participants participated. Final session was on the need for peace for industrial and economic growth.
Sh. Manoj Singhal, Chairman and MD, M&M Auto Industries shared his experience on the subject and said that economic growth is directly related to peace and disarmament.
Maj. Gen. (Retd) Vinod Saighal was the main speaker in the session on Peaceful Coexistence in South Asia. He emphasized on the need for people’s movements in the countries of South Asia so as to impress upon the governments to continue dialogue to ease tension in the region and put an end to arms race. There is need to have restraint on the provocative actions by any of the neighbouring countries. Any hasty response could flare up tension.
Professor Arjun Dev, former head department of Social Sciences NCERT and presently working on a project of the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR), TOWARDS FREEDOM, expressed concern at the trends of increasing intolerance in the society particularly against the marginalized sections. Such a situation is a threat to the basic fabric of the society. We must unite to combat the designs of communal, caste and parochial forces.
Mrs Amarjeet Kaur, national secretary All India trade union congress (AITUC), cautioned against the increasing violence against women. This is a result of Increasing disparity and commercialization where women are commodified and used to project the sale of the products. The recent reaction to such violence is a positive step and has to be continued. Value based education has to be given to the children in the family at educational institutes.
Video conference was held with Dr.Tilman Ruff – Co President IPPNW. He gave account of the upcoming NGO conference in Oslo.
The 9th national conference of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) concluded today with a resolve to continue struggle for end to violence of all kinds and to bring about conceptual changes in the health policy so as to achieve the goal of comprehensive health care to all.
The conference elected a central council. Dr L.S Chawla was re-elected as president, Dr Arun Mitra as general secretary. THe Conference unanimously authorised the president to form Central Council for the coming period.
The conference passed resolutions for abolition of nuclear weapons, restriction on issuing of small arms to the civilians and comprehensive security to be provided by the state. In another resolution the conference demanded the use of renewable energy recourses and not nuclear power for electricity generation. Conference also cautioned against the use of GM crops without proper trials. Finally the conference demanded increase in the budget allocation for health to 6% and ensure food security to all.
Dr Arun Mitra General Secretary
Students hold signature campaign at Punjab State IMA Conference PIMACON
The PIMACON 2012 was held at Bathinda on 23rd December 2012 at Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Bathinda. The Student wing of IDPD led by Dr Apramjyot, Dr Amandeep Gill, Dr Tarninderjit Singh, Mr,Ankush Malhotra, Mr.Pawandeep, Ms.Amandeep Kaur and Dr Ankit held a signature campaign on Abolish Nuclear Weapons and End to Violence Against Women. Large number of members of the IMA from all over the state signed on this. Prominent among those include Dr Manoj Sobti-President IMA Punjab, Dr Ram Bhardwaj – President elect IMA Punjab, Dr.Daljit Singh Principal DMC Ludhiana, Dr H S Gill – Chancellor and Dr GPI Singh Vice Chancellor of Adesh Medical University. The students explained about the aims and object of the IDPD.
Candle-lit vigil for the Delhi Victims by IDPD Adesh Bathinda
21 December, 2012 The members of IDPD, Staff students and faculty members of Adesh University today expressed their shock and anguish over the unfortunate incident that occurred in our national capital. Members of IDPD, student’s council of Adesh medical college, and respected faculty were present holding a candle vigil for 23 year old rape victim praying for her speedy recovery and requesting the law and order body to take necessary strict action against the culprits. This incident is not the first one to occur… many occur daily but they go unnoticed, may be out of fear or embarrassment but this one can act as a matchstick to ignite the flame for taking action against each and every culprit. Dr.GPI Singh, Vice chancellor, Adesh university, Senior member IDPD, today exclaimed a heartfelt pain over this inhumane act and said that culprits should not be left unpunished. Dr. Harkiran kaur, Director Student welfare, today exclaimed that the crime of rape is worst than murder because the affected person lives in agony forever. The culprit should be punished in a manner that makes him feel guilty for life. Capital punishment is much less as the culprit is killed in no time. The punishment given must be constant deterrent to not just the culprit but to miscreatants in general. Dr. J.S Bahia, CWIC, Associate professor, Dept. of medicine, said that culprits should be punished with an iron hand and deserve death penalty. Police should do more patrolling and make our country a safer place to live in. IDPD student members Dr. Ankush malhotra , Dr. Manmeet Singh , Dr. Amandeep Gill, Dr. satveer Singh Jassal , Dr. Chetna hans , Dr. Pawandeep Singh , Dr. Ankit jain , Akansha Gupta , Kajol and Mohnish expressed heart felt gratitude to all present there for their support.
Students’ Interactive Session at Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Bathinda (Punjab)
07 December, 2012 As a message from Hiroshima to the future generation, a students’ interactive session was held at Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Bathinda. The session was attended by students of Dental College and Medical College. The guest speaker was senior member of IDPD, Dr. J.S Bahia, CWIC, Associate professor, Dept. of Medicine. Dr. Bahia explained the health effects of the uranium, in context of traces of uranium found in water table of Bathinda, due to which many cases of uranium exposure have been reported in many areas of Bathinda region. The cause of water pollution is still to be found. Dr.Bahia told the student about the typical signs and symptoms reported in the children of the area. The government is aware of this incidents, but still not much has been done. Dr. Rajiv, Assitant professor at AIMSR, shared how medical students can help in this campaign locally as well as globally. A signature campaign was held afterwards, in which students signed and wrote message for the future generations.
JAMMU, Nov 22: A seminar on Peace & Society- Public Health Perspective was organised at Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences and Hospital Sidhra, near here today. The seminar was organised by IDPO Wing of ASCOMS students. Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) and Dr N S Bewa, vice president Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPO) were invited as main speakers on this occasion. The impact of violence of any form on the individuals, society, State and country was highlighted by the guest speakers and the loss of human life and property with its effect on physical and mental health of population, education and moral values was also deliberated. The affects of environmental pollution and degradation of natural resources were also discussed. The medical students and faculty deliberated on the public health approach to emphasize the human face of violence and role of doctors in such disaster management situations.
