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Sudha Murty calls for government-sponsored cervical cancer vaccine program in maiden Rajya Sabha speech

Murty was nominated by the President to the upper house on the eve of International Women's Day.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 16:14 IST

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New Delhi: Philanthropist and author Sudha Murty on Tuesday pressed for a government-sponsored vaccination programme to combat cervical cancer.

In her maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha, she also pitched for promoting domestic tourism.

Murty was nominated by the President to the upper house on the eve of International Women's Day.

"There is a vaccination which is given to girls, between the age of nine to 14, known as a cervical vaccination. If the girls take that, it (cancer) can be avoided ... we should promote vaccination for the benefit of our girls because prevention is better than cure," Murty said.

Quoting her father, she said that when a mother dies it is counted as one death in the hospital but for the family, a mother is lost forever.

The government has handled a very "big vaccination drive during Covid" so it may not be very difficult to provide cervical vaccination to girls in the age group of 9-14 years, Murty said.

She was speaking during a discussion on the motion of thanks on the President's Address.

Murty said that the cervical vaccination has been developed in the West and it is being used for the last 20 years.

"It worked very well. It is not expensive. Today it is Rs 1,400 for people like me who are in the field. If the government intervenes and negotiates...you can bring it to Rs 700-800. We have such a large population. It will be beneficial for our girls in future," she said.

Rajeev Shukla, who was at the chair, asked Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to convey the message to the health minister.

Murty also said there are 57 domestic tourist sites which should be considered as World Heritage Sites. These include Bahubali statue at Shravanabela Gola in Karnataka, Lingaraja Temple, Unakoti rock carvings in Tripura, Shivaji forts in Maharashtra, Chausath Yogini temple in Mitawali, Lothal in Gujarat, and Gol Gumbad etc.

"In India, we have 42 World Heritage sites but 57 are pending ... we should bother about those 57 sites," Murty said.

She said that the temples in Srirangam are marvellous.

"There are beautiful Mughal gardens in Kashmir. We always go and see the film shootings, but we never realise that they are not in the World Heritage Sites. The package should be done very well so that people can come and see them. The package should be conveniently done so that we should have good toilets and roads so that the tourists can come. It will increase our revenue in our own country," Murty said.

She said a group of old monuments of Sarnath, which are 2500 years old, are still not among World Heritage Sites.

Murty said that old Parliament Building design prototyping has been done from the thousands-year-old Chausath Yogini temple at Mitawali in Madhya Pradesh.

During the discussion, BJP member Lahar Singh Siroya said that the Congress had first levelled allegations of a liquor scam against AAP, leading to uproar from opposition members.

NCP member Fauzia Khan said that the recent general election has given s clear mandate that the public will not allow philandering with the Constitution.

She said issues like price rise, unemployment, rising farmer suicide, floating corpses in rivers, plight of women, struggle for reservation in Maharashtra etc have disappeared for the government.

RJD member AD Singh said that the President should have mentioned about healing touch being given to the state of Manipur in her address but the government has completely forgotten the name of Manipur where ethnic violence may spread to neighbouring states.

Independent member Ajit Kumar Bhuyan raised the issue of the NEET exam and said that it has led to a deficit of trust in the minds of students.

CPI member Sandosh Kumar P said that the people of the country have rejected the politics of the BJP. He said the resolution adopted by the cabinet in January that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the liberator of the soul of this country shows arrogance.

He said that the Supreme Court had rejected the concept of electoral bond but the finance minister within days stated that it will be re-established.

BJP member Samik Bhattacharya said 200 BJP workers have died since 2016 till date of which 80 per cent are from SC, ST and minority communities but opposition members have not tweeted once.

He said that 10 Congress workers died in the last panchayat election and questioned if any senior Congress leader tweeted about it.

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Published 02 July 2024, 16:14 IST

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