Amartya Sen points at public welfare | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 14, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 14, 2010

Amartya Sen points at public welfare

Sees nothing wrong in opposing ruling party stance


Renowned economist Prof Rehman Sobhan, right, shares a point with Nobel laureate Prof Amartya Sen at the launching ceremony of the Bangladesh Health Watch Report 2009 at Brac Centre Inn in the city yesterday. Photo: Shafiqul Alam

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Nobel laureate Prof Amartya Sen yesterday said there is nothing wrong about the Opposition taking stance against the ruling party if it is aimed at public welfare.
"The Opposition would oppose in the multi-party democracy. But they would neglect their constructive role if they focus on other issues rather than public welfare including education and health," he told the journalists after a dialogue yesterday.
The two-day dialogue titled "Indo-Bangladesh Dialogue on Health and Education: Learning from Neighbours" organised by Brac, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Pratichi Trust in association with Unicef Bangladesh began yesterday at Brac Centre Inn.
Briefing journalists on the first day's programme, Prof Sen stressed the need for multiple efforts involving government and non-government organisations to address the problems in education and health sectors.
He said sex discrimination in getting health service is a severe problem in South Asia.
"Negligence on women health puts huge impact on children even when they grow up," he said, adding that it led to high rate of maternal mortality and malnutrition, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases among women and children.
Dr Sen suggested introducing meal system in schools especially for the poorer children.
Prof Rehman Sobhan, chairman of CPD, said lack of good governance is one of the major problems in Bangladesh and India.
Later in an interview with The Daily Star, the noble laureate said Bangladesh could promote herbal medical treatment with modern medical facilities to ensure health service to all.
Dr Sen also said the government can include the traditional medical system in the national health policy, so that the people, especially of the lower segment of the population, can access the medical facilities.
"The government can include Hekimi (herbal medical treatment) system in the national health policy to ensure health facility to the people," he said.
Before the conference, Prof Sen launched Bangladesh Health Watch Report 2009. Prof Syed Modasser Ali, prime minister's health adviser, was present at the launching ceremony, among others.

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