Programmes in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu
20th World Congress of IPPNW 22nd to 26th August 2012 Hiroshima
The 20th World Congress of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), organized by the Japanese Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (JPPNW) was held at Hiroshima, Japan from 22nd to 26th August 2012 on the theme FROM HIROSHIMA TO FUTURE GENERATIONS. It reaffirmed the resolve to continue to work for a nuclear free world as a tribute to the victims of Atomic Bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This will be achieved through its core programmes, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Aiming for Prevention - to check the proliferation of Small Arms. The IPPNW will also stress upon the world leaders to shun nuclear power plants and use renewable resources to fulfill the needs for energy as nuclear energy is neither safe nor economical and is a potential source for the development of weapon system. The congress demanded a Nuclear Weapon Convention under the auspices of the UNO on the pattern of convention on biological, chemical weapons and land mines. A mass movement will be build through public campaigns, advocacy and lobbying in different parts of the world. The activities will also be enhanced in the non nuclear weapon states so that they can put pressure on the nuclear weapon states. To achieve the goal, scope of the movement will be widened by collaborating with likeminded organizations and persons. ICAN will organize a Citizens’ conference in Oslo – Norway on 2nd and 3rd March 2013. This will precede the governmental level conference from 4th to 6th March. . .....
Main Congess Report
The 20th World Congress of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), organized by the Japanese Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (JPPNW) was held at Hiroshima, Japan from 22nd to 26th August 2012 on the theme FROM HIROSHIMA TO FUTURE GENERATIONS. It reaffirmed the resolve to continue to work for a nuclear free world as a tribute to the victims of Atomic Bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This will be achieved through its core programmes, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Aiming for Prevention - to check the proliferation of Small Arms. The IPPNW will also stress upon the world leaders to shun nuclear power plants and use renewable resources to fulfill the needs for energy as nuclear energy is neither safe nor economical and is a potential source for the development of weapon system. The congress demanded a Nuclear Weapon Convention under the auspices of the UNO on the pattern of convention on biological, chemical weapons and land mines. A mass movement will be build through public campaigns, advocacy and lobbying in different parts of the world. The activities will also be enhanced in the non nuclear weapon states so that they can put pressure on the nuclear weapon states. To achieve the goal, scope of the movement will be widened by collaborating with likeminded organizations and persons. ICAN will organize a Citizens’ conference in Oslo – Norway on 2nd and 3rd March 2013. This will precede the governmental level conference from 4th to 6th March.
Whereas people around the world want peace, it is a few vested interests that want to sell arms for the sake of profit, the congress observed. Whereas only a handful of Military Industrial Complex is making the weapons, the developing world is spending huge amounts on their purchase. The US is spending nearly 50% of the total world military expenditure. It is in this connection that a special conference HUMAN TARGET will be organized in Germany from 30th May to 2nd June 2013 near to the Gun Making industry of Heckler and Koch in the twin cities of Villingen and Schewennign. Several affiliates from both South and North of the world will participate in this congress and deliberate from their perspectives.
After the congress, a 30 member delegation went to Fukushima to get first hand information of the situation resulting from the nuclear power plant melt down on 11th March 2011. Dr Arun Mitra from IDPD was a part of this delegation. There is no human population allowed in the 20 Km radius around the plant. Even after 1 year and 5 months, more than 1,60,000 people are still living out of their homes in the make shift houses. A large number of villages will never be inhabited again. As a result youth has moved out to distant places in search of jobs. Elderly are left behind in the make shift houses. This is causing lot of stress among the people. Fourth nuclear reactor in this Dai Ichi plant is still leaking. Decontamination is being done by removing the upper layers of the soil. This will leave huge amount of irradiated soil for which there is no method to dump. The delegation visited Kuwachki village 25 Km away from the plant and met the people there to learn about their horrifying experience. Delegation also had a meeting with the Mayor of the village. Later they also attended a seminar at Fukushima. This event was organized by the Physicians against Nuclear Weapons (PANW), Peace Boat and Green Peace. It was felt that the government is down playing the issue. Independent studies of the area need to be done.
Over 800 delegates from all around the world participated in the congress. Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) delegation was represented by 43 delegates including 31 students from different states namely Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Manipur and Karnataka. IDPD delegation participated actively in the congress deliberations. Dr Satyajit Kumar Singh gave a presentation in the session on Health Effects of Uranium mining. Dr Balbir Singh participated as a panelist in the session on Responsibility to Protect. Dr Jeetendra Singh coordinated students’ activities during the congress. Dr Vasundhara Bhupati actively participated in the session on Violence and women. Dr Amarjit Singh took part in the discussion in various sessions. Ms Soumya Shree National Students’ Representative (NSR) IDPD co-chaired the plenary on World Without Nuclear Weapons. Mr Arshdeep Singh NSR IDPD co-chaired the youth summit. He also co-chaired the workshop on Nuclear Energy. A special workshop was held on south Asia. Affiliates from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka attended this session to chart out strategy of action to strengthen confidence building measure in the region with a purpose to check the arms race. Theworkshop made following recommendations to be sent to all the heads of governments of south Asia.
A south Asian regional meeting was held in which it was decided to hold a South Asian regional meeting next year.
Congress also elected a Board for the next two years. Dr Arun Mitra from IDPD was reelected as a member of the board. Before the Congress 31 students from different countries including Mr Arshdeep Singh and Ms Apramjyot from IDPD undertook a Bike Tour from Nagasaki to Hiroshima covering a distance of 480 Kilometers in 14 days from 7th August to 21st August. They stopped on the way at various places spreading the message of peace through different activities.
Students’ Congress was held on 22nd and 23rd August. It deliberated on strengthening the movement among students. A full fledged action programme including students’ exchange programme was designed. Students from India made several presentations. Next World congress will be held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan in 2014.
