NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In his first year in power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought in banking for the poor, set up campaigns to improve sanitation and curb the abortion of female foetuses – but slashed funds for education, health, women and children.
In “Promises and Reality” – a report focusing on policies affecting the poor and marginalised – charities gave a mixed verdict on Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition, which took office exactly one year ago.
Compiled by Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), a coalition of more than 4,000 civil society groups, the report examined budgetary allocations, changes in laws and initiatives against Modi’s 2014 election campaign slogan that “acche din” or “good days” were coming.
“For children that make up 39 percent of the population, ‘acche din’ appear very far away,” the Delhi-based group which has members across India said in a statement.
“With slashes in budgets to the ministry of women and child development, and in health and education, it will be near impossible to deliver on the right to education and ensure health and well being.”
The report commended Modi for launching the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (Save the Daughter, Educate the Daughter) campaign to stop sex-selective abortion and ensure girls’ education.
But the charities said the campaign jarred with massive budget cuts in flagship social welfare programmes.
The National Health Mission and the Integrated Child Development Services – public health schemes which reach out to millions of poor – have seen their federal government budgets cut by 17 and 52 percent respectively in 2015/16 from 2014/15.
Source: Msn News