New Delhi:��In an initiative to reduce infant, neonatal and maternal mortality in India, private and development sector partners have collaborated to launch project Asman here. The project, launched late Tuesday, is an alliance between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MSD India, Reliance Foundation, Tata Trusts and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Speaking on the occasion, union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said efforts like 'Asman' will go a long way to tackle Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and malnutrition in the country. "Social responsibility was always there in the DNA of the corporates. Once the alliance enters into a partnership with the government, I hope we can fight MMR and neonatal mortality together. "The government has the institutional mechanism and you can utilise our Anganwadi and Asha system to fight the cause," Gandhi said. According to the alliance partners, Asman seeks to create a model for bringing private players together to make significant progress in providing healthcare for all and to steer the nation towards making a mark in the sustainable development goals. Commenting on the launch of project Asman, Nita Ambani, founder and chairperson, Reliance Foundation said change was possible through such partnerships. "I believe that every life must be cared for and we should strive for a healthy India, where no mother is lost to child birth and every child can live life to his or her fullest potential. "This is possible through smart, strong and sustainable partnerships. For me, this partnership goes beyond just funding but leveraging our rich institutional experience, valued expertise and a strong shared commitment to improving mother and child survival in India," Ambani said. According to data, states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh record higher rates of Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).
Private players join hands to fight maternal mortality