Dr Arun Mitra General Secretary
Student Congress Report
Student report 20th world congress Hiroshima Japan
The 20th world congress of IPPNW started with a pre-congress bike tour(August 09-20) in which participants from 20 countries went on bikes to cycle from Nagasaki to Hiroshima, the two cities against which the atomic bombs were ever used, passing 15 cities and covering over 500kms in 12 days. Arashdeep Singh, Co-NSR and Apramjyot, North Zone Representative represented India in the event. The aim of bike tour was to show solidarity with the victims and the survivors of not only the nuclear weapons but also nuclear testing, uranium mining, nuclear energy and nuclear accidents over the whole nuclear chain since the inception of nuclear energy. Keeping fresh, blunders of the past in one hand and a message for a nuclear free world in another the bikers spread their message throughout the tour by meeting and interacting with the locals, meeting with the mayors, conducting street actions and interacting with the media.
The student congress was held from August 22-23, a day after ICAN meeting. There were more than 100 students participating from 25 countries. The Indian delegation was again the biggest consisting of 31 medical students from J&K, Punjab, Manipur, Delhi, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
The congress focussed mainly on the issue of nuclear energy and its relation with nuclear weapons, small arms violence as depicted through one bullet stories, Hibakusha around the world and learning nuclear issues with Hibakusha and Fukushima victims and challenges faced by IPPNW student movement. There were numerous workshops held during the student congress covering vast global issues like climate change, medical peace works, doctors in training, communications and media, website and student magazines, IPPNW core programs ICAN, NWIP, post congress activity and many more.
There were guest speeches from Dr Masako Nakamoto, Hiroshima Bomb survivor, Gynaecologist & Obstetrician; Dr Robert Mtonga, Vice President, IPPNW and Mr Steven Leeper, Chairman, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. They all stressed on the need of eliminating both nuclear weapon and nuclear power which is vital for the survival of mankind in future.
The Indian students’ participation is well up to the mark throughout the student congress and main congress as well. The highlights are:
The students were also active throughout the main congress and almost each workshop and plenary has witnessed the active participation of medical students from India. They met local campaigners, Hibakusha, Peace activists, Anti nuclear activists and above all people from different backgrounds and ethnicity. Overall, it was a successful and promising tour for the student movement in IDPD in India.
The report complied by Arashdeep, Soumya -National Student Representatives, India at IPPNW and Apramjyot
Bike Tour Report
IPPNW BIKE TOUR JAPAN 2012: CYCLING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
44 medical students and doctors came together from around the globe this august to bike together across southern Japan with the common message of NUCLEAR ZERO resonating among them all. The uniqueness and the exceptionality of this tour brought about by the perfect blend of determined and brave activists from medical background belonging to 20 countries and all continents, biking over approx 600 kilometers of highly undulating and hilly terrain from Nagasaki to Hiroshima, so different from each other yet so similar with the dream and hope of bringing about ultimate world peace and security was unprecedented.
Extending over 13 days from august 7th to the 20st, the tour started and finished in the two cities which were shamefully wiped off by the nukes in 1945. Starting in Nagasaki the participants cycled to Hiroshima where they eventually attended the 20th IPPNW World Congress 2012. In the bike tour India was represented by two IDPD affiliates- Arashdeep Singh,National Students Representative and Apram Jyot, North Zone Representative.
The aim of this tour was to show solidarity with the victims and the survivors of not only the nuclear weapons but also nuclear testing, uranium mining, nuclear energy and nuclear accidents over the whole nuclear chain in the past 60 years . Keeping fresh blunders of the past in one hand and a message for a nuclear free world in another the bikers spread their message throughout the tour by meeting and interacting with the locals, meeting with the mayors, conducting street actions and interacting with the media.
Activities during the bike tour
On August 7th after meeting the whole bike crew in Nagasaki at the RECNA, a research centre to promote nuclear abolition, the tour crew had the opportunity to meet the mayor of Nagasaki, Mr. Tomihisa Taue, one of the vice presidents of the Organization Mayors for Peace. Being equally impressed and amused after listening about the plans for the next 13 days the mayor expressed overwhelming appreciation for the bikers and a wish to join the tour if it hadn’t been for his commitments. The meeting ended with best wishes from the mayor and a memento from the Office of Nagasaki to the bikers.
August 8th was a day fully devoted to anti nuclear activities and no biking. Street action was conducted on a crowded intersection in Nagasaki. With HIBAKUSHA WORLDWIDE poster exhibition lined on both sides of the road the bikers were able to generate quite a public stir. There was one on one interaction with the interested locals about the dangers of the nuclear chain. After the street action the bikers attended the meeting with the high school students of Nagasaki . Dr. Alex Rosen spoke about the nuclear chain. An integral part of the meeting was a very heart warming and touching speech by a girl about her experience as a first hand witness to the Fukushima disaster. The narration of her misery as she and her family suffered the agony of evacuation from the nuclear fallout zone shook everybody. This was followed by a very fruitful discussion on the Hibakusha World Wide posters as each one was handed to a biker with a group of very eager to learn students. The bikers then picked up their respective bikes followed by official bike tour t- shirts and buttons.
August 9th, on the 67th anniversary of the grim nuclear bombing of Nagasaki, the bike tour crew was invited as special guests to the very prestigious Memorial ceremony at the Nagasaki peace park. It was a great honor because the ceremony was attended by the most distinguished guests from all over Japan. Later in the day, in the presence of local press the bikers then started the tour from the Nagasaki medical college under the applause of IPPNW members and local supporters. After 50kms of biking through the Omura bay and rice paddies the bikers ended the day by reaching the rest house at a hilltop in Seihi. This was followed by an exceptionally sunny day of august 10th when biking through the hilly terrain the bikers reached another hilltop rest house. After diner everyone enjoyed the unwinding at the traditional Japanese bath called the onsen.
