IT IS imperative for backward states of India like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015, said Salil Shetty.
The director of UN Millennium Campaign (New York) was addressing media persons in the City on Monday. Shetty said that if these states do not achieve MDGs, then India and the world would fail to achieve the goals.
The press conference was organised by State Government along with ASHA and Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society.
Emphasising the importance of media’s role in the campaign, he said that world leaders have signed for the campaign and now media has to monitor its implementation and ensure accountability.
“If we want these goals to become a reality, the campaign will have to be pushed hard to get it implemented and you (media) will have to monitor the implementation.”
Shetty said that on behalf of the United Nations he is grateful for the seriousness with which the Madhya Pradesh Government has taken up the issue of poverty, which affects a large majority of the population of the state. “Madhya Pradesh is the only state government in India which has decided to actively participate in achieving the MDGs. In other states, the campaign is being run by people’s organisations.”
The goals include putting an end to poverty, illiteracy and disease, ensuring livelihoods through agriculture, basic employment, decent schools, decent health care and good quality drinking water among others.
Addressing the media persons, State PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvergiya said that the government will ensure continuous monitoring and will use all the funds at its disposal for implementing the poverty eradication schemes. “Although the UN has set a deadline of 2015, we want to eradicate extreme poverty in the State by 2012,” he said.
The press conference digressed from its agenda for a brief while when members of the press grilled the minister on the deteriorating condition of the roads, especially the highways. Vijayvergiya fielded the questions in his usual brazen style saying that funds for the national highways are sanctioned by the Union Government and he is accountable only for State highways.