Request for strong measures to protect young Indians from NCD risk factors

Request for strong measures to protect young Indians from NCD risk factors

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HRIDAY started this petition to Ministry of Health and Family welfare

India has the largest youth population between the age of 10-24 years in the world, which comprises of 28% of the total population. Youth represent the well-being of a society and are a beacon of positive thinking, growth and development. However, the unprecedented threat that our country faces from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), in terms of physical and mental health, economic growth and development is a serious roadblock for youth in reaching their potential as productive citizens. 62% of India’s annual deaths are caused due to NCDs. Due to rampant exposure to NCD risk factors such as tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diets, inadequate physical activity and exposure to air pollution, the young people of India are also at a very high risk of facing diseases, disability and pre-mature death from NCDs. 

The NCD-linked risk factors are predominantly associated with behavioural patterns, which are largely adopted at early ages. To ensure that adolescent and youth flourish on the road to adulthood, there is need to invest now in preventing NCDs and mobilizing youth to become change agents who have the opportunity to live and thrive in health promoting environments.

We are grateful to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, for leading several initiatives to safeguard the health of young people from the current and future threat of NCDs. We feel that along with being the target audience of the Government’s policies and programmes which address NCD risk factors, we, the youth of India can also be effectively engaged as valued and responsible stakeholders who can contribute to various ongoing efforts on NCD prevention and control across the country, particularly in supporting health promoting norms among in our homes, educational institutions and the community at-large.

We urge the Government of India to accept this petition and request for:

  1. Prioritizing targeted health promotion campaigns to address NCD risk factors, prevention, and management of NCDs for youth, families, schools, and communities under Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) and Ayushman Bharat. 
  2. Lowering the age limit from 30 to 10 years for the WHO definition of ‘premature mortality’ so that deaths of people under the age of 30 are appropriately counted. 
  3. Providing an opportunity for youth advocates to participate and contribute to national and sub-national strategic discussion and planning on issues and decisions related to their health and well-being, particularly related to preventing youth from tobacco and alcohol use; minimizing intake of processed foods rich in fats, salt and sugar; promoting intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains; curbing sedentary lifestyles; promoting physically activity; and minimizing exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution.
  4. Supporting youth capacity building on leadership, policy development, research, and community engagement.
  5. Implementing targeted health promotion campaigns on the risk factors, prevention, and management of NCDs for youth, families, educational institutions, and communities.

We sincerely look upto your inspiring leadership to empower the young people of this country to lead healthy and happy lives, free from the avoidable burden of NCDs and their risk factors.

Thanking you,
With best regards,
Youth Advocates
India Network for NCDs and Youth

#YouthNCDs #enoughNCDs 

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At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!