August 11th brought about an approx 80km journey to the hilltop Oonojo campsite. The day which was a variegated mixture of picturesque surroundings, up hills, rain and the sun ended with some much missed Indian curry. A former Japanese nuclear power plant worker who was also biking with us shared his experiences of working in a NPP and the prejudice he faced for questioning the authorities.
On august 12th,biking through rain the bikers reached another hilltop campsite in Fukuoka. After a very brisk change the bikers made it to the very prestigious symposium in a grand conference hall. Dumbstruck by the grand welcome with music and applause the bikers took the allocated executive seats as Dr. Alex Rosen presented the nuclear chain. The session was concluded with a question and answer session and the day with a Japanese ramen diner.
August 13th was biking trough the rain and clouds to lunch when all voted for an early day off and stay at a nearby boat house to reenergize the spirits.
August 14th was a day of unbelievable and striking 93kms for the bikers through the city of Kitakyushu, island of Honshu ,the harbor town of Shimonoseki to the campsite. The plateau of Akioshidai marked the mid point of our tour which was celebrated by all with nepali curry , drinks and singing. August 15th was a rest day, no biking(except for Alex and Bene) , only touring trough the biggest limestone caves of Asia below the Karst plateau. The evening was well spent learning how to make paper cranes with the help of the fellow Japanese which is a tradition to honor the nuclear bomb victims .The diner followed by campfire with bikers sharing their work and contributions in their individual chapters was very inspiring. August 16th was many long kilometers in the sun before lunch including the visit to the famous five tiered pagoda in Yamaguchi and the rest along the coast towards Hikari, the beach campsite. The bikers experienced immense joy and satisfaction as they jumped into the welcoming waters of the Seto inland sea and letting the waves wash away every bit of anguish of the taxing 88kms they biked. Perfect evening ended with the perfect night of sleeping on the beach under the stars. August 17th was an activity day per se. After some delicious bannock for breakfast, a delegation to meet the mayor of Hikari the sunshine city ,so called because of its promotion of the solar and wind energy. Bikers were then taken to Kaminoseki in vans where a discussion was held with the pro nuclear energy PR man from a local energy supplier. They also met up with many extremely dedicated anti nuclear activists who took them to the site of construction of a very controversial nuclear power plant in the far side of peninsula. The activists shared their inspiring experiences and struggles over the past 30 years, opposing the construction by blockading the beach, kayaking in the cove and holding weekly protests. Many devoted activists from all over Japan had moved to the region to oppose the construction. Their conviction was truly inspiring for all of us. The evening was well spent with barbeque followed by a long discussion with the activists until midnight on the beach
August 18th was another long day of 80 kilometers of biking which went past surprisingly easy and fast as we reached the hostel at Miyajimaguchi. The highlight of the day was the lunch in the beautiful park in Iwakuni where everyone wholly enjoyed, starting from the huge shower to the delicious softi cream in amazing flavors. The historic bridge of Iwakuni was breathtaking. August 19th was a much awaited rest day for all. After a hearty Indian breakfast of stuffed paronthas, the bikers took a ferry to the famous island of Miyajima which everybody explored in their own way and thoroughly enjoyed.
The half submerged shrine in the centre of the island was the main attraction. Winding up with barbeque on the beach and the ferry back to the hostel it was truly a rest day for all. August 20th was only 30 kilometers to the grand finale!!Hiroshima welcomed us with open arms and cheers. IPPNW members and locals greeted us in front of the Hiroshima peace museum. This was followed by a meeting with the mayor of Hiroshima and the president of the organization Mayors for Peace Mr.Kazumi Matsui.The bikers then attended a meeting with the students in the medical school where a discussion on the nuclear chain was followed by very edifying presentations by the students. Our tour was officially concluded by the live prepared Japanese specialty Okonomiyaki. People from -Germany,Netherlands,India,Nepal,Canada,phillipines,iran,Australia,Nigeria,U.S.A.,Norway,Swedn,Estionia,Japan,Switzerland,Ukraine,Denmark,Nicaragua,Ecuador,Egypt…..widely separated from each other in terms of land, nationality and culture ,yet so closely connected by the bond of value and reverence for human life and yearning for peace and security world wide….this is what made this tour a huge success.
WHO ARE WE? Doctors Worldwide
WHAT DO WE WANT? Nuclear zero
WHERE ARE WE FROM? Nagasaki
WHERE ARE WE GOING? Hiroshima LETS Go!!!!!!!!
The move of the Indian government to engage Psychiatrists to counsel the anti nuclear protestors at Koodankulam is very perturbing. Opposition to the nuclear power plants is not based on any delusion but on scientific evidence of effect of nuclear radiations on not only human health but all the flora and fauna around. This opposition is not just at Koodankulam but worldwide. There are ample of scientific studies to prove the detrimental effect of nuclear radiations including the one carried out by Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) on the “Effect on Health of People Living Around Jadugoda Uranium Mines” which shows statistically significant effect on the health of the people. Fears of the people around the Koodankulam plant are therefore justified and need to be addressed to by the government rather than doing witch hunting. People who think of safe environment, well being of masses, social justice, coexistence and not competing with nature, reducing wealth gap are sanest people. This whole exercise of the government is unethical and smells of some business deals
22 May 2012 - IDPD Statement in response to Government of India’s plan to engage Psychiatrists to counsel the anti nuclear protestors
The move of the Indian government to engage Psychiatrists to counsel the anti nuclear protestors at Koodankulam is very perturbing. Opposition to the nuclear power plants is not based on any delusion but on scientific evidence of effect of nuclear radiations on not only human health but all the flora and fauna around. This opposition is not just at Koodankulam but worldwide. There are ample of scientific studies to prove the detrimental effect of nuclear radiations including the one carried out by Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) on the “Effect on Health of People Living Around Jadugoda Uranium Mines” which shows statistically significant effect on the health of the people. Fears of the people around the Koodankulam plant are therefore justified and need to be addressed to by the government rather than doing witch hunting. People who think of safe environment, well being of masses, social justice, coexistence and not competing with nature, reducing wealth gap are sanest people. This whole exercise of the government is unethical and smells of some business deals.
