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Growing world population was the biggest hurdle in sustainable development, and leaders and social activists need to join hands to create awareness on the issue, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Wednesday.
"There is need for large-scale awareness on the population issue. Increasing population has created several problems vis-a-vis development, employment opportunities, and health services," he said.
He was speaking after inaugurating a conference on "Enhancing role of parliamentarians in the inter-linkage between population issues and the 2030 agenda of sustainable development".
"Most countries face the problem of providing quality and accessible medical facilities to the poor. Several countries are facing high infant mortality due to lack of proper medical facilities at affordable prices," the Minister said.
Naqvi appealed to members of Parliament and other leaders present at the conference to come together and create awareness on a large-scale to tackle the menace of population explosion.
He said India has the potential to become a hub for medical tourism. "The Narendra Modi government has taken several measures to improve the healthcare sector, including allocation of several thousand crores of rupees for it in the Budget."
Around 20 lawmakers from various Asian and African countries like India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cameroon, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Malaysia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Japan, UAE, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Jordan are participating in the two-day conference.
It has been jointly organised by Japan-based Asian Population and Development Association and NGO Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development.
The conference is scheduled to deliberate on topics like 'Investing in youth and population dividend', 'Women's health, reproductive health', 'Global impact and SDGs matrix', and 'Role of legislation to achieve 2030 agenda on sustainable development'.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)