Healthy nation can be a wealthy nation: VP

Healthy nation can be a wealthy nation: VP

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu presents ‘Rythu Nestham’ awards, in Hyderabad. PTI

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Sunday urged doctors to create awareness among people on the dangers posed by lifestyle diseases, saying a healthy nation can become a wealthy nation but not vice-versa.

Speaking after inaugurating a free medical camp here, Naidu stressed on the need to pay greater attention towards one's health and wellness as prevention was better than cure, an official release said. Naidu noted that the country's spending on healthcare would naturally come down if people were healthy. He lauded the Centre for launching 'Ayushman Bharat' to provide health insurance cover to five crore families in rural and 2.5 crore families in urban areas. The scheme would provide coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year.

Later, giving away 'Rythu Nestham' awards, Naidu warned that farmers would give up agriculture unless farming was made profitable and viable. He also suggested that the focus should be on bringing down the input costs and not on increasing productivity alone. "The indiscriminate use of fertilisers, pesticides, electricity and water also need to be curbed," the release quoted theVice-Presidentas saying.

On the initiative taken by him to conduct national consultations on making agriculture profitable, Naidu said scientists must ensure that research outcome directly reaches farmers (Lab to Land).

Noting that zero budget natural farming promoted by eminent agriculturist Subhash Palekar was beneficial, the Vice President pointed out that it would help reduce costs and provide a stable income to farmers. "It would also protect the consumers from ill-effects of pesticides. As a matter of fact, only 10 percent of water and electricity would be required for natural farming when compared to normal farming," he claimed. The Vice President also emphasised the importance of creating awareness among farmers to diversify to allied activities to increase their income.

Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for increasing the Minimum Support Price of various crops and launching farmer-friendly schemes such as soil health cards and PM Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, the Vice President appealed to the private sector to step up investments in agriculture.

Observing that the Government, Parliament and the Media must accord the highest priority to health, education and agriculture, the Vice President said that scientists, agricultural research centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras must make concerted efforts to make agriculture sustainable and profitable, the release added.