No one can ever say with 100% authenticity that there can never be an accident in the nuclear power plant or any other industry so to say anywhere in the world. Who could imagine the disaster at Fukushima in Japan which is known for one of the best technological applications and disaster management? On the contrary the track record of disaster management in India is extremely dismal. We are till date unable to cope up with the Bhopal gas tragedy.
A team of doctors from International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) including IDPD is likely to visit Fukushima in August 2012 to take stock of the ground reality. However lot of studies has been done on the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. Based on information from the Belarus National Academy of Sciences, Greenpeace places the figure at 93,000 deaths as a fall out of this accident.
The Belarus National Academy of Sciences estimates 270,000 people in the region around the accident site will develop cancer as a result of Chernobyl radiation. Another report by the Center for Independent Environmental Assessment of the Russian Academy of Sciences found a dramatic increase in mortality since 1990—60,000 deaths in Russia and an estimated 140,000 deaths in Ukraine and Belarus—probably due to Chernobyl radiation.
The biggest challenge facing communities still coping with the fallout of Chernobyl is the psychological damage to 5 million people in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. "The psychological impact is now considered to be Chernobyl's biggest health consequence," according to Louisa Vinton, of the UNDP. "People have been led to think of themselves as victims over the years, and are therefore more apt to take a passive approach toward their future rather than developing a system of self-sufficiency.” It is high time therefore, the Indian government pays more attention to the renewable energy resources which are inexhaustible and non hazardous in our country. The Japanese have already put a stop to the nuclear power plants and so are many other countries.
News Item in The New Indian Express 19th May 2012
Centre to deal anti-nuke mind-set with NIMHANS
Veena Joshi Datta
The New Indian Express BANGALORE: Having exhausted all options to end opposition to the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, the Centre now plans to get a peek into the protesters’ minds and remove any fears.
?For this, it has decided to engage a team of psychiatrists from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore. ?In the first week of May, a representative from the Central Government visited NIMHANS to discuss strategies and to chalk out a plan of action. ?The Central team wanted to evolve a method to engage with those involved in the Koodankulam agitation.
?Following this, NIMHANS has already started working on the project and has formed a team comprising six members to take up the task of counselling protestors. ?Some of these members are from the department of social psychiatry. ?A former director of National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) is expected to lead this project. ?The institute has already commenced the collection of primary data in this regard and is now gearing up to seek field reactions from villages in Tamil Nadu as the secondary research data for further formulation of multiple strategies to address the problem.
?Dr P Satishchandra, director, NIMHANS, told Express that this will be a long-term project, which is currently in its infancy. ?“We will submit a detailed report to the Central Government within a week and depending on the government’s response, further strategies will be planned for this project,” Dr Satishchandra added. ?NIMHANS hopes to work in tandem with self help groups, NGOs, local administration and other community level workers who can help people understand the importance of the nuclear power plant. ?The effort will be to allay apprehensions.
?For instance, the fishing community is apprehensive about safety following the Fukushima disaster in Japan. ?There was also a fear among villagers that once the reactor is set in motion, the condenser water released into the sea could affect marine life jeopardising fishermen’s livelihood. ?Besides, there was also a fear that mock exercises mean permanent eviction of residents. ?Considering these factors, the members have planned to chalk out various exercises at the grass-root level to convince protestors that the nuclear power plant is safe and essential for the country.
25 April, 2012 - Press Conference on Nuclear Famine: A Billion People at Risk ndian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has since long being campaigning for complete elimination of nuclear weapons as these could annihilate not only the man kind but whole the flora and fauna on earth. Even a limited use of these weapons could put crores of peoples at risk. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) has carried out a study in this regard which is being released internationally now said Dr.L.S.Chawla while addressing the press conference today at IMA House Ludhiana. He said that latest study by the IPPNW has warned that even a limited nuclear exchange could endanger the lives of 100 crorers people in the world. ...
Press Conference by Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) on Nuclear Famine: A Billion People at Risk Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has since long being campaigning for complete elimination of nuclear weapons as these could annihilate not only the man kind but whole the flora and fauna on earth. Even a limited use of these weapons could put crores of peoples at risk. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) has carried out a study in this regard which is being released internationally now said Dr.L.S.Chawla while addressing the press conference today at IMA House Ludhiana. He said that latest study by the IPPNW has warned that even a limited nuclear exchange could endanger the lives of 100 crorers people in the world. Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary IDPD said that Dr. Ira Helfand, the author of Nuclear Famine: A Billion People at Risk—Global Impacts of Limited Nuclear War on Agriculture, Food Supplies, and Human Nutrition, said the new evidence that even the relatively small nuclear arsenals of countries such as India and Pakistan could cause long lasting, global damage to the Earth’s ecosystems “requires a fundamental change in our thinking about nuclear weapons.” Working with data produced by scientists who have studied the climate effects of a hypothetical nuclear war between India and Pakistan, Dr. Helfand and a team of experts in agriculture and nutrition determined that plunging temperatures and reduced precipitation in critical farming regions, caused by soot and smoke lofted into the atmosphere by multiple nuclear explosions, would interfere with crop production and affect food availability and prices worldwide. Dr Bharti Uppal- Finance Secretary IDPD gave a presentation. Among the specific findings: • Corn production in the US would decline by an average of 10% for an entire decade, with themost severe decline (20%) in year 5. Soybean production would decline by about7%, with the most severe loss, more than 20%, in year 5. • There would be a significant decline in middle season rice production in China. During the first 4 years, rice production would decline by an average of 21%; over the next 6 years the decline would average 10%. • Increases in food prices would make food inaccessible to hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest. Even if agricultural markets continued to function normally, 215 million people would be added to the rolls of the malnourished over the course of a decade. • Significant agricultural short falls over an extended period would almost certainly lead to panic and hoarding on an international scale, further reducing accessible food. • The 925 million people in the world who are already chronically malnourished (with a baseline consumption of 1,750 calories or less per day), would be put at risk by a 10% decline in their food consumption. While the IPPNW report calls for further research into the effects on additional crops in additional agricultural regions, Dr. Helfand said this preliminary study “raises a giant red flag” about the danger of nuclear weapons and the urgency of their elimination. “The death of one billion people over a decade would be a disaster unprecedented in human history,” he said. “It would not cause the extinction of the human race, but it would bring an end to modern civilization as we know it. “The danger identified in this report requires a fundamental change in our thinking about nuclear weapons. We must now recognize that it is not just the arsenals of the nuclear super powers that threaten all humanity. Even the smaller arsenals of emerging nuclear powers like India and Pakistan pose a global threat.” Noting, however, that even one US Trident submarine has the ability to destroy 100 cities and create a global famine, Dr. Helfand said “Even the most ambitious current proposals for nuclear arms reductions would leave the US and Russia with many times the nuclear fire power needed to create a global disaster on the scale described in this study.” Dr D P Singh Arora – President IMA Ludhiana while paying homage to victims of Chernobyl Nuclear disaster in Ukraine on 26th April 1986 where 93000 people lost their lives demanded that this accident followed by the Fukhushima Nuclear disaster should be eye opener. Learning lesson from these Government of India should put moratorium on the nuclear power plants. The electricity produce by these plants is neither safe nor economical. There is no foolproof method to manage the nuclear waste. Moreover the nuclear power plants pose a potential threat for the production of nuclear weapons. Dr N S Bawa – Vice President IDPD said that the doctors have to realize their duty to save the world from catastrophe. Dr Deepak Prashar was also present on the occasion.
21 March, 2012 - Nuclear Energy Neither Safe Nor Economical - Hoshiarpur (Punjab) While expressing solidarity with the people of Japan at the devastation caused by Tsunami and Earthquake which led to damage to the Dai Ichi Nuclear Plant in Fukushima one year back on 11th March 2011, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has demanded that India should shun the pursuit for nuclear power plants and instead look forward to utilize renewable energy resources like, wind power, bio-waste, micro-hydel and solar which are in plenty in our country......
21 March, 2012 - Nuclear Energy Neither Safe Nor Economical
While expressing solidarity with the people of Japan at the devastation caused by Tsunami and Earthquake which led to damage to the Dai Ichi Nuclear Plant in Fukushima one year back on 11th March 2011, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has demanded that India should shun the pursuit for nuclear power plants and instead look forward to utilize renewable energy resources like, wind power, bio-waste, micro-hydel and solar which are in plenty in our country. Addressing a seminar at the Rayat Bahra Institute of Engineering & Nano – Technology Chandigarh Road , Hoshiarpur. Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary IDPD said that the Government of India should immediately put moratorium on all ongoing nuclear activity and review the whole nuclear power policy in the wake of Fukushima disaster. Events in Japan are very shocking and vindicate the stand of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and IDPD that nuclear power plants are a potential threat of radiation. The cost of producing electricity from nuclear power is fraught with dangers and is 2-3 times more expensive than from conventional sources like coal and gas. There cannot be any comparison with the renewable resources which are totally non hazardous. It is pertinent to note that US has not built any nuclear power plant since the Three Mile Island incident in 1979 despite George W Bush the former President of USA offering subsidies on nuclear plants. France which pioneered the nuclear technology and nuclear power plants have not built one in the last 25 years. The nuclear plant can never be dismantled as the half life of Uranium in the reactor is 24000 years that means the danger is reduced to half after 24000 years and they have to be kept for an eternity, literally, before the spent fuel (the used Uranium from reactors) for it to become completely safe. More over the cost of dismantling is much more than the cost of installation. The track record of safety in the nuclear facilities in India is far from satisfactory. According to reports an estimated 300 incidents of serious nature have occurred causing radiation leaks and physical damage to the workers. But these have remained official secrets so far. During Tsunami water had entered the Kalpakkam Nuclear Plant in Tamil Nadu. The people around Uranium mines in Jadugoda are totally unprotected. As per the reports the technology being used by the French company, Areva, which is building the world's largest nuclear power plant in beautiful coastline of Ratnagiri (Jaitapur Town), India has not been completely tested. The world still remembers the Chernobyl nuclear accident where about 93000 people are reported to have died. Health of liquidators (cleanup workers) engaged in the job of cleaning the area is a matter of serious concern even today. An accident in a nuclear power plant is almost like an atomic explosion with serious consequences on flora & fauna and ecology. We demand that the Indian government should review its nuclear power policy and use other safe renewable options for power generation which are available in abundance in our country. Japan has the best disaster management capacity but in contrast our country’s track record in disaster management is extremely dismal. The explanation by some of our nuclear lobbyists that our country falls in the low seismic zone is unfounded and ignoring the reality as next time the disaster may not be due to earthquake but due to terrorism, climate change, technology failure, proliferation of plutonium or human error. According to Clause 6 of the nuclear liability bill, the maximum financial liability in case a nuclear accident is Rs. 2,087 crore. It is less than the compensation in Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The amount is considered meagre in comparison to the destruction caused by a nuclear accident. More over the time limit for filing complaint in case of nuclear accident has been limited to 10 years whereas it is a well known fact that the radiation leak may cause cancer even after 20-30 years of exposure. Dr Manju Sharma Member Central Council IDPD cautioned about the deteriorating environment as a result of unchecked human activity. We must come forward to save our planet from climate catastrophe she said. She also warned of danger of Uranium in Malwa belt of Punjab which has led to increase in incidence of cancer in the region.
A Seminar on Health through Peace was conducted at Dr Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, held in association with Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) an affiliate of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) to pay homage to the victims of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster which completed a year on the 11th of march 2012. Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary of IDPD and Dr S.S Soodan, Vice President IDPD, Director ASCOMS Medical College, Jammu, were the Guests of Honor. The event took place under the able guidance of Sarchitnis, MVP Samaj Ms Neelima Pawar, and Dean Dr Mrunal Patil
10 March, 2012 - Seminar at Nashik (Maharashtra)
A Seminar on Health through Peace was conducted at Dr Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, held in association with Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) an affiliate of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) to pay homage to the victims of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster which completed a year on the 11th of march 2012. Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary of IDPD and Dr S.S Soodan, Vice President IDPD, Director ASCOMS Medical College, Jammu, were the Guests of Honor. The event took place under the able guidance of Sarchitnis, MVP Samaj Ms Neelima Pawar, and Dean Dr Mrunal Patil. The programme was co-ordinated by Dr Major Jeetendra Singh. The seminar was attended by 30 students from Dr D.Y Patil Medical College and Research Center, Pune, 50 students from Nursing and 40 students from Physiotherapy college along with all the MBBS students of Dr Vasant Pawar Medical college. Dr Arun Mitra stressed the need of use of renewable sources of energy like hydropower and wind energy. He pointed out that nuclear energy is neither safe nor economical. Dr S.S Soodan discussed the rise in insecurity among people due to violence, nuclear health hazards and the role of students in spreading awareness. They have also stressed concern for people living near Jadugoda mines in Bihar as they are exposed to harmful nuclear radiations. There were discussions on the topics of the harmful health effects of nuclear radiations, adequate methods of nuclear waste disposal and also a documentary on the consequences from the use of Nuclear Weapons in conventional War was shown which was made by students themselves. Social issues like the importance of peace in achieving health and role of positive development through education and awareness were stressed. The act of female foeticide was condemned and opposed through a street play conducted by students of II year MBBS. Dr Jeetendra Singh said National Student Co-coordinator said that Planning such activities in medical college will go a long way in sensitizing medical students during their formative years towards their social responsibilities as doctors. Ms.Soumya Shree the Co NSR stressed the need for organizing such events in different colleges among the students.
More than 300 doctors and medical students, who participated in the Second North-South joint conference of IPPNW held at Kathmandu from 4-6 March 2011 reaffirmed their commitment to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, violence of all kinds and check on the proliferation of small arms. The conference was held on the theme “Peace Through Social Justice”. Conference opened with a message from the Prime Minister of Nepal Hon’ble Sh.Jhalla Nath Khanal, who could not personally attend because of the sad demise of former Prime Minister, Sh.Bhattarai. Inaugurating the conference, Dr.Vappu Taipale- Co-President IPPNW complimented the affiliates from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Japan, China and DPR Korea for their effort to jointly carry forward the mission of IPPNW. The conference dwelt on the topics, “Thereat to regional peace”, “Perspective of peace and security in Asia”, “Experiencing Human made nuclear cast atrophy in Hiroshima”, “Agenda for peace in the region” and “Regional collaboration and co-operation for peace in Asia”. Various speakers expressed serious concern at that the majority of population in Asian countries live under abject poverty and is devoid of even basic needs to sustain life, nutrition, shelter, clean drinking water, hygiene & sanitation, education and health. The social inequalities have further increased after the so called globalization which has strengthened the corporate sector and resulted in mass deprivation of the people. This lack of social justice provides potential ground to violence. A 71 members delegation of IDPD from the states of J & K, Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh led by Dr.L.S.Chawla – President and Dr.Arun Mitra – General Secretary participated in this meet. The conference further warned that the arms race is the major factor of deprivation of large number of population in the world. The world spends over 20000 crore of rupees per day on arms race on the other side more than 15000 children die of hunger alone in the world. It would cost nearly Rs.7/- lack per day to provide them food to sustain life which is a miniscule amount in comparison to the expenditure on arms. There is urgent need for a worldwide people’s movement to force the governments to abolish nuclear weapons and check the proliferation of small arms. The Asian countries are by and large poor but ironically spend huge amount on arms purchase. It is of utmost importance that confidence building measures are undertaken in these countries through people to people exchange programmes and increase in trade relations so as to remove mistrust amongst each other. The conference demanded Visa Free movement for the citizens of SAARC nations. Dr L.S.Chawla presented keynote address in the session on “Agenda for Peace in the Region”, Dr.Arun Mitra addressed on the subject “Threat to Regional Peace”. Gen. Vinod Saighal presented a keynote address on the “Perspective of Peace and Security in Asia”. Dr S S Soodan chaired the Plenary session on “Regional Collaboration and Cooperation”. Dr.G.M.Malik was a speaker in this session. Dr.N.S.Bawa, Dr.Santokh Singh, Dr.Rajni, Dr.Manju Sharma, Dr.Jeetndra, Mr.Arshdeep Singh and Ms.Upasna intervened in the deliberations. Medical students’ conference was held on 4th March 2011 in the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.
While expressing solidarity with the people of Japan at the devastation caused by Tsunami and Earthquake which led to damage to the Dai Ichi Nuclear Plant in Fukushima, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has demanded that India should shun the pursuit for nuclear power plants and instead look forward to utilize renewable energy resources like, wind power, bio-waste, micro-hydel and solar which are in plenty in our country. Addressing a seminar organized by the Indian Medical Association Fatehabad. Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary and Dr Balbir Singh- Member Central Council of the IDPD said that the Government of India should immediately put moratorium on all ongoing nuclear activity and review the whole nuclear power policy in the event of Fukushima disaster. Events in Japan are very shocking and vindicate the stand of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and IDPD that nuclear power plants are a potential threat of radiation. The cost of producing electricity from nuclear power is fraught with dangers and is 2-3 times more expensive than from conventional sources like coal and gas. There cannot be any comparison with the renewable resources which are totally non hazardous. It is pertinent to note that US has not built any nuclear power plant since the Three Mile Island incident and France which pioneered the nuclear technology and nuclear power plants have not built one in the last 25 years. The nuclear plant can never be dismantled as the half life of Uranium in the reactor is 24000 years that means the danger is reduced to half after 24000 years and they have to be kept for an eternity, literally, before the spent fuel (the used Uranium from reactors) for it to become completely safe. More over the cost of dismantling is much more than the cost of installation. The track record of safety in the nuclear facilities in India is far from satisfactory. According to reports an estimated 300 incidents of serious nature have occurred causing radiation leaks and physical damage to the workers. But these have remained official secrets so far. During Tsunami water had entered the Kalpakkam Nuclear Plant in Tamil Nadu. The people around Uranium mines in Jadugoda are totally unprotected. As per the reports the technology being used by the French company, Areva, which is building the world's largest nuclear power plant in beautiful coastline of Ratnagiri (Jaitapur Town), India has not been completely tested. The world still remembers the Chernobyl nuclear accident where about 93000 people are reported to have died. Health of liquidators (cleanup workers) engaged in the job of cleaning the area is a matter of serious concern even today. An accident in a nuclear power plant is almost like an atomic explosion with serious consequences on flora & fauna and ecology. We demand that the Indian government should review its nuclear power policy and use other safe renewable options for power generation which are available in abundance in our country. Japan has the best disaster management capacity but in contrast our country’s track record in disaster management is extremely dismal. The explanation by some of our nuclear lobbyists that our country falls in the low seismic zone is unfounded and ignoring the reality as next time the disaster may not be due to earthquake but due to terrorism, climate change, technology failure, proliferation of plutonium or human error. Dr Balbir Singh cautioned about the deteriorating environment as a result of unchecked human activity. We must come forward to save our planet from climate catastrophe. Prominent among those who participated in the meeting include Dr Virinder Siwatch – State Vice President IMA Haryana, Dr Sanjay Bansal- President IMA Fatehabad,Dr Rajesh Batra, Dr Subhash Mehta
Citizens for a nuclear free world and renewable energy resources While expressing solidarity with the people of Japan at the devastation caused by Tsunami and Earthquake which led to damage to the Dai Ichi Nuclear Plant in Fukushima, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has demanded that India should shun the pursuit for nuclear power plants and instead look forward to utilize renewable energy resources like, wind power, bio-waste, micro-hydel and solar which are in plenty in our country. Addressing a seminar organized by the Indian Medical Association, National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) Ganganagar, Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary said that the Government of India should immediately put moratorium on all ongoing nuclear activity and review the whole nuclear power policy in the event of Fukushima disaster. Events in Japan are very shocking and vindicate the stand of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and IDPD that nuclear power plants are a potential threat of radiation. The cost of producing electricity from nuclear power is fraught with dangers and is 2-3 times more expensive than from conventional sources like coal and gas. There cannot be any comparison with the renewable resources which are totally non hazardous. It is pertinent to note that US has not built any nuclear power plant since the Three Mile Island incident and France which pioneered the nuclear technology and nuclear power plants have not built one in the last 25 years. The nuclear plant can never be dismantled as the half life of Uranium in the reactor is 24000 years that means the danger is reduced to half after 24000 years and they have to be kept for an eternity, literally, before the spent fuel (the used Uranium from reactors) for it to become completely safe. More over the cost of dismantling is much more than the cost of installation. The track record of safety in the nuclear facilities in India is far from satisfactory. According to reports an estimated 300 incidents of serious nature have occurred causing radiation leaks and physical damage to the workers. But these have remained official secrets so far. During Tsunami water had entered the Kalpakkam Nuclear Plant in Tamil Nadu. The people around Uranium mines in Jadugoda are totally unprotected. As per the reports the technology being used by the French company, Areva, which is building the world's largest nuclear power plant in beautiful coastline of Ratnagiri (Jaitapur Town), India has not been completely tested. The world still remembers the Chernobyl nuclear accident where about 93000 people are reported to have died. Health of liquidators (cleanup workers) engaged in the job of cleaning the area is a matter of serious concern even today. An accident in a nuclear power plant is almost like an atomic explosion with serious consequences on flora & fauna and ecology. We demand that the Indian government should review its nuclear power policy and use other safe renewable options for power generation which are available in abundance in our country. Japan has the best disaster management capacity but in contrast our country’s track record in disaster management is extremely dismal. The explanation by some of our nuclear lobbyists that our country falls in the low seismic zone is unfounded and ignoring the reality as next time the disaster may not be due to earthquake but due to terrorism, climate change, technology failure, proliferation of plutonium or human error. Dr Dharmendra Kumar Verma –Convener IDPD Rajasthan gave an account of activities of IDPD to promote peace and health. Dr M Arora highlighted the role of medical professionals in building peace movement. He also called upon the media to play a positive role. Dr.Rajeev Munjal welcomed the delegates and spoke for the need of a nuclear free world, better relations between neighbouring countries and resolution of issues through dialogue. Prominent among others who addressed the seminar include Dr.R.C.Jindal- President IMA Ganganag, Sh.Jagdish Rai Jandu-Chariman Nagar Parishad, Dr.Pralad Gupta-Chairman Sh.Jagdamba Manav Seva, Sh.Inderjit Bishnoi- President Bar Association, Dr.Partap Singh Shekhawat – Patron IDPD Hanumangarh, Sh.Ashok Singhal- President Khatri Sabha, MJF Lion Virender Veidya, Dr.Amarjeet Singh Sidhu, Lion Jangeer Farma, Lion Navdeep Bansal, Lion Vinod Sethi, Smt.Kamla Bishnoi, Dr.Pawan Sharma, Dr.Rameshwar Bhambu.